Think it's appropriate? Way of the future or forced?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by PaulWog, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    So I don't want to say too much but basically one of my parents is an educator. In Canada at least (I figure this is going on in the US and other places), Apple has been pushing to get iPads in classrooms. Apparently there's a big board meeting for higher-up faculty in the school board to promote the use of iPads in the classrooms (basically a top-down trickle... teach the principals and get them into it at these meetings, and then get them to meet with teachers at the school-level to teach them).

    Whether or not Apple is really giving some good cash incentive reasons to the school boards to do this... or whether certain key people are being... paid... I find it both very intelligent of Apple to be pushing to have their products in schools, and also a bit odd that the schools are having this.

    I just don't see an iPad being a very good elementary school tool for learning. It could be from time to time for some things... but really I don't think it's the best idea on a whole.

    As far as Apple goes... I mean wow... they're on the ball when it comes to knowing where to advertise and how to get their products out there.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    I know if I get started I'll start rambling in a very long post that no one wants to read, so I'll try to keep it super short and only to a few sentences:

    I do believe that with the rapid adoption of technology everywhere in our lives that the use of tablets (not necessarily iPads, but they seem more likely) in the education setting will inevitably happen. However I don't think at the current point in time they are actually necessary. Sure it would be cool to have, but they won't add anything additional right now. Many schools and classrooms have yet to adopt other means of educational technology such as smart boards. In my personal opinion, having iPads in the classroom would be more useful and productive if they could be used in conjunction with items such as smart boards to provide interactive ways to teach information. This integration will be slow, but eventually it'll be complete (don't get me wrong, this is a very good thing!). However right now just isn't the time to introduce tablets into the classroom.

    (Okay, so this was a bit longer than I intended. So what? Sue me ;))
  3. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Showing my age here, but I remember back in 1990, I was 4 or 5 years old and at school.

    At that age, you just do basic maths, spelling, colouring in, and generally mess around for 6 hours a day till your parents come get you.

    One day, they got a computer, one computer, for the entire school.... and it was my classes turn to have a go on it.

    Each person took turns to have a go, and I can still remember it to this day, we had to type on a word processor, "My name is Gary and when I grow up I want to be a Doctor"...

    And they had a jigsaw game, with a simple picture that was split into 12 bits, that you had to drag into the correct places using a mouse.

    It was very basic, but you've got to keep in mind that at that time, we didn't have a PC in our home, that didn't come till a few years later, so this thing was just amazing to all of us.

    I couldn't tell you anything else I did that year, nevermind that day at school, so it's stuck with me.

    I can only imagine how I would have felt if somebody had put an iPad into my hands at that age.

    Point being, tablets in general, not the iPad technology of the future, much like that PC was when I first used it, and I think they should be adopted by schools, at least to some extent. How exactly, I don't know, i'm not a teacher.
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    there is a lot of insinuation in the op's post but no evidence for any of the claims.

    apple is very open about its support for apple products in the classroom, and has been for several decades now.

    they have also been quite successful, as a visit to any classroom k-12 or university will probably demonstrate. i doubt they are bribing everyone in the us and canada.

    they have a longstanding interest in education, and i applaud their efforts. the ipad would make a fabulous addition to just about any classroom, with the same caveats we might have for a computer. in other words, technology is a tool, and a skilled teacher will train to use it, and carefully implement it when appropriate.

    i think that if you look around at the education industry you'll see a lot of efforts from below (parents and teachers) to get those on top (administrators) to adopt ipad-friendly policies. so, i think that rather than insinuating apple is playing dirty, or just really good at advertising, you might want to look at some of the successful pilot programs and high customer satisfaction ratings to draw more accurate conclusions.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Heck, even my country's armed forces is using ipads to help with their training. :cool:

    The ipad would be a nice alternative to having to lug all those heavy textbooks around. Not to mention taking advantage of all those online manipulatives to teach math and english (but I think quite a few use flash?). Or using e-readers with voiceovers to help struggling readers.

    I see a lot of potential, but yeah, I agree that again, it still boils down to how readily the teachers embrace this.
  6. reyno28 macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2010
    I know a lot of schools that are buying iPads to replace text books with. I actually got an iPad for myself because textbooks are a lot cheaper on tablets and e-readers. Is it necessary though for schools? Not sure but if they have the money to spend why not.
  7. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    It's all about the apps, and how creative educators can be. I was around when my university (architecture) department got their first PC. Pretty useless until we got a plotter and I was able to write a program to pump simple CAD drawings we'd made to it. Soon after we added a printer, and suddenly word processing and spreadsheets were worth creating. A year or so later we had a room full of PCs, but you still rarely saw a student in there. I wrote a little 3D wireframe CAD/perspective drawing program though, and within a semester demand for those PCs exceeded availability. In 2 years we were requiring the students to bring their own PCs into the studios. School is about output. The printer and plotter are output devices that demand a PC, and now every student in my College has to bring a PC with them.

    There was no WiFi or web back then. No email either. The Printer/Plotters were enough. The cloud, though, is essentially another output device, and it creates an opportunity for tremendous growth. ANY wifi-enabled device (phone/tablet/netbook/notebook) will find demand in a school setting. Those that don't print/plot but do the web will still be able to output to each other and the teacher. A tablet can animate any school topic. Access to the web expands the encyclopedia were were limited to when I was in school. The touchscreen allows fingerpainting and direct manipulation of graphic elements. Watch a graph change as you swipe a variable up or down. Get real-time dynamic feedback on how each variable affects the outcome.

    My point? Any school that doesn't bring digital technology into the classroom is doing a diservice to the students.
  8. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    I think iPads in the classroom can be used for any number of purposes. My concern would not be that the school administration is being bribed (seriously?) The only thing I'd be worried about is security, but I suppose there are plans in place to handle that.

    Paul, you have already stated in another thread that you don't view the iPad as anything other than a toy, so that is likely coloring your perception of how it might be useful in an educational setting.

    (And no, I'm not jumping on you for having that opinion, just pointing out that your opinion of the device's usefulness is not the mainstream opinion, and clearly not the opinion of the educational system).
  9. Pete the Geek macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2011
    Sioux Lookout
    I'm a teacher working in a support role in a school board in Ontario. We have a pilot program to bring iPads to a classroom in one of our schools. Apple gives an education discount on iPads. They also offer training on the use of their products in education. There is a fee for the training but it is worth it. There are no "kickbacks" or other incentives to use Apple products. In fact, it is quite expensive when you consider the cost of the iPads, training, classroom syncing station (which is a locked cabinet), a laptop to support iTunes and the educational apps. The teacher also has to be committed to spending a lot of personal time getting training, learning and preparing lessons.

    We are introducting iPads because there is plenty of research that supports the use of technology in education. When I visit schools in our board, I let kids use my personal iPad and iPod Touch. Children as young as five enjoy using these devices and they usually spend longer playing an educational game when it is on an iPad. It makes sense that when a child is doing something fun, they tend to stick with it longer. If I have kids begging to do math or read a book on an iPad, I'd say that is the best reason to use them in education!
  10. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    This is timely since today was the first day of school in my district. I have a kindergartener, a 2nd grader, and a 9 month old. I'm fine with more technology in the classroom but it needs to be stuff that actually ads value. The 2nd grade teacher had a math worksheet waiting on the kids desk, mostly to get them sat down and focused while all the needy parents got the hell out of the school. You don't need an iPad to replace a math worksheet with 25 simple addition and subtraction questions on it. That's technology for the sake of technology. Now if there is something that lets kids experiment with science, art, etc. fine but I don't want to see the exact same content in reading and writing just ported to an iPad because they're nifty.
  11. Terrified macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    My partner works in a school where there's an iPad 2 for every kid in her class.

    They use them daily, and they've found them especially helpful for children on the autistic spectrum. One child who ordinarily struggled with writing (and pretty much doing anything in class) is now thriving by writing using various apps on the iPad. I couldn't tell you which ones mind, but I'm led to believe that having some kind of tactile control over the placement of words and letter on screen is really helping this kid come alive.

    Totally justifies having them there, in my opinion.
  12. hockeyhammer macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    My Dad is a high school teacher and I am an elementary student in the same board. At the high school they had 2 20+ Mac computer labs (Communications and Tech). At the begining of the 09-10 school year the board said that they would not continue to purchase Apple computers for schools. So the school raised funds and bought them themselves. At the start of this year the board said they are no longer supporting apple products, they even banned them from using the school server and wifi networks. My dad and a few other tech teachers got highly discounted internet from a local ISP for the Macs at school. This year the board outright banned all apple products from schools in the board. While my class was the "Test Group" for the boards new "Tech in The Classroom" project. We were each given a 10" dell lattitude laptop running Windows XP to do work on (they were left at school). The laptops were preinstalled with the Open Office Suite. By the end of the year the keys fell off, batteries overheated and were fired, screens burned in, hinges broke, hard drives failed. You name it. The board said the project went "excellent" and that by 2014 every student in the board will have one. Apparently this is the future. They won't even let you bring in your own apple iPad or laptop, as they cant even connect to the network. It is so brutal, so your lucky that your school gets iPads.

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