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View Full Version : iBooks 'no big deal' for Maine students


MacBytes
Nov 23, 2004, 04:25 PM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: iBooks \'no big deal\' for Maine students (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041123172529)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Santaduck
Nov 24, 2004, 05:05 AM
imagine how much that iBook recall must've sucked for the Maine Dept of Education-- 2000 ibooks purchased, and midway into the school year, 1000 of 2000 are removed for a recall? They were burnt, and I'm sure this doesn't inspire future confidence in doing a similar project in the near future. Not good. =\

wordmunger
Nov 24, 2004, 07:21 AM
imagine how much that iBook recall must've sucked for the Maine Dept of Education-- 2000 ibooks purchased, and midway into the school year, 1000 of 2000 are removed for a recall? They were burnt, and I'm sure this doesn't inspire future confidence in doing a similar project in the near future. Not good. =\
They bought 36,000 ibooks, not 2000.

That's less than a 5 percent problem rate -- I don't know how it compares to the industry average, but it's not as bad as you seem to think it is.

mkrishnan
Nov 24, 2004, 07:29 AM
It's sad that apparently a number of the students had a bad experience with the computers. The "glacial pace" issue with surfing doesn't have anything to do with the MB issues, does it? Hmmm...I wonder about that. Anyway, I guess there's a lot of self-selection, but I think kids who have a "I got a computer and tried it, and it didn't make my life any better" experience are going to suffer later on, as the research and work worlds get more and more computer-assisted....

Bendit
Nov 24, 2004, 08:32 AM
It's sad that apparently a number of the students had a bad experience with the computers. The "glacial pace" issue with surfing doesn't have anything to do with the MB issues, does it? Hmmm...I wonder about that. Anyway, I guess there's a lot of self-selection, but I think kids who have a "I got a computer and tried it, and it didn't make my life any better" experience are going to suffer later on, as the research and work worlds get more and more computer-assisted....
It's more than likely that the schoolboard has a terribly slow internet connection, most do. All the schools probably share one pipe that comes in from a facility that also has all that kid-safe censoring on it. That's how my old school board worked back in the day.

The computers are probably also loaded to the brim with ****** applications and things running in the background. Couple that with teachers who are basicly educated baby sitters with no Mac (or Windows probably) experience and you've got an ineffective program that's wasting money.

wordmunger
Nov 24, 2004, 08:47 AM
I thought the MacWorld article was much more negative than the Maine Today article it quoted. There have been many articles about the Maine iBook experience, most of them quite positive. My understanding is that a lot of the networking problems they experienced were due to using Airport, which only supported a limited number of client computers (less than one classroom at a time) and when they upgraded to Airport Extreme, a lot of those problems were solved.

I think this program is a lot more coherent than most computers-in-schools programs, with a lot more teacher training and a lot more emphasis on integrating the computers into the curriculum. The problem with asking the kids about school is that generally when you ask a kid about school, the most positive thing you'll hear them saying is "it was boring." The fact that half the kids thought the iBooks was a good thing is in fact quite a postive response.

As with most teaching tools, their effectiveness depends largely on the teachers using them. I suspect the kids with good teachers had a good experience, the kids with bad teachers, not so much. Nonetheless, kids need to learn computer skills because computers are a part of life, so Maine is providing a valuable service for its kids by introducing and integrating computers into their curriculum.

TomSmithMacEd
Nov 24, 2004, 05:37 PM
Bad for Apple, bad for Maine. I bet the kids who complained were the kids like I know who LAN and wouldn't touch a mac as much as I don't watn to touch a windows machine. Kids treat their iBooks like s*** too. We have a couple labs of 500mhz snow iBooks, and they are just beat to all hell. Still work though. Os 9 though ;'(. I hope these books had OS X on it.

shakespeare
Nov 25, 2004, 04:59 PM
I work in education in Maine, and am also of course an avid Mac user, and I can tell you that the "glacial pace" refers to the 128 MB of RAM that's in these sunuvabitches. THAT is the problem.

But try getting the people with their hands on the purse-strings to fix that.

Oh, and they do have OS X on them, although the last I knew, no one had thought to update it past 10.1, and with that amount of memory, the kids might be better off with 9.

wdlove
Nov 26, 2004, 11:37 AM
Its too bad that they were having problems. Seems that they also should have trained the teachers.

Bendit
Nov 26, 2004, 02:24 PM
This laptop idea seems more like a marketing plan than an educational plane.

They got the cheapest brand name laptops they could get with outdated (and crappy, 10.1, come on) OS with the minimum amount of RAM.

It's just to get press. Sure they are getting negative press for this now but it will go unnoticed.

Mord
Nov 26, 2004, 03:51 PM
the glacial pace may be to do with the schools network, my ibook is slow as crap on my school network, i can download at a megabyte per second :eek: but pages take an age to load (my school uses an isa proxy server).

slooksterPSV
Nov 26, 2004, 04:32 PM
Bendit - I'm lucking to live in UT. We have a fast inet connection at my school because we host a web server at my school. Other schools I've heard about, have like an ISDN of 128KB.
mkrishnan - Actually, things will slow down if you don't have enough RAM. Like, the internet on this computer (winblows of course) uses up 64MB of RAM. On my Mac, the inet runs slow bc I don't have a fast enough processor or enough RAM (never can have enough). - SEE SIGGY

mkrishnan
Nov 26, 2004, 05:03 PM
mkrishnan - Actually, things will slow down if you don't have enough RAM. Like, the internet on this computer (winblows of course) uses up 64MB of RAM. On my Mac, the inet runs slow bc I don't have a fast enough processor or enough RAM (never can have enough). - SEE SIGGY

Yeah....I actually did know this. It seems like a lot of these laptop programs have mixed results, mac or not. I think kids should get access to computers as early as possible -- I learned to program and type about the same time I learned to write, and only a few years after I learned to read -- but I'm not sure these are the best way to go about them. They never seem to live up to the intentions.... :(