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Australia Education Handhelds Apple

Melbourne College May Give iPad To Every Student 350

daria42 writes "It looks like Apple's hyped iPad tablet may find a functional use beyond the early technology adopter set. In Australia, a Melbourne University college recently completed a trial where a limited number of students were given an iPad to aid in their studies. The outcome? The college has now recommended every student be given one of the Apple devices, following in the footsteps of the University of Adelaide, which is handing out iPads to every first year science student. Sure beats lugging around the old textbooks!"
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Melbourne College May Give iPad To Every Student

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  • "Giving"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:05AM (#35402428) Homepage Journal

    Don't you mean "Adding to tuition costs"?

  • Re:How nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:10AM (#35402454)
    You've got it all wrong. They're going with style (easy, sexy, and makes for good admissions brochures) over substance (tedious, frustrating, difficult to market).
  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:12AM (#35402456)

    Yes, exactly this. "Giving" means "force to buy", even if they don't need. FTFA, 80% of students recommended this, meaning 20% of those who were given the thing to use don't want it.

  • Reasons? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adambomb ( 118938 ) * on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:19AM (#35402496) Journal

    “iPads are effective, durable, reliable and achieve their educational aims of going further, faster and with more fun,” the college wrote.

    Now there's a line straight from marketing that manages to mean jack shit. Might be this is an Apple subsidized push akin to Microsoft's educational license deals; Get em hooked before they enter the workforce.

  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by koreaman ( 835838 ) <> on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:20AM (#35402504)

    Tuition is nominal in Australia, so no, it doesn't. It means most likely that they'll allocate money from something else and/or request more from the government.

  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:20AM (#35402506) Homepage

    "It looks like Apple's hyped iPad tablet may find a functional use beyond the early technology adopter set."

    Is it possible to mention Apple or Apple devices on Slashdot without gratuitous and misguided denigration, even if implied?

    The iPad is a perfectly workable tablet device. In fact, it is the cheapest tablet device in its class (quality level, feature set) and also the first to market, and also the one with the largest number of applications and the largest installed user base.

    It clearly has uses beyond the early technology adopter set given the anecdotal array of adoptions in vertically integrative environments/scenarios.

    In my own case, I use it for teaching. The iPad offers a minimal, lightweight platform on which to track attendance, grades, lesson plans, and so on and to connect them to projection devices for showing media of various kinds, from outlines and presentation slides to YouTube videos that supplement the lecture.

    Come on. This is supposed to be a technology blog. Instead, it's a bunch of why teenagers with strong, if ill-informed, political-affective poses.

  • Ah yes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:22AM (#35402522) Journal
    It sure does beat lugging around those old textbooks. Unless you fancy being able to mark them up, re-sell them, or refer to them in 2020...

    The professors will probably adore the levels of class participation and attention enabled by everyone having a school-approved internet browsing/PMP device...

    My criticism of this scheme isn't iPad specific(though the education sector often does leap on Apple-related tech crazes); but more general:

    We still don't have something that can replace a notepad and a mechanical pencil when it comes to ease and unobtrusiveness of taking notes(keyboards are faster for straight text, and produce better final copy; but are a bit clicky for class and, unless you are a LaTeX god, slower for equations, diagrams, and similar). Somewhat similarly, your basic dead tree actually works pretty well for textbook-style distribution. Durable, can be marked according to personal preference, can be held onto or resold at will, printing them doesn't actually cost all that much.

    Ebooks have some compelling convenience advantages, particularly for light reading(casually pick up a novel over whispernet, etc.) or for technical reference(grep obscure_command_foo...); but they aren't going to do much about the central complaints with textbooks: Absurd prices and constant version churn(in fact, with DRM, they likely make those worse). Unless this "Hooray! Tablets!!!!" scheme is integrated into some way of actually re-making how the course is taught, I predict no savings, major distraction, and people accustomed to scribbling in marginal notes learning exactly why UI elements in capacitive touchscreen systems are as large as they are...

    On the plus side, Melbourne College's Angry Birds team will be a Division 1 powerhouse....
  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:49AM (#35402706) Homepage

    80% attachment is extremely high for services at a college, at least where I'm from. Students here pay for a gym whether or not they use it (about 35% do), they pay for the student center (don't have numbers on this, but I'd guess that most students don't set foot in it more than once or twice a semester). They pay for organizations that they never join and sometimes never gain any benefit from whatsoever. They pay for upkeep on buildings they never enter. They pay for "free printing" that they probably never use to the fullest (and that they'd likely have gotten cheaper going to Kinko's.) They pay for phone service at outrageously marked up prices, for lab computers they never use because they all have laptops, and for parking lots when fully 25% live on campus and another 15% commute by bicycle or walking.

    People pay a lot for things that they didn't want. The same can be said for taxes in any country with any social services to speak of. 80% is great, and frankly a no-brainer except that you have to wonder how many of that 80% just thought it was cool to get an iPad.

  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thedarknite ( 1031380 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:55AM (#35402732) Homepage
    The university tuition is nominal. The article is talking about Trinity College, which charges over $20,000 for residency and then has additional charges for such things as network access. (At least when I was resident in a nearby college)
  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @01:15AM (#35402856)

    You are comparing free iPads with free health care?

    Sounds good to me.

  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @01:17AM (#35402868)

    "Tax breaks for the rich"

    You mean like how the rich pay more in taxes than anyone else? (both in percentage of income and in total amount). "Taking less than before" is NOT the same as giving the rich money. Which, by the way, are the same people who create jobs.

  • Re:"Giving"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewshi_nya ( 1394329 ) on Monday March 07, 2011 @01:48AM (#35403004)

    And, frankly, trickle-down has been proven wrong over and over.

    The rich, if less is taken in the form of taxes, are *not* going to use it to create jobs. They are more than likely going to put it into savings/investments, whereas taking less from a middle-class family means that a higher proportion of the money "saved" will be put back into the immediate economy.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong