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We just went 1:1 with tablets here in Charlottesville VA. Here's a link to our FAQ page about the program- http://www.ccs.k12.va.us/blast/faq.html Students are being issued USB keyboards with these tablets http://store.shopfujitsu.com/fpc/Ecommerce/buildseriesbean.do?series=Q550

So far, our biggest issue has been bandwidth, but I've been really impressed so far.

I hope that you don't mind the "foreign" perspective on your VT list- lurking and contributing has been wonderful in making my impending move up there feel connected to a community (even if it's only a virtual one for now).

Genevieve Gallagher
Librarian
Charlottesville, VA

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 8:02 AM, Drew Blanchard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Back-dooring a brand environment into a public school is a bad precedent.  Anything you add to an Apple you buy from the Apple Store.  This is an incredible long term financial commitment to a single entity.

I have no qualms about relying on Apple and the Apps Store, but do have some serious concerns about using tablets for 1-to-1; they're inherently limited use items.  Printing, typing, lack of an optical drive - these are pretty basic functionality concerns.

"There's an app for that" only goes so far.  If these are to be the primary devices (instead of an auxiliary or supplemental device), why limit what students can do with them?  Students need one device which can "do it all."  Are tablets really the way to go?

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.

So, does it come down to this?  We must choose between using intuitive and engaging apps, or a more fully functioning "traditional" device?  The thought of also purchasing keyboards and mice (or docks) to add to tablets' functionality is more than I, or our budget, can handle

Drew

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Drew Blanchard, MAT
Technology Teacher
Winooski City Schools
Normand St.
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655 - 3530 x6073