The New York Times today ran an article about how Roslyn High School in Long Island is handling out "free" iPads to some students as part of a trial. Ultimately, the school wants to outfit all 1,100 students with their own devices.
From the NT Times article: "Roslyn administrators also said their adoption of the iPad, for which the district paid $56,250 for the initial 75 (32-gigabyte, with case and stylus), is advancing its effort to go paperless and cut spending. Some of the tablets are being used for special education students."
That's $750 per iPad. You can buy knock-off Android tablets for under $200. Oh. My. God. I'm glad the New York schools are so wealthy that they have $500+ to burn per device. Could they maybe share some of that with bankrupt California, or even my own deficit-choked Hillsboro, OR? How in the world does this "cut spending?"
"But school leaders say the iPad is not just a cool new toy but rather a powerful and versatile tool with a multitude of applications, including thousands with educational uses."
Yes, and all of them could be done for a lot less money. For that matter, students could use Google's design tools to create Android apps.
"Educators also laud the iPad’s physical attributes, including its large touch screen (about 9.7 inches) and flat design, which allows students to maintain eye contact with their teachers."
What?! How exactly does one admire that flat design and big screen WHILE maintaining eye contact with teachers?
"Scott Wolfe, the principal, said he hoped to secure 20 more iPads next school year to run apps that, for instance, simulate a piano keyboard on a screen or display constellations based on a viewer’s location."
Seriously? I can do that today on a freaking cell phone! Come to think of it, half of the student body probably already have phones able to do this.
I'm all for tablets and notebooks being issued to students, and I wouldn't mind at all if those were Apple products at a reasonable price. But dropping $750 per tablet is INSANE. There is no redeeming factor in Apple's technology that makes it necessary.This is an egregious misuse of sadly sparse educational funds, and I sure hope my own local districts wise up before the iFad hits here.