On 19 December 2014 at 12:56, Adam Bolte <abo...@systemsaviour.com> wrote:

> Perhaps we have different ideas about what is meant by vendor
> lock-in. From Wikipedia:

Adam, I agree on all these points, I just don't think they make a big
difference in an educational environment. You give someone $200 to spend on
apps for their device and they will get locked in to an ecosystem
regardless of whether that is Apple iTunes, Google Play or F-droid. Again,
agree on android doing this far better than apple, but it's the degree of
relevance at school that I'm talking about.

On 19 December 2014 at 18:43, Martin Ebourne <li...@ebourne.me.uk> wrote:

> I dispute that you want it too small. For doing creative work (and even
> for web sometimes) larger would be better.

Not me! I always argue for the 9.7inch iPad. It was someone else in the
thread that was talking about different form factors.

I can get a Samsung 10"
> tablet for under $300 in the shops locally, it's a good device not some
> cheap no name product and has quite sufficient processing (quad core,
> 16GB, 10 hour in-use battery life) for educational work. Can you show me
> a 10" iPad for under $300?
> You might have to clarify this, I did a quick look at JB Hifi and could
only find a refurbished 10inch samsung tablet for $398 (

Also, quad core is no guarantee of performance. Both of my android tablets
I tried from Hong Kong were quad core and they were so far behind my old
dual core iPad 2.

For reference you can get refurbished iPad 2's for $319 or brand new iPad
with Retina (4th generation) for $390.00, which is a popular option taken
by a lot of schools.

> A note on battery life, if my children are using the device constantly
> for more than 2 hours a day at school then I am worried as I think that
> book, paper, and other physical object based learning should still be
> the primary mode of learning. I want them to be getting paint on their
> hands (within reason), do real science experiments (that don't work!)
> rather than watch them on a screen, and use the index or scan a book to
> answer questions rather than just copy-pasting off Wikipedia.

I think you greatly underestimate how much usage it will get. I know with a
lot of students a device with a 2 hour battery life will be 50% depleted
before the first lesson starts.. A lot of kids leave home at 7:30 and play
with it on the bus.. Also, scanning a book and reading an index is
something an iPad is great for. I would even say better, because you get
the benefit of annotation and leaving notes, hyperlinks.. where you would
otherwise destroy a physical book. If you only plan for 2 hours it's a huge
waste of money..

> > If you find a solid example make sure you compare it to the price of
> > Apple's iPad offering in schools, which is about $480.
> Yes, I think I can beat that as per above.

Sorry, I realize I have changed the bar with regard to price, but the above
$390 is the actual cost at one of my schools, I had to look up the quote.

> In this case then the school's preferences becomes only one part of the
> equation and the needs and preferences of the family also become
> relevant. At that point demanding a particular device from a single
> manufacturer is unreasonable and completely ignores important factors
> such as how the device will be used outside of school, how it will be
> provided and managed by parents, how it will interoperate with existing
> devices owned by the family, and whether parents are able to afford the
> devices in the first place.

Agree, however you have to weigh the needs of the schools heavily as that
is where the technology will be used primarily. Are you suggesting moving
away from a monoculture to a totally open choice? In that case you need to
make sure the teachers are educated on the use of every particular OS (and
version!) as well as what software is available on each platform. That is
an extremely difficult (and expensive!) task and I'd hate to be the one to
write that training document..

Also the longevity of these devices is much better, I use a 4 year old
> laptop
> for 50 hours a week for my work and apart from battery replacement it's
> still entirely up to the job and runs the latest software (Fedora is my
> choice but it could be anything).

All I can say to this is I think you have an atypical experience. Maybe you
use better software than the rest of the populace (fedora not windows), or
you're comparing hardware outside the range of school hardware ($500 -
$800), but in my experience in an IT service desk after 3 years the laptops
really struggle.

> There are references on the web of iPad classes where non-iPad provided
> children are largely excluded,

Agree and I think this is where enforcing hard rules about what must be
supplied / bought is important. I think a free and open choice leads to
some students being disadvantaged because their parent's can't afford it,
or refuse to prioritize their children's education because they don't
understand why the technology is relevant. Ideally this technology would be
supplied by the government, but now the Kevin Rudd money is over and we
just have to move on with what we can..

or even worse, where the iPad is a
> convenient way of filling time. From personal anecdotes I hear of an
> Asperger's child given an iPad instead of the special support needed
> just because it makes life easier for a teacher that does not fully
> understand the needs of the child.

Agree, this happens. Teacher training and the slow filtering down of
technology skills is the only way I think you can solve this.
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