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Education Government Handhelds The Almighty Buck Apple

Maine School District Gives iPad To Every Kindergartner 478

Posted by Soulskill
from the america's-angry-birds-scores-will-lead-the-world dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'An Auburn, ME school district spent more than $200,000 to outfit every one of its 250 kindergartners with [iPads], along with sturdy cases to protect them. School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartner an iPad. Mrs. McCarthy says the tools give her 19 students more immediate feedback and individual attention than she ever could.' Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?"
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Maine School District Gives iPad To Every Kindergartner

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    $200k / 250 students is $800...why would you pay more for less?

    • $200k / 250 students is $800...why would you pay more for less?

      Anyone mention this yet?

      "...along with sturdy cases..."

    • Maybe the teachers got some too. Or they're skimming off the top..

      • by jhoegl (638955) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @05:11PM (#37430776)
        Well, when you are a kindergarten teacher and you are worried about test scores.... there is something wrong.

        My tests consisted of drawing the alphabet (which was above the chalkboard), and sleeping during nap time.
        • by lexsird (1208192)

          It's a new age, American children need to hit the ground running out of the womb in order to compete versus the vast numbers in China and India. We have to build better everything, and that includes kids. Now if only we are smart enough not to hold these kids back as they blossom and grow under the tutelage of our machine friends. Get with the times Grandpa.

          • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @09:26PM (#37431724)

            It's a new age, American children need to hit the ground running out of the womb in order to compete versus the vast numbers in China and India. We have to build better everything, and that includes kids. Now if only we are smart enough not to hold these kids back as they blossom and grow under the tutelage of our machine friends. Get with the times Grandpa.

            Really? You think an iPad will give Western children the competitive edge they need? Here's a free clue:

            Indian and Chinese students have one deadly advantage: motivation.

            Basically, Western kids can aspire to being mediocre at everything they do, knowing full well that they will thereby enough income to live comfortably well-off for their entire lives. Chinese and Indian kids know that if they aren't amongst a very small percentage of the best of their cadre, they will earn poverty.

            Western kids don't need to be taught how to multi-touch gesture-smear on an $800 doo-dad. They need someone to motivate them to compete. Angry Birds and fart apps won't help with that.

            • by lexsird (1208192) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @10:51PM (#37431978)

              I blame parents, because frankly they have no clue, they have been spoon fed reptile brain tripe about how capitalism is their God and proceed to bang their heads against a wall waiting for that "lottery ticket" of sorts to project them to their place in the circle of idols. Hence the values they impart unto their children are lacking because they frankly are lacking any good ones to pass along to them. We are vastly outnumber, and unless we work together as a nation, with goals and utilize all of our assets in concert, we will pass like a shooting star.

              Your libertarian outlook is one of a long gone era of frontier-ism. This is a modern world, a smaller world, with limited resources. The days of robber barons setting on top of the heap have to end, lest they will be setting on a heap of burnt trash. If you haven't noticed, China has put the major hammer to us with Capitalism, oh the irony and karma. It seems that we haven't learned the object lesson that "business is war" or "trade is war". We have let our officials whore themselves out to out of control multinational corporations, whom have become the real power on this planet outside of some elements like China, and even that is questionable.

              You have been rendered obsolete, American worker. All you are good for now is to wring the last of your countries wealth out of you, so that more of your land can just be bought out from under you with your own money. Please keep cutting the throats of your own people in order to keep your head above water, that is just less that China has to evict when at last you default. Those at the top will just skip off to their luxurious retreats; you don't think gold is at a all time high for willy-nilly reasons do you?

              So by all means, keep bitching about education programs, it makes it easier to dominate dumb fucks if they are kept ignorant. I hate to break it to this forum, but just because you post here doesn't make you a genius. Most of you don't even have an original thought, when it comes to these national issues. Factor this, at least they bought IPads, and kept the money here SOMEWHAT in America with Apple. Of course the object lesson of this; tending to the ecology of one's national economy is lost on this generation. It will serve as a cautionary tale for other countries of course, but frankly I am pissed I am going down with the ship with a collective bunch of retards led down the path to destruction by their own greed, played by the Pied Piper of Corporate Greed and the back up band, Government Lackeys.

              Take your heads out of the sand, this is the era of "Slash, burn, and liquidate" in American business. They start at the bottom and work their way up. The canary in the coal mine isn't just dead, the damn thing has rotted to bones in it's cage. We've lost something, besides our minds; we have lost an identity as a nation. We aren't a people, we are a collective of fuckers trying to get theirs. That doesn't cut it in the modern world. People need to stop sucking the propaganda tit and look around at the world and get an objective bearing on just how low we have sank. Once it sinks in how fucked we are, we need to examine why. Why is because we have some faulty thinking. Why do we have faulty thinking? Garbage in, garbage out. Figure out what the garbage is and who's shoveling it in your trough. First clue, follow the money.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Xeranar (2029624)

              Did somebody seriously just accept and then promote the race to the bottom? Maybe if we starve our children or force them into abject poverty they'll work harder! *flexes his austerity muscles* Or perhaps we simply need to accept the reality of western society as a whole (which frankly includes India and China) are moving towards a middle-class consumer culture and that hard work has always been a questionable ideal since we have millions of accounts where workers since the beginning of the Industrial Rev

            • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @01:44AM (#37432394)
              where life isn't a constant struggle for survival. I'm just sayin'...
    • by PNutts (199112)

      Because they probably bought more than exactly 250? Maybe if you had an iPad in elementary school you would be able to reason and search instead of pointless questions.

      In May, the Auburn School Department will buy 100 iPad 2s for 80 students and 20 teachers.

      This fall, Auburn schools will purchase another 225 so that all 285 kindergarten students, and dozens of teachers, will have them. The iPad 2s will also be used by intervention and special education teachers.

    • by anubi (640541) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @08:46PM (#37431612) Journal
      When I was in Junior High School in the early 60's, I was allowed to maintain the school's public address/intercom system. All vacuum tubes. Lethal voltages.

      I knew that. Just as I knew about the power saw in shop class. I knew what guns were too. And explosives. I knew what they were and treated them with due respect.

      I don't think anyone gave the situation a second thought.

      Its called living in the real world. Common sense. Who of us were not aware of the kinetic energy of a moving car? Even dogs and cats knew of these things.

      My school made available to me stuff of a very expensive nature, and let me open it up and see how it worked. I am very grateful to Glenn Peterson, the principal of the Junior High School I attended for the trust he placed in me. I kept that machine working the whole time I attended the school, and that prepared me for my summer job of fixing things at my neighborhood radio repair shop.

      I am also aware of just how fortunate I was to be schooled in that time frame. There is no way I could ever get *that* kind of education today. I would have never seen the power of "nature in the raw" that my teachers were able to show me.

      Yes, it was dangerous. I could have killed myself touching the wrong thing in that chassis. I could have cut my hand off with the power saw. I could have blinded myself with the drill press. But I didn't.

      The worst damage I did to myself during school, all the science labs, all the shop classes, all the experience with guns - the worst was I snapped my ankle during a wrestling match, and to this day still walk with a limp.

      I don't think an $800 thingie way beyond my comprehension would have helped much. It was my teachers, and my relationship with them, that made the difference in my life, and that is what I remember.
  • It will .... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:32PM (#37430546)

    be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome.

    Unfortunately, making classrooms wired has very little to do with overall learning going on in the classroom. It is amazing how much learning actually went on in the one roomed school houses of 100 years ago with a much smaller budget than is spent per-pupil today by even the poorest school systems. If you doubt me, go read early high school text books. Many are sophomore+ college level today.

    • Re:It will .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:42PM (#37430640)

      I'm not at all apologizing for our horrible public education system, but there's much more to it than per-student spending. Books are much more expensive, wages are much higher. Those one-room schoolhouses were often owned and operated by the one or two teachers that ran the joint and they were able to handle what little administrative needs there were by themselves. Nowadays we have big schools with scores of teachers, large administrative staffs, etc. Plus you need to keep the facilities maintained and have a maintenance staff on daily duty. The districts have their own administrative buildings and staff as well as the need to maintain a fleet of buses, etc. There are nutritional programs because kids often get their food at school rather than packing lunch, etc.

      That all being said, our educational system sucks and is in dire need of improvement... but again, it's not just "per-student spending".

    • by iamhassi (659463)

      be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome.

      computers [slashdot.org] do not [slashdot.org] increase test scores. [slashdot.org]

      Obviously this principal does not read slashdot. Computers have been available for 20 years and so far not one study has proven that they increase learning compared to the same amount of time with a teacher and books.

      And this is especially bad for young children like kindergarteners because they need to be asking questions and getting answers, not sat in front of a computer and told LEARN.

      If this was my kid's principal I would be trying to get her fired.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        Also I love how the article says: [necn.com]
        "Soon, the school will find out if the iPads help or hurt, when they test the kindergarteners' reading and math skills in November."

        more than $200,000 to find out if the iPad help or hurt? What if they hurt? $200,000 wasted? Oh no, nevermind, November, and what happens in December? Christmas! All the teachers and their families are getting new iPads!

        This is complete and utter BS. They couldn't figure out a way to spend less than $200k to do this little test? M
      • It's funny because I learned a lot from Computers and Multivac (internet) but no one ever sat me in front of it and told me LEARN, I just wanted to.

        If we find a way to make children want to learn, they can pretty much use any means they have available and the wider the variety the better (teachers, internet, books, experiences). Problem is when you think that getting a better resource will automatically get them to want to learn.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Indeed. Teaching is about people interacting with people and people (children) thinking and experimenting. Computer technology as available today will do more harm than good. If (and this is a big if) working and usable AI will become available at some (distant) time in the future, this may change, but not before.

      Even the Internet as "mega library" is only useful when people reach a certain maturity (and I do not mean "age"). The flood of plagiarized homework shows this pretty well.

      If these idiots had hired

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      One trick is that 100 years ago, if Johnny was too fucking stupid to get book learning, he'd just stay at home, pulling a plow.

    • by thpdg (519053)

      Shows how poor our educational system has become if you think that 100 years ago was one room school houses. Around here, 100 years ago was about 1911, you know, large brick schools. Look at the corner stone of the 'old' high school in your town.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:34PM (#37430562)
    I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:38PM (#37430600) Homepage

      I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?

      Those were computers, these are iPads.

      Completely different.

      • by iamhassi (659463)

        I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?

        Those were computers, these are iPads.

        Completely different.

        +5, Funny

      • by samkass (174571)

        Those were computers, these are iPads.

        Completely different.

        I know you're trying to be funny, but they really are when it comes to kids. The immediacy of something you touch and hold makes it a much different experience. My sons love to play the Montessori apps which teach various math and writing. The interface is insanely simple and it's instant-on.

        I'm not saying it's a perfect use of money (and hey, what about the kids who already have them?), but it is a valid thing to try.

        • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @07:41PM (#37431410)

          It's a waste of money. ipads are a luxury device. I'm sorry to tell all you hipsters this but these are not mainstream computing devices in the hands of most working class people. These are not even yet being used in the corporate world except by people who buy their own. Why buy students something that is merely a trend? Sure they may help some students but the cost is immense. You could hire three teachers for this amount of money, fix the crumbling classrooms, etc. If its ok to waste this money on frills, then why not buy the students all their own bicycles and put gourmet food in the cafeteria?

          If it's a great idea then implement it AFTER you get all the finances in line and the economy is up and running again. When we have record unemployment rates and the quality of US education is ebbing then it is not the time to give a green light to all the crazy ideas that come along.

          And why an iPad? Is someone getting kickbacks from Apple? You can get a tablet that does the same stuff for less than half the price. Why pick the most expensive product?

      • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @07:29PM (#37431380)

        It's not actually until first grade when the students will get mochaccinos to drink when using their ipads.

      • Sad thing is (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @08:31PM (#37431578)

        I can see the fanboy that pushed this program trying to justify it as such. One of our student workers is an Apple fanboy and it is funny to listen to him talk about the iPad. He spits out the marketing literature and listening to him talk, you really would think that it is some revolutionary new device, completely different from anything we've seen before. He really believes it too, he has some strange cognitive dissonance going on in that he knows it is just a large smartphone, more or less, or a simple computer, but he's convinced it is something completely new all the same.

      • Yeah, iPads will teach the students about limitations - not being able to install software, living in a fully censored world, no options for self compilation, and without a keyboard students will learn that technology is slow and frustrating.

        Wait, why didn't they give them something like the OLPC? That's cheaper, durable, has a keyboard, -CAN BE USED AS A TABLET by flipping the screen around and even has a stylus so you can write efficiently with it, has compilers built in by default, and is designed to be

    • by calgar99 (856142)
      I'm curious what the school system did NOT spend money on that they probably should have. We'll never know, but I wonder how many teacher's positions will have to be sacrificed, or how many extra curricular activities were cut to budget this.
  • by seifried (12921) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:34PM (#37430566) Homepage
    Does the kid get another? Do they have to pay? What a mess.
  • Same as always. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:36PM (#37430580)

    Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?

    That depends entirely upon the software/content that the kids will be running.

    Otherwise it will only be a distraction.

    Also, has the school invested in some means of recovering these when they are stolen from the kids? Or is it a distraction toy that also makes them a target for crime?

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      In less than 20 years, there will be iPad level capable devices, thinner, running color e-ink, which will cost $30 or less. Then it will no longer be a question of money, breakage, or if they get stolen. Bookbags will change noticeably (thinner) and might become a niche industry catering exclusive to outdoor gear sometime later like buggy whips.

      IMO, the apps of course can range from poor to excellent, as well as serving as textbooks (hopefully copylefted or otherwise open). I just hope something and more

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @08:38PM (#37431604)

      Even if it runs all the right software, the question isn't can kids use it to learn on, the question is if they learn more efficiently or better than with cheaper means. Remember these things are pricey. So to be worth it they can't be as good as what you had before, they have to be a good deal better.

    • by houghi (78078)

      What if it is stolen several times from the same kid. Will he be forced to pay for it? What if it is due to 'food money' he needs to pay other kids? Then you would be punishing him by giving a new one.

  • So do they stay at the school at the end of the day? I would have that they would be too expensive and fragile for kids to take around with them, even with the cases.
  • Which I can touch and has applications on it. I sure won't be distracted and end up playing with it instead of paying attention in class.

    Also, they're Kindergardners... What a waste of money and effort. Kids in their age shouldn't be allowed near easy-to-drop devices. They should be outside playing instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    $800 per student. iPads are $450. Even without the bulk/educational discount they should be getting, I can't imagine a case costing $350.

  • Awful value. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by melikamp (631205) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:42PM (#37430632) Homepage Journal
    This is crazy, as in a crazy bad value. iPad is just a toy. An $800 toy that spies on you for Apple Corp. Instead, and for half as much, they could have given every kid something like a Dell Mini with Ubuntu.
    • by istartedi (132515)

      An $800 toy that spies on you for Apple Corp.

      Johnson, get in here. Our statistics show dramaticly increased consumer demand for graham crackers, milk and sleeping mats. Call Amazon and let them know.

  • Wasted money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scutter (18425) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:45PM (#37430654) Journal

    Meanwhile, I'm still having to supply basic community-use classroom materials that the school should be supplying (kleenex, hand sanitizer, paper towels, etc.).

    • This is where America would benefit from a more socialist method of wealth redistribution between schools districts.
    • No shit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @08:23PM (#37431550)

      I've always been annoyed by the Apple fans in education and the iDevice thing has taken it to a whole new level. The reason is, as you point out, our education system is perpetually underfunded. That means what resources they do have need to be used to the best degree possible. Now I'm not saying Apple is never the solution, but given that their products are rather costly, I am going to venture to say usually there is a better solution.

      This is clearly a case of a fanboy saying "Oooo, these shiny toys would be so cool, let's get them for the kids!" I see no evidence that iPads are useful for educating youngsters. While I'm sure they like them, that isn't the same thing. Even if they do work, one always has to ask if there are other things that work just as well and for less money. I mean sure, you could have software that does things like colour identification. You can also do that with crayons and they are $6 for 24 of them ordered at retail prices.

      It is very sad when districts pull shit like this. It hurts education. Reminds me of shortly after I went to university my mom called me (she was a teacher) to tell me of the stupidity of the district: They decided high speed Internet was important for education so bought a T1 line to the district office. Ya that helped schools a whole not at all.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:45PM (#37430656)
    I work at a school, and a few months back we did an interesting school trip.... to an Apple store. Where the students all got told glowingly how wonderful Apple products are, and were given a chance to try them all out. School trips are not my department, but you don't need to be much of a conspiracy theorist to make the connection between that trip and the new iMacs that soon equipped the photography class.

    It's no great secret that tech companies target schools intensively in their marketing. Microsoft has been doing it for years. So has Apple. So has just about everyone else. Sometimes they do it by offering equipment or software at a discount, even to almost or entirely free at times. Sometimes it's by lobbying, pressuring curriculum writers to mandate a particular vendor's technology or urging administrators to buy it.

    Schools are just irresistable. Get the students familiar with something, and they will go buying it once they get out. Teach them Office, they buy Office at home. Teach them to use iPads, and they will want to buy iPads - or in this case, tell their parents how cool iPads are. Simple, highly effective marketing. Business sense says a vendor needs to get their product into schools, and so they will - even if it means intensive lobbying and selling at a loss.
    • by Microlith (54737) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:52PM (#37430680)

      Get them used to computing devices that exist entirely within a walled garden, and they won't go looking for alternatives. If they get curious about how it works, just tell them it'll cost a bunch of extra money to do it and they'll have to get permission from someone else to even run their software, and that they can't because of it.

      Sadly, Apple's approach to technical literacy seems to be catering to the ignorant instead of educating them, and this is an example of people encouraging that ignorance and borderline corporate subservience.

      • by Stiletto (12066)

        OMG WALLED GARDEN!

        There's one of you whenever Apple is mentioned. You just have to do a text search for "walled" and the same crap comes up in every thread.

        • It gets mentioned every time because it's a good point. I'm an educational technologist with a six year old, and I say that acclimatizing little kids (and their families) to that kind of lock-in is a bad idea. Besides, there's no pedagogical reason to dump this kind of technology into an elementary school -- SmartBoards yes, but this... no.
      • Every corporation wants the customers to be subservient. They call it 'brand loyalty.' Apple has it.
      • Apple does try and teach their customers the basics of the OS, with free Apple Store classes, free online classes for new computer buyers, and carrying a variety of Mac, iPod, iPad, OS X, iLife, and Office guide books in their stores. Way better than Dell's strategy of just dumping them with a computer and hoping they'll get the hang of Microsoft and the Microsoft.com help pages.

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      Yeah, yeah, and I got taught how to run a TI-83 in my algebra II/trig class. Oh wait, they REQUIRED I buy a TI-83 for that class. duh duh duh!

      Complaining about schools teaching kids Office and instilling a basic computer literacy is like complaining about a wood working class teaching how to use a band saw, lathe, drill press, etc etc. Pick up a newspaper classified ads section sometime and count the number of postings requiring Office experience. I'd rather work with an excel jockey on a data project tha

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Saturday September 17, 2011 @04:46PM (#37430660)
    Another school system that just throws money at problems? I never understood the rich/poor school district thing. Most knowledge is free, and with the amount of free information on the internet, public libraries and such, why can't schools just get by on redistributing free material and then working off that? Is there a need for the multi-hundred dollar textbooks, software packages, OS licenses, mega-calculators, mongoloid gyms and sports-programs, massive administrative overheard, super expensive art-decko modern design crap, and all that other new-age school bullshit? I'm pretty sure all that crap is extraneous, but the DoE has blossomed into a monstrosity, and schools now operate under the assumption that we must get great standardized test scores to get more money and once we get more money we can buy more shit to get better standardized test scores to get more money to hire more administrators to plan us getting better test scores.

    There is a reason home-schooling is on the rise along with the growing demand for vouchers and more private-school flexibility.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Qzukk (229616)

      why can't schools just get by on redistributing free material and then working off that?

      Liberals would refuse because then they can't waste shitloads of money to make themselves look like they're doing something for the little people.

      Conservatives would refuse because then they can't rewrite history to remove Thomas Jefferson.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Another school system that just throws money at problems? I never understood the rich/poor school district thing. Most knowledge is free, and with the amount of free information on the internet, public libraries and such, why can't schools just get by on redistributing free material and then working off that? Is there a need for the multi-hundred dollar textbooks, software packages, OS licenses, mega-calculators, mongoloid gyms and sports-programs, massive administrative overheard, super expensive art-decko modern design crap, and all that other new-age school bullshit? I'm pretty sure all that crap is extraneous, but the DoE has blossomed into a monstrosity, and schools now operate under the assumption that we must get great standardized test scores to get more money and once we get more money we can buy more shit to get better standardized test scores to get more money to hire more administrators to plan us getting better test scores. There is a reason home-schooling is on the rise along with the growing demand for vouchers and more private-school flexibility.

      Teachers aren't free. And if education just isitting kids down in front of an internet-enabled device, the current generation of kids should turn out to be fucking geniuses.

      And home schooling is the last resort of the fanatical parent. If you're not some sort of religious/political nutjob, why wouldn't you want your kids to mix wih others?.

  • I am from Maine. A close family member of mine works in a school district there.

    My judgment is that frequently Mainers are a bunch of rubes, and surprisingly easy prey for slick business salespeople in this regard.

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      My judgment is that frequently Mainers are a bunch of rubes, and surprisingly easy prey for slick business salespeople in this regard.

      I wondered if they were just overly well-off:

      School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartener an iPad

      Must be nice having schools so well funded that even the kindergarten kids get ipads. I remember we had a fake, ROTARY phone at my kindergarten. That was our 'technology'.

      • by dcollins (135727)

        "I wondered if they were just overly well-off:"

        No, bottom half of state median income (#31):

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income [wikipedia.org]

        • by ThorGod (456163)

          Wow, yeah. I grew up in #40. I'm sure there's all sorts of corroborating issues, but I doubt many kindergarten schools where I'm from have ipods/pads/anything like them for kids/etc.

          Off topic, why aren't I living in Maryland?

          • Be careful what you wish for. There are a few counties in Maryland that skew everything toward making the state look rich, but outside that zone it's basically an underdeveloped Southern state.
  • Another school jumps on the tablet bandwagon. For fun, take an article like this, replace "iPad" with "laptop", and like magic you have an article that could have been written 7 years ago. And just how much did all those laptops help?

    And that was with a more powerful platform that could run full-blown apps, like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Office.

  • by prefec2 (875483) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @05:01PM (#37430720)

    I would be more wise to invest the money in teachers, teacher's education and other staff stuff. Devices make kids not wise or clever. They will not be better in understanding the media when they have an iPad. The important thing to know: How media works. How information can be retrieved and how you can evaluate it.

    Beside that. Kids shall run around a lot and have fun. Still sitting is not really something they should learn. And they should learn to eat real food. So the money would also better be spend on good food in kindergarten.

    iPads! What a crap.

  • 40% of the third graders in Auburn are not reading at grade level. Superintendent Katy Grodin says to the goal is to fix that number.

    - what, they are going to fix this to be 20%?

    What do they think iPads do exactly?

    • by cosm (1072588)

      40% of the third graders in Auburn are not reading at grade level. Superintendent Katy Grodin says to the goal is to fix that number.

      - what, they are going to fix this to be 20%?

      What do they think iPads do exactly?

      What students think: Yay more games and distractions, but they're authorized!!!!
      What the teachers think: Yay more games and distractions, but they're authorized!!!!
      What the parents think: It's technology, it will make them smarter!!!!
      What the administration thinks: It's technology, it will make them smarter!!!!
      What Apple thinks: "$$$$ LOL VENDOR LOCKIN $$$$ LOL"
      What Microsoft thinks: "Do you have a Windows license for each of your remaining desktops?"
      What /. thinks: "Society is fucked."

      Aren't we al

  • Get them while they're young.
  • Just realised something.

    This same district handed out apple laptops to their older students in the past. So this isn't really a case of "What are they thinking" as it is a case of corporate branding being imprinted on fresh young minds. Sure at face value you'd say "Sure its an iPad, its the most popular tablet so that's fine. Instead of going with a tablet, they went with an iPad" - but the other event makes it clear who's really pulling the strings.

    Come kids, join the iChurch of Apple.

  • I guess they have never seen 5 year olds play with their toys. Considering that you need to keep the screen exposed so that it functions as a touch screen there is not case that can protect the screen from a blow. I would really like to see the stats on how long they last. I bet the average time will be less than a week.

  • by Greyfox (87712)
    As a new home owner, I suddenly have an opinion on property taxes. I'm glad mine aren't going to this school district.
  • Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?

    There's more to learning than test scores.

    • by j-beda (85386)

      Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?

      There's more to learning than test scores.

      Exactly what I thought!

    • by Toonol (1057698)
      There's more to learning than test scores.

      Interesting hypothesis. How would you test that theory?
  • I don't understand why Apple doesn't make a school-oriented version of the iPad. Plexiglass screen for the kiddies, some kind of built-in LoJack, distinctive looking case so the kids' parents can't pawn them, etc.

  • I'm a Finnish high school student who uses computers a lot. People would expect me to do most studying on a computer too, but no, I don't do that. One reason is that computers have a habit of not working when you need to write a really important paper. But that's a completely different thing.

    I've always been very successful at school, and I think it's mostly because I read books so much. I learned to read really early (at age 3), and I've always enjoyed visiting the library and going home with a pile of boo

  • What recession? Those Chinese workers at the Foxconn factory must be happy. Now they can use their wages to buy, er, more Chinese products. And Apple can invest its tremendous profits in - emerging markets. Wait, what?
  • by tylersoze (789256) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @06:50PM (#37431210)

    My 3 year old has had an iPad since she was 2, and it's been one of the best things we've ever gotten her. She plays with all sorts of educational apps, and we regularly read books to her on it before bed. Like anything else it's just a tool, and it's effect depends on how it is used. Personally for us it's been much cheaper than buying insanely overpriced childrens' books or educational toys. I mean really, have you seen the prices they charge for that stuff? It's ridiculous. The iPad plus the cost of the apps has more than paid for itself.

  • by Mia'cova (691309) on Saturday September 17, 2011 @07:00PM (#37431242)

    My sister is a special-ed teacher. She is a speech therapist. She has been using an ipad for a year or more now. Apparently there are a lot of really great special-purpose apps which she uses with her students. They're designed specifically for speech therapy work. It makes it a lot easier to work with multiple children. You can have one doing interactive exercises while working with the other directly. I've always been a fan of interactive learning. Anyone comparing this to textbooks is missing the point. This isn't for college students. This is giving kids practice drawing their alphabet or adding 3 and 4. Instant feedback and encouragement can make a big difference for some kids.

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