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Australia Education Handhelds Media (Apple) Apple

Australian Schools Go iPad-Crazy 293

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like it's not just Apple fanboys that are going wild for the iPad: in Australia, virtually every state education department is trialling the tablet in schools — and some schools are even trialling it without the official support of their department. One university in Adelaide has even abolished textbooks for first year science students and is allocating free iPads to first year students instead. It will be interesting to see what happens when the inevitable wave of Android tablets hits over the next six months."
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Australian Schools Go iPad-Crazy

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  • by Allnighte ( 1794642 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @06:32AM (#33660128)
    When the price of [used] textbooks at Uni bookstore for two semesters/quarters equal the price of a tablet computer [which does considerably more than the textbooks], can you really blame them?
  • Define "abolishing" (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @06:42AM (#33660192)
    The summary says "One university in Adelaide has even abolished textbooks for first year science students and is allocating free iPads to first year students instead." yet the article says "The University of Adelaide jumped into the handheld computer revolution headfirst last week when it was announced last week that students who enroll in science degrees will receive a free iPads." Getting free iPads is completely different than abolishing textbooks. The two are not mutually exclusive.
  • Re:Waste of Money (Score:2, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @07:08AM (#33660318) Homepage

    Android tablets will be here before you know it (if they aren't already). Android seems a much better choice than Apple - functionality is about the same but you get competing hardware vs. Apple lock-in.

    Expect Android tablets to be much cheaper than Apple by the next school year.

  • by lachlan76 ( 770870 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @07:23AM (#33660364)
    In the case of Adelaide the release stated that they were to produce a set of open-source textbooks.
  • Re:Waste of Money (Score:5, Informative)

    by kaiidth ( 104315 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @07:26AM (#33660378)

    This may be related to Australia's recent funding opportunities.

    The Australian government's reaction to the current world economic situation has been to throw a series of large bucketloads of money in the direction of research, development and infrastructural work. [] Australia decided it could spend and 'innovate' its way through the next few years. There are some restrictions on the use of this plentiful funding, notably that it all has to go to Australian institutions. As is usually the case with this sort of funding it is also strictly short-term.

    I would imagine that a lot of people have found themselves with a few k left in a budget and a need to zero the budget in the very near future, have asked themselves, "now what can we do that sounds sexy and means we get to play with cute shiny hardware?" and they've all come up with the same (incredibly unimaginative, sorry guys) solution.

    The e-book research area is currently choked with iiiiiiPPPPaaaaaaddd zombies. It would be depressing if it weren't - no, wait, what am I saying? It's depressing.

  • Re:Waste of Money (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @07:32AM (#33660400) Homepage

    The company that actually makes them is Intel, because the Magalhães are just a rebranding of the second edition of the Classmate PC [].
    The Portuguese company just puts it in a rebranded box and receives major profits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @07:32AM (#33660406)

    I work at multiple schools in Australia as the IT Guy and there are two major differences.

    One of my schools has purchased one and is genuinely looking to use it for a worthy purpose but then our statewide firewall has a proxy so anything besides Safari isn't compatible with it.

    My other school suffers from shiny object syndrome/Apple fanboy syndrome and we seem to be buying them with every cent we have available. It also doesn't help that the Principal is saying that flash is coming to the iPad, and that we will be using all our online flash educational websites using the iPad in the future and that we will no longer have to buy regular computers. I do try to educate them but its like telling them there is no santa and they are in denial. I also frequently walk in on classes full of students playing racing and shooting games when they are meant to be learning on them.

    The only time I've seen iPads do something decent is at Special Schools where the special apps and the touch pad work very well. Besides that I think people are generally wasting their money.

    I think there is a proper space in schools for something more open like an Android tablet, the iPad is just annoying and is just a constant "Can we do X task that we do on our PC's on the iPad because its cool and hip"

  • Re:Waste of Money (Score:3, Informative)

    by anarche ( 1525323 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @08:16AM (#33660630)

    Sort of.

    Capt. Kevin's "Economic Stimulus Package" - which was very successful at insuring us against the GFC - was more aimed at getting money spending than where it was spent.

    My old primary school (that my parent still live down the road from) now have two lovely, big, identical assembly areas - coz the Gubberment didn't bother to ask if they needed a second one, but just built it.

    And while the funding "had to go to Australian institutions" - where else could it go? But as soon as it gets to Hardly Normal, that new iPad sends the money straight to the US...

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker