Will iPad Fail in School?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by theipadstudent, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. theipadstudent
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    theipadstudent iPF Novice

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    I came across this article in BusinessWeek the other day:
    Will iPad Fail in School? - BusinessWeek

    To summarize, a high school in Michigan is playing around with the idea of using the iPad as a learning aid for their students. One problem the teachers see with the device: the lack of a remote monitoring program so the teachers can see what are on their students' screens at any given time.

    I understand that the teachers want to make sure their students are learning while in school, but does that become synonymous with requiring the ability to peek into students' computers Big Brother style to make sure they are actually doing school work?

    The teachers wonder why Apple doesn't implement a monitoring program that runs at startup in the background, but, in my opinion, if Apple put in a remote monitoring feature into every iPad then that would open a whole can of worms regarding privacy and security in general.

    What do you all think? Should there be a remote monitor ability installed into the iPad before it can be used in high schools or are teachers becoming too demanding in their want for control?
  2. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    Here is a newsflash: The iPad is NOT the be-all end-all solution to every computer need. Its cool. Its neat. It is certainly innovative, but it is OK to not use an iPad for everything. Sorry Mr. Jobs.
  3. theipadstudent
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    theipadstudent iPF Novice

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    It was never stated that the iPad is the be-all end-all solution to everything. I am curious that once slate-type or ultramobile computers make their way into the school systems (I firmly believe they will, it's just a matter of time), will it become a necessity for a remote monitoring program to be built into the device, be it iPad or otherwise?
  4. muyoso
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    muyoso iPad Fan

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    The ipad would literally be the worst device to use as a learning tool in school. And any school that considers spending the amount of money it would take to outfit itself with iPads should have its budget slashed bigtime.

    The iPad is a media consumption device. A laptop or desktop is a much better option for students.
  5. Temp40
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    Temp40 iPad Fan

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    in my opinion the iPad will excel in the field of education, I firmly believe that, eventually you'll see them in classrooms everywhere
  6. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    But people act like it is. "How come my iPad won't do this?" "How come my iPad won't do that?"

    My point was that the schools are taking the wrong approach. Instead of looking for a solution for a problem, they are trying to take the iPad and make it the solution and it is clearly not designed to meet their needs... at least not at this time. Its not the iPad that is failing. It is doing exactly what it was designed to do. The article states, "It would be a crowning achievement after five years of searching for the perfect laptop for students." The iPad was not designed to be laptop in a different package. As has been stated over and over and over again, it is primarily a media consumption device. If you bought it to replace a laptop or some other portable computing solution, you will most likely be disappointed.

    Here's another news flash: Its the education system that is failing and this is just another example.

    [/RANT] off
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  7. theipadstudent
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    theipadstudent iPF Novice

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    Ahh thanks for the clarification. I see exactly where you're coming from now.
  8. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think they are crazy for expecting to have monitoring on the ipad.

    This school probably is used to monitoring the students activity with monitoring software on their PC's. Many schools do this in computer labs. They have just become spoiled by this and now expect everything in the future to be able to do what they could do previously on the computers.

    Do the teachers not have legs to walk around the room and monitor what the kids are doing? Also the ipad can be very strictly locked down from doing most things. No installing of new apps or anything like that. And if they are connecting to the school wifi the network will have the same web filtering that all the PC's Have.

    Would be nice if my school could afford iPads, not even for each student but just for teachers. As it is right now with all the budget cuts the school doesn't even have the money to replace any of the current computers that are broken and most of the current computers are 6-8 years old.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  9. CaptKirk
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    I love the iPad but I sure would hate being the student that had to depend on it as a learning tool. A lot of people can't not use this device for long term reading due to the screen light and eye stress. Some colleges are already using the iPad for their text books. I don't have a problem reading with the iPad but for those that do, they may be SOL. I hope the coleges will offer option either or.. :confused:
  10. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Sad that teachers have lost the use of their legs and are unable to walk around the classroom..........
  11. pallentx
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    I dont think monitoring is a must, but I do think a pen / handwriting interface (in addition to touch) is. There will be tablets in the classroom one day, but I dont know if it will be the iPad.
  12. henry2
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    like everyone hear i do think that the ipad with the right software applicatiosn for the schools will become the item to use in the school classrooms..

    but also the teacher will have to get up and walk around the classroom to see what is going on in there classroom also but now they are trying to get the ipad to do something that it not design for ..

    i would like to add this to the post.

    if the school issused the ipad and it basic accessories items to the income students with every classroom book that they had for the that year on the ipad in a e-book form along with all the study aids and others things need for that school year and locked the ipad O.S. system down where it could not have anything add to the ipad inless it was by the school itself with a update of the school programs on the ipad then you could have a basic system for the school to use in teaching the future childern
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  13. Draper
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    I am in preliminary discussions on implementing the iPad at the language immersion school where I work. It would be a pilot program for one grade (the highest), at first, but would then trickle down the the program as far as would be feasible, based on continual feedback from all stakeholders in the educational context (students, parents, teachers, administrators, publishers, etc.). The iPad would contain all of the students textbooks and materials in annotate-able PDF, initially, but would hopefully evolve into something more interactive through the feedback offered to the digital content providers (who we are currently in discussions with). Apps like Flipside HD with quizlet.com integration would be extremely useful to students and teachers alike, as a set of notecards could just be uploaded for students to access as study supplements. Push notifications are also something I'm very excited about for our students. I'll let you imagine what could be done with those.

    Anyway...the final pitch will be in the second half of August for a possible Spring implementation.

    As an educator, and someone who cares about education (not necessarily one in the same), I think that the monitoring brouhaha is bogus. Diligent teachers will create more diligent students. Direct monitoring is not necessary if the teacher is engaged with the classroom and learning experience. Experienced teachers that may have become set in their ways may have to adapt to a new set of circumstances that could require them to be unseated (gasp!). Students have minds that are constantly looking for ways to skirt authority and get their way. The more predictable you are as a teacher, the easier it is for them to formulate their plan of attack.

    Create tasks which focus on results and allow students a bit more freedom on if they want to take the direct, or the scenic route to reach their destination. Implement group tasks to take advantage of the strength of peer pressure. Remain engaged while the groups work, above all.

    I'll keep you guys posted on how this all flies...
  14. Mecread
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    Mecread iPF Novice

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    Skimed the postes.


    The local high school loans out Macs to the students here, both parent and student have to sign an agreement for the laptop. And it is running a tracker on it. If it's been altered the student has to pay for the laptop. I think the iPad / tablet will be great of a school setting.

    I am all for tracking the stuff on electronic media if it's paid by the school systems. The school that my sister works for ago a new computer lab Free if they agreed to fun key logging and spybotfor the company. I know that she has a few iPad they are going to try for the spec edu kids in aug, but when we talked she did not have them in hand yet.
  15. charriga
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    charriga iPF Novice

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    I love my iPad, but I think a laptop would be a better tool for school.

    1. Either could house etextsbooks. I would love to see my students and own child not carrying 30 lbs of books.
    2. A laptop has a better keyboard for the reports students have to write.
    3. A laptop allows for transferring files/completed work to a thumb drive and can be connected to a projector for presenting to the class. Except for needing the projector connection, a netbook would suffice.
    4. A laptop allows split screen/multitasking. It makes it easier to toggle between reference material and the document/presentation being created.

    On the flip side, an iPad has a battery that could last the entire school day (assuming students remember to charge them). Using laptops would require the classrooms to be equipped with charging stations available at the desks.

    There are large amounts of (mostly flash based) materials that would make it easier for teachers to individualize instruction for students (both for remediation and advanced work) if we had a way to get it in the hands of students.

    While the iPad comes close, neither device has stylus input that is good enough for taking handwritten notes.

    I'd love to have tech as a tool in the hands of my students, but I'll probably retire before it happens.
  16. Draper
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    I'd like to agree with you for many of the reasons you listed, but even though a laptop has its affordances, so does the iPad. In the fall we'll expect to see fast app-switching and Apple's multitasking implementation with the OS upgrade, and that will do as far as most students are concerned. You're right in the regard that no student has enough practice with typing on capacitive devices with no haptic feedback to type an essay, but this is not at all supposed to serve as a primary device (evidenced by the fact that you need a PC or Mac just to get started).

    The reasons why I see this as more viable for education on a mass scale, are:
    • Standardized hardware with hardware-specific software development
    • iOS 4 is closed and controlled, reducing the possibilities of user errors in use, software installation, upgrades, etc.
    • Its UI lends itself to being manipulated by a wide swath of cognitive levels and user technical abilities
    • Built-in push notifications

    Laptops and/or netbooks can't really offer this w/o a clunky enterprise solution with full-time network adminstrators as an added cost.

    In addition, I'm sure you can imagine early elementary schools students replacing their textbooks with a netbook...right? Little 6 or 7 year old booting up and opening MS onenote to get ready for the lecture? Going home and booting up to open up Paint to do their color-by-numbers mathematics homework? Trying to open their map for geography and realizing they don't have a program that opens PDFs, so Googling PDF to find, download and install the proper application. That could happen, right?

    The iPad makes replacing traditional textbooks and materials with digital content that much less intimidating and that much more plausible. The richness of content can provide multimodal input from the moment you hit the power button, without the need to know much about computers. I honestly had a 5 year old watch me find and install an application that she wanted. She promptly took the device from me, found another application that she wanted, bought and installed it before my very eyes. That can be quite rough on the pocketbook to be sure, but luckily app buying can be restricted in the settings, and accounts are password protected.

    As far as typing is concerned, there are a wealth of keyboard options available now, and they will only grow in number and functionality, in the future, so that when a student who uses this device arrives at the point that they have to start typing reports on the go, they will have the tools they need to get the job done.


    I'm a PC (Windows user and Ubuntu hobbyist), that has no gripes with PCs. I used WinMo for many years, and love Android. As an educator, the iPad provides the best possible solution for more interactive materials and general progress in the field (in my personal assessment), and it provides it, now!
  17. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    I think you are selling today's kids short and apparently you know very much about kids in this age bracket! I have twin 7½ (and the ½ is very important!) year old grand daughters who maintain their own web pages (with their mother's help of course). We recently bought our 14 (and a ½!) year old grand daughter a new cell phone. She had never seen that model before and never looked at the instructions. The guy behind the counter set it up, handed it to her and she was texting her friends before we hit the door!

    So yeah, today's "kids" (for the most part) can handle a laptop, iPad or almost any piece of technology we can throw at them.
  18. henry2
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    you are basically hitting the problems on the head as with the problems that might come up inside the school classroom with the ipad ..

    1-issused with the ipad is the keyboard unit ..this way they can input what is need into the document as it need ..one for schoo usel and one for home use..with one at home and school for the student to use.

    also think about this one.. when a child walks out the door head to go to school they have a small daypack filled with the following items
    -x-ipad with it electronic school books and other accessories pre loaded onto the ipad for the grade the child is in along with a padded travel and stowage slip case
    -x-ipad access items-x-1-power cord--x-1-screen cleaning cloth-x-
    -x-notebook with pens for class room work as need.. the notebook is for basic note takeing like to look up places and dates for classroom projects when need
    all packed into the small daypack for travel back and forth to school each day..

    then add the brown bag sack lunch or lunchbox for the kid and the kid is ready to walk out the door and go to school .without haveing the heavy weighed down daypacks with the books and causeing heath problems for the kids..
  19. henry2
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    my 4.year old granddaughter gets on her dad computer and knows how to use the program to make the phone calls useing the long distance system that they have on there desktop in Korea where they are stationed at.. i got a few phones here in the middle of the night and i have talked to her a few times when she called me and i asked her where was mommy ..she basicall said she was sleeping ..which means the newborn was sleeping and my daughter was on the couch had fell asleep also along with putting the kid in front of the tv with her show that she liked and the babysitter has not yet figure out that when she get quiet go and see what she up to ..

    so if she can figure that out how to get onto the computer and get through the start up and work the keyboard well enough to make a phone call then i can see them useing some form of electronic device in a classroom of the future
  20. charriga
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    We also need to consider the audience. There's a big difference between a primary age student and a high schooler (my thoughts were based on teaching high school).

    I'd just like to see kids carrying a device with the books and tools they need preloaded instead of lugging around 30 lbs of books and having to make a trip to the library or computer lab to do their work.

    My school is probably pretty typical.
    For language intensive classes, the kids make notes on index cards, write a rough draft by hand, edit that, and then go home (or to the library) to type the next draft which is finally something that can be edited on the computer.
    For math classes, except for the upper levels, all graphing is done by hand. The kids can make it through a few graphs in a class period versus being able to look at a dozen to analyze what effect changing different parts of an equation has on a graph.
    Current education is cludgy and boring. Tech could do a lot to change things.

    I just don't think there's enough available for the iPad yet to make it the best tool--at least for older students.

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