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,

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 :)