Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 19:12 UTC
Apple It's one of those days again: Apple held a product announcement today, announcing several new products. The most important of which was rumoured about for a long time now: a smaller iPad. It's called the iPad mini, and has the potential to become the best-selling iPad - and thus, the best selling tablet.
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RE: unknowns
by OMRebel on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:17 UTC in reply to "unknowns"
OMRebel
Member since:
2005-11-14

android tablets have been a disaster for education (for a variety of reasons) and the existing iPads are a bit too large/heavy/valuable/breakable to be ideal investments for every 3rd grader in the district to drag around every day.


Source for that statement?

As strapped as schools are for cash, Apple would have to undercut the prices of the Nexus 7 to make them even an option worth discussing.

As a parent of a child in high-school, I have asked him if he would rather read his books on a tablet computer or for me to just keep buying the books - he'd rather read the actual paper books.

In addition, a 3rd grader would have to not be held liable for any damage caused to a tablet - they tend to drop and break stuff.

The money for schools would better be spent on teacher salaries.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: unknowns
by ezraz on Thu 25th Oct 2012 13:50 in reply to "RE: unknowns"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

"android tablets have been a disaster for education (for a variety of reasons) and the existing iPads are a bit too large/heavy/valuable/breakable to be ideal investments for every 3rd grader in the district to drag around every day.


Source for that statement?

As strapped as schools are for cash, Apple would have to undercut the prices of the Nexus 7 to make them even an option worth discussing.

As a parent of a child in high-school, I have asked him if he would rather read his books on a tablet computer or for me to just keep buying the books - he'd rather read the actual paper books.

In addition, a 3rd grader would have to not be held liable for any damage caused to a tablet - they tend to drop and break stuff.

The money for schools would better be spent on teacher salaries.
"

Source -- I work in the K-12 software market, and have been on the front lines for the tablet takeover. We have extensive district contacts. The iPad 1 & 2 are useful and reliable, but a little large, heavy, and expensive per unit for the kids. I don't know of any district that bought iPad3's because they were waiting for a mini or windows tablet to be useable.

Of course the kids don't pay when it breaks, the district does, which is why the plastic android tablets are generally avoided. Kids can break large numbers of those things in weeks, not years. Security issues are also a major problem on large rollouts of android tablets, partly from user ignorance as 3rd graders aren't linux/android hackers and K-12 IT is very understaffed, so they need a device that can mostly manage itself.

There's also familiarity. Almost every one of these kids has or has played with an iPad. Kids often learn it faster than adults because of Apple's stellar work on human to machine interfaces. I know my boy was 4 and could run the iPad as good or better than his mother (at first). It's just natural to them, not magical.

The money might be better spent on teacher's salaries, but that's for the school board and voters to work out. Bottom line is they have a tech budget, and they need to get useable tech to all kids in the district, and it has to incorporate their curriculum and be reliable. tablets beat laptops in this regard, so many districts have rolled out tablets or will be shortly.

Most in the US education market believe we are very close to moving nearly the entire printed curriculum to a tablet format, and issuing tablets to students will be equivalent to issuing them an ID.

As far as your kid wanting real books -- good! I love real books, no one wants to kill those. But he shouldn't be required to carry 40lbs of books around with him all day, especially if those printed books are years out of date.

Districts are more interested in durability and long term usability far more than initial hardware price. Part of the reason old Apples are still all over schools is because of this durability.

This nexus tab for $100 less will more than likely be abandoned on the software front within 2 years, whereas most districts will get 5+ school years out of their iPad investment.

Finally, hardware is only part of it -- as textbooks become software, the book purchase agreements move to software licenses, and schools are looking to save some money there too. 500 3rd grade science books cost alot to purchase, ship, and store, and they come with NO updates. If the eBook makers cut a better deal (and they should) that's an offer schools can't afford to pass up.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: unknowns
by OMRebel on Thu 25th Oct 2012 16:03 in reply to "RE[2]: unknowns"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

@ezraz

I would venture to guess that the software company you work for writes applications targeted specifically for iOS. Is that an accurate assumption?

There are some things I would like to point out. As it stands today, Apple has a horrible history when it comes to deal with eBook publishers (see the lawsuit against Apple by the Justice Department). One thing that we have seen when it comes to Apple is that they will always charge an over the top premium to ensure their profits are maximized. That's not a bad thing for their stock holders - but for budget strapped schools, it's not a good thing.

Now, there are some false statements that you have made in your post that I would like to discuss further with you.

1. Durability - when we are talking about school children, we are talking about them dropping stuff. If you do a simple search you'll see where iPads generally lose the majority of "drop tests" that are performed. The whole "Android is just cheap plastic" is part of a marketing strategy to try to make it sound as if iOS devices are better. They clearly are not.

2. Familiarity - since Android has such an overwhelming market lead over iOS, the majority of people out there are more familiar with Android. Studies and market trends show that Android tablets will surpass Apple's tablets in the near future.

3. Digital books still come with a premium price. It doesn't help to lower the cost when Apple is involved, as they will ensure they get a large cut of money on the books as well. That is a recipe for disaster based on Apple's history.

4. To say that Tablet X will be supported for 5+ years for Tablet Y will be phased out in 2 years is really silly to state. Based on the movement of the market, and what history has shown us, that simply isn't true.

Now, I am not sure what software your company writes. My guess if we are talking about eBooks, then it's simply an eBook reader - just an app. In which manner, your company would be better offer targeting both platforms (Android and iOS) if you want to ensure that you aren't left out with only being able to support a minority of users if market trends continue in the direction they are heading.

Just my 2 cents......

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: unknowns
by henderson101 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 23:25 in reply to "RE: unknowns"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I don't know about your country, but here in the UK we run a scheme where parents pay for the iPad through an agreement the school sets up. The scheme is like a rent to buy type arrangement over 2 or 3 years. £10 a month. Includes insurance for accidental damage.

The claims on iPads or horrendous though. Giving any tablet to a young kid is pretty stupid. They break them with a regularity that is astounding. Some of the excuses we hear is almost as priceless as "my dog ate my homework".

Would I ever give a Nexus 7 tablet to a child? No. It would be broken in half the time. The iPad is a sealed device. The Nexus 7 can be pried apart with a fingernail.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: unknowns
by ezraz on Fri 26th Oct 2012 19:24 in reply to "RE[2]: unknowns"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

I don't know about your country, but here in the UK we run a scheme where parents pay for the iPad through an agreement the school sets up. The scheme is like a rent to buy type arrangement over 2 or 3 years. £10 a month. Includes insurance for accidental damage.

The claims on iPads or horrendous though. Giving any tablet to a young kid is pretty stupid. They break them with a regularity that is astounding. Some of the excuses we hear is almost as priceless as "my dog ate my homework".

Would I ever give a Nexus 7 tablet to a child? No. It would be broken in half the time. The iPad is a sealed device. The Nexus 7 can be pried apart with a fingernail.


I agree on the nexus, and every android tablet i've ever held at best buy -- would never get close to passing apple QA.

As far as charing the students for the gear, this is all determined by the "school board" in the states, which is in effect the elected leaders of the school district. districts are in the 2k-10k range for total student count.

I personally haven't seen a district in my area charge the student anything for tablet tech, but i know it's out there (especially in private institutions). Parents of students in 'free' education in america end up paying for a lot these days, as all sorts of extracurriculars and sports gear require parent purchase. But these tech buys are high-profile for the district so they usually foot the bill and buy a few extras for the inevitable failures in child-machine interaction ;-).

Yes, the cost of an ipad mini could buy a set of football pads and paint supplies for the student, but that is a budget discussion, not an OSNews type of discussion.

It should be compared to the price of other textbooks and teaching aids (the things it replaces, not displaces). it literally puts most of the worlds printed materials, as well as the teacher's custom curriculum, in a 1lb device which is good for kids. trust me, they are not amazed and wowed by this modern tech like us old fugs, they just expect it to be.

ipod, ipod touch, iphone, ipad, and soon ipad mini is more of a part of most young american kids' lives than most of you europeans might imagine. i can't even imagine the software they are going to come up with 10 years....

Reply Parent Score: 0