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Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads

Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads
For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning? It’s a question that has been on many minds since 2010, when Apple released the iPad and schools began experimenting with it. The devices came along at a time when many school reformers were advocating to replace textbooks with online curricula and add creative apps to lessons. Some teachers welcomed the shift, which allowed their students to replace old poster-board presentations with narrated screencasts and review teacher-produced video lessons at any time. Four years later, however, it's still unclear whether the iPad is the device best suited to the classroom. Meanwhile, the cost of equipment is going down, software is improving, and state policies are driving expectations for technology access. However, the L.A. district quickly recalled about 2,100 iPads from students. Hillsborough took a different approach.

Related:  District 1:1 Programs - iPad vs. Chromebook (or Both?)Mobile Devices

The Great Device Debate: iPad Vs. Chromebook Editor’s Note: In December of 2012, Help Desk blogger Tyler Desharnais authored an excellent post titled “The New Chromebook v. the iPad” which was quite popular. The post was shared via Twitter 126 times, Facebook 18 times, LinkedIn 5 times, and has had 4,062 views (and climbing) since it was first published, making it the second most popular Help Desk post to date; not bad for a high school student! Hard to believe there are schools across the country that still don’t believe and/or understand why students should be blogging…anyway… This year, I decided to resurrect the iPad versus Chromebook debate, since it continues to be a hot issue in education, and once again gain a student perspective on which device was “better” in a high school 1:1 environment.

An Excellent Quick-Start Guide To iPads For Learning An Excellent Quick-Start Guide To iPads For Learning While everyone you know has had an iPad since Miley Cyrus was less…sure of herself, for whatever reason, you just got one. Or an entire classroom of iPads. Or Android tablets. Or, gulp, Windows Surface tablets. Whatever the case, you’ve got a tablet and want mobile learning happening in your classroom stat. How BYOD/T is Getting Easier, How it’s Getting Harder I’ve written more posts on BYOD/BYOT (Bring Your Own Device/Technology) than Sylvia Plath penned woebegone prose, so I’m going to put all of you out of your misery and promise you this is the last one. It’s been just over five school years now that I’ve invited students to bring their own wifi enabled devices into the classroom to use for learning. The first couple of years were a whirlwind of learning for everyone involved, but I can say fairly that the dust has settled quite a bit in the time since. Has it gotten easier or harder, you ask?

Background of the Issue - Tablets vs. Textbooks - (click to enlarge image) Summary of reader attitudes towards print books and e-books. Source: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Reading Habits Survey, "The Rise of E-Reading,", Apr. 4, 2012 Publishing for the K-12 school market is an $8 billion industry, with three companies - McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - capturing about 85% of this market. Chromebooks and iPads: Rivals No More Whether you’re a teacher or an administrator, you may be asking yourself, “Chromebooks or iPads for my classroom?” If a school is looking to go 1:1, which one is the better choice? This hotly-debated question peppers the educational landscape as districts seek to invest money in devices that will engage and enhance student learning.

Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers Michelle Luhtala/Edshelf With the thousands of educational apps vying for the attention of busy teachers, it can be hard to sift for the gold. Michelle Luhtala, a savvy librarian from New Canaan High School in Connecticut has crowd-sourced the best, most extensive list of apps voted on by educators around the country. “I wanted to make sure we had some flexibility because there’s no one app that’s better than all the others,” Luhtala said. Some apps are best for younger students, others are more complicated, better suited for high school students.

The future is here: New ed tech targets the brain Measuring and even changing a student’s brain activity was once a science fiction concept. But technology advances are pushing to market more products that use attention levels and plasticity of the mind to raise academic achievement. “I think it’s the direction we have to go in,” says Tom Kelchner, director of special education at Goose Creek CISD in Texas, a district of 22,000 students outside Houston. “We have to look at innovative approaches based on research to do something different for students who have reading and math deficits, and we feel these cognitive development programs are part of the answer.”

Should tablets replace textbooks in K-12 schools? - Tablets vs. Textbooks - "Last week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared a war on paper textbooks. 'Over the next few years,' he said in a speech at the National Press Club, 'textbooks should be obsolete.' In their place would come a variety of digital-learning technologies, like e-readers and multimedia Web sites... Debating iPads or Chromebooks for 1:1? Why not both? Mobile Computing | Feature Debating iPads or Chromebooks for 1:1? Why not both? 6 Amazing App Smash Examples to Inspire Creativity We recently challenged members of our ThingLink Education Community to take the ThingLink App Smash Challenge. The challenge was designed to help educators discover new ideas for teaching and learning with an iPad by combining two or more apps together to create, publish and share content. The use of ThingLink as a presentation tool provides educators with powerful possibilities for turning an image into a multimedia rich learning tool. Many members of the ThingLink EDU community submitted ThingLink powered App Smashes to our App Smash Channel and several ThingLink Expert Educators shared their expertise through one of three webinars we offered. In case you missed it, here are resources from our culminating App Smash webinar.

You will soon be able to run any Windows application on a Chromebook Google, VMware, and NVIDIA were on hand at VMworld 2014 to show off a collaborative effort utilizing VMware Blast Performance and NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology. The result will be high performance virtual desktops and workstation-class graphics for Chromebooks. Imagine getting hardware-accelerated graphics, and at the same time, enjoying the flexibility of a virtual environment. With the flexibility of the Chromebook, manufacturers can design complex 3D models and share them with engineers around the globe.

Tablets vs. Textbooks - Tablets help students learn more material faster. Technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30-80%, according to the US Department of Education and studies by the National Training and Simulation Association. 81% of K-12 teachers believe that "tablets enrich classroom education."