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Education IT Apple Hardware

Is a Super-Sized iPad the Future of Education? 234

Posted by timothy
from the insert-semester-to-continue dept.
theodp writes "Perhaps people are reading too much into Apple CEO Tim Cook's 'Big Plans' for 2014, but hopes are high that the New Year will bring a biggie-sized iPad. Over at Forbes, Anthony Wing Kosner asks, Will The Large Screen iPad Pro Be Apple's First In A Line Of Desktop Touch Devices?. 'Rumors of a large [12.9"] iPad are many and constant,' notes ComputerWorld's Mike Elgan, 'but they make sense only if the tablet is a desktop for schools.' Elgan adds, 'Lots of schools are buying iPads for kids to use. But iPads don't make a lot of sense for education. For starters, their screens are too small for the kinds of interactive textbooks and apps that Apple wants the education market to create. They're also too small for collaborative work. iPads run mobile browsers, rather than full browsers, so kids can't use the full range of HTML5 sites.' Saying that 'Microsoft has fumbled the [post-PC] transition badly,' Elgan argues that 'the battle for the future of education is likely to be between whatever Google turns the Chromebook into against whatever Apple turns the iPad into.'"
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Is a Super-Sized iPad the Future of Education?

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  • iDesk (Score:5, Funny)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:13AM (#45817609) Homepage

    Just make an iDesk and be done with it already.

    • I called it first. There's no one to sue over and iDesk.
  • That Computerworld let's him have the forum when Elgan has an IV of Google connected to his femoral artery just blows my mind. He's also the ex-editor of Windows Mag and not exactly a neutral observer of this stuff.

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      He is age biased. Smaller tablets are hard to read. My older friends will not use their tables because of the small format. A larger pad would be welcomed.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:23AM (#45817663)

    Idk, I don't think for kids bigger is better. I guess I know when I see it, but the current iPad is already heavy after a while for my hands.

    But tablets in general will be awesome in education coupled with programs like DuoLingo. Some kids really need to learn at their own pace (with a minimum requirement), that factory like schoolrooms just don't provide.

    But as much as I like Apple tablets, not for school. Just too expensive. I bought from Aldi a 7" $99 medion brand tablet for family recently (free and clear, no 2 year plans attached), and I'm impressed how competent it is. Not the most beautiful screen, some things take several clicks, and battery life isn't an iPad.... but it plays netflix, has skype and most other programs, and surfs the net, and google's voice to text was surprisingly good. $99. I was blown away. Who knows how cheap they will get. If a kid breaks or loses that, who cares compared to an iPad.

    • As someone who does classroom technology in schools, you are right about the size. The iPad screen size is just fine for the majority of K-12 uses. I don't know what "too small for collaborative work," even means.

    • Can you point to any studies that show these things are an advantage in education for the regular student? Just curious, I have seen some older data that suggests they are not, but that was regarding PC usage. I have a nephew with an eye problem who I think has benefited from the school-issued iPad, but he mostly plays games on it just like everyone else.
      • That depends entirely on how the devices are used and how you want to measure progress. The problem, as with much of education in this age of "reform," is that people always want to measure how well something is working by looking at test scores. I think all that shows is how well you take a test. Still, there is some decent research. Here's one summary.

        http://schooltechleadership.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CASTLEBrief01_LaptopPrograms.pdf [schooltechleadership.org]

        There have been some notable failures of 1:1 programs.

        • just an observation about your comment "I think all that shows is how well you take a test", in life (get off my lawn) i have noticed that we are continuously presented with challenges and are gauged on how we perform on the said "tests". IMHO the ability to take the test (preparedness) is a good ability to have to be successful in life.
          Granted it is just one set of skills necessary for success and there are many others.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        No.

        I'm just a user of DuoLingo (free, highly recommended, Rosetta Stone is scared to death of this shit) on my tablet as well as Khan Academy. I advanced way more in my language effort on this than any other way, at least for beginner/lower_intermediate purposes.

        Although both can be used on a regular computer too and smartphone.

  • by MikeMo (521697) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:24AM (#45817671)
    TFA is a bit fact-challenged. Safari on the iPad is not a "mobile browser" and supports HTML5 [html5test.com] (although it could do better).
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      iPad is a mobile browser based on other capabilities than just HTML5 support.
      For web developers, the most significant is probably the touch screen, closely followed by the relatively small viewport.
      A rich website (i.e. "web app") build for desktops will most likely not work on an iPad, the mobile version of the site will.

      • by MikeMo (521697)
        Certainly touch support is significant (and is a rather obvious difference, no?) as is the small viewport, but these differences are not significant limitations and don't make it a "mobile browser". To me, the term "mobile browser" brings up the specter of the old browsers one typically found in phones before the iPhone, and it certainly isn't that. Aside from the size and touch issues, there are no major distinctions from the desktop version of Safari. Apple doesn't even bother to have a separate page o
        • by dfghjk (711126)

          "To me, the term "mobile browser" brings up the specter of the old browsers one typically found in phones before the iPhone..."

          So the problem is your understanding of what a mobile browser is.

          The iPhone, in fact, defined the first mobile browser. Prior to that, phones tried to make browsers work just like desktop versions.

        • by Bogtha (906264)

          Then you're using the term in a different way to everybody else. Safari running on iOS is a mobile browser. Every web developer I've worked with refers to it as a mobile browser. Popular web analytics systems refer to it as a mobile browser. Even Apple call it "Mobile Safari".

        • Certainly touch support is significant (and is a rather obvious difference, no?) as is the small viewport, but these differences are not significant limitations

          Touch support is significant if your menu is hover-based, as is the case with JavaScript-free pure-CSS menus that were popular before the iPad became popular. A Wacom tablet can distinguish proximity ("hover") from contact ("click), but the iPad's touch screen cannot, and touch-based browsers tend to wait a few hundred milliseconds to make sure the user isn't trying to use a scroll or zoom gesture.

      • iPad is a mobile browser based on other capabilities than just HTML5 support.

        I agree with the previous reply that "mobile browser" suggests a significantly less capable browser than Safari on iOS (iPad or iPhone). One frustration of using iOS Safari is that too many web sites unnecessarily decide the browser is "mobile" and re-directs to their dumbed-down "mobile" variant, requiring me to specifically ask for the "full site", which typically works fine.

        • I agree with the previous reply that "mobile browser" suggests a significantly less capable browser than Safari on iOS (iPad or iPhone).

          That's what it used to mean. Now it means one that doesn't support hover, SWF, WebM decoder plug-ins, or uploads through <input type="file"> of media types other than pictures and videos.

          One frustration of using iOS Safari is that too many web sites unnecessarily decide the browser is "mobile" and re-directs to their dumbed-down "mobile" variant

          Worse yet, too many web sites redirect to the main page instead of the article that the user found through the search engine: "Hi, I'm a server!" [xkcd.com].

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      TFA says nothing of the sort; it was the submitter that said that. Safari on the iPad is a mobile browser (the actual name of the application is "Mobile Safari" FFS), and it is a bit more limited than desktop Safari, although it won't matter for the vast majority of websites.

  • Yes! (Score:5, Informative)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:25AM (#45817681)

    To heck with schools. I think I'd like one. Finally large enough to be able to use. The market for tiny devices for people with microscopic vision is saturated. Time for a tablet people can actually see. I looked at an iPad but it's just too small. The mini is okay as a book reader but I can use anything for that, no need to spend that kind of money on a book reader.

    • by swb (14022)

      I'd buy one even larger if they came out.

      I've always thought the standard iPad size was a little on the small size, and that ideally it would match the size of a large magazine (Vanity Fair-size).

      This would allow a lot more content to be viewed at "actual size" and cut a lot of scaling, panning and zooming.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:26AM (#45817683)

    Tablets for school make a lot less sense if you cannot write equations or draw detailed diagrams with them. A fingertip is simply too blunt an instrument to be used for writing equations or drawing - for that you need a stylus. I would dearly have loved to have a tablet for note taking when I was in school but not if I had to do it with my fingers. A keyboard is fine for taking notes if you are in something like an english class and a finger based touch interface is fine for navigation and reading. But to take notes in math class (or any class that uses equations or drawings) you absolutely have to have a stylus. I'm not sure how they are going to reconcile this problem in the current generation of tablets. They simply were not designed with a stylus in mind.

    Note that not having a stylus isn't entirely a bad thing. Software developers have a terrible habit of mistaking a stylus for a mouse. A stylus should not be used for navigation. The sole purpose of stylus should be for drawing (diagrams, equations etc) which requires detail greater than can easily be achieved with a mouse or fingertip. While a stylus can be used for navigation, it does a pretty poor job of it.

    • by qubex (206736)

      I don’t really agree with that I’ve been using the full gamut of Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) ranging from Macysma to Mathematica to HP Prime for years, and I find text-only entry to be very comfortable. Mathematica even has photoshop-style palettes if you wish to choose familiar notations.

      Don’t confuse mathematics with mathematics notation. The latter is totally arbitrary and can easily be replaced, most obviously by the various prefix notations common in CASes ( Integrate[x^2,x,a,b] ,

      • by sjbe (173966) on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:31AM (#45818151)

        I find text-only entry to be very comfortable.

        That makes you very unusual. While I applaud your flexibility on the matter, it is not nearly so easy a matter to get the entire global population on a new mathematical notation. Frankly I have zero interest in using a different notation when doing so provides me no additional value. Putting a stylus on to a tablet is a MUCH easier solution for note taking than trying to retrain everyone on some new notation. Those who have a specialized need for different notation (such as yourself) are not hindered in any way by providing technology to utilize the standard notation.

        Mathematica even has photoshop-style palettes if you wish to choose familiar notations.

        VERY awkward for note taking which needs to happen quickly. You need a notation that can be done with a pencil and paper and which does not change.

        Don’t confuse mathematics with mathematics notation. The latter is totally arbitrary and can easily be replaced

        I'm not confusing them a bit. We have a standard mathematical notation already which works just fine. Yes it is arbitrary and no it cannot be "easily" replaced. You are seriously proposing that we suddenly have everyone throw out the math notation we have been using for centuries just because it doesn't easily work on a keyboard? The economic cost alone makes this a prohibitively bad idea. Do you have any concept of the amount of retraining that would be required? Providing a stylus and some decent note taking software is a MUCH cheaper and simpler and better solution than trying to retrain everyone to some new keyboard friendly notation. Look up what Richard Feynman had to say about changing notations when he tried to invent one.

        • For the first 3 years of my undergrad degree program I used one of the convertible laptops from Toshiba back when Microsoft was pushing pen computing. Taking notes in maths lectures with that thing and a stylus worked fantastically because of the simple "easy erase" functionality which meant I could scribble things out, then erase them and leave my notes in a more comprehensible form.

          It wasn't a great platform by any stretch (underpowered hardware, and ultimately the screen was way too fragile - even under

        • by qubex (206736)

          I hadn’t realised (and don’t quite accept) that I am unusually ‘flexible’ in using text-mode mathematical entry. Indeed I think you’ll find that if you consider the sum total of programmers and spreadsheet users most non-academic users of mathematics are already using non-traditional notations for mathematics (though, I do readily admit, spreadsheet formulas and program statements are not terribly convenient for deriving symbolic statements).

          Notations do change, have changed, a

        • by qubex (206736)

          Oh, and regarding note-taking: I’d argue that there’s a strong distinction between the need to record notes and the ability to use those notations in an ‘active’ or ‘computable’ form. Until very recently there was no ‘self-computing’ notation at all simply because everything had to be processed by a human. The idea that a notation should be machine-readable is obviously a fairly recent one (whether by ‘recent’ you imply either Turing or Leibnitz is

    • A fingertip is simply too blunt an instrument to be used for writing equations or drawing - for that you need a stylus. I would dearly have loved to have a tablet for note taking when I was in school but not if I had to do it with my fingers.

      It is technologically possible. The Microsoft Surface tablet can be used with a stylus [youtube.com].

      I would love to move to a large stylus-capable tablet for schoolwork!

    • by ecotax (303198)

      Tablets for school make a lot less sense if you cannot write equations or draw detailed diagrams with them. A fingertip is simply too blunt an instrument to be used for writing equations or drawing - for that you need a stylus.

      No you don't. You just need decent software. The MyScript Calculator app (just google it) does a decent job, for example.

      • by sjbe (173966)

        You just need decent software.

        None exists to my knowledge. I honestly cannot conceive of any way you could reasonably take notes requiring fine details using your fingertips. There is a reason we use fine tip pencils instead of big bulky markers to take notes.

        The MyScript Calculator app (just google it) does a decent job, for example.

        Utterly useless for note taking. That is an app for processing a single equation, and not even especially bulky ones at that. Furthermore it actually is a calculator which misses the point entirely. When you are taking notes or working through a calculation you are not trying

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Include this with all of the other use cases that Apple has classified as irrelevant. Of course should Apple ever change it's mind, it will suddenly become one of Apple's great innovations.

        • by ecotax (303198)

          You just need decent software.

          None exists to my knowledge. I honestly cannot conceive of any way you could reasonably take notes requiring fine details using your fingertips. There is a reason we use fine tip pencils instead of big bulky markers to take notes.

          The MyScript Calculator app (just google it) does a decent job, for example.

          Utterly useless for note taking. That is an app for processing a single equation, and not even especially bulky ones at that. Furthermore it actually is a calculator which misses the point entirely. When you are taking notes or working through a calculation you are not trying to have the computer solve the problem for you. You need to essentially make a very detailed drawing, nothing more. (an equation is simply a drawing) The best tool for this is a pen or stylus due to the standard math notation in use.

          Point taken - taking math notes and using a calculator are different activities. The app I mentioned definitely won't help higher classes in taking math notes.

          Still, a note-taking app with an input method like in this calculator app (which, AFAIK, indeed does not exist yet) might work just fine. The input resolution of the iPad screen as a whole is quite OK, and the lack of detail in a finger drawing can largely be overcome by accepting oversized input and scaling this down, and some good gesture recognitio

    • If the Surface Pro and Galaxy Note can steal thunder from iOS devices then Apple may be forced to react. But don't hold you breath; Jobs was no fan of the Newton.

      • If the Surface Pro and Galaxy Note can steal thunder from iOS devices then Apple may be forced to react. But don't hold you breath; Jobs was no fan of the Newton.

        Last I checked Saint Steve is no longer in charge of Apple.

        Plus I think his animosity towards the Newton had more to do with it being a mediocre product that few people really wanted and also maybe the fact that it was John Sculley's baby. If the Newton had been selling like crazy Jobs would not have been likely to kill it off but it simply wasn't a sufficiently profitable product. There were things to like about the Newton but the rollout was badly flubbed, it was expensive, and it wasn't clear who it wa

  • by qubex (206736) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:26AM (#45817687) Homepage

    The future of education is human teachers teaching human kids.

    Please stop using prospective educational uses to justify technolust. There’s no harm in wanting better gadgets, but there is harm in fixing things that aren’t broken.

    The best thinkers in history were educated by people. I see absolutely no reason to replace competent, compassionate humans with impersonal and inflexible machines.

    • by ecotax (303198) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:54AM (#45817873)

      The best thinkers in history were educated by people.

      And the best teachers in the world have always used whatever tools could help hem in that. Crayons, cave walls, scrolls, blackboards, pens, notebooks, televisions, you name it. And now they have iPads.
      Not to replace them, but to assist them.

      • by ApplePy (2703131)

        Those tools often become crutches. I had a chemistry teacher who used videos so often I began to wonder if she knew the subject at all. I later figured out my suspicion was correct.

        If you let me use recorded MIT lectures and some iPad software, I can teach a class on particle physics, or heck, any subject at all. Or, why have teachers at all? The iPads can do it all, so we'll just project a hologram in front of the class so all the kiddies will feel welcome... and discipline will be administered by a ro

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:27AM (#45817699) Homepage

    whatever that monoculture is based on, especially in education. Pupils will just end up learning how to drive one device, become familiar with its applications (and implicitly whatever file formats and wire protocols underpin it) and conclude that everthing else is broken. They will then demand/expect future employers to use the same kit. We don't want the next 25 years to be dominated by Apple in the way that the last 25 years were dominated by Microsoft.

    I even would not want a school system that had a monoculture based on some Linux distro, it is good for kids to have to understand what they are doing rather than just knowing which buttons to press - blindly. OK: Linux is not as bad since file formats & protocols are open and thus different products can compete.

    • Agreed. As someone who works in schools with technology, the vast majority of us hate monoculture. Ironically, the Apple and Google products we are getting are actually the first steps out of a Microsoft monoculture.

      Keep in mind, many, many school systems have been hard pressed for cash lately and are mainly using 6-10 year old machines running WinXP.

      I'm doing my best to push Chromebooks, Apple and anything else that makes sense.

    • by supercrisp (936036) on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:02AM (#45817939)
      As a professor, I'd welcome a monoculture. I'd love for all my students to have the same machine with the same OS and the same apps. Otherwise, every class with a computer component becomes a class in teaching half the students how to change systems settings or whatever on different machines. The average student doesn't have any great computer competence, despite the "digital natives" hype. They can get on Facebook or use Google, but inserting a header in a document or hooking up to an external monitor is beyond them. I can really understand why other educators would want a "monoculture." (However, I think the emphasis on computers in education is misplaced and overhyped. My students, at the college level, would benefit much more from learning touch typing and a few basics than from whatever malarky they're being taught now.)
      • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:27AM (#45818097) Homepage

        If the students are not competent with the tools that they have then should your college not provide remedial classes ? They would if a student could not speak English (or whatever) or had problems in writing or maths. It should not be down to you as a professor in something (I assume not computing) to provide that education - but down to your college.

        There is an unfortunate assumption made by many employers (also colleges, etc) that people do understand how to: use a computer file system; use a word processor; write emails that others can understand; ... This is often false (or their knowledge is rudimentary) with the result that huge amounts of time are wasted. These skills need to be taught - unfortunately many school teachers that I have come across only have a hazy understanding themselves; these skills are rarely taught to adults.

      • Well, you are right that the "digital natives" thing is ovehyped. I see students all the time who can't type their way out of a paper bag. The problem we run into is that teachers at all the levels UNDER you also say "I think the emphasis on computers in education is misplaced and overhyped." I hear this all the way down to kindergarten where they say the parents should be the ones teaching kids to type, not the teachers because the emphasis on computers is misplaced. In my state, the legislature just passe

      • by tompaulco (629533)

        As a professor, I'd welcome a monoculture. I'd love for all my students to have the same machine with the same OS and the same apps. Otherwise, every class with a computer component becomes a class in teaching half the students how to change systems settings or whatever on different machines. The average student doesn't have any great computer competence, despite the "digital natives" hype. They can get on Facebook or use Google, but inserting a header in a document or hooking up to an external monitor is beyond them. I can really understand why other educators would want a "monoculture." (However, I think the emphasis on computers in education is misplaced and overhyped. My students, at the college level, would benefit much more from learning touch typing and a few basics than from whatever malarky they're being taught now.)

        Well, this is because modern "computer" classes in High School don't teach anything useful. When I went to High School, you learned how to program in the computer class. Now, they apparently learn how to watch youtube and how to pirate media. My stepson took the computer class at school and got an A and did not know what software to use if he needed to write a report. However, he does know how to rip videos and audio.

  • Title is moronic. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by no_go (96797) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:29AM (#45817707)

    -20 , Title is moronic.

    Why should any product (commercial or otherwise) be the future of education ?
    The future of education isn't on buzzwords/marketing items/products with a limited shelf life.
    It's on philosophies, methods and concepts.

  • by motang (1266566) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:30AM (#45817713)
    Given it's ease of use, it sorta makes sense to have it in schools lower grades.
    • We are slowing bringing iPads into the classroom in my district (I do tech integration with teachers) and you are right, the ease of use is great in lower grades. The big problem with iOS, is that it's primarily a one-user devices. It gets hairy to manage a class set of 30 of them. The system for buying and installing multiple copies of apps is Byzantine and glitchy too. I think those aspects will get better though.

      I lean more towards Chromebooks for upper grades. If the district has a Google Apps domain, (

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I think it's a bad idea tying yourself to any operating system that does not have multiple supplier options for hardware. Eventually the sole supplier will decide they want to raise prices beyond what you're comfortable with, or make hardware decisions that are not optimal for you. Public institutions should not be able to choose these types of solutions where more open ones exist.

  • you get a lot better performance from native apps on IOS and not the browser
    and apple has a free ibooks textbook creation program to make textbooks for schools. they can even do it themselves and not buy from the big publishers

  • No one device is the future of education. In today's classroom, with the various programs the Feds have put in place (No Child left Behind, etc.) what a device like this will do is make it so very easy to define each student on how well/poorly they do in "learning" mandated curriculum by how well they do on "standardized" testing. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to being able to learn, and, as importantly, being able to apply that learned knowledge in a productive manner. Simply being able to reg

    • QFT

      I'm a former classroom teacher whose job is to work with other teachers to integrate technology into their instruction. My primary goal in life is to prevent the horror situation you describe.

      We try to show teachers models of integrating technology so deeply into instruction that it becomes another tool (kind of like how most of us use it at work). We also push teachers to introduce the tools, present problems to the kids, and then let THEM choose the tools they use to solve those problems.

      If you are int

  • by Akratist (1080775) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:45AM (#45817799)
    While I admire the willingness of the tech industry to try to find solutions to some of the issues with education, the real issue that is being missed is that education's problems, at least in America, are cultural, not technical. It's been shown in numerous studies that parental attitude toward education is the single biggest predictor in educational success. Unfortunately, we're a culture where people are focused on entertainment and sports, where parents may be working two or three jobs, and where education itself is looked at by many as a burden, instead of as learning how to use a knowledge as a tool to bring success in life.
    • by qubex (206736)

      I absolutely agree.

      Let’s remember that all those figures in history (both recent and remote) whom we admire were educated the old way: by one-on-one contact between educators and children. Tech industry’s drive to replace that quintessentially human bond with mechanistic devices strikes me as fundamentally misguided.

      Wanting better technology is fine. However the best technology for dealing with people (particularly kids) is still other people.

      It seems like we’re on the verge of institution

  • Seriously, Apple, bring back my 17" MBP or I might vote for Carl Ichan's proposal.

  • If you think public schools that regularly chage parents for textbooks and band equipment are an untapped market for e and i devices, you're sorely mistaken.

    some schools, namely those in private and affluent neighborhoods, can afford this kind of technology but they leverage far more heavily a well paid staff with ample resources and a constructive environment to teach students. the devices make no sense as the target audience has parents that have already purchased the newest tablet or e-reader for them
  • Call me when it's 27" or 32+ inches. THAT is super sized. I personally think the smallest should be 40" and the desk surface.

    but at that point it really needs to not be iOS anymore or the nasty windows 8 single task idea. Back to real multitasking where I can slide apps around and slide data to and from, etc.. I should be able to bring up my photos, and pick a photo by dragging it to the app I want to use it in, say Email or whatever.

    The biggest problem is that all the OS and software makers need to

    • Having just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get a photo on an iPad to my Android phone (both devices having wi-fi, bluetooth, internet connectivity) I cannot agree with this enough.

      I mean sure, yeah, it's possible but the solution I landed on was "download BitTorrent Sync app and use that" - which did just work in the end. Of course the iPad was the real problem in this chain - hand over your credit card details to iTunes to download anything, and then are you going to get to use Samba or FTP?

  • ...would be great, aside from the price tag. :-(

  • This stupidity has now been going on for something like 20 years. All it has to show is a lot of wasted money. Conventional education needs good teachers. Anything computer-based needs excellent teachers that are highly computer-savvy and excellent software in addition. The needed kind of teacher is no nearly available in adequate numbers and that will not change. The computer side is not available at all.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Monday December 30, 2013 @11:02AM (#45818401)

    I worked at a University for a few years where we had thousands of staff tablets. I can assure you that the tablets never got used for anything other than consuming content, status symbols and brief emails or notes. Even when they were actually used to produce content it's always easy to tell when an email was written on a tablet due to the short and abbreviated way it was composed.

    If your in school you should be there to produce content (homework, research etc) and for that a tablet is the worst choice possible, and it's no different for industry or government. It's the one thing Microsoft got right about the Surface, give it an integrated keyboard to make it feasible to actually produce content. Without the keyboard your left with a consumption device or a status symbol.

    That being said, if Apple makes a 12.9" tablet, there are a lot of people that would buy it for a content consumption device just like they do with any other apple tablet. Apple should make it just for all the people that would appreciate a larger tablet for lounging around the house with and it would do quite well there, especially if it gets the upgraded screen that was talked about. But don't fool yourself into thinking that a larger tablet would have a damn thing to do with either education or producing content.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Monday December 30, 2013 @11:24AM (#45818547)
    No.
    • by Morpeth (577066)

      I wish they'd delete all replies other than yours, then lock down the thread -- because it's a silly debate (no single piece of tech will EVER be THE future of technology)

  • Put a (USB) keyboard and mouse connector on it - and maybe a stand to hold the screen upright. Maybe instead of "tablet" or "laptop" the could call it a "desktop"...
  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Monday December 30, 2013 @12:08PM (#45818867)

    Part of educating is creating, messing up, creating some more. Tinkering. Ipads(and all tablets really) SUCK at creation. They are content consumption devices. They are nothing more than smart TVs in your hand. Stop giving them to kids!

    Can I code on a tablet? No thank you. Can I pick one up in shop class and do the math to figure out the angle of a roof beam? No thank you. Can I sketch out a new idea? Maaaaaybe? Can I easily take notes on it? No thank you. Can I use it to take pictures of all the steps in a chemistry or physics experiment? Yes! Can I use it to record all the temperatures from said experiment? No thank you. Ok, yes, I can do all those things, but it takes FOREVER on a tablet.

    Sad fact, to do meaningful work, tablets need KEYBOARDS!!!! To consume media, all I have to do is point and click. To CREATE(at any sane speed), a keyboard is necessary.

    Get off my lawn!

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday December 30, 2013 @12:09PM (#45818881)
    Several eyars back MicroSoft toyed with the FlipBook tablet - two page-size tablets side-by-side and foldable. You could fold it to fit into a purse or briefcase. An author could make one tablet text dominant and the other graphics dominant.

    Barnes and Noble had similar split screen tablet at one time, except one screen was LCD and the other e-paper employing the advantages of each.

    Nearly all of my desktops the past 15 years have had 2 or 3 full size screens. I put code on one side and the applciation on the other. Or browser on one side and text terminals on the other.
  • somebody needs to create a tablet with a pico/nano projector builtin and then if size of the screen is an issue

    FIND A BLANK WHIT{E|ISH} WALL!

    heck requiring new tablets to have "a commonly available video output with no restrictions on display devices other than matching input hardware (example microHDMI)" would be a decent solution.

  • by boteeka (970303) on Monday December 30, 2013 @12:31PM (#45819029) Homepage
    --rant--

    I am always amazed how everyone seem to think that throwing money at the educational issues will somehow solve them. The biggest problem is not with the lack of funding in general especially in western countries (although there are exceptions).

    The biggest problem lies much deeper than that in the fabric of society itself. Parents just want the state to take the problem of properly raising their children away from them. They send their children to public schools and expect that the children will be educated so they don't have to do it themselves.

    Look at the standardized testing system. It is utter BS. The notion that all children across a country or even across borders have to be tested against (more or less) the same set of standards is just nonsense. It's a tool of the establishment to dumb them down and make everyone conforming and easier to control.

    Add to this this kind of corporate agenda pushing like give children iPads. Sure Apple gets to make a good money on it and expand their market share and vendor lock-in while the taxpayers will subsidize the cost for little or no benefit for the children. Even if we agree that tablets are useful in education, why does it have to be iPads? A single brand of tablets? And arguably the priciest.

    And what sorts of things can you use a tablet to enhance education? Provide cheap/free textbooks which won't wear out? Doesn't happen, because of copyright issues. You will have to sell a copy to all children. And every couple of years the textbooks get rewritten so that somebody makes more money on it. In the days when I was a kid, the school issued paperback textbooks which were re-used year after year until they were completely worn out.

    You would think that with the digital textbooks all this is solved: no wear and tear, you can make many copies of it for absolutely no cost, can be upgraded whenever necessary for free. Guess what: it does not happen! Even worse, it probably costs more nowadays then back in the days. Just because of stupid copyright issues and the push for constant consumption for the benefit of a few large corporate entities.

    --/rant--

    Anyway, Happy New Year to all of you, fellow Slashdotters!
  • While iPads have made good traction in K12, education is still looking at other technologies, for several reasons -

    a) Standardized testing. In most cases, standardized testing still requires the use of a device with a physical keyboard. If Chromebooks get approved for this purpose they will likely take off even more in K12.

    b) Cost. iPads remain an expensive choice when budgets are constrained. It's safe to assume a new uber-iPad will not cost less than existing solutions. While Surface RT device

Overdrawn? But I still have checks left!

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