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iPads On American Campuses? Maybe Next Year

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the please-don't-overcommit dept.

Education 177

Velcroman1 writes "Slashdotters have read extensively about the iPad pilot programs at colleges and universities: Australian schools are iPad crazy, we read yesterday, and thanks to the iPad's success, 2011 will be the year of the tablet. But on US college campuses almost half a year after the iPad's launch, it's a whole different story — at least so far this year. FoxNews.com reports that high-profile schools like Duke and Stanford are far more cautious about the device than has previously been reported. 'It definitely facilitates studying and recall because you don't get bogged down by all the paper,' noted first-year Stanford med student Ryan Flynn. But it's still a work in progress. 'The iPad isn't the best input device. Some people have gone back to paper and pencil.'"

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Budget (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678404)

College students on a budget would also have a hard time justifying the cost of a laptop or high-end netbook, while having only half the functionality. Ditto for universities looking to purchase them for students.

With the way most colleges and college students are going nowadays (as far as finances are concerned), this shouldn't be much of a surprise...

Re:Budget (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678460)

What functionality would the average college student be lacking after getting a bluetooth keyboard?

(Genuine question)

Re:Budget (1)

jpate (1356395) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678632)

Having the keyboard attached to the screen? I'm not just being snarky here. If you're going to go to the trouble of carrying around a keyboard with your iPad, (I would think) it's much more convenient to have them attached to eachother. I get irritated enough as it is when I'm using a program on my laptop that really requires a lot of cursor movement and have to pull out my mouse and hook it up.

Re:Budget (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678762)

Installing certain software needed for some classes. Especially in the technical fields.

Re:Budget (1)

zkiwi34 (974563) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678876)

I guess the concept of a decent thin client escaped you. As long as the students have a valid login, they get to use whatever they want running off a large (hopefully) secure backend. Mind you, I don't know enough about the state of thin client software for the iPad to know whether it's a good thing to do at the moment. But hey, it's worked for *nix for years, and very well, so why not with an iPad or few.

Mind you, I could be horribly wrong, and deserve to be beaten with a stick. Whatever :P

Re:Budget (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679900)

I guess the concept of a decent thin client escaped you ... I don't know enough about the state of thin client software for the iPad ... I could be horribly wrong

If you don't know what you're talking about, you might try not being such a dick.

Anyway, the kind of software our university requires in my department is the kind iPad sucks for: Matlab/Mathematica, Auto CAD, Office. By the time you set up a keyboard, mouse, and monitor (who wants to do CAD on a 10" screen?), you start to wonder why in the world you're using an iPad in the first place. A lesson I learned early was to use the right tool for the right job. iPad is not the right tool for everything.

Re:Budget (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33678970)

No Flash, which imposes a restriction on quite a few websites that utilize it.

Crippled ability to print anything -- you can buy the $30 Apple Camera Adapter to get some USB support, and/or simply email whatever you need to print to a computer, but what a pain.

Limited ability to copy files to and from an iPad -- media files, the limited number Apple sanctions can be transferred via iTunes. VLC has surprisingly been allowed into the tightly-controlled iOS app world but since there's no USB ports, no ethernet, and no user accessible file structure to even copy files back and forth you're limited to Apple approved apps for everything. Want to transfer a .doc file? Well you need to buy iWorks to work with it. There's no home directory, no 'My Documents', nothing except Apple apps to manipulate files.

iPads are touted as being great ebook viewers (and they actually are). But in the matter of reading a book on your iPad and also composing a paper means being able to have at least two apps open, something to view with and something to write with (well, at least three because a web browser is almost invaluable now). Being able to switch between them or view both side by side on a computer, that's not a problem, on an iPad that's another matter.

Usage of Skype means you need a webcam. Most laptops have them built in now, and even on a computer without one you can buy a USB external webcam. Remember, no USB on an iPad (outside of the adapter kit option, which gives you limited USB options).

iPads have a lot of pluses like the interface, battery life, instant-on, etc. but there are a lot of limitations too.

Re:Budget (0, Troll)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33680300)

Crippled ability to print anything -- you can buy the $30 Apple Camera Adapter to get some USB support, and/or simply email whatever you need to print to a computer, but what a pain.

You're not even trying... iOS 4.2 will introduce printing support [appleinsider.com] . Also this app works wonders for me right now: PrintBureau [apple.com] .

Look, the iPad isn't perfect, and it is not a replacement for a netbook/laptop in a lot of cases (but does work better in some use cases). There are legitimate issues, so why do you pollute your argument with stuff that is no longer an issue?

Re:Budget (1, Flamebait)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33678982)

There's functionality and there's ease of use. Let's discuss this.

What functionality does a regular laptop have that an iPad+Keyboard doesnt?

For one, a mouse. Sure, you can tap, but that's clumsy if you need to reach, or if you are trying to remote into a computer.

For another, multitasking. I'm not just talking about the iPad doing two things at once, I'm talking about the user being able to do two things at once. With a notebook, I can easily arrange my screen so that I have a reference (such as a webpage) while I'm typing something out. With modal applications, that's just not possible. I have to switch back and forth. Even with iOS 4.2, I doubt switching will be as easy as with a real computer. Is there even a keyboard shortcut for iOS4 to enable multitasking?

The iPad is good for a lot of things, but I think it will be a long while before it's a complete laptop replacement for a the majority.

iPad != computer replacement (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679426)

it will be a long while before it's a complete laptop replacement for a the majority

Naysayers keep missing a critical point about the iPad: the iPad is NOT a computer/notebook/netbook replacement. It augments.

The iPad is designed as a peripheral to a computer. 'tis obvious it lacks the mass storage, big screen, rapid input, etc. of a full-blown computer - it's not supposed to, so stop harping on that. While it may spend most of its time unconnected, it still relies on a host computer.

Some 20% of what you do with a computer (YMMV) is hardcore computing requiring full keyboard, nuanced/specialized input device, big/multiple screens, mass storage unto terabytes, etc. - stuff which either requires an all-out desktop computer or severe compromises for a notebook. The remaining 80% is lightweight stuff which can be done, and you want to do, anywhere anytime in a superlight package - THAT is what the iPad is for. By breaking out the 80% from the 20%, you no longer have to compromise the 100% into a tiny under-capacity notebook.

Put your textbooks, email, browsing, and suitable lightweight apps on the iPad so you can take info & access everywhere easily. Use the iPad's microphone (! hey naysayers, ya didn't know it had one, eh?) to record the lectures while you focus thereon and Dragon Dictate (or some such) them into editable/searchable text later. Work on assignments whenever/wherever you find a few minutes to. ...and when you need to do "real work", go home, sync up, and do the work on a real computer. [insert notebook-vs-desktop type parody of naysayer rhetoric here]

Stop bashing the iPad for not being what it isn't.
If a product doesn't do everything you want, then - brainstorm! - maybe it's not for you.

Re:iPad != computer replacement (0)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679520)

Seriously now? You just came up with that 20% and 80% comparison? You're obviously biased.

Re:iPad != computer replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679784)

Or you could just use a real laptop and do 100% of your work on it, and eschew the shiny iPad toy entirely...Unless you think your average college student can afford both a real computer, AND a $600 toy as well.

Seriously, name a single thing the iPad can do that another tablet/laptop can't.

Re:iPad != computer replacement (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679808)

Why would I want something to augment a netbook when I can just take a netbook? From my cursory search most netbooks seem to less than 2.5 pounds. So for one additional pound of wight you have something with much more functionality. Yeah the ipad augments a netbook all right. Just like an appendix augments your large intestines.

Re:iPad != computer replacement (1)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679832)

Not buying it.

Students need a personal computer to do school work. Tyipcally students today get laptops because of the portability, cost, and the need to do work on campus. So it's not a hard assumption to say that the students will already have a laptop, so why the hell do they also need a proprietary, sole source ipad??? Ah, I got it, all students have an extra $800 sitting around burning a hole in their pocket and are dying to give it to Jobs.

A tablet is useful for receiving information, reading books, surfing the internet and the like, but it sucks for input. Students on the other hand need to do things. They need to write reports, use excel, complete project assignment, etc. This is seriously a stupid discussion because a laptop can do the exact same thing but is much more functional and may not even cost any more. If a laptop can do superset of what an ipad can do, and a student needs a laptop, in a constrained budget situation why would you even consider getting an ipad?

And as for calling the ipad a "superlight package"... well, maybe you've never actually held one...

d

Re:iPad != computer replacement (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33680034)

The iPad is designed as a peripheral to a computer. 'tis obvious it lacks the mass storage, big screen, rapid input, etc. of a full-blown computer - it's not supposed to, so stop harping on that.

I was answering the question posed. And we are talking about replacement, as in "Should a college student buy an iPad or a laptop" (paraphrasing of an earlier post.)

Stop bashing the iPad for not being what it isn't.

I wasn't. If you think I was, you might want to check for sand in your nether regions--you're being oversensitive.

Re:Budget (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679620)

Notebooks are cumbersome; but a netbook is nice. I don't even consider my laptop as being portable anymore. I had a classmate in discrete math with the asus t101 tablet/net book and that device was slick. I think that's the perfect balance between ease of use, functionality and cost. Yeah it's a little bigger than an Ipad but it overcomes all the shortcomings of the iPad/e-readers.

Re:Budget (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33680178)

I consider netbooks to be a subset of notebooks. There's really a fairly fine distinction between them. Frankly, a 13" notebook is just fine for me for portability. It's would also be nice to avoid dealing with the Atom processors--they're fine for a lot of things, but my computer really bogs down occasionally. I tried doing some work with Postgresql on my Mini10, and it was flat out unusable. Tried on a full-fledged laptop (with the same drive) and it was fine.

My perfect machine would have a Core2Duo or i5, plenty of RAM, and probably a 11"-13" screen. A decent graphics card would be nice. Right now, the Alienware m11x seems to fit the bill, though its' so gaudy that I'm having a hard time actually plonking down the money for it (and I'm in the middle of an upgrade cycle anyway, so I'd need to sell off my old notebook to justify it.)

That said, I do have an iPad, and I do enjoy it. I prefer it to my netbook for reading books, it's less to carry around, and gets about 25% more battery life than my Mini-10. The screen is slightly larger, too, and the difference between the two is really the cutoff point for certain types of reading (comic books, for example.) Lastly, scrolling on the iPad is a dream compared to a notebook. It's hard to describe, but the touch interface just feels like I have more control over speed, direction, and precision. The best way to experience the difference, imo, is to take a high-resolution photograph and pan around it on both devices.

However, I recognize that the iPad is pretty much non-essential. I could do everything I need to and want to with my Mini-10. It's just that the iPad does a few of those things better.

Re:Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679340)

Does an iPod have a vertical holder? It would be a little hard to type at a desk with one hand while holding it up. You could lay it flat on desk and hope it doesn't fall off I guess.

Re:Budget (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678470)

College students on a budget would also have a hard time justifying the cost of a laptop or high-end netbook ...

Um, the cost of a "high-end netbook" is about what you pay for books each semester now.

Re:Budget (1)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679932)

And do you think the cost of those books comes from the trees that are cut down to make the pages? If you move the books to an ipad/computer, the only way you save any money is if you factor in pirating. The vast majority of the costs of those books is in paying the publisher and in paying the author. So you will still end up paying 80% or 90% of what you do now (assuming the publishers give you ANY discount for an electronic version) AND you won't be able to sell your books when you're done with them! Oh yeah... lots of costs savings there....

Actually the additional way you could save money is in the classes where a specific book isn't required and a good wiki will do (i'm thinking of programming and maybe some engineering courses.) Also if open source books take off, that could be interesting but that's pretty much the same thing as a wiki except with a different format. ... but then, it doesn't take an ipad to do any of that...

d

They'll just ask for charity... (3, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678546)

I recently saw that that the a 'Restoring Truthiness' (Stephen Colbert rally) charity on DonorsChoose.org was requesting iPads.

http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=439788&challengeid=39361 [donorschoose.org]

My students need iPads to assist them in English, Social details
Studies and Creative Writing!

Creating writing on iPads with one of the worst input methods among electronic devices? But it worked, they collected $10,000+. In some countries you can build a school with that instead of contributing to Apple's really fat margins.

Atleast with MS, you can run what you want, but with iPads? http://www.businessinsider.com/latest-app-store-rejection-outrage-apple-rejects-app-that-teaches-kids-to-program-2010-4 [businessinsider.com]

Sigh, the things that shiny baubles can get people to do....

Re:They'll just ask for charity... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678776)

"Atleast with MS, you can run what you want, but with iPads? http://www.businessinsider.com/latest-app-store-rejection-outrage-apple-rejects-app-that-teaches-kids-to-program-2010-4 [businessinsider.com] [businessinsider.com]"

The rules said they'd reject this type of app and they rejected it??!?!?1 I'm outraged!!!!1!!

Re:They'll just ask for charity... (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33678932)

The point is that the rules suck and that a device that is being pushed as a educational tool by schools and universities is locked down stopping kids from learning how to program. Not enough people being distracted by 'Ooh shiny' know about this.

Not just that, the app store rules are ambiguously and capriciously enforced. For example, Lua for game scripting has been approved though it violates the rules. There's no way of telling what will and will not be approved.

Re:They'll just ask for charity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33680172)

FUD. You can program for it as you like. The licensing only involves distribution.

Re:They'll just ask for charity... (3, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33680234)

a device that is being pushed as a educational tool by schools and universities is locked down stopping kids from learning how to program.

It pisses me off to hell that schools are pushing the iPad when it lacks the one thing that made tablets a killer tool for education: a stylus. I did my undergraduate degree in physics and I used tablets throughout for note-taking. I started with a HP TC1100 and moved on to a Latitude XT, but I would not trade a tablet PC for a pen and paper ever.

Tablet PCs with a digitizer for stylus input have very good precision and ink reproduction for comfortable writing. Applications like Microsoft OneNote have amazing features like on the fly handwriting recognition, note indexing, searching, tagging, aggregating, and sharing. I used to keep wiki style class notes my friends and I would edit on our tablets. In Windows "Ink" is a datatype recognized across applications, so you can copy/paste and edit your notes in different apps.

The iPad eliminated all of this functionality. I've tried capacitive pens and they suck hard by comparison. The palm rejection algorithms suck, there's no handwriting recognition to speak of, and the applications are as robust as "put ink on canvas." If that's all I wanted to do, I would use paper.

The sad thing is that tablet PCs never really took off in education, and now that the latest generation of tablets (sans PC) lacks EVERYTHING that made them worth while, they're suddenly being adopted. This tells me one thing: It's not about how well iPads work as teaching tools; it's a marketing ploy. I can see the University Administration sitting around a table saying "The kids love these whiz bang things, lets give them away and maybe they'll come to our school!" They did it with iPods, they're doing it again with iPads.

Oops, not $10,000 (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678808)

Edit: Looks like 10k was asked, not given, and the school is classified as a high poverty school...

Re:Budget (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678650)

Depends on how it all works out. If somehow the cost of the iPad plus digital textbooks was at all comparable to the cost of all the print textbooks, then It could work out.

Of course, that's unlikely because the ridiculous cost of print textbooks has nothing to do with the cost of printing.

Re:Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679892)

In fairness, a lot of them DO have a lot to do with the cost of writing. This doesn't apply to the intro Bio/Chem/Calc racket, but for upper level courses you have relatively low volumes over which to spread the cost of the author's writing compared for instance to the non-fiction universe. Considering that most textbooks are hardback/permabound and a larger form factor than typical fiction, $50 for a widely used and $70-80 for a sparsely used text is not unreasonable. True this does not justify the $150-200 Calc or Orgo books, but $30 of that is the campus bookstore's poor economic model (pay for facilities year round that get used at capacity for a month or maybe two if you are on a trimester schedule and have whatever inventory is left between the busy periods sit on the shelf). Also keep in mind that compared to tuition, books are still a relatively small factor in educational costs.

Tablet cost offset by digital textbooks. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678858)

Basing things on the current iPad price is not realistic. We are very early in the iPad's lifecycle and Apple is probably still pricing things according to the willingness to pay [wikipedia.org] of early adopters. As manufacturing ramps up and the regular public becomes the expected audience there will most likely be models that are far less expensive than we see today.

Also there is the potential for the cost of a tablet to be offset by saving from going to digital textbooks.

As for half the functionality, add a blue tooth keyboard and you get a lot of that missing half back and are not too far from a netbook type device. At least with respect to basic browsing, email, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation functionality. Obviously some majors that have more specialized software demands will need a more traditional desktop/laptop, comp sci, chem, etc.

Its way too early to make predictions as to whether tablets will be a win or a loss for students.

Re:Tablet cost offset by digital textbooks. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679524)

Also there is the potential for the cost of a tablet to be offset by saving from going to digital textbooks.

haha. That's funny. Last textbook I purchased online for $30 dollars used. I could probably get about $20-25 resell so I'm out about $5-10. New, the book was $130ish and Kindle I noticed it was about $80ish. Unless ebook prices seriously drop, or they let you resell them (not happening), electronic college textbooks will never be priced competitively with traditional textbooks.

Re:Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679194)

... while having only half the functionality.

this is the whole point.

reducing functionality makes security easier.

no script kiddiez if no scripts can run.

welcome to your padded cell (phone).

only bangalore (and mike hayden) knows whats in the code!

Re:Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679288)

High-end netbook == oxymoron.

I don't think so (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678436)

Most people my age (I'm going back to school in the spring, at 24), are pretty tech savy. They're also pretty broke. Buying an Ipad means that they can't hook up their laptops to a TV to watch the legions of entertainment that netflix on demand/thepiratebay offers. not to mention the ubiquitous use of USB flash drives that people wouldn't be able to use.

If there was a tablet that offered the functionality of a laptop, I'd say sure. but college kids, as much as we love the newest gadget, will more often than not chose functionality over form when it boils down to what saves money.

Re:I don't think so (5, Insightful)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678592)

iPad can already watch videos downloaded from TPB and has a netflix app for streaming video. Some Android tablets being released in the coming months have HDMI outputs on them as well as USB ports. All this while still being cheaper then a laptop and having better battery life. Also most have 3G connectivity so there is no need to be stuck near a hotspot while working. I know I will be buying a Notion Ink Adam when they are released.

Re:I don't think so (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678890)

> iPad can already watch videos downloaded from TPB

No, not really. In terms of video, the iPad is like some ancient laptop at the used computer store from 1999.

It has a weak CPU and limited speciality hardware and is constructed to make it impossible for you to manage your own data or applications.

So it's unecessarily hard to get things on and off. You can't really connect to local networks. You can't even print easily.

3G sucks for networking, especially anything serious.

Something with a good keyboard and a wired ethernet port will run circles around it for real work. ...not even getting into that whole "compatability" thing.

Re:I don't think so (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679614)

Fuck, are you ever a whiny bitch with a completely irrational hate-on for these things.

You're basically an elitist ass who is incapable of seeing how other people use these things instead from the full on tech-nerd.

You sound like RMS, only even more of an asshole. STFU already.

You must have missed the second part of what I wro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679002)

"If there was a tablet that offered the functionality of a laptop, I'd say sure. but college kids, as much as we love the newest gadget, will more often than not chose functionality over form when it boils down to what saves money."

And by watching video's downloaded from TPB/netflix, I was talking about hooking up your computer to a TV. because having 6 people in the same room huddled over a 11 inch screen sucks.

Re:You must have missed the second part of what I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679050)

That's why I mentioned the upcoming Android tablets with HDMI outputs.

Re:I don't think so (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679080)

iPad can already watch videos downloaded from TPB

How do you get them onto the iPad? Do you have to have a computer in order to do that?

Can you watch them on the TV? An App must specifically authorize use of the VGA-out dongle.

All this while still being cheaper then a laptop and having better battery life.

Better battery life? Probably. Cheaper? Not so much. The cheapest iPad is $500. I can go to my local Best Buy and get a laptop for less than that. I haven't seen US prices for Android tablets yet, but if they're similar to the prices we've been seeing for other countries, they won't be cheaper than the iPad.

Also most have 3G connectivity so there is no need to be stuck near a hotspot while working.

Most what have 3G? Tablets? iPads?

Most iPads don't have 3G. And it costs $130 more than the model you're getting in order to get 3G.

Most Android tablets are being announced with 3G, but there are no details yet whether or not they will require a contract. If they require a contract, that's about $30/mo you can expect to have to pay in addition to the cost of the device.

Re:I don't think so (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679512)

iPad can already watch videos downloaded from TPB

If it's like the new Touch, you'll need to convert the videos first on a desktop or laptop, so it's not an either/or situation. Also, if it's like the new Touch (I just got one) you can't do anything until it's authorized through iTunes on a desktop or laptop. Mabe the iPads don't need this step, I don't know.

tablets will definitely become a fixture in school (2, Interesting)

matty619 (630957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678452)

Just as a replacement for expensive heavy books at the very least. Laptops are too cumbersome, I'm sure teachers dislike staring out at just the tops of students' heads cresting from behind laptop screens. (think grade schoolers lol) I really do believe that the right tablet at the right price will be the biggest game changer for education we've seen in a long long time.

Re:tablets will definitely become a fixture in sch (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679228)

Just as a replacement for expensive heavy books at the very least

You'd need both a VERY good reader software and for the textbooks to actually be available in ebook form.

Razz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678456)

If only they were not so over-priced ... Oh well

College student here btw

The lockdown begins... (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678464)

I suppose it's a good thing to see a locked down system like the iPad slowly displace relatively unrestricted computers in college. Convince everyone as they go through school that restrictive, vendor controlled platforms are the way things should be, and you'll make them all the more amenable to heavy DRM.

Re:The lockdown begins... (0, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678570)

Convince everyone as they go through school that restrictive, vendor controlled platforms are the way things should be, and you'll make them all the more amenable to heavy DRM.

Or, you know, give people a device that does what they need in a more convenient form factor and leave the politics of free software out of it and stop whining about the purchasing choices other people make. Maybe even accept that their decisions are valid even if you don't get them.

But, hey, feel to paint issues in black and white as you see fit. God forbid someone thinks you're being alarmist and that they don't find the experience to be restrictive and limiting. Or, you know, I could go spend hours trying to find get a device working under Linux like I used to.

You know, 10 years ago the average person backed away from the rabid OSS people as they ranted on about more or less the same things because they came across as fanatical nut-jobs.

Thus far, I don't have any more DRM on my iPad as I do anywhere else, and I've only gotten free software -- of which there's tons of it out there.

Re:The lockdown begins... (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33678958)

> Or, you know, give people a device that does what they need in a more convenient
> form factor and leave the politics of free software out of it and stop whining
> about the purchasing choices other people

We are way beyond "free software" here.

We have gotten past that to simple property rights.

Not really owning or controlling your own hardware has some serious practical implications that are more than just "politics".

The thing makes a great toy but falls down for real work or anything that requires manipulating your own data.

The iTunes approach to interacting with the device is main reason why.

Of course those of us with a clue are going to sound the warning bells. People like you want to swindle them.

Re:The lockdown begins... (-1, Troll)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679278)

Not really owning or controlling your own hardware has some serious practical implications that are more than just "politics".

In what way don't I own my iPad? In what way can't I control it -- oh, you mean that since I can't run Apache on it or Linux I don't control it?? Are we still ranting over that old saw? Really? Just because you want to put Linux on your toaster and watch doesn't mean that all of us do.

The iTunes approach to interacting with the device is main reason why.

What, with buttons? Now you're bordering on incoherent ... do you mean the iTunes store? The iTunes app? In what way am I restricted by iTunes that offends your sensibilities? Could it be the DRM that I don't use on the MP3s that I'm not supposed to be able to use?

Or do you mean the nice convenient app store instead of downloading a tar-ball, running autoconf and going through the tedious process of compiling and installing my own software, including resolving my own dependencies? The closest I get to that these days is the Ubuntu package manager. I have no interest in wading into that level of stuff -- I've done it for far too long.

Of course those of us with a clue are going to sound the warning bells. People like you want to swindle them.

Well, those of you who think you have a clue to the exclusion of the rest of us will continue to be rabid tools who think that the rest of us are wrong beyond redemption. Basically, you sound like a shrieking monkey. Do you know what "swindle" even means? I'm not "stealing" your alarm bells, I'm telling you that you might want to tone down the rhetoric a little. Or is disagreeing that we're all going to die because of Apple an act of dishonesty and sedition? In which case, you are officially batshit crazy.

Do you really think the "walled garden" of Apple is the death knell for individual rights and we're all being groomed for something nefarious? I just don't see it that way. In fact, I see it as a damned sight more convenient than the old days.

Mostly I hear people shrieking about how my choice to buy an iPad is a great sign of the apocalypse and soon we're going to have cats living with dogs and no remaining personal freedoms.

Why don't you just leave us to decide if it's a useful tool for us, and get over it? You're ranting on about some bogeyman and throwing around some innuendo, but you're not saying anything. You're just shouting your own inflexible position over and over.

ZOMG teh iPads are taking our freedoms away! Hide the women folk.

Re:The lockdown begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679626)

Hmm. Sounds like someone is trying to rationalize their contributions to the death of open computing.

-- The Troll

Re:The lockdown begins... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679822)

Hmm. Sounds like someone is trying to rationalize their contributions to the death of open computing.

*laugh* Or, like a pioneer who by buying a product that I want ... I am enabling the flood of copycat products to reach the market which will allow you to tinker and have more choice.

I'm actually increasing your freedoms by making the market realize that people want touch screen tablets now dammit. Some of those will be open products that you can tweak as you fit. Someone will likely port Linux to it, even.

In the short term, I get the freedom of a product that does what I want and serves my needs. In the long term, we all get better tablet computing and people start making more products, expanding your personal and market options making you more free.

Thank me, bitches!! I'm helping pave the road for innovation. :-P

Re:The lockdown begins... (3, Insightful)

mac84 (971323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679530)

"The thing makes a great toy but falls down for real work or anything that requires manipulating your own data..." HUH? Do you have a clue about what you are writing? Ever heard of google Apps? how about iWork? Cloud storage? These things are vastly easier to administer than a a laptop, and high school students by and large, don't need to know how to program a computer. Keep the piece of hardware in the user's hands simple and non configurable so they can't screw it up. An appliance instead of a tempermental, albeit flexible computer. Then put all the storage and processing programmability back in the cloud. Kind of a dumb terminal for the 21st century. But with the added capability of being a standalone ebook reader, media consumption device and web browser. And by the way, if your a registered developer (like a school district's net admin) you can do ad hoc software distribution to your own devices of any software you write outside of the Apple lockdown. So lighten up.

Re:The lockdown begins... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679958)

Not really owning or controlling your own hardware has some serious practical implications that are more than just "politics".

Look, I'll probably never buy an iPad because I prefer more open devices I can hack on easily. That said, how do people "not own or control" their iPad? Is there anything stopping you from installing your favorite Linux/Android OS on it? Is there anything stopping you from jailbreaking it and installing any apps you care to? What Apple is controlling is the Apple supplied service for buying/downloading/and installing applications. That's pretty much it.

If you don't like Apple's approach, by all means feel free to speak up and tell people why. But please drop the hyperbole or you're just going to discredit by association those people who are making legitimate arguments.

Even laptops aren't good enough to input... (3, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678476)

It's not only tablets. Try to efficiently draw a diagram or reproduce a table on a laptop/tablet.

If you want to write your thesis, fine, use either one. But if you study science or any other topic where notes are not only pure text, it's bound to be very limited.

Re:Even laptops aren't good enough to input... (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678614)

What about something like the new Dell tablet/netbook hybrid then?

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/14/dell-inspiron-duo-tablet-netbook-hybrid-unveiled-with-rotating/ [engadget.com] (watch the video).

You can both draw diagrams when needed(dunno the precision with capacitative screen, type properly when needed with the full physical keyboard. Oh, and most importantly, you can run what you want on it and not be restricted to Apple's whims and fancies.

I would not like to be 'forced' to use one (1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678480)

I loathe anything forced onto me and as such, I'd not like to be forced to use the iPad. If anything, I would like to use one of the many Android devices or even Google's Chrome OS. Let's urge these many OEMs not to cede the educational market to Apple and its control freaks.

Hm (2, Interesting)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678500)

I was in university about 6 years ago, right during the shift when students were just starting to bring laptops (at least, where I went). I never had one, and I liked the fact that with notepaper I wasn't limited in any way: I can write, draw, colour, do whatever since a pen has no restrictions.

That said, the amount of paper I had to lug around sucked, so definitely an iPad or similar device would help. If I went back to school now, I can honestly say I would definitely try an electronic solution first, but if I felt any slower or that I couldn't get all the notes down, I would switch back.

One thing I never got is the students who recorded the whole hour lecture. I could barely even sit through them once... ah, who am I kidding, I often didn't :).

Re:Hm (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678648)

That said, the amount of paper I had to lug around sucked, so definitely an iPad or similar device would help. If I went back to school now, I can honestly say I would definitely try an electronic solution first, but if I felt any slower or that I couldn't get all the notes down, I would switch back.

After 15 years in the software industry, the old-fashioned black lab-book is still my preferred method of taking notes. I literally have a stack of them going back to the mid 90's, and occasionally dig out something to refer back to it.

YMMV, but for me, I still prefer to keep paper notes in parallel to things like email and whatever other electronic things I'm also using.

Re:Hm (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678752)


I literally have a stack of them going back to the mid 90's, and occasionally dig out something to refer back to it.

I bet you have them indexed and labelled with Roman numerals, too. :)

Re:Hm (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678910)

I bet you have them indexed and labelled with Roman numerals, too. :)

Nope. I do try to keep the stack chronological though. And, I wouldn't do it with roman numerals anyway -- just date ranges. :-P

But, for me having the notes to refer back to is actually helpful. Again, YMMV on how you track such stuff -- I like the notes to jog my memory or record decisions.

Re:Hm (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33678978)

He probably has them organized in some fashion that is not supported or acknowledged by Apple's tools.

That's a problem with Apple desktop software, never mind their tablet stuff.

Re:Hm (1)

MrPayne (1278824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679014)

You're not the only one. I have only been in software for a little over two years (since I graduated). I am constantly going through note books. I can't really explain why, it's just an easy spot to put ideas. It's like short/medium term memory to me. Anything important enough for the long term usually gets copied somewhere else though.

Ah, the old Return on Investment argument (3, Insightful)

scosco62 (864264) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678504)

Glad to see that rational thought is shining through the morass of hype. It's a good tool - but just that, a tool.

iPad is not the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678506)

Apple has done everything to get the iPad the most. I believe other things are better such as. Apple is overpriced and overspent. Why not go back to paper? You are too caught up in it.

The writing is on the wall for Samsung (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678548)

Yes, the writing is on the wall for companies like Samsung. This video [crunchgear.com] shows much of what Samsung's tablet can do. Personally, I am impressed by it and joyous that I did not get 'infected' with heard mentality by buying the iPad when it was released.

Re:The writing is on the wall for Samsung (4, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679024)

You know, the "writing on the wall," if referring to the Biblical event, was a bad thing, not a good thing. It was doom for the current ruling empire. :)

Problems (1)

PGGreens (1699764) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678576)

Along with being able to distribute digital handouts, I hope teachers also like the whole class being on facebook, too. At least with laptops a lot of times it's pretty obvious that you're not paying attention. But, if everyone is looking at their tablet, who knows. Besides, it's much better suited for writing a status update than trying to take notes with it. With a touch screen you would have to stare at it while you take notes, so hopefully the prof isn't writing on the board, or anything.

Accessibility (1)

FullBandwidth (1445095) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678582)

... insert standard comment about mainstream vendors' lack of commitment to accessibility features for the differently abled ... Can't "force" it on students who can't use it.

Paper and pencil (5, Interesting)

massysett (910130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678606)

As a law student, at first I used a laptop to take notes in class. I had a 14-inch laptop and it wasn't light, especially when you factor in the power cord. I got tired of lugging the thing around.

This was years ago, so light laptops were quite expensive and there were no netbooks. One guy had a Palm and a fold-up keyboard. I thought of getting this but I couldn't justify the expense.

Then I realized I was making this way too complicated. I got a bunch of $2 spiral notebooks and started taking those to class instead. I could write a lot faster on a laptop, but I realized that having page after page of class notes was not really helpful anyway. Without the laptop and all the distractions it brought, I could focus better in class. In the end I was glad I had stopped using the laptop. My bag was a lot lighter too.

I think computers in the classroom could perhaps be helpful, but only if the professor actually takes steps to integrate them--maybe by teaching from materials that are online. Law school instructional methods do nothing to take advantage of laptops, so they just end up being a burden. An iPad is even less functional than a laptop, so I doubt it would be useful in most classrooms. I don't see how medical school would differ from law school in this regard.

Palm + Keyboard (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678840)

One guy had a Palm and a fold-up keyboard. I thought of getting this but I couldn't justify the expense.

Got through both my studies in Medicine and in Bioinformatics using such setups.
It really, really helped me because, unlike plain paper, Memos on Palm are searchable.

I could write a lot faster on a laptop, but I realized that having page after page of class notes was not really helpful anyway. Without the laptop and all the distractions it brought, I could focus better in class.

Well it all depends on how you take notes : if you're the "write down absolutely everything down", "hands directly wired to the ears, skipping the brain" type of notes, a laptop, a Palm or whatever won't help much more than a voice recorder sitting and recording passively the lecture.

If you take notes, i.e.: take time to digest the content of the lecture, extract key points and write down a few keyword a few sentences that you reworded to your liking, to help you remember the most important stuff - then no matter the support, notes are going to be much more helpful.
Paper notepads helped you because, apparently, you don't scribble as fast as you type. And thus you *have* to write down a condensed version of the lecture material, and thus have you brain active during the process.
Myself, I got used to re-word what's being said from secondary level, and the move to Palm for university wasn't much a change. Except perhaps that quickly drawing figures isn't that easy on a Palm and therefor I had to do even more reprocessing of the information before writing it.

I don't see how medical school would differ from law school in this regard.

There's a huge amount of available applications for PDAs, some dating back as far as the Palm era, with lots of useful information for med students : Drugs databases like "Epocrates", or e-books like "5min Clinical Consults". Carrying arround said information in paper form would require much more pocket space than available on the average trouser.
Also, I don't know how lectures are organised in your law faculty, but the problem-oriented teaching in our med faculty made rather useful to be able to perform a quick keyword search to exatract some notes you took one and a half year ago at another lecture or while reading scientific literature.

Not everyone around me back in med school was doing note-taking directly on the palm as I did, but none the less, lots of them used palm to carry around reference material in a practical form factor.

Re:Palm + Keyboard (4, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679516)

Well it all depends on how you take notes : if you're the "write down absolutely everything down", "hands directly wired to the ears, skipping the brain" type of notes, a laptop, a Palm or whatever won't help much more than a voice recorder sitting and recording passively the lecture.

That always seemed terribly ineffective to me. If you spend all your time simply typing down what is said instead of actually listening to it, then you missed the entire lecture. All you have to show for it are some poorly transcribed notes -- you might as well have just read a book on the subject.

For me it's the same thing with photography. I used to take tons of pictures when vacationing, until I realized that I was worrying so much about photographing everything that I wasn't actually LOOKING at anything. Now people complain that I don't have enough pictures, but at least I can remember what I did on vacation now.

Re:Paper and pencil (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679466)

As a law student, at first I used a laptop to take notes in class. I had a 14-inch laptop

Well, at least it was legal sized.

how stupid are they? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678660)

The price is absurd and honestly that's all schools care about. And why would they want a platform that the vast majority of students don't use at home and aren't familiar with? And good luck finding school IT staff that were trained in Apple technologies. Oh and trainig teachers on new technology is just oh so fun. I'd love to see a history teacher try and troubleshoot a network error on one of them or determine why a student can't send the document they just typed. I've seen listings for that on job sites here stay up for months and months. And kids can't even take care of textbooks let alone giving them some $500 piece of technology and telling them not to break it the entire year. So either the school would go far into the red on the whole project or the parents would get stuck with the bill and, let's me honest, strike that decision down before it's even considered. What? Tuition at my public school went from $50 to $550 this year? Hold on, I've got to make a picket sign real quick. This whole idea is idiotic and I bet Apple actually wrote that article.

Re:how stupid are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678810)

$50 for tuition? What planet are you from? More to the point, public schools don't charge tuition.

Not unless they're 100% accessible to the blind... (3, Informative)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678664)

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/January/10-crt-030.html [justice.gov]

"WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced separate agreements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Pace University in New York City and Reed College in Portland, Ore., regarding the use in a classroom setting of the electronic book reader, the Kindle DX, a hand-held technological device that simulates the experience of reading a book.

Under the agreements reached today, the universities generally will not purchase, recommend or promote use of the Kindle DX, or any other dedicated electronic book reader, unless the devices are fully accessible to students who are blind and have low vision. The universities agree that if they use dedicated electronic book readers, they will ensure that students with vision disabilities are able to access and acquire the same materials and information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as sighted students with substantially equivalent ease of use. The agreements that the Justice Department reached with these universities extend beyond the Kindle DX to any dedicated electronic reading device."

Re:Not unless they're 100% accessible to the blind (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678802)

Right. Because notebooks, textbooks, projectors, smart boards, et. al. sure didn't take off on campuses.

Re:Not unless they're 100% accessible to the blind (2, Informative)

FullBandwidth (1445095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679962)

Accessibility accommodations for all those materials are well known and currently in use. Try running a touch-screen device with a blindfold on sometime.

I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (4, Informative)

pshumate (1004477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678674)

I've been tasked with writing a feasibility report on using the iPad in the college classroom. For reference, we're a small college (1,300 students). I think the biggest disadvantages are a.)the inability to easily incorporate figures into your typed notes; b.)the lack of wireless printing; and c.)the relative scarcity of e-textbooks. Not having a USB port doesn't bother me, nor does the lack of USB. As of right now, the iPad is more secure in terms of malware and viruses (though I am willing to be wrong, and told I'm wrong, on this point). The fact is, most students don't care about network or personal computer security past making sure their machine works and doesn't get stolen. Removing the USB port removes a virus vector that's been particularly nasty on our campus. Making sure the students get just the apps they need helps the faculty in that the iPad, when used in class, won't be bogged down with distractions. Now, there are a slew of other issues that must be considered (the students are allowed to buy other apps, music and such, will half of these end up in pawn shops in a week, do we have the capability to handle that many wireless connections at once), but there are a lot of advantages to the device.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679030)

> As of right now, the iPad is more secure in terms of malware and viruses

It's no more secure than Linux or MacOS.

The problem with the PC approach is Microsoft software, not the PC approach.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679300)

As of right now, the iPad is more secure in terms of malware and viruses

It's no more secure than Linux or MacOS.

It's no more secure than Linux or OS X (both of which are fairly secure) except it has to be those OS's being run in a specialized environment where security policies forbid unsigned and un-sandboxed end user applications and all applications have some vetting process. Since that eliminates 99% of all installations of either OS, I'm going to have to disagree with you and say the iPad is more secure than most desktop Linux or OS X installs in use today.

The problem with the PC approach is Microsoft software, not the PC approach.

I don't know what you mean by "the PC approach" but locked down distribution of applications has been used by many organizations worried about security. It can be done in a way that is less restrictive than Apple's approach while still providing the same level of security, but so far no one has stepped up and implemented such a system on a mainstream consumer offering.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679046)

What if you somehow took notes or something and want to put it on another computer? A USB port is rather useful for that sort of thing... basically, any attempt to move data off your iPad to work with it on another platform, how does that work?

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679176)

E-mail it.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679220)

So with easy storage devices and networking availability, we're going to move stuff between two computers that are sitting right next to each other by e-mailing it. That doesn't sound very smart.

Especially if the mail server has attachment size limits.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679876)

So with easy storage devices and networking availability, we're going to move stuff between two computers that are sitting right next to each other by e-mailing it. That doesn't sound very smart.

Nope... but it still beats Sharepoint :)

In all seriousness, many, many people do use e-mail for just that purpose because file transfer software tends to suck for usability. As for server size limitations, doesn't everyone have a Gmail account by now?

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33680340)

Welcome to the Apple approach, where easier is harder.

Without any meaningful networking capability or a USB port, you're stuck using apps and iTunes. iTunes is absolutely HORRID at data management, so you're left with apps. Things like dropbox are a good solution, but you're still uploading to dropbox serves, and downloading to your computer. This gets very cumbersome for large files. You're also stuck with a 2gb limit on.

It turns out that e-mail is one of the easier methods of file transfer on the iPad because the app is on there by default, you don't need yet another account, and it's easier than using iTunes (no data cable, no iTunes interface, no fiddling with sync options and file locations).

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679334)

What if you somehow took notes or something and want to put it on another computer? A USB port is rather useful for that sort of thing... basically, any attempt to move data off your iPad to work with it on another platform, how does that work?

Why would you use USB for that? You have your wireless internet connection. Even for PC's you can use wireless or ethernet to transfer data more efficiently. And if you don't, Firewire is a crap-ton faster than USB for moving data.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679386)

Not all campus networks allow you to easily network two computers on the public campus network.

Re:I'm Working On A Feasibility Report (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679828)

Not all campus networks allow you to easily network two computers on the public campus network.

Really? In what way do they prohibit computers from easily networking? I'm really trying to picture it. Maybe requirement use of a VPN that filters DNS-SD for some unknown reason? Even so that won't stop an ad hoc network connection between the two.

What I'm trying to figure out now is: do you just use gear with really, really crappy networking controls, or if your campus network engineers are brilliant and evil. Care to tell me what campus network you're talking about?

Same story, different spin (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678694)

Seems both American and Australian universities are launching a few trial programs with the iPad; however, yesterday's story seem to spin it that the iPad was taking over schools whereas today's article has a different slant.

Ergonomic nightmare (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678816)

Are these campuses also distributing physical keyboards? The iPad is neat and all; with its lickable beauty and whatnot.

But when 'typing' on one there are only two choices (natively): hold it in one hand while finger typing with the other, or lay it down flat and attempt to type while looking at the screen at a 90 degree angle. Either way, a person will eventually develop pain and/or numbness from such awkward movements or positions.

It would work for quick notes, but trying to write a thesis or take detailed notes during a lecture would be problematic. Perhaps these institutions will also provide a keyboard solution. If not (which would be more likely IMO), I wonder if/when colleges that have compulsory iPad usage policies will start getting RTI injury claims and the inevitable litigation proceedings.

Re:Ergonomic nightmare (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679152)

I've found the (somewhat pricey) Apple iPad case useful; it lets you prop up the screen at a slight angle when you're in landscape mode. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC361ZM/B [apple.com]

Hint: It's the OS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33678834)

I think a lot of folks miss the point of what makes the iPad attractive for organizations. Bottom line; there's little-to-no need for IT support. It is nearly impossible to corrupt or otherwise screw up the OS. If a user gets lost, there's a single button on the faceplate that takes them back 'home'. The functions of the iPad could be replicated by any number of competitors, but as of right now the most compelling aspect of iOS is in its simplicity. Which is a little ironic because most /. readers are going to consider the limited functionality of the OS to be the iPads biggest drawback.

Re:Hint: It's the OS (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679500)

I think that's right: orgs like the perceived (and maybe real, TBD) low support costs relative to all the other platforms available. The novel form factor is just candy. It suggests that a netbook-format ipad/netbook mashup running iOS might be pretty f'ing popular too.

Already Happened (2, Informative)

tj111 (1275078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679140)

My brother is a freshmen at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and all students there were given iPads as part of their enrollment (price included in tuition). As to how much it's used in the classroom, who knows, I haven't talked to him much since he got there.

No Thanks (0, Flamebait)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679202)

I can get a really decent laptop for what the iPad runs. I'm lugging around a pretty but huge Dell Vostro laptop to class, which makes me drool over the tiny netbooks. They fit on the desks easily and can run more then 2.5 hours without hunting for a power outlet.

FoxNews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33679216)

Meh. Fox News sucks anyway...

...and here comes my -1 flamebait. i can smell it from a mile away

Restricted content: added bonus (1, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679332)

As long as one entity is in control of the content being delivered on the platform, you will only get what said entity deems as appropriate. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea has been smoking too much of the Apple kool-aid.

Waste of money. (1, Flamebait)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679866)

Let's face facts. Most college kids are going to use these iPads to dick around. The college where I taught a course a couple of years back had given MacBooks to all their students. If I wasn't standing over their shoulders they'd be happily chatting away with friends or wasting time on some other site. It was routine to be going over something with them and have a chat window pop up. What was especially ridiculous was that the classroom, like many others around the campus, was equipped with desktops so there was no real need for these laptops. But it certainly was more convenient that they worked on their own machines.

I suppose in retrospect I could have demanded they close chat programs and browsers. But then, we're talking about a university class here. If I wanted to babysit a bunch of children I'd go teach in an elementary school. And if you're teaching a class with upwards of 20 or 30 students what do you do then? You could demand they keep the computers turned off, but then the school provided the damn things.

It would be nice to see universities expend this much effort on controlling costs. Why the hell is a college education so damn expensive anyway? The professors I've encountered seem to have a carefree attitude towards spending, something I had never experienced in the corporate world. What incentive do they have to care when there's a steady stream of income? They can endlessly raise tuition and nobody seems to care.

We already have them here (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33679960)

I'm not quite sure why you seem to think we don't.

We have many iPads at the UW. We also have Kindles and netbooks.

They all work. They're all in use in classes.

I just bought a pad of paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33680348)

and can't find the damn power button. What good is a pad if you can't turn it on?

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