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Apple and the Maine Department of Education have offered to swap school iPads for MacBooks at no additional cost, after it emerged that students and teachers overwhelmingly favor the use of laptops in class.

According to a report in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, schools in Auburn and other districts in Maine are set to benefit from the "Refresh" swap, following surveys of students and teachers across grades 7 through 12, which revealed that 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students preferred laptops over iPads.

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An Edward Little High School senior works on her iPad during class (Image: Sun Journal)

iPads were perceived to have poor educational value in the classroom and were often used to play games in class, while laptops allowed students better opportunities for school work. The preference gap widened even more when it came to older students, who saw laptops as better devices for coding and programming tasks.

"The results are pretty darn clear," said Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson, who conducted the survey. "The findings made the decision for us." Robinson said that three years ago, after seeing success with iPads in primary grades, he thought iPads were absolutely the right choice, but now he realized iPads have shortcomings for older students.

One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads "provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible. I applaud this change."

"The iPads are largely students' gaming devices," another teacher wrote, while one called their introduction into the classroom "a disaster".

As part of the state's "Refresh" swap offer, Auburn's iPads are being returned and 1,718 laptops will be delivered in the fall to Edward Little High School and Auburn Middle School.

The state "underestimated how different an iPad is from a laptop," said Maine Learning and Technology Initiative Director Mike Muir. "Student use of iPads could have been better if the Maine Department of Education encouraged more teacher training."

The offer applies to 7th and 8th-graders' computers, which are paid for by the state, and computers for high school students that some schools pay for as part of the Learning and Technology Initiative. The initiative allows up to $254 per student for a device and teacher training to help students get the most out of technology.

The cost of the new Apple laptop will be $217 per year per student for 2016-17, and $248 per year after that. In Farmington, Mt. Blue High School's technology manager Darcy Dunphy said the state's offer is "too good to refuse", because students would be getting new laptops while saving about $140,000 over four years.

"Three years ago the Apple laptop was $273 per student a year," which meant that to stay with the Apple laptop, schools would have had to pay more, Muir said. "People chose iPads. They were within what the state would fund."

Apple has been working on overhauling its iPad in Education program since 2015. With iOS 9.3, Apple introduced a number of new features that are specifically geared towards the education market. Outlined on a new Education Preview site, education-oriented features in the iOS 9 beta include shared iPads for students, a new classroom app, an Apple School Manager feature, and an improved Managed Apple IDs function.


Article Link: Apple Offers to Replace iPads With MacBooks in Maine State Classrooms
 
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oldmacs

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Sep 14, 2010
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I bought my iPad for my senior studies and it was Great! I had been taking my MacBook to school but got sick of it. Better than a Laptop for battery life, better for textbooks, lighter, great for in class research for tasks, annotating books and textbooks. Did most of my writing in books as doing it all on a computer isn't the greatest idea. It was very good and that was under iOS 5 and 6 - many advances have been made since then.

I also had the self control to ensure I didn't waste my time on it. Surely with the iOS 9.3 education update, keeping a class on track would be much easier.

I think the problem is that plenty of schools will introduce technology for the heck of it. Money is dumped on iPads but no thought is put into making them work in schools, not to mention that technology is not even needed in many of the situations that it is shoehorned into. Teachers need to be trained and good workflows and integration need to be identified and taught.
 
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apolloa

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Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Is ANYONE really surprised by this? All you have to think is would you rather use a none Pro iPad all day every day over a laptop for work?
Plus they'll be able to load better programmes for education I would think. iPad's are media consumption devices really, the Pro range extends that with the Apple Pencil for designers and artists etc.

But for education you just can't beat a good ol laptop or equivalent. Kudos to Apple for replacing the iPads although I suspect it's in the name of saving face and reduce the bad publicity they may get over this.
 
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oldmacs

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Sep 14, 2010
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Is ANYONE really surprised by this? All you have to think is would you rather use a none Pro iPad all day every day over a laptop for work?
Plus they'll be able to load better programmes for education I would think. iPad's are media consumption devices really, the Pro range extends that with the Apple Pencil for designers and artists etc.

But for education you jut can't beat a good ol laptop or equivalent. Kudos to Apple for replacing the iPads although I suspect it's in the name of saving face and reduce the bad publicity they may get over this.

I bought an iPad specifically because I preferred it for learning then a laptop. I did not however do all my notes on it, given I believe school work should still be written.
 

nortofthe13th

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2014
65
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This is sadly a classic case of the school district and the teachers not taking the time to learn how to use a fantastic tool.
While iPads may not be seen as a laptop replacement yet, in a school environment they are phenomenal! Especially for books and collaborative learning! All this "they just played games" and "word processing was impossible" is a bunch of shenanigans that tells us they just didn't even bother to learn the medium. (From the student's angle I do understand the coding bit, even thought there's got to be at least a few good apps for that, but I couldn't say.)
But anyway, props to Apple for giving them a sweet deal.
 

M. Gustave

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2015
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...I think the problem is that plenty of schools will introduce technology for the heck of it. Money is dumped on iPads but no thought is put into making them work in schools, not to mention that technology is not even needed in many of the situations that it is shoehorned into. Teachers need to be trained and good workflows and integration need to be identified and taught.

+1!!

This whole story is about the question of devices in the classroom, not iPad vs laptop. Kids simply do not need "technology" in the classroom to learn. A laptop is equally pointless and unnecessary.

And the dumb teacher quotes show that the staff had zero training or understanding of iOS and iPads, because honestly you can count on one hand the tasks that a legacy laptop is still superior at.
 

sunapple

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2013
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The Netherlands
My sister has used the iPad in class for two years now (she's 14 now) and I think the excellent games for iPad are the main reason why the iPad is not a great idea for education. It ignited a school-wide addiction to Minecraft and YouTube and some kids are even watching Netflix in class from what I've been hearing.

I'm 21 and in my time (damn, I'm old) we weren't even allowed to use our phones anywhere in school in the first years of smartphones (2007-2009). Now they all have iPads and they're watching Netflix; seriously? Teachers back in 2007 sure were on to something.

Easy to see why Chromebooks are doing so great in the US.
 

bushido

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Mar 26, 2008
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I'm 21 and in my time (damn, I'm old) we weren't even allowed to use our phones anywhere in school in the first years of smartphones (2007-2009). Now they all have iPads and they're watching Netflix; seriously? Teachers back in 2007 sure were on to something.

Easy to see why Chromebooks are doing so great in the US.

everythings still done on a smart or white board and paper where I am from. its not even allowed to use a phone during lunch break, they'd take it away and u would have to go back with your parents to get it back from the principals office after class. at least thats what my sister whos a teacher told me.

i guess thats the price of free education. iPads for everyone? please ... i remember we used math books from like 1998 and had to pretend the old currency sign was an euro sign in the old books lol
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,923
4,162
My sister has used the iPad in class for two years now (she's 14 now) and I think the excellent games for iPad are the main reason why the iPad is not a great idea for education. It ignited a school-wide addiction to Minecraft and YouTube and some kids are even watching Netflix in class from what I've been hearing.

I'm 21 and in my time (damn, I'm old) we weren't even allowed to use our phones anywhere in school in the first years of smartphones (2007-2009). Now they all have iPads and they're watching Netflix; seriously? Teachers back in 2007 sure were on to something.

Easy to see why Chromebooks are doing so great in the US.
Love it when 21 year olds call themselves old lol

Back in my day, people didn't even have cell phones. Not even basic flip phones. If you wanted to get a call, you needed to be at home. Tech these days...kids are incredibly spoiled
 

Sandstorm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2011
671
1,639
Riga, Latvia
I love my Air 2 and use it alot, but it's absolutely just a toy & media consumption device. Whenever I want anything done (efficiently), I turn to a real computer. Even basic stuff like browsing, filling forms and so on is still much much better on Mac/PC. So I completely understand these students and teachers.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Apple has an uphill battle with trying to establish themselves in the education sector. With tight budgets, it makes little sense for public schools to spend so much money on iPads (or MacBooks) when you can get Chromebooks for a lot less.

My kid's school system has done that and I know more school systems in my vicinity that uses Chromebooks over iPads
 

M. Gustave

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2015
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I love my Air 2 and use it alot, but it's absolutely just a toy & media consumption device.

LOL, right, because you can't run MS Office on an iPad, or use a keyboard with it, or draw, or record music, or take notes, or markup documents, or edit movies and photos, or... oh wait, you can do all those things on one, easily. So maybe your lack of understanding is the issue here?
 

Mildredop

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2013
2,463
1,504
Apple has an uphill battle with trying to establish themselves in the education sector. With tight budgets, it makes little sense for public schools to spend so much money on iPads (or MacBooks) when you can get Chromebooks for a lot less.

My kid's school system has done that and I know more school systems in my vicinity that uses Chromebooks over iPads

I bought a Chromebook a couple of years ago and found it to be very confusing and too limiting. I don't really understand why Google don't make a full desktop OS at a time when Microsoft and Apple are having a few hiccups. With Android being so popular, a desktop OS that complements it seems to make sense.
 

Sandstorm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2011
671
1,639
Riga, Latvia
Apple has an uphill battle with trying to establish themselves in the education sector. With tight budgets, it makes little sense for public schools to spend so much money on iPads (or MacBooks) when you can get Chromebooks for a lot less.

My kid's school system has done that and I know more school systems in my vicinity that uses Chromebooks over iPads

You know - you can't be a luxury/fashion brand that releases obviously overpriced yet outdated tech and still hope to sell to public sector. At this point in time - any government/education/non-profit/similar organisation choosing Apple products should probably be investigated for corruption and/or defalcation. This is what we've come to and it's a shame really.
 

urtules

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
297
299
This people make me sick. They expect to throw hundreds iPad into their school and do nothing for technology do all job for them. You can't just give every student an iPad and expect something. You have to change your system, to control usage with so easy with 9.3. They need to change. They replace iPad devices with laptop not because iPas is worse but because they choose old system over change.
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I love my Air 2 and use it alot, but it's absolutely just a toy & media consumption device. Whenever I want anything done (efficiently), I turn to a real computer. Even basic stuff like browsing, filling forms and so on is still much much better on Mac/PC. So I completely understand these students and teachers.
Absolutely not. iPad is a computer, it much more powerful and allows to do even more than classic PC.
Read this https://www.macstories.net/stories/working-on-the-ipad-one-year-later-still-my-favorite-computer/
 

Sandstorm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2011
671
1,639
Riga, Latvia
I bought a Chromebook a couple of years ago and found it to be very confusing and too limiting. I don't really understand why Google don't make a full desktop OS at a time when Microsoft and Apple are having a few hiccups. With Android being so popular, a desktop OS that complements it seems to make sense.

Chromebook is pretty great imo. Not for power users, but absolutely perfect for education, simple users, non-techy/older people. The Mac and PC both are complicated, often confusing, naggs people with updates and different random prompts. With Chromebook everything happens automatically and effortlessly.
 
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