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

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 186
    Get an iPad !
  • Reply 2 of 186
    "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.
  • Reply 3 of 186

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

  • Reply 4 of 186
    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! :)

  • Reply 5 of 186
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Haha, the dunces got what they deserved. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    Should've bought iPads! :D :smokey:

  • Reply 6 of 186

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 186
    ...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.
  • Reply 8 of 186
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 186
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 186
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 186
    darthw wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 186
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 186
    Probably true too.
  • Reply 14 of 186
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    I read that nearly half the hard drive's space is already filled up with the OS & other Microsoft software.
  • Reply 15 of 186
    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?

  • Reply 16 of 186
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,316member
    Yeah, sounded like an absolutely brilliant move, forcing Windows 8 tablets upon students- build by HP, no less. What could go wrong?
  • Reply 17 of 186
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,313member
    Never underestimate the predictably of stupidity.
  • Reply 18 of 186
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 186
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 186
    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.
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