5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them)

Over the last few years K-12 schools and districts across the country have been investing heavily in iPads for classroom use. EdTechTeacher has been leading iPad professional development at many of these schools and we’ve seen firsthand how they approach iPad integration.

While we’ve witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we’re struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives. We’re sharing these common challenges with you, so your school doesn’t have to make them.

1) Focusing on content apps

The most common mistake teachers make with iPads is focusing on subject-specific apps. In doing so, many completely overlook the full range of possibilities with the iPad. I think of a Latin teacher who declared the iPad useless because he couldn’t find a good Latin app.

It simply didn’t occur to him use the VoiceThread app to record his students speaking Latin, or perhaps create a collaborative discussion of Cicero. Or use the Animoto app for a lively student presentation on Latin vocabulary, or the Socrative app for a Latin quiz, or the Explain Everything app to create a grammar tutorial. There are so, so many possibilities, yet he was oblivious to them.

At our iPads in the Classroom summer workshop at Harvard University we spend three full days with teachers actively exploring effective iPad integration tools and strategies.

And we don’t introduce a single subject app. Instead we focus on the amazing range of consumption, curation, and creativity possible across grade levels and subjects using only four general apps: an annotation app, a screencasting app, an audio creation app, and a video creation app. In our workshops conversations about pedagogy center the iPad properly as an effective learning device. The content comes from a wide range of materials available across the Web and in our classrooms, not from apps.

2) Lack of Teacher Preparation in Classroom Management of iPads

One of the obvious mistakes is failing to provide teachers with adequate professional development. Before handing students iPads, schools sometimes give teachers their own, assuming teacher use in a personal environment will translate to expertise in a work environment.

It doesn’t.

Teachers need instruction on how to incorporate the devices into the learning process, which is quite different than trying out a few apps.

Decades of research has shown that when teachers have access to new technologies, their instinct is to use new technologies to extend existing practices.

Without guidance, iPads become expensive notebooks used by students in very traditionally structured stand-and-deliver classrooms. Teachers need time for professional collaboration (and often external support) to learn to nurture reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills and to develop strategies to differentiate instruction using a range of apps and tablet-friendly Web tools.

Even the basics of workflow– sharing materials, collecting student work, making comments and grading, passing student work back–can be unfamiliar to teachers and quite complicated. The challenges of iPad workflow include understanding cloud computing environments and options, how different apps and types of files interact with each other, file format compatibility and file conversion tools, evaluating all-in-one management solutions, and translating these concepts simply and effectively to students.

Simply handing a teacher an iPad in advance won’t serve to address these challenges when the school year starts. Fortunately, many early adopters have workflow plans that address these challenges, and schools need to protect their teachers from reinventing the workflow wheel.

3) Treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop.

Focusing on iPad-versus.-laptop comparisons stifles the ability to see how the iPad facilitates student-centered learning. iPads are devices meant to compliment computers, not replace them.

So, people who seek equivalent functionality become frustrated, and fail to realize the intrinsic benefits and features of the iPad’s native design.

Instead, schools should focus their energies on what iPads do best to engender active learning. iPads enable students to kinesthetically connect with their work (especially important for young learners). These tactile elements – using fingers to zoom, rotate in, pinch close, or swipe across – as well as increasingly interactive and immersive apps, facilitate hands-on learning.

In addition, iPad mobility means that students can take pictures, record audio, and shoot video, in any number of places. They can tell multimedia stories, screencast how to solve math problems, create public service announcements, simulate virtual tours of ancient cities, and so much more. Active consumption, curation, and creativity ssuit the device. Stand-up-and-deliver teaching does not. So, put the iPads in the hands of teachers who understand that active learners learn best.

4) Treating iPads like multi-user devices

iPads were designed as a single-user device and not meant to be shared via carts. Financial constraints have forced many schools to abandon 1:1 aspirations, but sharing them separates the functionality from the user. Carts that rotate through several classrooms force teachers to take time away from learning, create a nightmare of student accounts, and often focus attention on workflow systems rather than learning.

Instead of sharing iPads across multiple classrooms, schools should be allocating them to a few select pilot classrooms for an entire year. Schools should be documenting pilot group successes and failures and begin to codify iPad integration functionality and elicit best practices to serve as a foundation for future iPad expansion. If a school cannot envision financially moving to a 1-1 iPad model, then Bring your Own Device (BYOD) models may prove much more compelling than shared iPad systems.

5) Failure to communicate a compelling answer to “Why iPads?”

Many school administrators simply fail to communicate to their constituents why they’ve purchased iPads. As a result, many initiatives face resistance from teachers, parents — and even students – who don’t understand why these devices are being introduced into their classrooms. Letting the purchase speak for itself isn’t enough – districts need to explain why they’ve invested in these devices.

While iPads are engaging, technology needs to be — above everything else — in the service of learning. Administrators who fail to articulate the connection between iPads and learning often hamper their iPad initiative.

School administrators should be explaining to their constituents that the iPad supports essential skill areas — complex communication, new media literacy, creativity, and self-directed learning. Instead of focusing on the convenience of ebooks, they should instead be emphasizing the incredibly immersive and active learning environment the iPad engenders and the unprecedented opportunities to develop personalized, student-centered learning. They should highlight some of the beneficial consumption, curation, and creativity activities the iPad facilitates — as well as the student empowerment it inspires.

School administrators should point out the improvements in teacher management of classroom time and space afforded by iPads,  as well as the incredible flexibility it provides to vary learning activities at a moment’s notice. Finally, they should remind their constituents that with iPads students have the world at their fingertips– anywhere they might be — and the only limitation to what students might do in this vast space is the vision of educators.

Increasingly a 21st century education is less about place and more about space. And the iPad has become the leading device in which students can navigate and create exciting new worlds. Yet, when this device enters classrooms its impressive immersive capabilities are often overlooked or underdeveloped.

With more schools opting for 1:1 student-to-iPad access, there exists a tremendous opportunity for a transformative shift in classrooms where students are empowered to navigate their own learning.

Yet, from our vantage point, momentum for redefining the educational map with iPads is often derailed at schools as a result of a limited vision of the device and a failure to prepare teachers effectively. Schools that share a common vision for learning, extensive support for teachers in learning to use these new devices, and a willingness to learn from the teachers around the country who have already piloted these tools are much more likely to reap the benefits of their investments in iPads.

Be sure to check out the April 10-12 EdTechTeacher iPad Summit to learn more about these issues and solutions.

51 Comments

  1. Helen Otway

    September 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

    This is a great post and identifies some key areas of implementation that can either be overlooked or can overwhelm. I am always a little intrigued by the concept of the iPad just being used as a way to consume information or as a way to drill and skill. Our Year Preps and Ones are currently using them as 1:1 learning tools where they can record their voice, capture photos, create books, email each other, and share through cloud computing. We still have much to learn but we know we are on the right road.
    You can watch a short video of our Year preps in their early implementation.
    Our iPad Story

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks, Helen. Our goal is to move teachers through a spectrum from consumption to curation and (ultimately) to creativity. In the process we hope they develop a purposeful and comprehensive approach to using iPads in education.

      • Fabian González

        November 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

        Thanks Helen. I have been working on doing some research about the implementation of IT (Information Technology) in bilingual teaching and learning. Our goal is to activate Creative Vision on teachers, regarding aspects such as designing authentic material, didactic uses of IT which is a model based on the experiences of Apple In Education program and also human development.

        I think Apple technology is such a revolutionary tool for enriching teaching and learning experiences, specially for vulnerable population. In a Country as Colombia we wish education authorities cared more of teachers by providing them enough tools for their well being in all life areas that’s our program’s purpose.

        Kind regards.

  2. James O'Hagan

    October 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    It isn’t just content apps, but also trying to tag apps with Bloom’s Taxonomy. We we rolled out our 1:1 we took the lesson from OLPC how to define our apps – Consumption, Creation, Communication, Games, Utilities. Made for much broader definition and easier to define.

    I cannot agree more with #5

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks, James. I like your holistic approach to iPad integration. Like you, I think school admins must develop a clear and compelling response to “Why iPads?” if they expect their constituents to embrace the device.

  3. Rodrigo Vieira Ribeiro

    October 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Great article, very useful!
    I want to translate this post to portuguese and post on my blog, with complete references, of course. Please, autorize me to do this?
    Thank you!
    Rodrigo

    • Jeff Dunn

      October 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Hey Rodrigo, I’m afraid you can’t do that. But you can take excerpts from it and link back to Edudemic. Thanks!

      • David Salmanson

        October 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

        Why aren’t you using some version of a creative commons license? What good does linking back here do for Rodrigo’s Portuguese reading audience?

        • Derek

          October 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

          There is also Google translate which will translate a whole site

          • Mildred

            October 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm

            If you think computerised translations actually work I suggest you try sending a complex article back and forward a couple of times between languages. If you’ve ever had students use a thesaurus without checking the specifics of apparent synonms you will know exactly what I mean. Or if you have ESL students who haven’t learned to think in English yet.

            As someone who predicted these sorts of problems and was just branded a nay-sayer and luddite, I find it very disappointing that an article like this which really highlights the pitfalls that occur despite best efforts (and tries to give solutions) isn’t available to people in developping countries (I’m thinking Brazil here) who are trying their hardest to empower the learner who most need it.

            When you’re not 100% sure of the content, the translated gist is not a friendly information service. If you really want to make a difference, creative commons is the way to go.

  4. Ben Rousch

    October 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

    “… and the only limitation to what students might do in this vast space is the vision of educators.”

    There is another significant limitation to iPads. You cannot create your own program (app) for the iPad without a current Apple computer, and you cannot distribute an app you’ve made without paying Apple $99/yr. For students and teachers interested in computers and programming, this is an expensive hurdle. This means that you are limited to what is available in the Apple app store without a way to create or modify the most fundamental pieces of the technology to suit your needs.

    Android tablets are just as capable as iPads, are generally less expensive, and you can create your own programs for them for free using the tablet itself (see AIDE) or any Windows, Apple, or Linux computer.

    • Jonathan Fletcher

      October 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Actually you can use FileMaker on a Mac or PC and create apps in a very intuitive , WYSIWYG environment. It’s the only way you can without climbing the Xcode/objective-C hill. The “player” app on the iPad is free (FileMaker Go) and you can get apps up and running on the iPad or distributed to a wider audience in minutes without having to ever deal with the App Store approval process.

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Ben, I don’t dispute that Android tablets are capable devices. But the reality is that schools are overwhelmingly choosing iPads over other tablets. That may change, but for now iPad integration is proceeding at a blistering pace.

  5. Mart van der Linden

    October 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Interesting article!
    And to add: the one thing that is absolutely vital for the success of using iPads (or any device really) is the teacher! The students are no problem, the devices are no problem, even the content is no problem: integrating iPads in your school means you have to facilitate your teachers so he/her can really adapt to a new way of teaching!

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Absolutely! It all depends on how teachers use the device, which is why we spend so much time with teachers on how to use it effectively.

  6. Debra Kane

    October 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

    An interesting post on many levels. I offered i pads to my leadership team providing they could put forward a convincing argument as to how it would enable them to carry out their role more effectively as leaders and for enhancing learning. I thought it would encorage a little bit of informal action researchm. it has resulted in some of my staff becoming more adventurous , confident using technology and more open to exploring its uses. .However only one has developed its use in the ways described in the post. The impact on one child in particular was considerable and impressive. Seeing what could be done has changed my strategic thinking too. I will be planning the next phase with more focused CPD and with opportunities for staff to see effective practice. Post was very helpful.

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Debra, I am glad to hear the post was helpful and wish you good luck with your strategic planning.

  7. Shannon Murphy

    October 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    IPads do not belong anywhere near a school district. They are a complete waste of money. What I ask the teachers at our district who want them, is “What can an Ipad do that the computers that we already own cannot. I am generally met with disdain for insulting their intelligence(or lack thereof). Generally they just want them because they want them. The thought that an Ipad “compliments” a computer is absurd and more than likely comes from someone who just likes apples for no good reason. Good luck trying to roll out software to a couple thousand of them. And if you do get the software installed, well congratulations for blowing a bunch of $$$$$$ for software you probably already had on a PC or the internet.

    • Teresa

      October 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Actually, there are several uses for a tablet, whether it is an iPad or Android. As a foreign language teacher, the apps that were mentioned above for Latin are just some of the ways a tablet could be more useful. The students may use them everyday, whereas, there are maybe 3-4 computer labs of 25-30 computers to service a school with around 1400 students. This limits availability as well as manipulatives that are more exclusive to the tablets. It was a little haughty of you to insult the intelligences of teachers in your district simply because you don’t agree with the technology. I can afford to buy my own devices, so that would not be a motivation for me, rather I think of all the learning experiences I can impart to my students, especially the ones with independent study.

    • Peter Jang

      November 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Indeed, the number 1 mistake schools make when it comes to iPads is that they’re using them.

    • Chelsea

      December 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Though I disagree with how you said it, I do agree that iPads tend to be a waste of money for schools and would prefer to see them using computers effectively first. I think too many schools are jumping the gun and wasting their resources when they have materials to make a difference already.

  8. Neville Clarkson

    October 5, 2012 at 8:00 am

    If schools can afford to equip their students with iPads as well as laptops, that’s great – but most can’t. Therefore I think Shannon Murphy is absolutely right to focus on the question “What can we do with the iPad that we can’t do with our current technology?” The key goals of the iPad listed in the article – new media literacy, creativity, student-centered learning etc – can all be achieved with alternative (often older and cheaper) technologies. The list of educational benefits that can *only* be delivered by the iPad seems to be very short.

    • Lauren L.

      October 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I agree with Neville and Shannon on the Ipads. It is a complete waste of money to have Ipads in the classroom if your building is falling apart. The money would be better spent improving the infrastructure, plumbing, and heating/cooling system in buildings that are over 20 years old.

  9. Ronny

    October 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Perhaps the biggest question is: Why specifically iPads? Why focus *any* effort on a vendor specific solution? What they *should* be discussing is *Tablets Computers”, not iPads!

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Ronny, the reality is that the iPad is the overwhelming choice of schools when it comes to tablets. It’s not even close. That said, I think we’ll see many schools move to a BYOD environment in a few years and, if so, I’ll be writing posts about that.

      • Matthew Gudenius

        December 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        Tom,

        Saying “iPad is the overwhelming choice of schools when it comes to tablets” is a moot point. All you are doing is reinforcing Ronny’s point: WHY is it the overwhelming choice of schools? A bunch of foolish people making the same decision doesn’t make it a GOOD CHOICE. No matter how many people follow suit. To date, whenever I see those decision-makers questioned about WHY they chose iPads over the alternatives… they can’t come up with a single valid reason.

        Essentially you are saying “if a lot of people make a bad choice, it must actually be a good choice.”

        Invalid argument.

        • Tom Daccord

          December 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

          Matthew, no I am not saying it is a bad choice. As I state clearly in the article, iPads can facilitate immersive and active learning environments. They can facilitate personalized, student-centered learning. They provide flexibility to vary instructional practices. But schools are not using iPad effectively.

  10. Allison

    October 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I truly appreciate the information that was given in this particular blog. I am currently working in an iPad Pilot program within my district and the information on what not to do is truly beneficial for figuring out how to use the iPad in my own classroom. I had several “ah ha” moments as I read this post because many of the “pitfalls” mentioned my district or I are sadly making. For example, the teachers involved in the pilot program are having annual meetings to discuss how we are implementing the iPads into the classroom, but there really is no direction beyond mere discussion and collaboration, I wish I had a little bit more guidance on how to use the iPad before doing it in front of 30+ students. In addition, I have spent countless hours searching apps specific to my field (social studies), but I now have a lengthy list of apps I would like to download, research, and use with my students that are not geared specifically for history, but will supplement the content and content assignments.

    I do have one question though – my district is currently not supplying the students in my class with an iPad. The pilot program this year is merely aimed at getting the new technology in the classroom through the hands of the teacher. Therefore, while I have the iPad for use my students do not have their own. I feel at times that this hinders the true benefit, any suggestions on how to overcome this barrier until students are supplied by the district with their own iPad for use in the future? Thank you!

    Allison

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Allison, you need to get the iPad in the hands of students. When teachers control the technology it tends to reinforce teacher-centric dissemination of information to a passive audience. Until then, what about letting a small group of students use your iPad to create a lesson/presentation?

  11. Jeff

    October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Ronny is right. This should have been an article on tablets in general. This was more of a sales pitch for iPads.

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Jeff, I don’t sell iPads and I don’t work for Apple. But when schools and colleges go ahead and buy a gazillion iPads (no thanks to me) and they then use them ineffectively — well, it’s a big problem. And it hampers all of us who advocate for technology to be used in the service of learning.

  12. Judy

    October 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I agree that teachers need more professional collaboration. There are many challenges when using a “new” piece of technology. As the old saying goes: “You need to teach an old dog new tricks”.

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Judy, in my experience it is not teaching teachers the technology that’s the real challenge. It’s helping teachers think creatively about teaching and learning with technology.

      • JM @ ClassLink

        November 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

        These tools and apps serve to support and enhance what’s already “learned” by the educators. And by integrating these methods for teaching, the creative process is encouraged primarily for the teachers (I believe) and only then can they successfully advocate these tech tools.

  13. Curtis Williams

    October 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I think that teachers should allow a certain level of “creative freedom” in how students use the technology. In my business environment I have morphed several times as to what I want to use my iPad for.

    • Tom Daccord

      October 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      I agree, Curtis. One approach is to present students with a challenge and let them decide how technology might help them address the challenge.

  14. Michael Zilinskas

    October 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    There is a wonderful solutions to help in the student / teacher interactions off the iPad with eBackpack. It has saved schools over $6 million on paper and print alone in the first 8 weeks of the school year. It lets you easily assign, collect, review, annotate, and return student work. Plus it has a parent component, integrates with school student information systems, and more!

    • Michael Zilinskas

      October 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

      eBackpack works with Explain Everything and a bunch of other apps that schools are using – Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and more!

  15. Richard Bance

    October 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    One of the biggest mistakes with IPADs is focussing on only one aspect of the requirements and functionality…..and not taking into account the TCO (total cost of Ownership).

    One of the interesting things I am hearing and am seeing is the support ratios needed for IPAD management are somewhere between 2-3 times that required for PC’s or Laptops…only slightly lesser for MACs…

    I tend to agree with Shannon and others above with their views on the subject, and want to add issues around support and management…it is the non-functional requirements which are equally as valid too….which are seldom considered by those with blinkers on…..I think it is a case of a square peg through a round hole in most cases….

    I think they are a device that can supplement or compliment existing methods with PC’s, Laptops and MACS, but absolutely not a replacement. I will always be critical of schools that use costly VDI solutions to deploy dekstops (Windows) to IPADs….stick with a netbook or ultrabook type device, it is going to be way cheaper overall…….

    • Matthew Gudenius

      December 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Excellent point, and one that even the editor of T.H.E. Journal agreed with you when she released her headline editorial “Stop Buying iPads, Please”

      I am just about to post my newest installment in my series “Just Say NO to iPads for Education”, which will highlight just how ridiculously much money is wasted by purchasing iPads in lieu of netbooks, ultrabooks, Chromebooks, or even Android tablets.

  16. Uzmajehan

    November 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    It makes learning easier….it saves million of dollars that are wasted each year on paper and print…..you can create books,email and share stuff….taking tests and giving work assignments on tablet helps in motivating students….word games help in teaching spellings …..more science apps would make learning fun

  17. Pragmatist

    November 4, 2012 at 3:11 am

    While I appreciate the author’s intent of recovering the situation when administrators have already decided to buy iPads, this article misses the critical aspect of context. A junior primary classroom in which there may be very little technology (and certainly no 1:1 laptops) is very different to the senior secondary classroom (where I teach) where almost every student has a smartphone in their pocket and a laptop in their schoolbag.

    Where the iPad replaces “nothing” it can revolutionise the classroom (if the teacher handles it well) but we’ve found that they are of little benefit to students who already have their own laptops. Point #5 comes in here and I’ve not yet seen a compelling case for iPads as being any improvement over laptops that the students already have.

    • Matthew Gudenius

      December 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Very good points. Thank you for making them.

  18. Dave Evertson

    November 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    In education, mobile learning is as different from traditional computing as automobiles are to farm tractors in transportation. Most of these early mistakes schools are making stem from trying to use mobile devices in traditional settings, in well-meaning attempts to either provide less expensive computers or to replace current computers.

    While I agree with the idea that mobile devices are poor computer replacements, I don’t agree that they can’t replace student computers. The truth is that the primary use of computers by students for the past several years has been as poor and expensive surrogates for mobile devices.

    Computers are designed and built to be self-contained devices with optional connections to “the cloud”, while mobile devices are really just portals, devices designed to make use of “the cloud” as the computer. It’s not about the device itself, nor is it about the apps, rather it’s about tapping into and making use of the most powerful and economic computing enviornment ever invented.

    Because “the cloud” is no single device, operating system, protocol or any other standardized concept, it offers unprecedented flexibility and agility in utilizing its resources to any purpose. Unfortunately for schools, much like a starving man stumbling across a giant buffet, the choices can be overwhelming and contemplating the possible outcomes a daunting challenge.

    As with any huge task, you must start somewhere, and iPads are as good a place as any. But essential to the strategy of adopting mobile computing and learning is the recognition that the learning environment itself must change to take advantage of the resources they make available. Imagine if you provided power tools to an 18th century carpenter… would you expect the new tools to be used in the same way as the old?

  19. Mick Landmann

    November 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

    In my work at Vivid Digital and through Digital Education Brighton I come across many instances in which schools buy ipads without any idea of what they are going to use them for, so I agree with your views.

    Only one thing is that the kind of functionality you refer to is available across a range of smartphones and tablet devices, not just ipads, I know that Apple want to, and have to some degree succeeded in, getting us all to see the ipad as say a biro, i.e a generic term for a type of device, but I for one resist that, not least because ipads are very costly and beyond the reach of many.

    Indeed, many of the good things you referto are available for free, but not from Apple.

    • Matthew Gudenius

      December 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      I 100% agree. It is so nice to see some voices of reason.

      Too bad the people like us — who actually know something about computers and technology — are not the ones making purchasing decisions for schools. Somehow administrators, superintendents, and business managers think that because they read an article, saw a commercial, or listened to a sales pitch, suddenly they know everything they need to know when it comes to purchasing educational technology.

  20. Matthew Gudenius

    December 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    There are way more mistakes than these being made when the choice is made (usually without research or education) to use iPads.

    This list is a good start, but it takes a corrective/apologetic approach, rather than addressing the fact that these problems and limitations wouldn’t exist if schools did their due diligence and just decided not to use iPads in the first place.

    Here is reason #1: They are not cost-efficient. If you do a needs assessment and decide that what you really need is a tablet (I fail to see why this would be the case — after all, you can do ebooks, games, productivity, document creation, etc. on full-fledged ultrabooks that cost no more than iPad)… but IF, for whatever reason, you decide you need tablets… you can get Android tablets equivalent to iPads for HALF the price.

    In a time when budgets are crunched and we are seeing teacher layoffs, furlough days, increased class sizes, and cuts to arts and athletics, I fail to see how ANY school can justify spending MORE money to get a device that allows LESS opportunities than the alternatives.

    Alternatives like:
    Ultrabooks ($500)
    Android tablets (full-sized 10″ HD ones for $300; 7″ for much less, but I would recommend the bigger ones)
    Chromebooks (less than $300)

    To see more about how erroneous it is to purchase iPads for schools, just go to EdTechExpert.com and watch my video & blog series titled “Just Say NO to iPads for Education”

    I talk about things like:

    1) How colleges and employers still want their students/employees to know how to use COMPUTERS — not tablets or smartphones. So shouldn’t we be exposing kids to those computer hardware and software skills that will be demanded of them?

    2) How iPads WASTE a significant amount of money. Both from Apple’s overpricing of the hardware, all the way down to the fact that you are FORCED to buy apps, when any other device could access Flash websites that do the same thing for FREE.

    and more… (I have several more segments to come, including why iBooks are NOT a good choice, and specifics about just how much money is wasted by buying iPads)

  21. Tom Daccord

    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks, Kyle. Would appreciate knowing more about your math class activities. Always trying to uncover and share ideas. Please contact me at edtechteacher.org.

  22. Dan

    December 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Why an iPad? That’s my question…
    No they aren’t more fluid or easier to use. There are many cheaper better tablets out there. Android is far superior in many ways right now

  23. Zeelo

    January 5, 2013 at 2:35 am

    “iPads are devices meant to compliment computers”. Seriously? Is that the reason why they cost more than my quad core desktop PC?

  24. Domenic Clue

    January 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Im student in a school with iPads and their telling us we can’t download free apps that we would like to play on. I think that if they let us get fun free apps that are not educational the kids might like the iPads more. But now kids are just downloading apps whenever they want and the teachers aren’t doing anything about it. Should they let us get free apps or not?