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Irish school's attempt to replace books with HP tablets results in 'unmitigated disaster'

post #1 of 181
Thread Starter 
Major technical problems have forced an Irish secondary school to migrate its students back to paper books after their deployment of HP ElitePad tablets became what the school's principal termed "an unmitigated disaster."

HP ElitePad


Rather than purchasing traditional books at the beginning of the school term, students at Mountrath Community School in County Laois, Ireland, were instead made to buy HP ElitePad tablets running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, reports the Irish Independent. The ?550 ($741) tablets have since frustrated students by refusing to power on, going to sleep unexpectedly, and experiencing hardware failures involving the devices' logic boards.

Mountrath principal Margin Gleeson wrote in a letter to parents that the "HP Elite Pad has proved to be an unmitigated disaster" and that a return to paper books --?at the school's expense -- was necessary to "ensure stability and continuity of education." The school is working with HP to address the issues, but there is no word on when, or if, the school will reintroduce the tablets in classrooms.

Gleeson told the Independent that the HP tablets were chosen after an 18-month investigatory period, during which the school searched for "a device that was effectively a computer in tablet form for our students, so it would have a word processor, sufficient memory etc." He called out the ElitePad's 64-gigabyte memory as especially impressive.

"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

The timing of the debacle is especially poor for HP and Microsoft, as schools throughout the world prepare for a shift toward e-learning and the race for classroom technology spending heats up. Apple's iPad already enjoys a near monopoly in the sector with an estimated 94 percent share of the classroom tablet market, and the company's overall revenue from education topped $1 billion for the first time ever in the last fiscal quarter.
post #2 of 181
Get an iPad !
post #3 of 181
"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

Yeah, you should. Blame HP and MS. In addition, blame the dumbasses who thought it would have been a good idea in the first place.
post #4 of 181

Perfect candidate for 64GB iPad2 $699

 

When will these fools learn?  Saving a few bucks buying Android/MS stuff is just not worth it.

post #5 of 181

Turns out that $741 per unit provided a valuable lesson to the students after all. 

post #6 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoonerYoda View Post

"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

Yeah, you should. Blame HP and MS. In addition, blame the dumbasses who thought it would have been a good idea in the first place.

Correct!

 

The largest PC manufacturer in the world and what do they make? Crappy tablets! The largest software company in the world and what do they make? Crappy software!

 

And they wonder why they had problems! Ugh! :)

post #7 of 181

Haha, the dunces got what they deserved. :lol:

 

Should've bought iPads! :D :smokey:

post #8 of 181

Windows 8 is a dud.  I have been a fan or Windows for over 2 decades.  I don't understand Win 8.  I also would never buy anything with the HP logo on it.  Android or Apple really should have been their choice.  What rational mind could have come up with Win 8 and HP.  They should be fired.

post #9 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...frustrated students by refusing to power on, going to sleep unexpectedly, and experiencing hardware failures involving the devices' logic boards.

For a minute there I thought this was my junior high school teacher describing me.
post #10 of 181
That seems really expensive, $741? Isn't an iPad cheaper? Can't see how this school board went with such an expensive, unproven tablet. iPad is cheaper and proven in education. Doesn't say much for the school board. And how can they not blame anyone? It's obviously HP & MS fault.
post #11 of 181
hp tablets seem to have a history of sucking.
they should have expected that if it has hp ,windows 8 and tablet in the same sentence.
post #12 of 181
hp tablets seem to have a history of sucking.
they should have expected that if it has hp ,windows 8 and tablet in the same sentence.
post #13 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthW View Post

That seems really expensive, $741? Isn't an iPad cheaper? Can't see how this school board went with such an expensive, unproven tablet. iPad is cheaper and proven in education. Doesn't say much for the school board. And how can they not blame anyone? It's obviously HP & MS fault.

While it's the mfgt responsibility to deliver a working product, I'd blame the schools' IT guys. They should've tested this thoroughly, which obviously wasn't the case.
post #14 of 181
The article seems to indicate that these are a lot more expensive than iPads, but this is only 50€ more than an iPad. Yes, we pay 700+ $ for those...:/
Still, HP makes crappy computers and crappy products. A Sony tablet may have been better. Or just an iPad for that price.
post #15 of 181
Probably true too.
post #16 of 181
I read that nearly half the hard drive's space is already filled up with the OS & other Microsoft software.
Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
Reply
Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
Reply
post #17 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoonerYoda View Post

"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

Yeah, you should. Blame HP and MS. In addition, blame the dumbasses who thought it would have been a good idea in the first place.

 

No, start with blaming yourself Mr. Gleeson for forsaking the tried and tested in favor of the new and unproved.  You're an educator not a IT expert, why would you go out on a limb and go with a Windows tablet?  Haven't you read any of the tons of negative reviews on the internet?

post #18 of 181
Yeah, sounded like an absolutely brilliant move, forcing Windows 8 tablets upon students- build by HP, no less. What could go wrong?
post #19 of 181
Never underestimate the predictably of stupidity.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
post #20 of 181
If the students have learned to stay away from HP/Microsoft-quality devices for the rest of their educational careers - then perhaps it was a good lesson worth the cost.

I think the school would say no one is to blame because 1) they don't want to hurt their chances with future deals from HP/Microsoft and 2) they would have to admit they were also to blame for making the choice to begin with.
post #21 of 181
This school should have contacted Fraser Speirs, who is a world class expert on integrating iPads into education. It would have worked splendidly and he's based in Glasgow, less than 1hr by air from County Laois, Ireland so they could have had personal help. They would have had the iPads working, and would have been a showcase for the country.

But instead they submitted to the sales pressure of HP, which is a huge commercial presence in Ireland because that's where HP offshores much of its work and its taxes.

That the school's administrator doesn't take responsibility for this debacle is not surprising. This shirking of responsibility by authority happens a lot in that country (like the US) - from the politicians and bankers not taking responsibility for the massive banking and real estate fraud to the clergy not taking responsibility for what they allowed.
post #22 of 181
Poor project management. I would be careful to cast stones. It's not obvious -- from this article at least -- that an iPad rollout wouldn't have fared as poorly.

[edit to add that iPads may or may not have succeeded in this project but won't even be considered now]
If anything, AI readers should be gloomy that a migration from paper books to electronic version does poorly. If any conversion initiative succeeds we'll have some good basis for comparing how an iPad would have done better. At this point all we hear is that the initiative is going to be scrapped. That's bad for everyone and doesn't make iPad any more alluring for a project like this.
Edited by ddawson100 - 11/21/13 at 9:34am
post #23 of 181
I've seen it countless times before. They don't all chose what is best for kids in the school system. They chose something that this person has a connection to or is buddies with. All about politics & NOT what is best for the kids. the iPad (& the Mac before it) has proven itself in tons of schools, so if you chose an inferior tablet/system it's your own damn fault.
post #24 of 181
The school fell into a trap laid by Microsoft, the illusion of transferring a laptop's use cases to a tablet. The allure of transferring all the existing software investment is part of the attraction. Schools are full of unnecessary proprietary software when there are plenty of open source alternatives like Libreoffice now.

The dyed in the wool corporate types I know all prophesied that tablets like the Surface would beat the iPad because the were 'proper' PC's in tablet form. Its a mistake, a 'category' error, tablets are not PC's.

The reality is that the modality of the tablet is quite different from a PC or laptop. Students need laptops to do laptop things, at least with the current level of technology. If all they need to do is read an ebook then nearly any tablet will suffice, and there are many cheaper including some from Apple.

The Principal of the school is partly to blame for falling into the trap, but the trap has been laid by the vendors who are more culpable because they ought to know better.
post #25 of 181
I gather that they bought into the whole Microcrap Active Directory's ease of use to deploy (re: minute level of control) windows tablet applications and enforce strict security with control virus protection. All vendors promise the same thing until they don't pick up the phone and when they do it's always "not in scope" or "that's a software issue". The blame game starts up.

There is nothing particularly wrong with a controlled environment when implemented well. But does it really take a $10K server investment, $20K education and certification process, $100K support contract to simply deploy tablet apps and allow for wiping, locking down or re-imaging? I think not. May corps are buying into $499 mini servers from Apple, free to $20 server software and basic training to deploy thousands of iPads, iPhones and Macs easily. That's why educ-markets are buying them in droves as their budgets are so paper thin, and the solution(s) rock solid. It doesn't take an idiot to see this.

HP and the "others" are still thinking we are existing in 1982 and that everyone will come knocking down to buy their expensive crap solutions that lock them in for life. Even when they ill support 2 years later, change software distribution rules twice yearly, pad contracts to maintain large employee pools and attempt to skim razor thin profit margins through volume only. It's like talking to Uncle Charlie about the war. Always the same story over and over again. Even if he means well.
post #26 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binkwilder View Post
 

Windows 8 is a dud.  I have been a fan or Windows for over 2 decades.  I don't understand Win 8.  I also would never buy anything with the HP logo on it.  Android or Apple really should have been their choice.  What rational mind could have come up with Win 8 and HP.  They should be fired.


What word processing program is available on Androids?

post #27 of 181

lol

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #28 of 181
"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

Surely that's just shorthand for "it's my fault"?!

Considering they were forcing parents to buy these things - one has to wonder exactly how this product was selected. How many "fact finding" trips and "networking opportunities" were involved? Probably more than Apple, with their well proven product, would have paid for I'm guessing.
post #29 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

The article seems to indicate that these are a lot more expensive than iPads, but this is only 50€ more than an iPad. Yes, we pay 700+ $ for those...:/
Still, HP makes crappy computers and crappy products. A Sony tablet may have been better. Or just an iPad for that price.
The article says that students were required to purchase the HP product. Surely, if the school required the purchase, they could have gone one step further and purchased the product in bulk. They could have gotten an educational program discount from HP or from Apple were that the case. And, the cost could have been covered by a tuition or fees request. In the end, it would be less expensive that way.

Yes, if blame is to be had, HP deserves it for product failure. As do the school's IT guys — if such exist. From the article, it doesn't sound like their problems were software-based, so Microsoft gets a walk. (Unfortunately.)
post #30 of 181
Obviously, the school wanted a full-featured PC for their students so they can do word processing while multitasking with other apps to do research simultaneously.

This can't be done with an iPad. The actual competing Apple product is the MacBook Air.

The HP ElitePad is an Intel 1.8 Ghz Atom-based Laptop PC with Touch Screen, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB storage WITHOUT the keyboard, running Windows 8. It sells for $600 on Amazon.com. Once you add the case, docking station, and keyboard and mouse, it will end up costing at least $741 - as the article noted.

THE KEY IS THAT THE HP ELITEPAD IS A CHEAP LAPTOP PC - ESSENTIALLY A NETBOOK.

No wonder the HP ElitePad failed and was an "unmitigated disaster".

Apple doesn't do this type of junk.

The primary Apple competing product is the MacBook Air, costing $950.
post #31 of 181
Apple isn't perfect either. Remember the recent debacle in Los angles where students were bypassing g the security in their iPads? That initiative has been put on hold because of that. Hopefully, they will be able to fix that issue. 640,000 iPads were supposed to be bought for this. If they can't fix the security, that entire sale is in jeopardy.

Fortunately, there have been no widespread reports around the country, or anywhere else, of widespread hardware failures, or other kinds of OS or software problems.
post #32 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


For a minute there I thought this was my junior high school teacher describing me.

You mean I wasn't the only one? Now you tell me! :)

post #33 of 181

What did they expect! Buy crap expect crap.

post #34 of 181
$741 ea...

Who on earth approved such a deal?!
post #35 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

This school should have contacted Fraser Speirs, who is a world class expert on integrating iPads into education. It would have worked splendidly and he's based in Glasgow, less than 1hr by air from County Laois, Ireland so they could have had personal help. They would have had the iPads working, and would have been a showcase for the country.

But instead they submitted to the sales pressure of HP, which is a huge commercial presence in Ireland because that's where HP offshores much of its work and its taxes.

That the school's administrator doesn't take responsibility for this debacle is not surprising. This shirking of responsibility by authority happens a lot in that country (like the US) - from the politicians and bankers not taking responsibility for the massive banking and real estate fraud to the clergy not taking responsibility for what they allowed.

Yep this guy is great! I've heard a MacWorld Podcast of his and he really understands the relationship of tech(iPad) and learning. Really a well spoken guy. I wonder if he has a TED talk?

 

I've said it before, everything I've read from Autistic kids to Med. students, the iPad is improving learning and test scores.

 

Best

post #36 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

Perfect candidate for 64GB iPad2 $699

 

When will these fools learn?  Saving a few bucks buying Android/MS stuff is just not worth it.

 

A 64GB iPad 2 is not available in Ireland.  It only comes in 16GB for the equivalent of $526.  A 64GB iPad air costs $904.

 

My daughter's traditional paper-based books cost me the equivalent of $447.  So even if the Principal in question had opted for the iPad 2 - it and the books would have cost just shy of $1000.

 

But the real reason the Principal and iPad advocates are mentally compromised is .... wait for it .... there are no e-book versions of the text books that comprise the Irish secondary curriculum as far as I am aware of.  I am scratching my head over the original article as it seems far-fetched to me, given the lack of the most basic requirement: e-books.

 

But yes, a 32GB iPad air would have been a no-brainer if you were to go down this route, but it and the HP device are both way too expensive given the poverty a large percentage of Irish Parents face where even buying the conventional text books is a huge financial strain.

post #37 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

Obviously, the school wanted a full-featured PC for their students so they can do word processing while multitasking with other apps to do research simultaneously.

This can't be done with an iPad. The actual competing Apple product is the MacBook Air.

The HP ElitePad is an Intel 1.8 Ghz Atom-based Laptop PC with Touch Screen, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB storage WITHOUT the keyboard, running Windows 8. It sells for $600 on Amazon.com. Once you add the case, docking station, and keyboard and mouse, it will end up costing at least $741 - as the article noted.

THE KEY IS THAT THE HP ELITEPAD IS A CHEAP LAPTOP PC - ESSENTIALLY A NETBOOK.

No wonder the HP ElitePad failed and was an "unmitigated disaster".

Apple doesn't do this type of junk.

The primary Apple competing product is the MacBook Air, costing $950.

Another example of a corporation (HP) trying to sell crap for profit. Ugh!

 

I know I sound silly, but I love Apple and I'm so glad my daughter is an Apple fan b/c of me! It's one of the things I got right and I'm so happy! I gave her my macbook to get her thru college and then paid half of a MBP for her to get thru Med school. I bought us both $600 original iPhones, a 4 and a 5. I would never, ever consider an HP with windows! Ugh!

 

A few weeks after I got her the orig. iPhone we were having lunch and she gushed, "Dad, my whole life is in this phone!" Made me laugh! :)

post #38 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoonerYoda View Post

"We're not blaming anyone" for the failures, Gleeson said.

Yeah, you should. Blame HP and MS. In addition, blame the dumbasses who thought it would have been a good idea in the first place.

Nonsense. The beauty of the Microsoft era of computing was that if technology didn't work, it was the users' fault: you should have known better, you should have been trained to know where features were hidden in Office Ribbon, why did you make these Windows registry changes, why did you install these programs in the wrong order therefore replacing new DLLs with old DLLs, didn't you know when you uninstall programs you're supposed to leave DLLs installed even though the Windows says no other programs are using these DLLs? Why didn't you defrag your hard drive? Why didn't you patch security holes in Internet Explorer? It's YOUR FAULT The Windows user experience sucks.

As we all believed this.

Until iOS. Then we realized: if your computing experience sucked it was because the people who made the technology didn't design it properly. I'm not saying iOS is perfect. I'm saying iOS changed what we expected from technology, from "it my fault" to "they should have done a better job."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #39 of 181

I say, this is grounds for a new Irish joke... jk :-P

bb
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bb
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post #40 of 181
Why didn't they just get Surface RT tablets? It's ARM so you have none of the cruft of the x86 version and it comes with Office as part of the package.
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