iPad at schools?!

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    Posted: 03 February 2010 10:21 AM #16

    Play Ultimate - 03 February 2010 12:19 PM

    Slightly off-topic: When I was studying engineering, for a few classes I never bought the book.  My strategy was to find an earlier edition in the library and repeatedly check it our for the 10 week quarter. And photocopied the homework out of the current edition that was on reserve in the university library.  :wink:

    Good luck doing that with a iPad! I was for a year a subscriber to the electronic version of BusinessWeek. Their (stupid) application wouldn’t let me print more than two pages at a time. I soon hated that service.

    The problem I have with electronic textbooks (apart from the user experience) are the stranglehold the publishers will have on the market. There won’t even be a second hand books market to somehow keep a lid on outrageous prices. Yes, the costs go down, but did that keep the music industry from taking advantage of the internet? No, the music recording industry made an awful strategic decision, and if it wasn’t for rampant piracy, iTunes Music Store would have gone nowhere. I do not expect the book publishers to be any more illuminated than the music publishers. Play Ultimate’s “piracy” of books was costly and labor intensive, a path few would take.

    I have high hopes for the iPad, but I do not think it will bring the costs of education down.

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  • Posted: 03 February 2010 01:26 PM #17

    I am the tech specialist for three all-Mac schools ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade. In terms of student-laptop ratio I have the whole spectrum: One of them is one-to-one, another is two-to-one, and the third has a much lower ratio. This adds up to several hundred Apple laptops that I manage day-to-day. So hopefully I have some unique insight on the topic of an iPad in education. Overall I am very excited about the possibilities.

    The pros:
    - Smaller and lighter than MacBooks (good for small kids carrying them)
    - Cheaper to replace if broken or stolen
    - Easier storage (don’t require a giant COW cart to store or transport class sets)
    - If Apple’s claims of 10-hour battery life are true, the iPad could be good for up to two days on one charge depending on usage
    - Generally the App Store programs are cheaper than desktop counterparts, so it could cost less to stock an iPad with software
    - Possible savings on textbooks—but I could see publishers trying to lock you into a subscription that costs more in the end
    - Simpler interface gets the technology out of the way. Less focus on the device and more on the content.

    Cons (hopefully temporary considerations):
    - Some state-mandated standardized testing currently runs in a proprietary application that’s only for regular Macs and PCs. If iPads catch on I’m sure this will be addressed, but for the immediate future a couple sets of regular computers would have to remain.
    - How do I set up or re-image hundreds of iPads? With laptops I use NetRestore over gigabit Ethernet. I can burn through dozens of them in an hour. Hopefully Apple will offer an easy deployment or configuration solution.
    - No Apple Remote Desktop software—yet. No way to remotely observe, control, update, install packages, etc.
    - No video or photo editor at this point, so even a school that was one-to-one with iPads would need to keep a lab or two available for that.
    - Personally I don’t like Flash, but some of our online subscriptions to educational content require it. Those would break if a non-Flash alternative is not available.
    - For now the iPad won’t be able to interact with content created by SMART Notebook and or be used with SMART Boards and projectors. In the long-run, hopefully an iPad-compatible version of this software will be created, eventually allowing the iPad itself to be used as a wireless slate that is mirrored on the projector screen. Once this “problem” is solved I think the solution will be better than anything we’re currently using today for instruction.

    [ Edited: 03 February 2010 01:47 PM by David Nelson ]      
  • Posted: 03 February 2010 01:48 PM #18

    Colum O’Dwyer just posted a nice piece on potential uses of the iPad in the classroom and special education classroom in particular.

         
  • Posted: 03 February 2010 02:03 PM #19

    David Nelson - 03 February 2010 05:26 PM

    Cons (hopefully temporary considerations):
    -How do I set up or re-image hundreds of iPads? With laptops I use NetRestore over gigabit Ethernet. I can burn through dozens of them in an hour. Hopefully Apple will offer an easy deployment or configuration solution.
    - No Apple Remote Desktop software—yet. No way to remotely observe, control, update, install packages, etc.
    - No video or photo editor at this point, so even a school that was one-to-one with iPads would need to keep a lab or two available for that.
    - Personally I don’t like Flash, but some of our online subscriptions to educational content require it. Those would break if a non-Flash alternative is not available.
    - For now the iPad won’t be able to interact with content created by SMART Notebook and or be used with SMART Boards and projectors. In the long-run, hopefully an iPad-compatible version of this software will be created, eventually allowing the iPad itself to be used as a wireless slate that is mirrored on the projector screen. Once this “problem” is solved I think the solution will be better than anything we’re currently using today for instruction.

    I have been thinking about allot of the cons that you have listed. As far as the SMART Boards and the Flash online content I can’t think of way around that stuff. However some of the initial cons that you listed I was wondering if the enterprise software that apple uses to manage iPhone’s will be able to be utilized on iPads. These allow for companies to push out applications for internal use only as well as remote wipe (without mobile me) and some other features, as well as the configuration of user profiles. I have never personally used it but I have heard that it works well in its currents capacity. Also, with iTunes 9, the ability to sync multiple iPods/iPhones at once was added. I am assuming that this will also carry over on to the iPad, while that is no the best option I personally Have used it with a USB hub and updated 6 iPods at once. The one limitation is you can only do one restore at a time. As for the photo or video editor I can envision some pretty useful photo editors coming out after seeing the demo of Brushes. However, I see the iPad being utilized instead of simple computer uses while you could reserver a mac lab for more powerful projects that involve video and photo editing. I see it as a way to free up Mac computer labs in school from simple tasks so they can become specialized again.

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  • Posted: 03 February 2010 02:14 PM #20

    Definitely, I could see a touch interface working well for mobile versions of iPhoto and iMovie, which would enable a greater range of multimedia projects to be created on the iPad. Perhaps Apple is holding off until the hardware gets a bit more powerful. It’s probably good enough for basic photo editing if they decided to implement it now, but not HD video—partly because of the slower processor, partly due to storage constraints.

         
  • Posted: 03 February 2010 02:16 PM #21

    And I think if SMART Tech knows what’s good for them they will create a version of Notebook for the iPad. Or at least a thin client that lets you use it like an AirLiner for a copy of Notebook running on a desktop Mac.

         
  • Posted: 03 February 2010 07:10 PM #22

    The problem I have with electronic textbooks (apart from the user experience) are the stranglehold the publishers will have on the market. There won’t even be a second hand books market to somehow keep a lid on outrageous prices.

    If the secondhand book market actually were “keeping a lid on outrageous prices,” we wouldn’t be having this debate. Book prices are rising because of used books, not in spite of them. Publishers can’t compete with their own recycled product on price (not without undermining the quality of the book, and a poorly executed book will be devoured by the competition), so they try to make new books more attractive by bundling them with study aids and other add-ons. This has the effect of, you guessed it, raising the price. I wrote about this in detail here.

    Also, what exactly do you mean by “stranglehold”? The publishers are the ones providing the content—of course they have a “stranglehold” on the market; there would be no market without them. Used book dealers are simply recycling what the publishers produce. There is no educational publishing equivalent to indie music labels or open-source software; higher ed content and pedagogy is simply too expensive and complex to produce any other way.

         
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    Posted: 03 February 2010 08:23 PM #23

    Currently university libraries negotiate rates with journals and I presume text book publishers for a bulk cost that allows all students and faculty free or subsidized electronic access and download. So, as far as text book costs go, I assume that students, teachers etc will greatly benefit from these group subsidized rates. Probably a win-win for everyone.

         
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    Posted: 03 February 2010 08:51 PM #24

    Colum ODwyer - 03 February 2010 06:03 PM
    David Nelson - 03 February 2010 05:26 PM

    Cons (hopefully temporary considerations):
    -How do I set up or re-image hundreds of iPads? With laptops I use NetRestore over gigabit Ethernet. I can burn through dozens of them in an hour. Hopefully Apple will offer an easy deployment or configuration solution.
    - No Apple Remote Desktop software—yet. No way to remotely observe, control, update, install packages, etc.
    - No video or photo editor at this point, so even a school that was one-to-one with iPads would need to keep a lab or two available for that.
    - Personally I don’t like Flash, but some of our online subscriptions to educational content require it. Those would break if a non-Flash alternative is not available.
    - For now the iPad won’t be able to interact with content created by SMART Notebook and or be used with SMART Boards and projectors. In the long-run, hopefully an iPad-compatible version of this software will be created, eventually allowing the iPad itself to be used as a wireless slate that is mirrored on the projector screen. Once this “problem” is solved I think the solution will be better than anything we’re currently using today for instruction.

    I have been thinking about allot of the cons that you have listed. As far as the SMART Boards and the Flash online content I can’t think of way around that stuff. However some of the initial cons that you listed I was wondering if the enterprise software that apple uses to manage iPhone’s will be able to be utilized on iPads. These allow for companies to push out applications for internal use only as well as remote wipe (without mobile me) and some other features, as well as the configuration of user profiles. I have never personally used it but I have heard that it works well in its currents capacity. Also, with iTunes 9, the ability to sync multiple iPods/iPhones at once was added. I am assuming that this will also carry over on to the iPad, while that is no the best option I personally Have used it with a USB hub and updated 6 iPods at once. The one limitation is you can only do one restore at a time. As for the photo or video editor I can envision some pretty useful photo editors coming out after seeing the demo of Brushes. However, I see the iPad being utilized instead of simple computer uses while you could reserver a mac lab for more powerful projects that involve video and photo editing. I see it as a way to free up Mac computer labs in school from simple tasks so they can become specialized again.

    The problem with a Tech demo such as SJ provided of the IPAD is until it is released from NDA and on the market their is a lack of reliable information. I think that the Configuration Utility for the Iphone will have a version compatible with the IPAD.  What I would like to see is the system imaging utility.  We need the ability to use Netboot, NetInstall and NetRestore from OS X server with the IPAD.

         
  • Posted: 03 February 2010 11:34 PM #25

    Colum ODwyer - 03 February 2010 06:03 PM

    I have been thinking about allot of the cons that you have listed. As far as the SMART Boards and the Flash online content I can’t think of way around that stuff. However some of the initial cons that you listed I was wondering if the enterprise software that apple uses to manage iPhone’s will be able to be utilized on iPads. These allow for companies to push out applications for internal use only as well as remote wipe (without mobile me) and some other features, as well as the configuration of user profiles. I have never personally used it but I have heard that it works well in its currents capacity. Also, with iTunes 9, the ability to sync multiple iPods/iPhones at once was added. I am assuming that this will also carry over on to the iPad, while that is no the best option I personally Have used it with a USB hub and updated 6 iPods at once. The one limitation is you can only do one restore at a time. As for the photo or video editor I can envision some pretty useful photo editors coming out after seeing the demo of Brushes. However, I see the iPad being utilized instead of simple computer uses while you could reserver a mac lab for more powerful projects that involve video and photo editing. I see it as a way to free up Mac computer labs in school from simple tasks so they can become specialized again.

    Colum:

    I appreciate your joining the TMO forum community and your insights on the iPad in education. Best wishes for success with your site.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to contribute.

         
  • Posted: 04 February 2010 12:31 AM #26

    pats - 04 February 2010 12:51 AM

    The problem with a Tech demo such as SJ provided of the IPAD is until it is released from NDA and on the market their is a lack of reliable information. I think that the Configuration Utility for the Iphone will have a version compatible with the IPAD.  What I would like to see is the system imaging utility.  We need the ability to use Netboot, NetInstall and NetRestore from OS X server with the IPAD.

    You and me both. The ability to utilize Netboot, NetInstall and NetRestore would be an enormous plus over the Configuration utility. There would be a huge market if Apple did develop such an opportunity not only for iPad sales but also OS X server, a market that Apple is really pushing to brake into. In fact, if it were possible to incorporate the servers shared network drives so that students would have access to files stored remotely.

    Often schools will set students up with an account on a server with their own personal space to store documents so that it does not matter what computer they log into. The same principle could be implemented with iPads as well. My one fear would be that the use of OS X server with the iPad may scare away school systems IT who are not fans of mac.

    I might see Apple suggesting in the short term restoring from a backup, this backup would be one you designated as a default . This is a system that they suggest for demo units of iPods and iPhones when they are put on display. We will have to keep our fingers crossed for OS X server options.

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