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$500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
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Windman
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Windman,
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1/19/2012 | 10:56:19 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I agree with the article on the pricing issue, $500 for an iPad for school is not feasible, in fact even if you said $200 it would still be too expensive for most families to support such tech in this economy.
Bob E
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Bob E,
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1/19/2012 | 11:06:00 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
IF, schools could get the textbook content they want at a fraction of the cost of the paper versions, the initial expense could probably be dealt with. I have no idea how well iPads or any ebook format would survive the attention of fifth graders, but it could bring a new meaning to "the dog ate my homework".
Ronald Carter
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Ronald Carter,
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1/19/2012 | 11:13:50 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
People act as if these events are static. For instance, a $200 "Kindle Textbook" from Amazon would be very affordable for a school district to purchase (utilizing just a portion of the tax dollars they currently spend on printed textbooks) for every student. Such a device could easily be made to deliver all the materials, text and image, needed for the classroom in a far safer and affordable device than any iPad.
ANON1237825497586
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ANON1237825497586,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2012 | 12:49:46 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
True, but you will not get the rich features that Apple is proposing with "any" Kindle. With having a Kindle in my household and an iPad, the iPad is the way to go. Kindle is way to limited.
Tagent
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Tagent,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/19/2012 | 11:17:20 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I think that everyone is missing the real value here.

Think of how much schools will save if all students have an Ipad?

No more need for schoolbooks!!! Massive, massive savings for the schools! Apple already has Ipad education discounts, combine that with schools subsidizing the Ipads because of the lower costs, and you have an incredible way to teach kids how to safely use the technology that they will use for the rest of their lives!
Mazzy
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Mazzy,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/19/2012 | 11:33:04 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Well first of all an iPad will probably be around $300. for the entry level very soon. Secondly for now, this is for college where most students are already paying $1000 or more for textbooks so there will be a bigger savings down the line. Also some students get subsidies as needed, I am sure this will happen in the digital world too. One friggen text book can cost over $100 now.
Bob E
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Bob E,
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1/19/2012 | 11:44:27 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Can this work? Will publishers change their business models or just offer non-core fluff. For the college crowd, can you get Thomas calculus or whatever? A few $150+ textbooks, throw in a few Verlag titles at a 75% discount over paper..could be sweet.
Kongqueror
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Kongqueror,
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1/20/2012 | 12:03:43 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Although I believe this as a positive approach to learning, I am alarmed by the tablet's, specifically the iPad, emphasis on touch-typing vs. hand-written notes. I feel that the art/skill/personality of handwriting may be lost with our push towards displacing analog media with digital. In the end, we are analog beings in an analog world.
FLAST997
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FLAST997,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2012 | 6:47:11 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Several K-12 schools have stopped teaching cursive writing, instead opting to teach keyboarding. I believe writing is still important, but a sign of the times.
AdamFort
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AdamFort,
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1/30/2014 | 5:56:50 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I beleive iPads in the classrom is a good idea but stop learning writing? It's dead end. I'm fun of touch typing websites like TypingClub or Ratatype but, stop, everyone HAVE to know how to write without tech devices.
Bob E
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Bob E,
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1/20/2012 | 12:10:39 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Since the days long ago that I set my first TeX document (just google it), I have wondered why it wasn't possible to provide people with interest in a topic the best info we can give them. Sorry neophyte, but you don't have access to a college library or even a real public library. Anything that improves this, even if for commercial gain makes our world better. There are so many bright minds out there.
ANON1237825497586
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ANON1237825497586,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2012 | 12:48:17 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I don't see why not, some text books cost that much :\
burgee
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burgee,
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1/20/2012 | 1:55:53 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Our elementary school has purchased a lab of iPads which are currently in use. As a high school eacher, I have had a few students access books for my English classes. Some of the books may be obtained at no cost, others cost to download. However, many public libraries now offer books which may be downloaed at no cost for a certain loan period-- just like checking out a paper book. Our school policy is that the iPads do not leave the labs or a teacher's room.

It seems to me that textbook companies must offer textbooks for iPads. The problem this presents is that, of course, schools must, in turn, purchase an iPad for each student; IPads which may be taken home to complete homework assignments. In a school district that does not have the funds to provide a lap top for each student, I do not see this happening. Surely in the long run, wouldn't the iPads save money over the cost of the textbook budget over a ten year span- a fifteen year span? Who has studied this? How long can an IPad be estimated to last in the hands of students?.

I've been looking for something for my grandchildren, and since I was recently told that public liblaries are on board, I THINK I'm going to buy them iPads, unless something better comes along next week . . .or next month . . .

burgee
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burgee,
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1/20/2012 | 5:14:31 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Reply to Konqueror:
Valid point---"The history of a culture is its written word." Literally interpreted is the reason why my students are also required to do half their work in cursive with pen and paper. (Grades 7 & 8)
jfutral303
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jfutral303,
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1/20/2012 | 1:56:27 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I think Berne is wrong. From what I've read elsewhere the digital textbooks are just zipped XHTML pages. Plus there is an export function in the authoring tool to export to some other format. I haven't dug deep enough to say I know for a fact, but that is the buzz I've been hearing.

Joe
CHDFW
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CHDFW,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2012 | 5:19:00 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Private Schools Yes Universities Yes, Public schools No. It is not feasible for Public Education to afford Apple devices. Private school and College is a privilage, public school is a right. We looked at putting our solution on the iPad for schools and here is what we found. Budgeted items per kid. Books the biggest, Toner/ Paper (yes, ink Toner) second biggest. The price of the device and it's content (books, apps etc...Would have to be less than these two items year over year, Could the iPad outlast the life expectancy of a book and the annual expense of Paer & Ink Toner? Get this answer consistent Yes and there might be a chance. Now, you have to update all schools with WiFi for all, control content consumption during class and after hours and electricity for all in the classroom. Think about what you are asking schools to invest in to make this happend.
Alisair
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Alisair,
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1/20/2012 | 6:16:58 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Having spent years in IT in a school district, and dealt with all the purchasing authorities, I can tell you that this is not affordable. Schools are already strained past breaking point financially. Most are hopelessly underwater in debt as it is.

Schools will NOT save money on paper vs electronic books. Electronic books already cost more than paper books in most environments. And before you mention public domain books, you need to know most are older tomes of which many are considered to have "racist over/under-tones" that are already frowned upon by many in education and have been increasingly been disappearing off school library shelves. I can only imagine how much easier "book burning" will be when they are primarily kept in only a few online locations in the "cloud". But I digress.

They will push "Interactive learning" that will even drive the costs up further, the schools will need even more local server resources to push out and store this content and/or even more expensive digital pipe to handle it. Not to mention the increased training required for staff.

Unlike books that last for 10, even 20 years, the iPads will break by the dozens every year, not counting those that just "disappear". (we are not allowed to "insinuate" that the precious children steal and sell them, which they do.)

None of the current tablets I have seen are built to withstand the rigors of a real world environment. The current trend of thinner/smaller is less than worthless when they break so easily. Ruggedized models will need to be introduced for this environment, which will drive up costs further? Hard to say if increased cost will outweigh the replacement need of the more fragile variety.
FLAST997
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FLAST997,
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1/20/2012 | 6:43:38 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I do not know about the economics of K-12, but for college this makes a lot of sense. If you think an iPad is expensive, you obviously have not bought a semester of textbooks lately. The average price is now about $150, so that trip biannual trip to the bookstore is usually about $750. Textbook companies have started bringing out new editions almost annually to make used books a non-option. Textbooks prices have gone up several times the rate of inflation for a number of years. Something has to give.
Alisair
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Alisair,
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1/20/2012 | 7:29:33 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
And do you honestly think these same companies will sell these ebooks for less than the paper ones? You are utterly wrong if so. They will make them "interactive", and modify them to a specific professors class and curriculum. And that my friend will be the basis for their charging you $250-300 average for them. With no way for you to sell them at the end of semester to recoup some portion of your cost as with paper books. These plans are already in the works and being implemented. Digital conversion will only drive the cost of education higher and higher, further out of the reach of the middle class and far beyond that of the lower class.
Jupe
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Jupe,
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1/20/2012 | 8:00:04 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Don't hold your breath waiting for digital textbooks to be cheaper than their paper brothers. Aint gonna happen. The textbook mafia is alive and well, and firmly in charge of the system. What this _would_ allow is the pirating of textbooks. Digital copies will become available on TPB and will be passed around campuses world wide. This is a good thing, since it breaks the monopoly of the astbards that bring us "new" versions of algebra text books every year so we can't resell or loan out old ones to our friends, or pass them down brother to sister in colleges, forcing us to buy new copies needlessly.
hrobinson998
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hrobinson998,
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1/20/2012 | 10:46:44 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
I asked my friend's son, who's a high-school student, what he thought... who said that it was a bad idea. Aside from being far too expensive, he felt that the iPad would be particularly prone to theft, breakage, and internet abuse during study times. Smart phones had already been banned from classrooms because of the cheating potential on tests and the the too frequent checking of Facebook and Twitter. If going electronic, a cheaper Kindle would make far more sense. The object is for our children to learn here... not make more profits for Apple.
EHOWLAND000
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EHOWLAND000,
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1/21/2012 | 9:29:45 PM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
The expansion of ARM technology is going to change the cost of the hardware dramatically. The OLPC folks have announced a $100 price point. The Raspberry Pi folks are making educational computers and hitting $35/computer (without display or case), India is hitting an even lower point for a complete tablet.

On the textbook side. The California creative commons textbooks and more radical changes like the Kahn Academy and the free courses being offered by universities (MIT, Stanford, etc) are also make the economics of using textbook/multimedia machines more cost effective. Admittedly, the California textbooks were stopped politically, but cost pressures on K-16 education will bring those ideas back into vogue again.

I think Apple is trying to lock in both the hardware and content for the ed market, forcing the use of their equipment and content via the Apple store before they are swamped with more cost effective solutions. Probably a good idea for Apple, I doubt is the the best for education or taxpayers.
burgee
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burgee,
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1/25/2012 | 12:30:14 AM
re: $500 iPads In The Classroom: Good Idea?
Reply to hrobinson998:
You are correct about banning smartphones. Our 7-12 middle-high school has banned students having their phones turned on during the school day for the past four years. (Cheating obviously!) They may get permission via a pass from a teacher during a study hall or the end of a class period to go to the office to make necessary calls from their phones in the presence of a school secretary. This policy is an agreement signed by the students and parents which works well with very few infractions.

Apple has made computer software affordable to our state's Educational Service Units through "bundling" a large number of copies at amazing prices. If they ever decided to work a deal with the textbook companies, we may have something to further benefit technology within all our schools.

There's that word Apple again, but they've catered to education's needs from its inception, whereas other companies have focused on business clientel. Different strokes, folksl My thoughts are that Apple will make the iPads more affordable and offer a "fix" for the high cost of the textbooks needed for them as well.


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