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Topic # 133732 31-Oct-2013 20:06
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My daughters school is about to mandate parent provided tablets as part of their school environment. As per usual the recommended device is an IPad 3 or newer. Whilst they aren't mandating IPads they won't/can't support other devices and have warned parents that providing alternative devices will result in the children being potentially "left behind".

Personally I'm not happy to provide a $500+ device to an 8 year old for school, never mind the likelyhood of it being lost/stolen/damaged.

Sadly I was over in Sydney today when they had the open evening about the topic. My wife attended and there appears to be a large amount of scaremongering and FuD.

Parents biggest worry was security and they couldn't provide any sensible answers.

Around cost they have arranged a parents night at the local Noel Leeming before Christmas for us all to buy our Apple devices.

The devices are to act as web browsers as part of learning and aren't for ICT. They don't feel it is appropriate to teach ICT to an 8 year old, and their teachers don't know how to deliver an ICT curriculum.

Android wasn't considered and the push is for iPad.

OLPC wasn't thought of, nor where chromebooks etc.

So has this happened or is this happening at your state school?



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  Reply # 925081 31-Oct-2013 20:32
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That is an f'ing joke.

Mandating iPads at that level is bloody ridiculous. Stepson just got one for his birthday at 15 - his high school made rumblings about requiring them, but they never actually needed them.

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  Reply # 925085 31-Oct-2013 20:37
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Makes you wonder what sort of kickbacks the school is getting from Noel Leeming.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 925088 31-Oct-2013 20:42
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Ouch. 
In Wellington, it depends on the school and the teacher who owns the ICT module.

Generally if the teacher in charge of the schools ICT can persuade the principal and Board to a one on one device learning environment, then your in trouble. Look at the schools in New York? state. They have spent millions to see the Apple for Kids program flop.

IMO, a one on one device environment will see the kids spend too much time alone, potentially uncontrolled, without a "classroom" learning direction. (Would YouTube learning videos for your kids be better anyone?)

Some schools in Wellington are opting for using iPads in classrooms, but they generally have a ratio of one device per four kids. This promotes group learning and more often than not, at least one member of the group will ensure they stay on task. (Plus the teacher will find them easier to manage!)

I would push back not just for the cost, but for their learning - just because the school thinks its cool, doesn't mean it is.




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  Reply # 925111 31-Oct-2013 21:11
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Wonder which member of staff is getting the kick-back for the sales.

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  Reply # 925116 31-Oct-2013 21:23
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jjnz1:  Look at the schools in New York? state. They have spent millions to see the Apple for Kids program flop.



LA school district... They're in HUGE trouble. And paying for the next 10 years for something that was out of date last week. http://www.dailytech.com/LA+Unified+School+District+iPads+to+Cost+100+More+Per+Device/article33618.htm

If it was my childrens school, I'd be going in and saying "NO, I'm not buying an $800 device for an 8 year old" and get a chromebook.

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  Reply # 925166 31-Oct-2013 21:52
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I'm all for using tablets in the classroom but being mandated to buy ipads for 8 year olds is pretty ridiculous, and if the school can't give a sensible answer about security that rings some pretty big alarm bells!
I'd have thought it would be more prudent to go for cheapish samsung tablets and looking for someone to sponsor a class set.

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  Reply # 925169 31-Oct-2013 21:55
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openmedia:
So has this happened or is this happening at your state school?




Our school has made BYOD an option for year 5--8, simply because they need more devices than they can afford to buy themselves. There are new PCs in each class but BYOD means less sharing.

Any device is ok - tablet, netbook, laptop, smartphone (!). However if parents want guidance then they suggest the iPad or a particular brand of Windows PC, which they say have proven themselves in trials. 

I think we have a very switched on BoT!

Personally, I would be very reluctant; I dont' think they could survive the commute in the kids' bags, and I don't want them having access to one when away from supervision.




 

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  Reply # 925212 31-Oct-2013 23:06
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I think it is  wrong for primary school kids to use them more than say 30 minutes a day (I'm guilty of using the ipad as a pacifier whilst making dinner) I think teachers are easily wowed by ipads, but the kids always find ways around restrictions.  Plus the opportunity cost in time when the teachers could be teaching science things by actually doing experiments instead of watching them on youtube for example.  I don't think kids are in danger of being 'left behind' if they aren't using technology in school, at least not until high school.

My thoughts on the matter are largely in agreement with this chap, and a lot of the comments: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/26/ipads_in_school/

My daughter is starting high school next year and they have a voluntary BYOD policy, which could be an ipad, other tablet or laptop.  I'll probably get an ASUS Transformer T100 (full Windows 8.1) when they are released, which at least can double up as a full PC at home when it's connected to a second monitor.


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  Reply # 925235 31-Oct-2013 23:58
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alasta: Makes you wonder what sort of kickbacks the school is getting from Noel Leeming.


Indeed. I have little doubt this is like the deals schools are doing with uniform providers.




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  Reply # 925243 1-Nov-2013 01:07
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I can't fault schools for looking for kick backs from uniform providers or technology providers. How often is it mentioned that state schools are underfunded?

Despite OP's concerns, teaching ICT to young children is important. The UK will be requiring kids as young as five to have a basic understanding of algorithms, for example. In a world already almost saturated with computers this is not a bad thing.

I can't understand the need for mobile devices for ICT teaching, however. Any computer laboratory would suffice. I can only imagine it is for those kids without computing resources at home being able to access homework and such. The catch-22 is that homes unable to afford computing hardware will have trouble affording a mobile device and, more importantly, an internet connection which makes the mobile device fit for purpose.

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  Reply # 925244 1-Nov-2013 01:12
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My 3 kids have left school luckily but this whole concept very high handed indeed.
No common sense at all




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  Reply # 925270 1-Nov-2013 06:57
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I remember when my Primary school first got CALCULATORS! They were supplied by the school. There were enough for one class (so maybe 30ish) and after maths they were put back in a special wooden box and shared around the next class for an hour doing maths.
Locked up at night and no way were kids allowed to put them in their bags & take home.

Mandated calculators provided by families wasn't until high school (Casio FX82 or something I think!) and I'm sure they didn't cost ~$800.

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  Reply # 925317 1-Nov-2013 08:08
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TinyTim: I don't want them having access to one when away from supervision.


And there is the reason I won't be happy with supplying my kids with ipads (any internet capable device actually) for use when they away from home.

School internet access is very loose. A parent will have no control over what gets accessed on the school network via the ipad during school breaks, between classes etc ... A while ago I wrote here on geekzone about my daughters school and how they accidentally allowed google+. My kids were getting all sorts of google+ invitations from school friends even though googles T&C stipulate that you need to be 13 or over to register for any of the google services.

So the best step a parent can take to prevent all of this is simply to not give them an internet capable device for school use.

I really would have no problem supplying my kids with ipads for school if I was not worried about their online security, and what they can access. At least at home this can be monitored with access restrictions etc. I have no problem with the school computers because the use of these are normally for a limited time, and under teacher supervision most of the time anyway.

An ipad on a mobile network controlled by the parent may be an option. But mobile data will no doubt be expensive, and whats stopping the kids from logging into other wifi networks. It will have to somehow be locked down.



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  Reply # 925332 1-Nov-2013 08:33
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My kids have my handed-down iPad 1 to use at home - they also have an iPod Touch each.

My wife and I limit the usage, but they still push the boundaries.

They have been taught that these things are expensive and that if they get broken, we can't/won't pay to fix them.

They are really good for a 7 & 8.5 year old, but I still wouldn't want to be allowing them to take a device to school.

Primary age is too young and I am not even sure about supplying a tablet to an intermediate aged child.
I know times have changed and computers are the new text books etc, but they are so much more than that and unless they are properly supervised, in small groups, young children will go off on their own path...that's a slippery slope.

Youtube, Social Media, etc...it's a scary world out there and I don't want my kids exposed to it and losing their blissful innocence, just because a school mandates tablet ownership.

Thankfully my kids have a school that supplies a couple of iPads per class as well as a couple of iMacs...they're lucky. And they'rer well supervised.





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  Reply # 925338 1-Nov-2013 08:43
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alasta: Makes you wonder what sort of kickbacks the school is getting from Noel Leeming.


Most likely from Apple directly..




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