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Handhelds Education Windows Apple

School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads 504

Posted by Soulskill
from the look-before-you-leap dept.
Barence writes "A school swapped all its staff laptops for iPads — and now wants to switch them back. 'Most staff are IT illiterate and jumped at the chance of exchanging their laptop for an iPad,' a teacher from the school told PC Pro. Now, however: 'the staff room is full of regret.' Difficulties editing old Word and PowerPoint documents, transferring work to and from the device without USB sticks, and problems with projecting the iPad's display to the classroom — bizarrely, using an Apple TV — have led to staff once again reaching for their Windows laptops."
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School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

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  • Tablets in education (Score:5, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @05:30PM (#41305727)
    I've been using tablets in an educational environment since about 2006. I guess today they would be called Tablet PCs, but they were infinitely more useful in an educational setting for one reason, and it's not that they ran standard PC apps (in fact quite the opposite because most apps were no optimized for touch, etc.). It was the stylus, which most "tablets" lack today. Writing on my tablet with a stylus and being able to archive notes, search handwritten notes, reference supplemental materials and paste them into my notes, etc. were killer applications. The fact that my tablet was convertible also meant that when I needed to, I could set up my tablet PC like a regular laptop with a full monitor, mouse, and keyboard, and use it like any other laptop with fully fledged Office. Many here balked at the Tablet PC then, and continue to balk at the tablet PC now, but it was a hell of a lot more useful for me than my iPad ever was, if not only for the ability to support a proper digitized stylus and robust handwriting recognition.

    Tablet PCs today still have major disadvantages, but I'm very intrigued at the new crop of hybrid tablet/laptops coming out from Samsung, Asus, and Microsoft. Transformer prime was half way there, but it still was a very poor laptop substitute in laptop mode (couldn't run full desktop-class apps, mouse support inconsistent across the OS and apps).
  • by DickBreath (207180) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @05:38PM (#41305837) Homepage
    Why is this modded down?

    Oh, yes, because Slashdot is now overrun by fanboys of various stripes.
  • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @05:44PM (#41305905)

    My mum's a teacher in a British school (like the article). They've just this month opened a new building, with all-new classrooms and IT equipment. She says the best improvement over what they had before is new (Windows) laptops and correctly set up docking stations on the teacher's desk in every room -- connecting to the projector, a real keyboard/mouse, the interactive whiteboard, and the network, is done instantly. (Most classrooms have had an interactive whiteboard [wikipedia.org] for years now, teachers love them. The main complaint seems to be the usual IT bureaucracy: tiny quota for email, laptop expected to be used while at home not working properly on the home network, etc.)

    She teaches at a secondary school (age 11/12 to 15/16).

  • by shugah (881805) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @06:38PM (#41306489)
    They may not want a toy, but they probably want something that boots immediately and is more portable.

    For some people, who do not need to create content, a tablet could work. The problem is iPad not tablet. Android based tablets actually have a file system and allow you to transfer content to/from them without going through some silly iCloud.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @06:40PM (#41306507)

    An ipad is a toy. A laptop is a tool. Idiots.

    Anyone who makes a blanket statement like that is an idio... oh wait.

    But you're wrong. An iPad can be a very good tool - for the right job. A friend of mine is an appraiser. He and his co-workers used to lug these gigantic Windows laptops around as they visited properties. For the past year, though, they've been using iPads and a custom app - and the things are darn near perfect for the task (which, as I understand it, mainly involves entering various specs into forms, looking up comparable properties, and taking photos).

    If I had to edit documents, I wouldn't pick an iPad over a computer - period. But just because it's the wrong tool for that job doesn't mean it's the wrong tool for every job.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @09:18PM (#41307741) Homepage Journal

    My handy Transformer does a solid job of editing documents, more so with the keyboard dock.

    Isn't there a word [wikipedia.org] for tablets with keyboard docks? ;)

    No, there isn't, because with a laptop you can't detach the screen and use the tablet portion. On the Transformer (I have a Prime) *all* of the computing power is in the tablet portion. The dock is handy for when I want to type and edit documents, and serves as a handy extra battery, but it doesn't make it a laptop. It's also nice being able to take the tablet off the dock to use for playing tablet-centric games, reading ebooks, web surfing, etc.

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