I would imagine that if you start the conversation with "What do we want
our students to be able to do with this device?", you'll have a clearer
idea as to what will work and what will simply not suffice. As tempting as
an iPad or tablet appears, it has significant challenges. Getting students
to make the transition from "entertainment device" to "learning tool" could
be even more challenging with such a device. I would also suggest that you
take a long look at the cost over the projected lifetime of the device, not
just the initial purchase price. Lastly, have a rollover plan. Sometimes
disposing of old equipment is surprisingly burdensome or costly.

Keith Nemlich
Technology Coordinator
Manchester Elementary Middle School
80 Memorial Avenue
Manchester Center, VT 05255

802-362-1597  ext. 1003
cell - 802-779-6487

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On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM, Steve Ligett <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Good points. I'm not sure there's *one device* that is the swiss army
> knife of technology - these days I'm carrying a small laptop (or large
> netbook), an ereader, and a smartphone. I can't say I miss an optical
> drive, and I have had success printing from iPads and iPhones onto HP
> laser printers via CUPS and a magic PHP script I came across.
> The first time I used an iPad I was not impressed - it didn't seem to
> me that it could do much. The second time, a year later, I was more
> impressed - either it changed or I had. I think it's a useful tool to
> have in our toolbox.
> It does seem to me that most of these technology tools we have are
> prototypes - whether it's Google Docs, tablets, or the Internet
> itself. It's still all a lot harder to use than it was on The Jetsons.
> Too much rambling,
> steve
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM, Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Quoting Drew Blanchard <[log in to unmask]>:
> >
> > Some apps are truly amazing, and their interactive features score big
> points
> > on the "very cool" meter.  But the fact is, you must rely on those apps
> to
> > work with the tablet.  Typing/presenting a major research report on them
> > (for example) is, to put it mildly, annoying.
> >
> >
> > If you think tablets are annoying, you should try a typewriter ! :)
> >
> > More seriously, I've used an iPad from day 2, even bought a wireless
> > keyboard on day 3 to see where that would go. The keyboard sits unused
> since
> > day 4 - really found I didn't need it.
> >
> > My biggest disappointment has been that no handwriting recognition
> > application has come up yet (I don't have an iPad 2, so no Siri - maybe
> we
> > can just dictate our papers ?) ...
> >
> > ---
> >
> > Which brings me to one of my big gripes about the "debate." We seem to
> be so
> > technologically captured by the PC mindset, that we've forgotten that
> there
> > are many ways of creativity (and "content creation") that don't require a
> > keyboard, a printer, or an optical disk.
> >
> >
> > Steve
> >
> > ** A second disappointment has been that no "neighborhood" app ala OLPC
> > seems to have been developed ...
> >
> > *** A third being that app discovery is tedious :)