And the School Board said.... Let there be an ibook for every student.

Discussion in 'Community' started by whw5, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. whw5 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Students and Teachers in Cobb County will be very happy next year. Thanks to a extra 2 cent sales tax, Cobb County {right outside of Atlanta} has raised enough money to buy all students and teachers an ibook. We will be getting them next year. But oh wait!! I have a POWERBOOK, i guess now I have a great place to show it off to everyone. We would have everything on these computers and there would be wifi throughout the whole building. I just hope I dont have to load the school controll software on my computer. I think I might have to research a couple of workarounds so I dont have to use the school assigned ones.
    However, Its like every mac users dream, a place where everyone's apple sign is softly glowing with out a PC in sight. {well mabe one or two so they can feel jealous}
    I am really just glad that many people will be exposed to Apple and get over their stupid excuess not to use one. This will finially show people how good Apple is. Hopefully the operating system wont be controlled with an iron fist, and my peers will be able to really get to know the operating system. Of course it seems like they will be learning it whether they like it or not.
    Being a 9th grade Apple fanatic this just made my day when I found out.
    Are any similar programs being put in place where you all live?




    Will
     
  2. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    Jun 3, 2002
    #2
    Nope, we all mainly use RM (Research Machines) personal computers in schools because Its all very well learning mac's but in reality, there are few companies that require mac experience and a whole load that require experience of PC applications as they are so easy to write their custom software on.

    It is a shame but the thruth.

    I used to use BBC Microcomputers & Acorn Computers (Risc Based) back in school and then 386's/Pentium II's in high school. I dont think its the equipment that helps people learn what they are interested in but the way things are taught.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    I'm one of those people who don't see iBooks, or any sort of laptops given to children, as being the learning tool that really helps them in class. There are very few classes where the iBook would benefit students. Otherwise, I think they're just a distraction, but whatever.

    Would be nice to see that many glowing Apples in a row. Take a picture for us. :)

    And a bit off-topic, but from your post it seems that you're quite bright for a 9th grader. Your grammar is written better than most people I in my 12th grade classes (6 years ago). I guess Apple users are generally quite a bright bunch of people. :)
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #4
    My local school district has done the same thing here outside of Chicago. All of the students and teachers are equipped with iBooks - in fact, one of my neighbors runs the program.

    Most homework is apparently distributed on the iBook, and kids take them home to finish assignments. There is school "control" software that limits permissions and controls the applications that can be used, but it is fairly open (allowing kids to run internet browsers, iTunes, etc.). The iBooks, of course, are returned to the district at the end of the school year.

    If I were you, I'd take advantage of having the iBook and leave your PowerBook to be used for personal stuff. Sure, it would be nice to show off the PB, but in the end, it may be more of a hassle to use your own (if they'd even let you), since you'd have to (I'm sure) install significant virus control or other applications to make sure you play nice with the school network.

    It's a fantastic program, and a great way to expose the students not only to Macs, but to computing in general. Have fun!
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    i generally agree with your sentiment - a lot of educational reforms and "innovations" these days are very much a fluff - a lot of gadgets with no real benefits. it's almost like computer marketing - "oh, laptops can help you with your homework!" - but none of them tell you specifically how they can help.

    however, i guess if the neatness and coolness can get the kids to pay more attention and actually spend more time doing homework... hmm, maybe.
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #6
    In the case of our district (at least as I understand it, since I'm only peripherally involved through my neighbor), the school distributes homework via the iBooks, provides applications for writing papers and performing "take-home quizzes", and provides an opportunity for the students to access the internet to do research, etc., while at school, or presumably at home if they are so equipped.

    While I would agree that using computers to do certain types of homework (such as math or science problems) would be self-defeating, using it for writing papers, doing research, and providing more interactive homework or instant-feedback "testing" is a nice approach. Also, to your point, it may make it all a little more interesting, and may help to cut down on the load of books kids need to carry around if they get electronic versions of what they need.
     
  7. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Atlanta
    #7
    According to info on the Cobb website, laptops greatly reduce the weight needed to be carried around during the school day. It also encreases test scores. Although the latter may be true we will have to see about the test scores. It also adds that the increased responsibilty is good for teens. Well at the end of next year the school board will find out if their little experiment worked or not. Lets hope it does.



    Abstract, I'll be sure to take a picture although it won't be till next year.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    That's exactly it. Sure, you can assign homework on the laptop, but was assigning homework an issue that was oh so troubling before? Was the old system of assigning homework assignments flawed? The only benefit I see of providing every child an iBook is that it saves paper.
    Its also beneficial if the school district in question has many poorer families that don't have computers at home. However, seeing as how many of these programs (I'm not sure about this particular one) are tested in areas that could afford to buy them and not necessarily the poor areas, it doesn't seem to be the case.

    Was this not possible before the iBook/laptop program?
     
  9. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #9
    The new principal at my high school wants to get all the students a laptop. The problem is that it's a private school so the cost is passed on directly to the students and parents paying their tuition instead of being divided amongst the taxpayers. I wouldn't mind having them but I don't think the cost to benefit ratio is high enough. One reason given to get the laptops is to compete with other area schools that have laptops but I'm pretty sure the main thing that those computer are used for is p0rn.
     
  10. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    To be honest I see no real call for ibooks. The old way to do work was fine. Sure you had to be a little responsible and hold on to your stuff but it wasn't hard. Any school related work we did uasually involved a powerpoint or a paper.

    I don't think its very well justified but this {what some might call} altruistic program will certainly make Cobb look more attractive in terms of Schooling. Kind of funny, its already is one of the best testing counties in Georgia but if they want to do it.... Who am I to complain?
     
  11. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    There isn't going to be any p0rn looked at on the ibooks. The school board made sure of that. It probably is the worst, most sensitive blocker in the world. {I say this because the stupid thing blocked me from going to home star runner while in the library.} If there was even a change of kids accessing "bad material" the program wouldn't come through.
     
  12. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Whats next after this? Free ipods, who knows?
     
  13. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    #13
    coughdukecough

    anyway, to all you people that say this is unneccesary, yea, probably, but doesnt mean it isnt beneficial. having been through the edison program (all students recieve macs while in the program), it really can be a great thing for students to get to know how to use a computer. it put computers into the homes of a LOT of low-income families. granted the school sucked, but thats because it was a terrible curriculum for smart kids, not because we got computers.

    my mom is also a teacher in a 4th grade cl***room using palmpilots instead of laptops in a pilot program thing (basically the same thing, homework and stuff goes on the palm, they can follow along with her on it, etc). now, this might be because she's a superior teacher (go mom), but her cl*** has higher standardized test scores and generally does better.

    in other words, the extra technology is probably not neccesary, but it is definitely not a bad thing. (i dare someone to name a single tangible downside to iBooks in cl***rooms).
     
  14. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #14
    Sure, we've always managed to do homework without computers. Heck, portable computers were the thing of science fiction when I was in school. The point is, if we can provide additional learning tools, then why not?

    I agree that it would be equally, if not more, beneficial to provide these tools in lower income districts. The challenge, as it always is, is finding the way to pay for it if the tax base is lower.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    And extra teachers and smaller class sizes wouldn't be more beneficial than buying $1000 computer to assign homework that could easily be done with a single sheet of paper?
     
  16. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #16
    Maybe, depending on circumstances. As we have mentioned a few times, these computers are generally placed in districts that aren't currently battling cramped classrooms.

    Also, there are other expenses associated with more teachers and smaller class sizes - to have smaller classes you must have more classrooms, which may entail building additions or new schools. That is not inexpensive either.

    Personally, I'd be willing to pay additional taxes to

    1) Insure schools are technologically up to date

    2) Hire enough teachers to have reasonable student:teacher ratios

    3) Pay teachers enough so that we attract the highest caliber possible

    Unfortunately, many people are not in that mindset, especially those that don't have children or whose children are no longer in school.
     
  17. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #17

    good point
     
  18. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #18
    jtgotsjets did the language filter filter out part of classroom?
    If kids need to use a computer and they don't have one at home most schools have a lab with 20 or so computers. There are also public librarys with computers. The only classes that I can see needing each student to have a computer would be a programming or computer class and a higher level science class where the equiptment would be hooked up to the computer to record data.
     
  19. 12ibookg4 macrumors regular

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    #19
    having all homework done on a computer just expands the "my dog ate my homework excuse." now it's a virus ate my homework, the file won't open, it didn't save right, it worked at home but not here, my hard drive crashed...

    and on the it cuts down on the weight kids have to carry home every day issue, its a lot cheaper to give the kid a copy of the text for home and one for school
     
  20. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Less weight is good but we got along fine with heavy loads Its not as if you have to bring home EVERY single book EVERY single day.
     
  21. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #21
    I worked for some time with a company involved in the development of an online/CD-ROM based math textbook replacement, and there are a number of pedagogical advantages to such an approach.

    There was quite a bit of testing, and studies did indeed confirm that student performance in (high school level) math was improved when students were taught with such a product.

    Why? Well, that's not clear, but speculation holds that the allure of high tech stuff might make students more interested in the learning process. This would presumably carry over into the laptop distribution proposed here.

    What is perhaps more likely to be the cause of the students' success is that the responsiveness of the software, i.e., it's being able to tailor responses to the needs of the user. Insofar as the iBooks would allow for that sort of stuff, they could be a real help to students.

    Of course, none of this replaces a good ol pencil and paper, and textbooks aren't going anywhere either, but an interactive textbook certainly has appeal as an additional tool, and seems also to hold some advantage over traditional materials.
     
  22. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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