Apple, Maine Department of Education working to swap 'toy' iPads for MacBooks

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in iPad
The Maine Department of Education is working with Apple to give some schools the option of trading in classroom-based iPads for new MacBooks at no cost, as teachers have found the tablets "provide no educational function in the classroom."




The findings come after an extensive survey of students and teachers in grades 7 through 12, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal. Some 89 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students said that laptops would be a better choice.

Teachers complained that students were using the iPads as game consoles, with one going so far as to call the rollout "a disaster." Others said that basic tasks like word processing were too difficult.

iPads "provide no educational function in the classroom," one teacher said in response to the survey. "Students use them as toys."

To help facilitate the switch -- called a "Refresh" -- Apple has agreed to lower the lease payments for its laptops. For the 2016-2017 academic year the computers will cost just $217 per student, increasing to $248 per student per year after that.

Pricing previously sat at $273 per student, which is above the state's $254 per student reimbursement level. That pushed schools toward lower-cost iPads, apparently at the expense of usability.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member
    Not totally surprising. The iPad, while nice, isn't something I'd want to use long-term in a classroom setting. I need a full wordprocessor, spreadsheet among other things and for that my MacBook Air is vastly better for me.
    cnocbuijackansiafrodri
  • Reply 2 of 60
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 666member
    The iPad is just a tool.  It's not Apple's fault if the Maine schools didn't have a plan for their effective use.  Shouldn't they iPads have been secured sufficiently to prevent students from installing games?

    Say, I've got a hammer to return to the hardware store because it doesn't serve any function in my home.  Obviously it's a faulty hammer.
    williamlondondamonfchiamagman1979ericthehalfbeejony0
  • Reply 3 of 60
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 718member
    I agree.  For students, a laptop is a far better choice than a tablet.  Even as good as a tablet an iPad is, it simply cannot do what a student needs to get the job done.

    When studying using a computer to do research, one needs to multitask between different apps - e.g. a word processor, a web browser, a data-storage/note-taking app, and others.  You also have to store files and organize them.  This multitasking is not easily done on an iPad. It doesn't have windows for apps you can easily switch back and forth.  It doesn't give you access to a file system.

    For anything other than drawing, a laptop is far superior to and far more versatile than a tablet.

    For teaching computer science, an iPad is worthless since you cannot program on it like a Mac.  And computer science is a necessary skill these days.

    cnocbuijackansiafrodri
  • Reply 4 of 60
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,105member
    Not totally surprising. The iPad, while nice, isn't something I'd want to use long-term in a classroom setting. I need a full wordprocessor, spreadsheet among other things and for that my MacBook Air is vastly better for me.
    Seems to me these weren't deployed properly if students were playing games on them. Calling the iPad a toy is ridiculous. And if the need was word processing and spreadsheets why did they choose iPads to begin with?
    lord amhranmacxpresscaliwilliamlondondamonfdiplicationchiajony0
  • Reply 5 of 60
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member
    I have had two kids issued iPads by two different schools. Neither was an effective learning tool. The only benefits I saw were: (1) fewer books for the kids to carry around and (2) marketing ploy for the schools (both private).

    When my kids had to do real work they had to switch to a full computer.
    cnocbuijackansi
  • Reply 6 of 60
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member
    williamh said:
    The iPad is just a tool.  It's not Apple's fault if the Maine schools didn't have a plan for their effective use.  Shouldn't they iPads have been secured sufficiently to prevent students from installing games?

    Say, I've got a hammer to return to the hardware store because it doesn't serve any function in my home.  Obviously it's a faulty hammer.
    Who said the students were installing games? The schools likely rolled out cute little interactive apps that, in the end, served no educational purpose. That is my experience with iPads in schools. 
    teaearlegreyhotmagman1979
  • Reply 7 of 60
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member

    Not totally surprising. The iPad, while nice, isn't something I'd want to use long-term in a classroom setting. I need a full wordprocessor, spreadsheet among other things and for that my MacBook Air is vastly better for me.
    Seems to me these weren't deployed properly if students were playing games on them. Calling the iPad a toy is ridiculous. And if the need was word processing and spreadsheets why did they choose iPads to begin with?
    Because schools jump on the iPad bandwagon without understanding how to use them.
    edited May 2016 rich gregoryteaearlegreyhotchiajony0
  • Reply 8 of 60
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 796member
    It makes sense to me that iPads would be more effective for elementary school children and laptops for older students.  Ideally, education should evolve so that students have access to both...a laptop for composition and an iPad for textbooks and reference.
    diplication
  • Reply 9 of 60
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 666member
    msuberly said:
    williamh said:
    The iPad is just a tool.  It's not Apple's fault if the Maine schools didn't have a plan for their effective use.  Shouldn't they iPads have been secured sufficiently to prevent students from installing games?

    Say, I've got a hammer to return to the hardware store because it doesn't serve any function in my home.  Obviously it's a faulty hammer.
    Who said the students were installing games? The schools likely rolled out cute little interactive apps that, in the end, served no educational purpose. That is my experience with iPads in schools. 
    The article states that the students were using the iPads as gaming consoles.  Why should teachers be complaining about students using software that the school provided for their use?  It seems the schools were in a position to determine what software they provided and make adjustments as they saw fit, right?
    teaearlegreyhotchiamagman1979
  • Reply 10 of 60
    Apple needs to do a whole lot more to make the iPad as productive as a laptop. iOS in its current iteration on the iPad is what's holding it back. 
    calijackansiteaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 11 of 60
    studiomusicstudiomusic Posts: 609member
    Because they can't play games on a laptop! Brilliant!
    williamlondonjkichlineteaearlegreyhotchiamagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 60
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 281member
    During out son's journey through K-12, I saw little evidence that computers in general had much educational value, beyond accessing the world's biggest lending library, the Internet. Simulating a chemistry experiment is not the same as breaking a window with one. As stated already in this thread, the computers are not to blame.
    jkichlinecnocbuiteaearlegreyhotchiamagman1979tokyojimu
  • Reply 13 of 60
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 947member
    Apple needs to do a whole lot more to make the iPad as productive as a laptop. iOS in its current iteration on the iPad is what's holding it back. 
    I agree completely. The iPad's hardware completely outclasses its software. iPads are a lot of money for how limited iOS is - I hate to say it, but the MS Surface is hugely more powerful on the software side, and a much more attractive option if any productivity is to be done.
    jackansi
  • Reply 14 of 60
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    badmonk said:
    It makes sense to me that iPads would be more effective for elementary school children and laptops for older students.  Ideally, education should evolve so that students have access to both...a laptop for composition and an iPad for textbooks and reference.
    I was on the school board of a small elementary school 2012-14, and we (and the kids in grades 5-8) found the iPads to be quite useful in class.

    We also had four PC laptops (the teachers were all Mac users, don't ask) in the classroom for a few things that the iPads just weren't suited for, mostly being some math applications that were only available as Java applications. They did most of their writing and presentation work on the iPads, using Pages and Keynote.

    It can be done.
    calijkichlinediplicationchiamagman1979
  • Reply 15 of 60
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    bsimpsen said:
    During out son's journey through K-12, I saw little evidence that computers in general had much educational value, beyond accessing the world's biggest lending library, the Internet. Simulating a chemistry experiment is not the same as breaking a window with one. As stated already in this thread, the computers are not to blame.
    Giving tablets, or computer technology of any kind to students in developing countries has been shown to dramatically improve their ability to excel in school. What always amazes me in these case studies is how creative they get in integrating them into their traditional curriculum. I think in the US, the problem is not the tech, presence or absence of it, but the fact that we have decided to stop teaching students how to learn and utilize different tools as part of a learning process. The school year now is spent teaching kids to memorizes facts and preparing them to pencil in bubbles on a standardized test that will determine if the teachers get to keep their jobs and the school keeps its funding the next year. In the US tablets and computers are mostly looked at as simultaneously replacing teachers and books, instead of being a tool in a much larger educational process. 
    calijkichlinejasenj1volcanwigginchiamagman1979
  • Reply 16 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,748member
    steveh said:
    badmonk said:
    It makes sense to me that iPads would be more effective for elementary school children and laptops for older students.  Ideally, education should evolve so that students have access to both...a laptop for composition and an iPad for textbooks and reference.
    I was on the school board of a small elementary school 2012-14, and we (and the kids in grades 5-8) found the iPads to be quite useful in class.

    We also had four PC laptops (the teachers were all Mac users, don't ask) in the classroom for a few things that the iPads just weren't suited for, mostly being some math applications that were only available as Java applications. They did most of their writing and presentation work on the iPads, using Pages and Keynote.

    It can be done.
    Maine agrees with you, finding some value with iPads in elementary school according to the article. Not so much in higher grades. 
  • Reply 17 of 60
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 822member
    williamh said:
    The iPad is just a tool.  It's not Apple's fault if the Maine schools didn't have a plan for their effective use.  Shouldn't they iPads have been secured sufficiently to prevent students from installing games?

    Say, I've got a hammer to return to the hardware store because it doesn't serve any function in my home.  Obviously it's a faulty hammer.
    The problem is that Apple has been selling you the hammer while telling you it also functions as a screwdriver and a ladder if you use it just right.
    JongAm Parkgatorguymazda 3selijahg
  • Reply 18 of 60
    steveh said:
    badmonk said:
    It makes sense to me that iPads would be more effective for elementary school children and laptops for older students.  Ideally, education should evolve so that students have access to both...a laptop for composition and an iPad for textbooks and reference.
    I was on the school board of a small elementary school 2012-14, and we (and the kids in grades 5-8) found the iPads to be quite useful in class.

    We also had four PC laptops (the teachers were all Mac users, don't ask) in the classroom for a few things that the iPads just weren't suited for, mostly being some math applications that were only available as Java applications. They did most of their writing and presentation work on the iPads, using Pages and Keynote.

    It can be done.
    Well, I guess different schools and teachers would require different ways of using it and pedagogy style. Problem is whether iPad is flexible enough for that.
    Yes. iPad could be useful in one scenario. However consider this. How many different scenarios schools and teachers are under? Will iPads be flexible enough to fit them?

    Notebooks would be better, but I'm sorry that MacBooks are too expensive and very restrictive nowadays.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    peteopeteo Posts: 365member
    There is definitely an age level to the iPad currently. For younger students its a great tool when they have the proper apps installed but I think once you get past 5 grade it does not cut it and with the current price of iPad pros + keyboard (an or pencil) it makes 0 sense when compared to chrome books/cheap wintel laptops.
    elijahg
  • Reply 20 of 60
    semi_guysemi_guy Posts: 48member
    The local elementary schools here had a mandate to use technology. Some grant got them a whole bunch of iPads. The grant did not include any training for the teachers (none of them owned an iPad) and no budget for software. Software was not considered technology. So teachers downloaded free software. Many of them had iAds, so kids would tap on the adds instead of using the software. Once I explained how to lock the iPad to one app and a region that did not include the add, things started to work better. Then we asked for a budget for some decent learning apps. Then you got into the problem of can we have one account for all this apps and who owns the Apple-ID account. I also showed them how to use AirPlay so that they could mirror the screen of the iPad on the projector or SmartBoard and teach the kids what they were seeing. One of the most interesting benefits with e-books is that the teacher set each iPad to the page in the book for the day's lesson. When the kids arrived in the classroom, they turn on the iPad and it was set to the right page. No more wasting time getting 20 kids to go to page 100 (No Johnny not page 110, page 100, look at the lower right corner what number do you see...) In some areas the iPads were tremendous success, in others utter failures. Now the school prefers Chromebooks since the kids can make their papers on them, go home and get their files without any complicated issues, and they are very cheap. The teachers are more comfortable with them since they use a lot of Google tools already. However, the school ignores or is not aware of all the privacy issues. So the big problem is: - lack of school and district actually asking the teacher what are their needs - lack of understanding what are the best tools to fit the students and teacher needs. - lack of training - lack of curriculum targeting the technology - lack of proper budgeting training and software into their costs
    caliteaearlegreyhotdamonfdiplicationchiamagman1979yoyo2222
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