iPad 2 requirement at high school

July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am | Posted in Education | 4 Comments
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This article about a high school in North Auckland requiring Year 9 students to purchase an iPad 2 has raised some interesting comments, both on the article itself, and also in my Facebook stream.

I happened to attend this high school from Year 9-11, so I’ve got Facebook friends who are alumni of the school. The comments so far on facebook have been quite negative – against the compulsory requirement saying such as ‘teacher’s teach children – not iPad’s’. There were also comments about the closed and over-priced nature of Apple, and that if we are to use technology in school’s we should be using open technology.

I have mixed feelings about asking parents to find $800+ to buy new iPad’s for their children for school. It is a large expense for a lot of parents. However, I do believe if a school is really passionate about using technology in education and is willing to provide the technical support for both students and teachers and the professional development to implement them successfully, then this could be an excellent move.

On the other side, I do agree with one of my facebook friends who suggested open technology such as what Albany Senior High School have done. This gives access to far more families as firstly the hardware is more affordable, but also with a lot of open source software – it is free.

What I would say, is that the school has made an important decision here. It has chosen to go with Apple and the iPad 2. It now needs to follow through with training and expertise given to staff; technical support for students; and an expectation that staff use them in possibly a majority of their teaching. If these things don’t happen then I would say that the negative comments are right. It is imperative that the school uses them wisely in order to see an increase in both engagement and achievement across the board.

We do live in the 21st century. Let’s make sure our schools are using the technology that is available. I’m a PC user who also has an iPad. It is a fantastic device with a lot of potential. There are other devices that are coming closer to it now, so there is choice in the world. Schools do need to consider whether they have an expectation like this, and they need to carefully think through what hardware to use and whether open technology is a way to move forward or not. It’s a tough decision, but it is time for a lot of schools to move forward.

 

Minutes after publishing this post, the following links were brought to my attention:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10739410

http://orewa.school.nz/dms/images/news_articles/Letter_to_Year_8_parents_24_June.pdf

It is important to note that from the letter the school is asking for students to bring a computing device to school. The preference is an iPad 2, however, they could bring a netbook, laptop or other device.
A computing device seems to be compulsory – not an iPad 2.

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4 Comments »

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  1. please put the other article up as well, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10739410
    also put the letter up that was sent out to parents http://orewa.school.nz/dms/images/news_articles/Letter_to_Year_8_parents_24_June.pdf

    • Thanks for the extra links there.
      It is important to note that from the letter the school is asking for students to bring a computing device to school. The preference is an iPad 2, however, they could bring a netbook, laptop or other device.
      A computing device seems to be compulsory – not an iPad 2.

      • Thats what we are looking at in our school, however, we are finding that the students already have the gear on them, or want to bring it to school anyway.
        I walk around the school in the morning and the majority of students have pulled out there itouch and are playing games or working out what songs they want to listen to.
        I am currently working out what wifi to get to help assist the students gain access to their information. We are a site sharing school in Christchurch and having issues doing the full day and cut down lessons. We have moodle2, currently waiting for moodle2.1 to be moodleinschools.org.nz configured and this has the ability to be looked at on mobile screens and interact better with mobile devices. We have google education edition up and running, as well as looking at how we can use myportfolio, as soon as there is a maharadroid app released for mac app store it will help students through there lessons to record information and put it up to allow for a mash up of collobration.
        This is just one school that has been identifed by the media and the title of the story doesn’t help. Howick college are working with Vodafone on mlearning.

  2. Smacks so much of electioneering …
    On TV1 news tonight it ever so cunningly highlighted the cost of implementing this technology and some children will be left behind, before the article on the rise in inflation/lack of pay rises/how to ask for a pay rise article.
    Any other teachers note how positively the pay rise article spoke of asking for a 5% pay rise and trying hard not to let the vomit escape the mouth? (sorry couldn’t resist)


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