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iPads in class. Reasons AGAINST please.

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by roy33, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    I think the control software is really important though, I've been trying to get my head around how to manage multiple ipads/ipods in school, and it's a bit of a minefield because they are designed as personal devices, the software is not really set up for a school setting at all. You can get android apps off the market as I understand it on learnpads. The android market is not quite as good as the apple one, but isn't really far off these days. And yes, flash means you can use education city, and other sites that schools buy into
  2. Just bought 3 ipads for our department (ICT) with left over capitation. Some teachers in other departments have been to the head to complain that they didn't get one! So spread the rumour that we got them bought for us as we had such good exam results. Got even more complaints!
    They are just big iphones that don't fit in your pocket - great as a toy at home check email and browse the web when watching TV.
    Waste of time for school - they will get nicked faster than the little apple laptops we used to have in music. Saving work and running any programs is rubbish.
    Will probably pass on to someone else to try (not someone who complained)
  3. In my opinion - and it is purely a personal opinion since as yet I have had no chance to actually play with one - the Raspberry is by far the most useful ay to go.
    I am sure - though I may be wrong - that parents and teachers will remember the massive success that the BBC Micro and its schools programme was in producing some super British talent. The new Raspberry is designed from the ground up to be able to do the same.
    Want a different "feel" to your own device? Stick in a different memory chip in the slot and run Linux. Or Android. Or BBC Micro emulator. Anything you like.
    Want to get power for your skilled users? Shove in Backtrack Linux and challenge them to break into the "school Raspberry system" set up just for them to break into.
    This is the power it has - you can decide what to do and then go ahead and do it. My personal track would be to link it up to relay switches and run it for robotics.
  4. As a long term iPad user (besotted, to be honest) I cannot think of a single good reason to put them into schools. Security of work and lack of proper lock-down being big drawbacks. Not a big fan of Android slates in school either - the form factor is a massive limitation and potential hazzard. As someone else hinted at, if we need gadgets to enthuse kids then things are worse than we thought (with the exception of the likely scrapping of ICT from the NC!!)

    Not 100% sure about Raspberry Pis either to be honest. Why are they better than booting a normal diskless PC from a USB stick or memory card into the same Linux-based software? I've ordered one, and I have no use for it, purely out of gear-lust and the fact that it's only about £30 for a potentially fun partner for my Arduino, but how will it revolutionise the classroom? They need to be plugged into input and output devices anyway, which for most users will be screen/kbd/mouse (and most likely networked). I must be missing something - perhaps Raspberry-tinted glasses?
  5. This is the bit I don't fully get. The software looks to be tailored versions of Ubuntu and/or Fedora. I don't think it's the hardware that is the problem ; it's the software. Even though I like Python.
  6. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    The video for the Pi thing had running Scratch as being the great thing about it - that was the point at which my bubble burst on the thing.
    Bring back the ZX81
    Okay, the keyboard was built in but you did have to connect a p/s and a TV - and then you could actually write your own software - and all in 2K!!!!
    I guess you could put some windows into the case so you could see the stuff inside?
    (I've still got one - and T-Rex - the mother******** of all video games).
  7. HI there,
    As an advocate of iPads - I probably need to state that I don't work for apple and am not a troll, nor am I a first time poster!!

    I see iPads used in all curriculum situations. The mistake people make is to think they should be used for ICT - ideally they support, improve and bring to life the curriculum in other areas, from science apps that show 3d footage of the brain and skeleton to story books that bring characters to life. Apps that can bring make atlases current and life-like with real-time footage of the Grand Canyon and history apps which collate videos and text from hundreds of sources. There are virtual science experiments, apps which reinforce phonics and test the children on their knowledge and apps which allow the children to create and share puppet shows very very quickly.

    I'm really surprised that those people who are fans of iPads can't see how they could be used in class, the beauty of them is that they do all that in one package. Very easy to use, and (so far) with no real technical issues that I have seen. You don't need to have lots of different books/vidoes/computers. They are easily shared and promote collaboration amongst children of all ages. Are easily plugged into the interactive whiteboard so you are ale to use as demonstration/sharing/teaching tool.

    As with anything new there will be teething problems, but I firmly believe that there will be many more tablet devices, like these, in classrooms in the future.

    Hope that redresses the balance a bit!!
  8. The objections are based about value for money and practical issues such as not being damaged or nicked. No-one doubts there are some apps for iPads, albeit often not much different to the PC ones.
  9. Hi folks
    I believe that tablet devices have great potential but the way forward requires suitable apps and there are many that can be used - a problem is that there are so many resources to trawl through.
    Apple devices (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad) are all compatible with each other and there is a lot of scope for cheap uptake of apps that make use of the hardware.
    Apps that use bluetooth can allow connectivity within the classroom - this means that we have the potential to monitor, supervise, guide pupils at their own level given the appropriate apps. I am convinced that this is the way to go and I am developing apps along this route. At the moment mathstrainers can be downloaded for free (to ipod touch, iPhone, or iPad) and this allows different levels of training (encouraging active learning), and different modes of use (including head-to-head). I have started development of a teacher's app that monitors and records progress in the classroom for individual pupils - as well as setting tasks.
    iPads give flexibility of movement in the classroom for teachers and pupils. They have great storage - and with the advent of the cloud, backup of results can be straight forward - allowing access from home.
    In terms of In-App purchases: once one device's app has been downloaded at a small fee: an unlimited number of devices can be synchronised to that account and the app is available at no further cost - this must be a great opportunity for schools.
    The hardware is reliable and pupils enjoy working with it.
    Although I'm working with maths trainers, there is great potential across the curriculum: check out my websites at www.trapps.co.uk and www.mathstrainers.co.uk. There is a great problem with engaging pupils and use of technology can help.
  10. Hi there,

    I guessing that you're a secondary teacher? If not then I would really like you to reconsider your stance toward the iPad as a educational device.
    Of course you need balance in the classroom there is no one-size-fits-all device or app that takes control of planning, deliverance or assessment else we'd all have one, I'd have invented it and we'd all be happy campers - this was the main thread of iPads in the classroom at the 21CLHK conference recently.

    But, in infants and lower juniors they are amazingly creative devices. Animation, story telling (comic life, Puppet Pals, Story Maker et al), special educational needs (dragon), EAL, Art work, Music (Mad Pad, Garage Band on iPod touch doesn't cut it), P.E. (assessment filming with Hero HD for swimming), Science (space and Encyclopedic interactive adventures) all engage the student and the teacher.

    At what cost? Well, you have a camera, video suite, music editing, presentation tool, word processor with keyboard in different languages (that auto-corrects) all for relatively cheap purchase prices in the App store. You need a trolley - we made our own out of a tool chest on wheels for a 1/4 of the price.

    Have IT support? This is dwindling with the use of cloud storage and the increasing range of apps that utilise Dropbox, GDocs, Box.net etc as they don't have to reconfigure a file server or do they have to faff about with SMB servers or other mail clients. Infant teachers don't need to manage individual email accounts or sync/ subscribe to their student's online folders. But in upper juniors you do. Therefore you switch to Android and the freedom it allows older more capable students.

    As you go up the school you harness these devices because you have to. What the children use at home should be no different to what they use in school. And as they go into KS3/4 you have to allow them to make they're own choices based on what's available. If they have iPhones and a pen and paper then we have to cater for that. If it's only desktop then dual/ triple boot.

    You can't cart a desktop about school with you to work on a project that requires video and stills recording, say, for a science or PSHE lesson. The typed work that is done on location can be Dropboxed or synced via Evernote to be cut and pasted into another format on the desktop later. There is a place for the desktop but it is becoming less prominent. Hence, when the boxed version of the Raspberry Pi (another Tech Brouhaha we have 6 of these: http://www.fxitech.com/products/ an on par alternative) the desktop in schools will be demoted to search functions (albeit with a bit of media) and bare bones coding.

    So, sure, belittle the new technology creeping its way into the classroom but these are exciting times to be a teacher if you can get hold of it. If not, then stage BYOD days and that includes fancy pens and paper and maybe a Newton.

    My two penneth.
    Glenn Malcolm
    Head of EPC ICT
    Taipei European School
  11. Oh look, another one post poster.
    One good reason to avoid Apple is the laughable **** that passes for an Internet Browser in iOS5, the latest "update".
    It is a truly remarkable piece of software, mirrored by its PC and Mac Safari equivalent, in that it actually manages to be less compatible than Internet Explorer 6 which at least has the excuse of being ancient.
    Having multiple tabs is great, but not if half of them crash randomly. Not only does it crash, but crashing it stuffs up the browser until you turn the bl**dy thing off.
    As a simple (known) problem, menus generated by the ever popular WebPlus. One wouldn't expect the Flash menus to work on everything but the Javascript ones are fine on every browser bar one, the wonderful new bug ridden iPad/iPhone (it's something to do with a bug in the mouse/touch events).
    In an attempt to make it work faster, Apple have f**ked up the timeout so that it crashes if you don't yield Javascript every so often. Of course, it doesn't work, so it crashes whether you do or not unless you yield incredibly rapidly. Lots of coders are having to split code up or even move it server side to work round this sh*te - and it still doesn't work.
    It doesn't render straightforward HTML properly and don't get me started on the laughable joke that passes for sound implementation. I'm sure there is code like:
    if random() < 0.5 then playsound() else dozeforabit()
    in there - you can write code that works 100% of everything else, the s*dding iPad plays it 50% of the time. Nothing complicated, just responding to a button, creating an Audio object and assigning sound to it. Oh, and it's different on every single bl**dy release !
    This wouldn't be so bad if Apple allowed the use of other browsers not written by people who are incompetent (i.e. Firefox, Opera, Chrome, bl**dy hell it even makes IE look half decent).
    Nor can you (easily) retrograde to iOS4, whose browser actually works properly. This isn't because it's technically difficult. It's because Apple are more concerned about locking people into their pretty but sh*te software, because the upgrades are mostly about stopping people rooting the devices so you can do what you want with them.
    Yes, I'm not happy with the barstewards.

  12. Hi
    I would appreciate constructive criticism rather than the expletives given. There are issues with iPads etc. - however in terms of hardware there is very little to criticise (apart from cost).
    As a software engineer of >20 years experience, a secondary school Maths teacher of >6 yrs, and now a college lecturer; we should be looking forward to how we can leverage the technology.
    I think we should be considering:
    yes - networking is a problem: but can we get over internet or intranet connections using something local (classroom) i.e. bluetooth connectivity which is supported by iPod touch 3rd generation+.
    yes - loading and saving files can be tricky: however with the correct management software in a local device, connecting to pupils (users) and backing up information can be achieved in a controlled fashion.
    yes - there are a lot of apps out there and finding suitable ones for suitable activities requires a lot of teacher time and research - if only we could create a singular port of call.
    yes - potential theft is a problem - this could be mitigated by appropriate procedures though. We should be encouraging pupil responsibility. Theft is an indication of the value of these devices to pupils.
  13. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    In terms of hardware, its incompatibility and unintuitive connectivity with any other device or software children are likely to have makes it a poor classroom choice.

  14. Then what is the problem?

    Are you so ignorant of what PCs are capable of that you think that IPads can compete?

    Or is it wilful blindness to the faults and limitations they have?
  15. Lack of expandability ? It's not the hardware that I'm worried about, it's the software !
    The Safari issue sums up Apple in a microcosm. Lock ins, lots of cash down the line. Forced to use their godawful software to protect their monopoly.
    This has been going on for donkey's years ; laptops, netbooks, IWBs, LCD screen PCs, you name it, it's been the next technological panacea.
    It's also an inappropriate use of money which is in short supply.
  16. I have worked with PC's and technical software for many years and quite aware of what they are capable of. They also have limitations - consider desktops or laptops and how "mobile" they actually are. The power in a mobile device nowadays can provide the functionality dreamed about in the past - with video, animation, storage, communications. It also provides a more immersive and personal point of interaction for the user: responding to touch and movement, sound and vision. Mobile devices are much more stimulating to youngsters than the desktop screen.
    As a teacher I enjoy working with interactive whiteboard technology, and technology is never a replacement for a teacher who knows their subject and pupils. Technology provides breadth and depth to the learning experience - but it must be accesible to teacher and pupil alike (in the broadest sense). Apple are not reliant on schools for their billions. Their sales are not limited to the UK. It is in the home that Apple are breaking through with the uptake of their products.
    I suggest that we look at what hardware individuals (pupils, parents and teachers) already have and use: including PC's, internet, TV, and mobile devices and get the right software in place to use these devices for learning.
    In the classroom and out of it: there are many pieces of kit to enhance learning and it makes sense to find the best solution for each scenario. The iPod touch, iPhone or iPad is a valuable piece of kit and should not be used purely as a toy. As teachers we could be aware of what is available, and be able to encourage use and provide guidance.
    I feel that these handheld devices provide a platform for short term interaction: within Maths, for example, practice is important and pupils' mobiles can give it - for example, by improving their numeracy skills.
  17. That's an issue then?
    Kind of like a **** PC aren't they?
    Says who?
    Possibly yes; for what, 5 mnutes?
    Yup, brainless consumers of ***** are buying them by the million - I feel brainless when I use mine.
    But that is what they are.
    And that's all they are worth.
    Yup, just watched my 10 year old on my PC on MyMaths and Dick and Dom Maths for 30 minutes - app cost £0.
  18. In response:
    Mobility IS an issue: considering "brainless" people are using their mobiles everywhere, at all times, yes - mobility is an issue.
    These "**** PC's" can easily handle the processing requirements from MyMaths and Dom and Dick - and more...
    Your PC has just held the attention of a 10 yr old for 30 minutes - wait till he is 13 yrs old. Teenagers can't put their mobiles down.
    So you agree about mobile devices being more stimulating.
    "brainless consumers of *****" and you have one?
    These devices are more than a toy: ask large corporations or managers in industry - "how do they use their mobile devices?"
    Getting pupils engaged with topics for short term learning is better than nothing at all.
    MyMaths has a subscription to the school does it not?
  19. Consider the battery life, processing speed and so on of the iPad. You really think it won't be outdated rapidly ?
    Actually they are struggling against the Android tide. This will get worse when Google release their Tegra 3 pad at half the price of an iPad. Rather like the iPhone is losing the phone battle.
    No disrespect intended, but your drill and practice programs (what you are trying to flog presumably) look deadly boring and resemble something from the days of Microsoft BASIC tarted up with a touch interface.
    Not that there's anything wrong with drill and practice programs but they aren't anything new just because they run on an iPhone.

  20. Yup, to make calls and BBM - not much education going on.
    Nah, not Ipads or IPhones - I think Dick and Dom are Flash and free. Apple likes victims/customers to pay. Speaking for my daughter, SHE prefers a 17" screen to a squashed 10" one or a ridiculous IPhone screen. Isn't she sophisticated?
    Not if SHE is living here - I won't have a brain-dead-BBM daughter in this house, mind, at the age of 10 she knows if you want to do something constructive, you use a PC. Just need to get that message through to a few Headteachers now.
    For 5 minutes until their under-developed brains see through the ********.
    Yup - it is perfect for that - it was designed for it.
    Yeah, let's - worth a laugh. Corporations are about ********.
    Yup, and the PC is the tool to use it.

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