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Old 01-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
MrEgo
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Default iPads or Laptops or Windows Tablets for a school district?

Hi everyone,

Our school district is considering moving to a 1:1 initiative where all 5-12 students will have a mobile device, whether it be an iPad, Laptop, or some other tablet or smartphone, and I was just wondering if I could get your input on what the advantages and disadvantages of each would be?

Try to keep the flames to a minimum. This is not an Apple versus everyone else discussion.

Obviously it's harder to type on a tablet without a physical keyboard. iOS doesn't have a file system that you can browse. It's difficult to print from iOS (can you even do it?) Are you able to plug USB drives into an iPad? We cannot manage iPads through group policy...

However, the battery life, portability, and app availability is excellent for an iPad...

I'm just looking for more objective measures to take into consideration for this.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
lxskllr
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First off, chaining kids to proprietary devices is doing them a disservice. It's a locked black box that disallows learning, and primes them to be consumers of a single corporation's product. I'd look into a laptop running a GNU/Linux distro. Something like an unrestricted Surface would probably be ideal, but running a proprietary O/S should be out of the question.

https://www.gnu.org/education/edu-schools.html
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
First off, chaining kids to proprietary devices is doing them a disservice. It's a locked black box that disallows learning, and primes them to be consumers of a single corporation's product. I'd look into a laptop running a GNU/Linux distro. Something like an unrestricted Surface would probably be ideal, but running a proprietary O/S should be out of the question.

https://www.gnu.org/education/edu-schools.html
I really, really wish all public services were required to use completely open software, document formats, etc but with the current state of government that will never happen. The best we've been given is a few websites that no one really cares about.

From a pragmatic standpoint, the school needs to figure out what they want to do and then get the product that does that well. Not buy a few thousand iPads and then try to shoehorn their teaching into the limited capabilities of those devices.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Schools giving students ipads is the epitomy of the failure of public education system. For a tablet, a kindle makes a lot more sense. But even that is straying far from an e-book. The battery life is way too short on these devices. They're not interchangeable. If yours dies it is not so easy to simply take another off the shelf and start using it. That is a problem for any serious institution. I bet most of these schools waste more time managing the logistics of these stupid ipads than they do actually using them to learn. They're literally enslaved to apple for no measurable benefit whatsoever.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
dagamer34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEgo View Post
Hi everyone,

Our school district is considering moving to a 1:1 initiative where all 5-12 students will have a mobile device, whether it be an iPad, Laptop, or some other tablet or smartphone, and I was just wondering if I could get your input on what the advantages and disadvantages of each would be?

Try to keep the flames to a minimum. This is not an Apple versus everyone else discussion.

Obviously it's harder to type on a tablet without a physical keyboard. iOS doesn't have a file system that you can browse. It's difficult to print from iOS (can you even do it?) Are you able to plug USB drives into an iPad? We cannot manage iPads through group policy...

However, the battery life, portability, and app availability is excellent for an iPad...

I'm just looking for more objective measures to take into consideration for this.
You should not be getting your students an iPad. At least give them something with a real keyboard (and I'm not talking about 3rd party attachments either).

Also, a laptop can last a lot longer than an iPad (iPads get support at most 3 years, and that's assuming you buy the latest one).
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
lxskllr
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You should not be getting your students an iPad. At least give them something with a real keyboard (and I'm not talking about 3rd party attachments either).
I don't know about that. iPads are definitely out, but the tablet form factor has a lot to offer. I agree a keyboard is essential, but I don't think it's essential to be always connected to the device. My ideal school setting would be a tablet that dropped into a dock at the school desk, and had access to a real keyboard, and peripherals. The tablet could then be easily removed from the dock for a more book-like experience.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
MrEgo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
I don't know about that. iPads are definitely out, but the tablet form factor has a lot to offer. I agree a keyboard is essential, but I don't think it's essential to be always connected to the device. My ideal school setting would be a tablet that dropped into a dock at the school desk, and had access to a real keyboard, and peripherals. The tablet could then be easily removed from the dock for a more book-like experience.
I agree with you on this one, but I'd have a hard time convincing anyone to spend however many hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this happen when our budget is already struggling. Perhaps doing this in certain classroom and not others... but it's something to think about. Really the only classes that would NEED a physical keyboard would be English classes. The touchscreen could suffice in all of the other classes.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
unokitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEgo View Post
Hi everyone,

Our school district is considering moving to a 1:1 initiative where all 5-12 students will have a mobile device, whether it be an iPad, Laptop, or some other tablet or smartphone, and I was just wondering if I could get your input on what the advantages and disadvantages of each would be?

Try to keep the flames to a minimum. This is not an Apple versus everyone else discussion.

Obviously it's harder to type on a tablet without a physical keyboard. iOS doesn't have a file system that you can browse. It's difficult to print from iOS (can you even do it?) Are you able to plug USB drives into an iPad? We cannot manage iPads through group policy...

However, the battery life, portability, and app availability is excellent for an iPad...

I'm just looking for more objective measures to take into consideration for this.

BYOD

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #9
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I'd get them laptops. They'll have plenty of time to learn a mobile device later, let them learn a full-fledged device now.
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