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  • mcquaid 3:13 pm on November 1, 2011
    0 votes

    Actually, I don’t use an iPad – or any other tablet. Never have beyond the aisle of a store. It’s not that I’m not interested in one, it’s just that I don’t see enough personal benefit in them to justify the large pricetag at the moment. What about student benefits, though? Surely, we can all […]

    Continue reading Discussion #2 – iPad, uPad, willweallPad? Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • bcourey 4:07 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Any chance of theft of these devices in schools? How do teachers deal with that? Or is it a concern at all?


      • mcquaid 11:05 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        It must be a concern. I wonder if there could be some remote bricking command that could be transmitted to an iPad recognized as stolen…

        One story I heard before of a school that got one iPad for every student went something like this:
        Someone asked the principal what they would do if one of them broke. The principal said they would replace it. Expensive, but a clear solution!

    • Angela Novoa 7:23 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen, I do agree with you about the Flash issue. However, as I mentioned before, there are some tools based on Flash that are working on developing apps for iPad and overcome this issue (e.g. Prezi,

      About the Internet connection (WiFi), you argue that it is not a device fault. Do you have in mind some options that might overcome this?

      And, Brenda, theft of these devices in schools is a relevant issue to consider. Educators must inspire a their students of taking care of technologies. However, some precautions must be taken. Any thoughts about what precautions should we take?

      • bcourey 6:16 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I suppose it is up to each school board as to what policies they have in place for any kind of theft – cell phones, school equipment, iPods etc.

        • mcquaid 11:03 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I wonder if any schools have students rent them or put damage deposits down on them (similar to the use of instruments in a band program).

      • mcquaid 11:02 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Angela, I know there are some tools based on Flash that are becoming compatible, but I don’t want some. I want all! I don’t want some device I use to not be able to handle something that is a fairly standard file type, plugin, etc.

        As for WiFi, it’s not so much that I am arguing but just saying it in passing – the fact that it needs WiFi to function fully isn’t the device’s “fault” – it just needs it. It puts the pressure on schools or places of work to have the infrastructure in place to do such things. I think that at this time, education / the work world needs to have things like wireless access set up to enable people to do more things. To me, there’s no point in even investigating them / inquiring about them until our school gets such access. The only options I can think of that would overcome that hurdle would be wired network access (talk about annoying on a device like that), or to have large chunks of information stored on it to use it offline.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 1:42 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I love the cartoon – that’s great and I agree we all go a little crazy over new technology.

      I too have not found a good enough reason to get one. One of my friends have one and they happen to mention they were downloading apps to replace some of the other ‘tools’ in their house – like a calculator, etc. I cannot find good enough reasons to justify the cost – even if I replaced all my calculators, rulers, etc.
      I do a lot of word processing and find the touch screen difficult to manage my typing – although you can get keyboards for them now. I still need a better reason to get one though.
      It’s great to have a new toy – but lets call it what it is. If we are using it for gaming and videos than it is an entertainment system and depending on how many games you play depends if the end justifies the means.

  • murray12 1:30 am on November 1, 2011
    0 votes

    1) When administrators consider that a new set of Mac computers will cost a great deal more that a set of ‘educational app rich’ iPads, this could be a game changer. You can get ‘more for your money’ taking the iPad route. 2) It feels like there is a new tablet being released every week. […]

    Continue reading D3: Money, Sprouting, & Leaning Back and Forth Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Jay 7:37 am on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for addressing all three of these questions Andrew. You are definitely correct in that it would cost a lot less to buy a set of iPads than it would to equip a classroom with as many macs. The mobility within the classroom that the iPad allows also provides an advantage over a stationary system.

      I think one of the difficulties of being in the decision making and investing postion for a school district is that you don’t always have a lot of time to wait, although you pointed out you would be waiting too long. I think this is for the same reason in that these technologies are changing so quickly it’s impossible to keep up or as you suggest you’d be waiting a long time because everything keeps changing. Like you mentioned, Apple is a trusted brand and I think this is what becomes the deciding factor for many. Some schools have started pilot programs as well and I think this is a good way to see what works for the school, teachers and most importantly students.

      Lastly, I also need to be sitting “rigidly” at a desk or table with my laptop when I am writing. Even if I got used to a touch screen keyboard I don’t think I could be lying on the couch and typing something out.

      • murray12 6:21 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jay,

        I seem to only manage pecking with one or two fingers when I’m typing and lounging on the couch:)

    • Doug Smith 5:42 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think even less expensive that a set of iPads could be a class set of netbooks, or notebooks perhaps. They are not as immediate as a tablet, but perhaps they offer more in terms of a creation tool. Who knows though? I never would have thought that someone would prefer to type on a tablet touchscreen but maybe that’s just my bias because of 20 years of keyboarding.

      • murray12 6:19 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Doug,

        I agree that some netbooks or notebooks could be a reasonable purchase for lean in activities, as opposed to iPads. But we don’t hear much ‘buzz’ about good old laptops anymore.
        At a iPad seminar I was at a few weeks ago, the speaker said that tablets are here to stay and soon we will be looking at laptops the way we now look at old computers that used to fill up half a room.

    • hall 11:46 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi murray,

      Thank you for appropriately answering the questions. Your answers definitely acted as a springboard for further discussions on Ipad Apps. I support your view that the purchasing of Ipad is a better option Ipad over than purchasing other devices such as the Mac. I think another reason that Ipad is a better choice than other devices on the market is its flexibility. I found that Ipad is flexible to use. In August of this year I was waiting at the airport to board a plane and during the waiting period I conveniently used a Ipad to catch up on my UBC assignments. IPads can be easily used by educators and students almost anywhere.

      • murray12 6:15 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Hall,

        I agree that iPads are great to bring out to catch up on some work. I’ll admit though that I’ve had a few instances where I haven’t had a wireless connection or was too stubborn/cheap to pay for a wireless connection while I have been out and about. Unless I pre-load everything I need onto the iPad, a time consuming task, I can find myself carrying around dead weight.

    • jarvise 11:31 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      Good point about typing on the pop-up. For students in k-12 today, this is their life. Think about how often you see them texting on those tiny little keypads. They are probably more comfortable on the pop-up than they are on a regular keyboard. For the younger set, this works. As far as using a bluetooth external keyboard, there is a pain-in-the-butt snag: if you have the keyboard ‘paired’ to your computer already, you have to unpair it first, then pair it up to the ipad. Everytime you switch it back and forth, you have to repeat the procedure. Annoying. As a result, I’m getting faster and faster on the pop-up. I wonder if there are keyboarding sites out there to train you on fast typing on a pop-up?


      • murray12 6:11 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Emily,

        I didn’t realize that you had to recalibrate an external keyboard between iPads and computers each time, bummer. I also wonder if there are apps or sites that help people from ‘chicken pecking’ at their pop-ups rather than using ten fingers 🙂

  • murray12 12:47 am on November 1, 2011
    0 votes

    The primary school I am working at recently bought twenty iPads. As one of the organizers of this addition, I found the following pros and cons. Pros: TIME! As an primary teacher it always seems to take forever to get a whole class set up, logged in, files found, website accessed, etc. on traditional computers. […]

    Continue reading D2: Time, Accountability, and Wheel re-inventing Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:24 am on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Thanks for your post.
      Pioneering something new has its challenges – it would be nice if lesson plans came pre-loaded for you that was not only adaptable but suitable for your needs. Its interesting that you mentioned the time it takes to utilize the ipad and get everyone on the same page- had never thought of that aspect before and it certainly is an issue that needs addressing. I imagine with repeated use that it would get easier and faster. Maintenance is always a concern as well – for any appliance that is used in the workforce, and budget talks that centre around maintenance issues are always a challenging conversation. It highlights the need that we need to identify its specific uses and expected outcomes before we invest in any technology.

      thaks again for your comments.

    • murray12 6:05 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Deb,

      Sorry, I may had been unclear in my post above – I have found using the iPads much faster than traditional computers. With traditional computers, students would always have their hands up asking questions about how to log in, where is a file, and what they’re supposed to do. It can get better with practice, but not always. With the iPads however, I found the students could intuitively get started right away once they know the instructions. The iPads have been a huge time saver.

      As for budget concerns and maintenance, so far we have a IT coming by every other month to fiddle with the iPads. Otherwise, I or another teacher wrestle with a spiderweb of cables to update the IOS or add new apps. It hasn’t been too stressful yet, but it’s only early days.

  • bcourey 3:47 pm on October 31, 2011
    0 votes


    I am a big fan of tablets, but not of the iPad for a couple of reasons – first of all, I am a PC user (always have been) and have not been part of the Apple family and so I find the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac family to be very foreign and I am […]

    Continue reading I am a big fan of tablets, but not of th… Posted in: Uncategorized
    • Deb Giesbrecht 4:30 pm on October 31, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your post Brenda. There seems to be very little ground regarding Apple products – you either really really like them, or your not a fan. I personally have an ipod and 2 pcs (just received my first laptop this weekend). I really like my ipod for games, but do my ‘business’ on my PCs.

      It is funny that you should mention that your Board is turning towards an ‘Bring you Own Device’ policy. Where I work is leaning towards that as well, and a new policy is being drafted as we speak. That will mean quite a varied array of devices that may require some accommodation on our end. I have seen a small number of tablets at work (or tablet like devices) which employees really seem to like. In regards to Flash – it really is a limitation in regards to being able to exploit the full potential of multimedia usage. One of the many legacies of Steve Jobs.

      So in the classroom, multimedia presentations/learning/usages may be certainly restricted related to this potential issue seen in the iPad. The other issues is how do you meld all these tablets and devices in a class of students who may or may not have access versus those that do.

    • Angela Novoa 12:24 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Brenda, thanks for sharing your experience. Indeed, the lack of Flash reader is one of the major issues to consider when deciding between iPads and other tablets, as many web 2.0 tools are based on Flash. However, apps developers are working to overcome this problem. For example, Prezi ( has just launched a version for iPads. Glogster ( is working on this too.

      I am glad to hear that your school board is turning towards the policy of “bring your own device”. As Deb mentioned this will mean that we should need some accommodations.


    • Doug Smith 5:38 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      A bit OT, but I bought a Playbook to use on the go. I’ve done a lot of reading for MET courses on public transit! Portability is a big issue for me and the Playbook fits in my pocket when I have big pockets 😉

      I also use the Playbook in class for taking pictures or video recordings of group work, which I then project on the LCD Projector.

    • jarvise 11:53 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think we’ll see a move away from being a PC vs Mac (or vice versa) system in schools. Especially as kids start bringing in more and more of their own stuff. It seems that as we move into m-learning, it is inevitable that there will be all different kinds of devices in our everyday interactions. I think we’ll get used to it. It just means that when designing learning activities for our students, we’ll have to always be considering this.

      Our schools used to be totally PC, then went totally Mac, and in the last 5 years have gone somewhere in between. The art and media studies teachers have lots of macs available, most others have PCs, but now we’re starting to see some ipads too.


  • kstooshnov 9:32 am on October 31, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , elementary,   

    Prior to the start of the school year, and this MET course, I attended a workshop in my school district which asked a question similar to the one above, whether the iPad will provide useful educational content for teachers and students, or if it will be used for games and other distractions.  The principal who […]

    Continue reading Educational Tool or Toy? – Week 9 Discussion #2 Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Angela Novoa 12:11 pm on October 31, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I think that creating a conscience among students that they are a community, and as a community, they are responsible of the learning process of all its members (in this case by taking care of the iPads) is great.


    • Julie S 7:43 pm on October 31, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I didn’t know about the 12 minute rule – thanks for that!

      Your story about the locked away devices reminds me of a study I did a few years back for BCNet about the educational use of video conferencing across a few Universities engaging in a pilot program. A minority of pilot users kept their video conferencing equipment locked in a closet. There stories were failures where almost everyone else was a huge success. It seems that the difficult access kept everyone on their teams, including themselves, from using the technology. The equipment may be safe but does it matter if it’s not going to get used?

      I’m also interested in the GPS capabilities. I think this is one of the most high potential areas for learning. Getting outside and interactive will be huge fun for the kids.

      There is an article (GPS mobile phones but not Macs – it’s flash based) – Mobile Game Based Learning: Designing a Mobile Locaiton Based Game by Sandra Schadenbauer, that you may be interested in. They describe a game in the framework of Moodle. It’s clear and has conceptual model screen shots.



    • hall 11:25 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi kstooshnov,

      Your post was very informative. Thank you for sharing your experience which has proved useful in classes with limited resources. Through your post I saw the use of technology can be effective in cooperative groups.

    • Deb Kim 3:05 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for the tips on the “12 minutes”. It was a very informative post.
      I haven’t used the iPad for formal or informal learning, but have been considering to purchase one for educational purposes (especially for my teaching) since I couldn’t afford to purchase a tabletPC.


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