Monday, November 15, 2010

Becoming A 1:1 School - Edition 2

In Edition 2 of our weekly series on going 1:1 at BHS, I am just going to throw it out a question. Would an iPad be a good option for our 1:1 device?
Even a four-year old can navigate an iPad with little training

I have been stockpiling articles on the iPad in my Delicious Bookmarks.  One interesting article I came across today noted that the iPad is replacing the traditional computer for many of its users.

Our discussion at our most recent meeting of the 1:1 Implementation Team at BHS focused on looking at the characteristics that we would be looking for in a device.  What are the things that we want it to be able to do?

Here is a copy of the Google Document that I created for teachers to answer this question and some of the early responses:

As we prioritize our list into wants and needs, I welcome your feedback.  

Previous posts on becoming a 1:1 school:


  1. I do have a question, and forgive me if you have answered it already but I missed the answer. When this is implemented, who is expected to pay for the devices? I know some kids have laptops already, but right now there are a lot of struggling families in Burlington. If they have to depend on the food pantry for basic needs, how are they expected to foot the bill for a computer or an iPad?

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great idea, but I'd appreciate more details on how this is going to be funded.

    Ann Steeves

  2. If you choose one device, and if Burlington becomes a beacon school in terms of 1:1 education, that would be a huge publicity opportunity for the company. Any chance that Apple (or the maker of whatever device you choose) would underwrite the whole thing, in return for PR concessions? I agree that too many families are struggling to ask parents to provide such an expensive school supply.

  3. While ipads are fantastic media delivery devices, their primary purpose is media consumption. If you are going 1:1, shouldn't the device also have creation capabilities? Collaboration possibilities (skype/ichat)?

  4. i personally do not think that ipads would be a good tool at our school next year when it becomes 1:1. u think there will be way to high of a risk for students to break, drop, loss these highly expensive pieces of equipment. then there is always the possibility of a student stealing one. not that i am saying the students at BHS are bad but when the opportunity presents its self some kids will take the free ipad instead of having to pay a lot for one.

  5. I don't think the ipads are a good idea to use at the Burlington High school. I think too many kids will take advantage of them and play games. I think we should use laptops instead.

  6. I just feel like if you get ipads they will be broken in atleast the first week because of the dropping them constently. I feel like they are more for games i have never seen anybody with a ipad just using it for the internet. I know some people that have it and they say that if is just a obvious thing to see so it is like you are just showing off. I feel like it would be good to have them in the school. Yah the ipads are becoming the hot thing of the electronics. But think of all the problems with them could break, get stolen, short circuit, get a viruse and even more. Just think of all the things that can go wrong before we get them.

  7. I do not think ipads are a good option. The main usage is for gaming and typing notes on them will be so much more of a hassle. Laptops are most definite the netter choice. Although I see the advantages of 1:1 i think it needs to be partial. Staring at a laptop or electronic device for 8 hours a day 5 times a week is yerrifle for the eyes. That's not even including the amount of time kids will spend on them after school. I think laptops will be great for taking notes and making classes for interactive but textbooks and English books should not be replaced electronically. Also math should still be done with pen and pencil. It is simply too complicated to transfer teaching math to a laptop.

  8. From what I've heard (somewhat rumor) 2nd generation iPads will only be around $200 - 250 less that a good MacBook laptop, and you can do so much more w/ a Macbook, that I'd definitely lean towards that option. iPads are O.K. as long as you know what they do well, and don't expect them to be a "mini-laptop".

    Whichever option you go with, keep the focus on how teachers can use the device to foster higher order thinking and complex problem solving skills...don't focus too much on the "tool" itself.

  9. Thanks for all of the feedback. We are looking at options that are both cost-effective and allow students and teachers access to the greatest number of tools to enhance teaching and learning. By the way, we are not talking about every move we make being done with a device.

    We still need to find a balance point, but right now we are imbalanced by the fact that our students will be leaving a world where they do not use the most modern tools to do their business and entering one where it will enhance their ability to be successful.

  10. I'm a student at North Shore Technical High SChool. My teacher is a follower of your blog, and told me about your thread. I did a presentation quite recently on tablets and might have a few ideas for you. I wouldn't take my take on iPads as biased but more of an honest review. The draw back the iPad has for school work is the difficulty in typing on the virtual keyboard if you are trying to use it for note taking, and the software available. The Apple Office software, Pages, Numbers, etc., is fair and compatible with the Mac version, but no where near as strong. And not compatible with the MS Office software if you want to use that. If students work on something on the iPad they wont be able to go home and transfer that work to a PC. However since the iPad is a tablet, it fits all the needs that a tablet would do, such as web broswing, has a long battery life, and can of course do ebooks. The problem these days is that people don't know of many competitors to Apple and need to be educated on that.

    There is a tablet that's going to be relased this month called "Adam" it's made by a company named Notion Ink. They are an Indian based company. The tablet will release in various versions for different environments. The company i believe has discounts for schools, not completley sure on it. They do have student discounts. The tablet runs Android, which can do just about anything Windows can do and it's an open sourced OS, unlike Apples OS your confined to what Apple releases. Adam boasts a 16 hour battery life, and has wi-fi standard on every model. They also come with all the inputs you would need for school, USB, SIM, MicroSD, etc. The awesome thing about the Adam is that it has a special type of screen called Pixel Qi Display. Pixel Qi’s low power displays that can switch between color LCD screens and e-reader, basically it means that it can change the screens birghtness to various lighting environments which is great. The iPad uses an LCD display. Conventional LCD screens offer bright, glossy images but consume too much power. The images they display are also not visible in sunlight. It’s one of the reasons electronic paper, a low-power black-and-white display that can be seen clearly outdoors during the day. Pixel Qi promises to bridge both worlds. If you would like my presentation send me an email and I would be more then welcome to send you it, my email is hope you like what i have offered, thanks.

  11. Love the idea of connecting with Apple to see if they would underwrite the devices. From a power perspective, it would seem like a MacBook would be a better option than a iPad. Would recommend Mac over the PC ...

    Love that we're moving in this direction! My oldest is only in 2nd grade, but I love following what's ahead for him in the district.

  12. Hi Patrick, I'm just going through your series on 1:1 now and I'm wondering if the list of tools has changed at all since November 2010. Thanks for sharing this with us. I think that we'll do something similar with our school community members.