iPads in class. Reasons AGAINST please.

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iPads in class. Reasons AGAINST please.

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    Oh we are told they are wonderful, the shiny, swipey screens and all the lovely apps! But can we have some balance. Give me reasons why we should NOT rush to fill our classrooms with Apple devices please. Thank you.
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    Balance?

    I've yet to see a post on this forum where some teacher asks how best to utilise iPads, that isn't jumped on by Trolls who just love to slate the device (pun intended).

    Given the uptake by enterprise in the purchase of iPads, and the predictions that tablet sales could soon exceed PC sales, I honestly can't see a reason why a school shouldn't invest in at least a few of the devices.

    Personally, I doubt I would have much use for a class set of iPads for teaching computing, but if I was a Science, Maths, Geography or English teacher, I'd love to have such a fantastic resource in my classroom.

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    An Ipad specifically is the least flexible in terms of general use, ie storage, printing, sharing, cost and maintenance. For the limited educational usage available, other cheap tablets will more than suffice. There is some well deserved critisism in these forums when teachers ask what they could possibly do with the expensive bunches of Ipads they have bought; by all means experiment, but some care should be taken when it's taxpayer money being splashed. There is nothing at all that an Ipad can do that can't be done or done better on a PC, hence why tablet sales are no where near PC sales and unlikely to be so in the near future. I can see the attraction in terms of convenience of tablet devices, keeping in a box and handing them out quickly to carry out an activity, but investment for that reason should be pretty far down the budget options. Ipads are expensive domestic entertainment devices that can be used for other things if there is cash to spare.
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    Hyrum_Graff

    I've yet to see a post on this forum where some teacher asks how best to utilise iPads, that isn't jumped on by Trolls who just love to slate the device (pun intended).

    just because we don't buy into them does not make us trolls. Perhaps you could suggest an actual use for them. Most of the apps I have seen bandied about on here are largely useless, and yes I do own an ipad and use it far more often than my laptop. However when I want to do some meaningful work I am going to head to a pc or laptop.

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    roy33
    Oh we are told they are wonderful, the shiny, swipey screens and all the lovely apps! But can we have some balance. Give me reasons why we should NOT rush to fill our classrooms with Apple devices please. Thank you.
    Ipads are about £350 - £400. Buying a classroom set (assume 25?) would set you back £10,000. That's £10,000 for a device which is very snazzy now but will be very outdated in 5-10 years time. At least with a PC more RAM can be added and if anything breaks (eg: keyboard) then it can be fixed.

    If an Ipad breaks then what happens? It needs to be sent off to Apple for them to fix. Also while tablet technology is the new craze and all very exciting, it might not be in a few years time.

    They're a wonderful toy if you have the spare cash to pay for them alongside your existing technology. They are NOT a replacement and they certainly should not be bought if you are tight for cash (as most of us are!).

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    tomrattle
    That's £10,000 for a device which is very snazzy now but will be very outdated in 5-10 years time.

     

    That's optimistic. In 5-10 years time we will still have tablets but the current iPad will look like a ZX81 does now.

     

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    You can currently get the iPad 2 for £269 from a well-known supplier beginning with R!

    But you'll still need a trolley to store them in and for charging plus a Mac mini server to be able to lock them down and centrally manage the installation of the apps and I *think* that is going to be £800 and upwards.

    IMO, it might be handy to have a small bank of them for specific uses but I'm against ditching the desktops/laptops entirely - that makes no sense to me on so many levels.

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    Hyrum_Graff

    Balance?

    I've yet to see a post on this forum where some teacher asks how best to utilise iPads, that isn't jumped on by Trolls who just love to slate the device (pun intended).

     

    Really strange that.

    Because my experience on this forum is that those who 'slate' it, more accurately criticise its classroom use are people like NotJohnBrown and DJPhillips who have been here a long time.

    On a similar thread on Opinion, the posters questioning it were all long term TES members who had made lots of posts and were known experienced teachers. Many like DJP and NJB owned iPads or similar and liked them but questioned their classroom use, or buying one per pupil.

    Meanwhile, the pro posters ; those flogging it to death. Most of them had very few posts, and for several it was their first post.

    This usually means:

    1) Marketing drones flogging Apple products

    2) Trolls

    3) People who've bought them or been bought them desperately trying to justify them.

    4) They've been sent to TES from Twitter/other Forum/blog by a post saying "they're criticising iPads, get over there and tell them what to do" (most likely option)

    You might think DJP and NJB are *** (I don't) but they aren't trolling.

     

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    Reasons against for me are many and varied, but so are the reasons *for*.

    Against:

    • expensive £250 each is what we're being quoted, less with a bulk purchase >5
    • No SIMs app as yet (looking at one next week)
    • same priced PC would be useful across all subjects, iPad apps are not up to it yet
    • management of them - even Lion Server can only deal with 5 simultaeous software installs
    • app switching is not easy for students
    • lack of the killer app needed to make it useful in a lesson
    • who is responsible for them?
    • who/where are they recharged?
    • lack of lock down
    • no file storage system
    • no log in to allow own email (except for using webmail systems)
    • lack of control if iPad is under the control of the pupils, if they can install own apps!
    • online safety issues if not locked down
    • ergonomically unsound
      • neck angle when flat
      • seat height went upright
      • keyboard

    For:

    • Battery life
    • Size
    • Image?  HT sees other HTs using one at meetings
    • Can use a BT keyboard
    • iBooks & Kindle
    • Some excellent apps:
      • iTunes U
      •  iBooks Author
      • EverNote app - recommend this on PC/Apple as well as iP*d
      • Inkling app
      • Moodle app
      • IEP .... can't remember full name

    If my PE staff could register with one and use it for recording attainment, videoing skils etc then it might be a good idea.  But then that could be achieved with an iPod.

    What can you do on them that you cannot on an iPod touch? For £115 each!

     

    I'm still against them for students general use; for staff it's becoming less clear cut.

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    This is so valuable - thank you.
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    Really appreciate the comments below - how heated people can get! I have looked at other forums toto and although they are very versatile pieces of kit, I feel the iPad has yet to prove itself as having a unique selling point for the business of teaching and learning. Keep posting if you feel your opinion is not already articulated.

    Thanks

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    Having tested an iPad, iPad2, cheap Chinese Android tablet, HP Touchpad and the RM Slate (Win 7, Win 8), by far the most useful were the Slate and the Touchpad.

    Slate:

    - Install Windows programs, Office, Photoshop, SIMS etc

    Touchpad:

    - Faster than the above generally, RemoteRDP (Free) to connect to a windows remote desktop, SIMS etc

    - More educational touch screen apps available (but not as many as iPad)

     

    Definitely would recommend looking away from the fruit....

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    I've been using them with students for tasks for which they seem well suited (creating video and audio projects), however the main problem we're having is that they aren't suited for ongoing projects (ie anything that takes more than one lesson) because work saved on them (eg editing videos or tunes) can easily be deleted by other students - not necessarily maliciously, just unthinkingly. Perhaps there's a way round this that I don't know about yet?
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    l0vaduck
    Perhaps there's a way round this that I don't know about yet?

    dropbox should help overcome this for you (although kids will need to sign out each time they finish using the pad), but also depends on the file sizes, your schools broadband connection being fast enough and the settings on your proxy server. It's still a pain in the bum and one of the main reasons why I just don't think "class sets" of pads will work.
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    There are always "for" and "against" arguments for anything - frankly, I could present reasons why schools should not use either books or pencils - but it would be silly to do that.

    In the same way, I could present arguments why not to use iPads, but again that would really depend on what you want to use them for. If you can give an idea of what you want to actually do with them perhaps other things would be better - the Samsung Galaxy Note, for instance.

    Whatever the uses though, one thing will remain true. They are likely to be stolen.

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    djphillips1408

    l0vaduck
    Perhaps there's a way round this that I don't know about yet?

    dropbox should help overcome this for you (although kids will need to sign out each time they finish using the pad), but also depends on the file sizes, your schools broadband connection being fast enough and the settings on your proxy server. It's still a pain in the bum and one of the main reasons why I just don't think "class sets" of pads will work.
    Thanks for this suggestion - would it work for projects, ie in iMovie when they've started, but not finished, editing, would they be able to save the part finished iMovie project, or would they have to export it, in which case wouldn't it degrade in quality each time it's reimported and edited again?
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     My personal belief is that the students I teach in my school suffer from technology overload.  They use technology almost everywhere now, including carrying it round in their pockets all the time.  I think there is a real need to ensure that students develop pen-and-paper methods and the social skills that come from more traditional methods and away from technology.  I understand technology is ubiquitous in the world of work but I think there can be a danger of using ICT (iPads) for the sake of it rather than because it enhances learning.

    My own experience has been that there are teachers (usually leaders) out there who want to buy iPads for schools and then think "what can I do with them", which leads to meek arguments about their usefulness.  It should be the other way round - what is lacking in the classroom, and what could I get to solve this problem?  For me, I would love more textbooks as the ones I'm using (maths teacher) are 10 years old, yet the school I work in is willing to throw thousands at iPads which I cannot see give better outcomes than the textbooks.

    Another argument I've heard is that iPads serve a purpose in "enthusing students to learn".  If this is seriously the case, I am very disheartened.  We should be developing in students an intrinsic desire to learn, not an extrinsic desire to play on yet more technology.

     I have seen iPads in use in maths lessons and I have not in any way been convinced that they are even useful, let alone worth the huge costs associated with them.  As has been mentioned, far better results can be achieved by going to a PC room, and if they aren't available, that's the issue that Heads should be addressing, not buying iPads as a poor substitute.

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    atics
    My own experience has been that there are teachers (usually leaders) out there who want to buy iPads for schools and then think "what can I do with them", which leads to meek arguments about their usefulness.  It should be the other way round - what is lacking in the classroom, and what could I get to solve this problem?  For me, I would love more textbooks as the ones I'm using (maths teacher) are 10 years old, yet the school I work in is willing to throw thousands at iPads which I cannot see give better outcomes than the textbooks.

     

    Can we put you in charge please ?

    atics
    Another argument I've heard is that iPads serve a purpose in "enthusing students to learn".  If this is seriously the case, I am very disheartened

    Oh, it does. To start with. Introduce some flash new goodies and the children will be enthused by it. It won't last, and it won't translate much to learning or attainment, that's the problem.

    Then you have to provide more flash new goodies ; as you say, we need a "desire to learn" not a "desire to play with gadgets".

    I don't know how old you are, but this sort of thing has been a recurrent feature in education for as long as I can remember. We had netbooks, laptops and before that those little boxes with a keyboard and tiny LCD screen that Acorn used to make.

    I don't doubt similar things happen in other subjects. It's worse in IT/Computing because of the panacea of having an electronic paperless classroom.

     

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    I can see both sides of this, ipads can do things you can't really do on a regular computer (my year 10 special needs pupils are making news reports in imovie, filmed and edited entirely within an ipod touch). But atics is entirely right, the tail is wagging the dog in too many cases.

    I've also realised that ipads/ipods are pretty badly designed for school in many ways. As you cannot log in different users, they are either teacher aids or for pupils to use - they cannot do both unless you want to give pupils access to your email!

    I'm quite curious about these as an alternative, more affordable, designed for school: http://www.avantisworld.com/02_tablets_overview.asp

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    mercer77
    I'm quite curious about these as an alternative, more affordable, designed for school: http://www.avantisworld.com/02_tablets_overview.asp

     

    Looks like a stock T20 Android pad ; software is management and control stuff not actual "things to do". Same issues with reliability and nickability and so on.

    Android stuff can at least run flash stuff.

     

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