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Maine School District Gives iPad To Every Kindergartner

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the america's-angry-birds-scores-will-lead-the-world dept.

Education 478

An anonymous reader writes "'An Auburn, ME school district spent more than $200,000 to outfit every one of its 250 kindergartners with [iPads], along with sturdy cases to protect them. School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartner an iPad. Mrs. McCarthy says the tools give her 19 students more immediate feedback and individual attention than she ever could.' Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?"

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478 comments

i must be missing something (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430536)

$200k / 250 students is $800...why would you pay more for less?

Re:i must be missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430564)

... along with sturdy cases to protect them.

Re:i must be missing something (1)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430578)

$200k / 250 students is $800...why would you pay more for less?

Anyone mention this yet?

"...along with sturdy cases..."

Re:i must be missing something (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430622)

$300 for a sturdy case? So, they bought them from a defense contractor?

Re:i must be missing something (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430818)

I guess they must be nuclear blast proof, along with the manually operated kinetic energy transfer devices (hammers).

Re:i must be missing something (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430590)

Maybe the teachers got some too. Or they're skimming off the top..

Re:i must be missing something (4, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430776)

Well, when you are a kindergarten teacher and you are worried about test scores.... there is something wrong.

My tests consisted of drawing the alphabet (which was above the chalkboard), and sleeping during nap time.

Re:i must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430604)

$200k / 250 students is $800...why would you pay more for less?

..Don't forget, the remote monitoring software...

Re:i must be missing something (0)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430798)

250 students will require more than 250 iPads (redundancies, spares, teacher units, etc.). They will also require cases, software, AppleCare, storage, tracking, charging stations, administration, etc.

But the real question is, why would anyone think they are "paying more for less" in the first place?

It will .... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430546)

be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome.

Unfortunately, making classrooms wired has very little to do with overall learning going on in the classroom. It is amazing how much learning actually went on in the one roomed school houses of 100 years ago with a much smaller budget than is spent per-pupil today by even the poorest school systems. If you doubt me, go read early high school text books. Many are sophomore+ college level today.

Dumbing Down is hidden agenda? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430612)

Is dumbing down a hidden agenda? Not just in the USA but in the western world? I live in NZ, and believe it is so. the 20ish year olds I come into contact with seem to know almost nothing that I learned 20 years ago. They also question nothing and just accept things. Dumber people are easier to control so maybe it is policy some where.

Re:Dumbing Down is hidden agenda? (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430892)

Is dumbing down a hidden agenda? Not just in the USA but in the western world? I live in NZ, and believe it is so. the 20ish year olds I come into contact with seem to know almost nothing that I learned 20 years ago. They also question nothing and just accept things. Dumber people are easier to control so maybe it is policy some where.

It's easier to be ignorant when you're already pretty well off. But, there are very definite societal issues involved. Here in the US, there's a rampant bullying problem in the schools that reinforces a negative view toward education, in general. AFAIK the bully culture's been here for decades, so I don't know if that says anything.

Re:It will .... (4, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430640)

I'm not at all apologizing for our horrible public education system, but there's much more to it than per-student spending. Books are much more expensive, wages are much higher. Those one-room schoolhouses were often owned and operated by the one or two teachers that ran the joint and they were able to handle what little administrative needs there were by themselves. Nowadays we have big schools with scores of teachers, large administrative staffs, etc. Plus you need to keep the facilities maintained and have a maintenance staff on daily duty. The districts have their own administrative buildings and staff as well as the need to maintain a fleet of buses, etc. There are nutritional programs because kids often get their food at school rather than packing lunch, etc.

That all being said, our educational system sucks and is in dire need of improvement... but again, it's not just "per-student spending".

Re:It will .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430674)

Pedagogy back then was terrible, though. "Memorize this, then recite it back to me" was most of grade school. College was basically the same thing, but with translations and philosophy. Modern textbooks are written with updated pegagogy in mind.

Re:It will .... (3, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430710)

Yes, all that rote memorization of facts and processes led to nothing - no semiconductor development, theoretical physics, nuclear power, aeronautics, travel to the moon, or even this thing called The Internet. Yeah, nothing good ever came from that approach of having young minds - too young to really perform complex reasoning - just memorize basic facts and simple processes like long division and multiplication. Who needs to build a foundation for sound logic and reason - let them try to learn how to reason on their own and discover the facts and foundation at a later date!

Re:It will .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430886)

That sure is a pretty strawman you've built up there. Sure would be a shame if someone knocked it down, but you wouldn't learn your lesson anyway.

Re:It will .... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430840)

be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome.

computers [slashdot.org] do not [slashdot.org] increase test scores. [slashdot.org]

Obviously this principal does not read slashdot. Computers have been available for 20 years and so far not one study has proven that they increase learning compared to the same amount of time with a teacher and books.

And this is especially bad for young children like kindergarteners because they need to be asking questions and getting answers, not sat in front of a computer and told LEARN.

If this was my kid's principal I would be trying to get her fired.

Re:It will .... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430868)

Also I love how the article says: [necn.com]
"Soon, the school will find out if the iPads help or hurt, when they test the kindergarteners' reading and math skills in November."

more than $200,000 to find out if the iPad help or hurt? What if they hurt? $200,000 wasted? Oh no, nevermind, November, and what happens in December? Christmas! All the teachers and their families are getting new iPads!

This is complete and utter BS. They couldn't figure out a way to spend less than $200k to do this little test? Must be nice to burn money like that.

Re:It will .... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430944)

It's funny because I learned a lot from Computers and Multivac (internet) but no one ever sat me in front of it and told me LEARN, I just wanted to.

If we find a way to make children want to learn, they can pretty much use any means they have available and the wider the variety the better (teachers, internet, books, experiences). Problem is when you think that getting a better resource will automatically get them to want to learn.

Re:It will .... (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430912)

Indeed. Teaching is about people interacting with people and people (children) thinking and experimenting. Computer technology as available today will do more harm than good. If (and this is a big if) working and usable AI will become available at some (distant) time in the future, this may change, but not before.

Even the Internet as "mega library" is only useful when people reach a certain maturity (and I do not mean "age"). The flood of plagiarized homework shows this pretty well.

If these idiots had hired 1 additional good teacher for the money, that would have had positive impact. This will not.

Did we not already go through this? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430562)

I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?

Re:Did we not already go through this? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430600)

I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?

Those were computers, these are iPads.

Completely different.

Re:Did we not already go through this? (1, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430852)

Those were PCs, these are iPads.

Completely different.

FTFY

The methods for operating and interacting with a PC don't fit very well in a standard teaching environment. The screens block the students' views, and the keyboard and mouse add a layer of abstraction between the student and the lesson.

The iPad, on the other hand, is essentially an infinitely reconfigurable, highly adaptable, directly manipulable slate. There's a large amount of potential here, all without many of the hurdles PCs bring to the equation.

Only time will tell, but you're right, in terms of classroom utility, iPads are completely different.

Re:Did we not already go through this? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430878)

I thought we discussed this two weeks ago, when the New York Times published an article about how all the computers we have dumped into the school system have had negligible results in terms of improving education. Now we are trying the same strategy, but with a different form factor? Are these decision makers even bothering to give thought to how iPads are going to help kindergarden students?

Those were computers, these are iPads.

Completely different.

+5, Funny

Re:Did we not already go through this? (0)

pikine (771084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430890)

iPads are a subclass of computers with smaller form factor, different input device (touch screen as opposed to keyboard and mouse), and limited computing power. Computers are wonderful things, but the only limiting factor is the humans not using it to its full potential. Computers, after all, is a passive tool, and computers are only as smart as the least common denominator of the programmer and the user. Problem exists between keyboard and chair.

What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (2)

seifried (12921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430566)

Does the kid get another? Do they have to pay? What a mess.

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (1)

Ariven (256118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430672)

Prolly the same thing that was set up when my daughter got a laptop in high school. If you don't pay a small fee ($50 in our case) for insurance at the beginning of the year, the parents were liable for the replacement cost of the item.

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430766)

So...

1. Pay 50$ "insurance" get free iPad.
2. "Lose" iPad on eBay.
3. Get new iPad.
4. GOTO 1.

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430820)

1. Pay 50$ "insurance" get free iPad.
2. "Lose" iPad on eBay.
3. Get new iPad.
4. Someone investigates - your cover is blown.
5. Go to jail/Get fined for fraud.

FTFY

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430884)

So...

1. Pay 50$ "insurance" get free iPad.
2. "Lose" iPad on eBay.
3. Get new iPad.
4. GOTO 1.

Correct, like pretty much any system whatsoever, there's the potential for someone to commit a felony. Don't you think there are measures in place to mitigate this? Should we not try something new because someone might commit fraud and theft?

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (3, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430678)

Maine has already been giving every junior-high student in the state a laptop for the last 10 years. From a relative who works in a school district there, I understand that there's a shipment in & out every morning of broken laptops and replacements.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25782209/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/maine-laptop-every-middle-schooler/ [msn.com]

Re:What happens when they break? Or get stolen? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430692)

I personally think the older sister, brother or parent, who will probably be using the device much more often than the 5-year-old it's assigned to, should be responsible for taking care of it.

Well, goldurn (0)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430570)

Down here in good ole' South Cackalack (lack, as in, we ain't got nothing) last year, people through on good ole' hizzy fit over the Charleston County School System wanting to buy sumthin' like 20 of them iPads.

I shore do wish mah boys was being raised by one of them Communist Republics like Maine.

Re:Well, goldurn (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430712)

Or to put it in English, when I was in high school in the 90's they still had math books from the 70's. They had computer programming books that featured code in the BASIC language. We had Tandy computers with 8086 processors. And this was high school in the 90's. And these kids who are getting iPads at 5 years old are the ones who will grow up and say kids from my neighborhood are having the world handed to them and don't deserve a chance to go to college.

Re:Well, goldurn (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430826)

when I was in high school in the 90's they still had math books from the 70's

I didn't realize that highschool-level mathematics changed so dramatically since the 1970's

They had computer programming books that featured code in the BASIC language.

And this was somehow insufficient to teach computer programming principles?

We had Tandy computers with 8086 processors. And this was high school in the 90's.

Er, a lot happened in the 1990's. This should have been more than adequate in the early 90's.

And these kids who are getting iPads at 5 years old are the ones who will grow up and say kids from my neighborhood are having the world handed to them and don't deserve a chance to go to college.

This just doesn't make any sense. How did you come to such an absurd conclusion?

Re:Well, goldurn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430880)

This just doesn't make any sense. How did you come to such an absurd conclusion?

A better question is how you could think his conclusion is absurd... have you ever read the comments here on /.?

You must be new.

Same as always. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430580)

Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?

That depends entirely upon the software/content that the kids will be running.

Otherwise it will only be a distraction.

Also, has the school invested in some means of recovering these when they are stolen from the kids? Or is it a distraction toy that also makes them a target for crime?

Open Source Text Books? (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430704)

My initial reaction was the kids were going to be sucked into the iPads and never pay attention to the teacher. However, if Maine is also planning to role out open source text books that will be used on the iPads, then I'm all for it. If the State no longer has to buy text books on a regular basis, the cost of the iPads, replacement and admin should be fairly reasonable to Maine's tax payers. That way the kids who want to learn can and those who don't, have a iPad pacifier for the day.

please note the class these are given to (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430882)

I would bet that a good chunk of the KINDERGARTEN students are not quite ready for "text" books. but i guess that even those alphabet teaching books are changed enough to matter on this point.

Re:Same as always. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430930)

In less than 20 years, there will be iPad level capable devices, thinner, running color e-ink, which will cost $30 or less. Then it will no longer be a question of money, breakage, or if they get stolen. Bookbags will change noticeably (thinner) and might become a niche industry catering exclusive to outdoor gear sometime later like buggy whips.

IMO, the apps of course can range from poor to excellent, as well as serving as textbooks (hopefully copylefted or otherwise open). I just hope something and more comprehensive than Rosetta Stone comes out, and for much less money.

The challenge will be keeping students off the internet. (And no, internet/wifi blocking won't do much against 3G/4G signals unless you're willing to block whole classrooms or schools). Oh well, there were always those who squandered their learning years.

ouch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430596)

This is just a slightly harder and more expensive learning resource to hit one's classmates over the head with.
I expect them to last about a week (the ipads and the kindergarteners).

Who keeps them? (2)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430606)

So do they stay at the school at the end of the day? I would have that they would be too expensive and fragile for kids to take around with them, even with the cases.

Oh look a shiny device (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430620)

Which I can touch and has applications on it. I sure won't be distracted and end up playing with it instead of paying attention in class.

Also, they're Kindergardners... What a waste of money and effort. Kids in their age shouldn't be allowed near easy-to-drop devices. They should be outside playing instead.

Where did the money go? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430626)

$800 per student. iPads are $450. Even without the bulk/educational discount they should be getting, I can't imagine a case costing $350.

Awful value. (5, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430632)

This is crazy, as in a crazy bad value. iPad is just a toy. An $800 toy that spies on you for Apple Corp. Instead, and for half as much, they could have given every kid something like a Dell Mini with Ubuntu.

Re:Awful value. (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430714)

Why not Gentoo? everybody knows how kindergarten dwellers love to compile shit.

sudo me_want_apple_juice now -h

Re:Awful value. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430870)

sudo me_want_apple_juice now -v -v -v -v -v -v -v -v

Re:Awful value. (-1, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430922)

This is crazy, as in a crazy bad value. iPad is just a toy.

It's a tool. A tool that *can* be a toy if you want it to be. I can't imagine the level of shortsightedness or prejudice that would keep one from seeing the vast educational potential of an iPad.

An $800 toy that spies on you for Apple Corp.

I'm sure they are paying much less than that for the iPad itself. And what "spying"? Is this the "crazy" you were talking about at the beginning of your post?

Instead, and for half as much, they could have given every kid something like a Dell Mini with Ubuntu.

Which would be much, MUCH worse as an educational tool than an iPad. Keyboard and trackpad? Linux? For kindergartners? Hell, forget the kids, how is the teacher supposed to know what to do with such a computer? I was wrong before, *this* has to be the "crazy" part.

I remember reading about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430636)

Over a month ago...

Yet another shining example... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430642)

...of technology in schools for technology's sake. Kindergartners are 5 years old. They eat boogers, play doh, and pee their pants occasionally. They spend half the day with coloring books and inflatable alphabet letters, and the other half of the day running around on a playground.

It just boggles my mind that someone thought this would be a great idea, that other people signed off on it, and that it was ever made real. Give 'em all those fat, flat-sided crayons that won't roll off the desk and a Big Chief writing pad, teach them how to write properly and interact with the physical world. Maybe in the future I can read comments on Youtube and other forums without gouging my eyes out from reading the grammatical nightmare that today's teens and tweens throw up. /not too old, just old school

Wasted money (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430654)

Meanwhile, I'm still having to supply basic community-use classroom materials that the school should be supplying (kleenex, hand sanitizer, paper towels, etc.).

Re:Wasted money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430702)

Yay! Some schools waste money on things that are TOTALLY not needed while other struggle to provide students with the basics. Look, some school don't even have proper desks! But I guess spending 200k on iPads (or any devices of this kind for that matter) for kindergartners is a better idea.

Re:Wasted money (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430862)

This is where America would benefit from a more socialist method of wealth redistribution between schools districts.

Standard practice in school. (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430656)

I work at a school, and a few months back we did an interesting school trip.... to an Apple store. Where the students all got told glowingly how wonderful Apple products are, and were given a chance to try them all out. School trips are not my department, but you don't need to be much of a conspiracy theorist to make the connection between that trip and the new iMacs that soon equipped the photography class.

It's no great secret that tech companies target schools intensively in their marketing. Microsoft has been doing it for years. So has Apple. So has just about everyone else. Sometimes they do it by offering equipment or software at a discount, even to almost or entirely free at times. Sometimes it's by lobbying, pressuring curriculum writers to mandate a particular vendor's technology or urging administrators to buy it.

Schools are just irresistable. Get the students familiar with something, and they will go buying it once they get out. Teach them Office, they buy Office at home. Teach them to use iPads, and they will want to buy iPads - or in this case, tell their parents how cool iPads are. Simple, highly effective marketing. Business sense says a vendor needs to get their product into schools, and so they will - even if it means intensive lobbying and selling at a loss.

Re:Standard practice in school. (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430680)

Get them used to computing devices that exist entirely within a walled garden, and they won't go looking for alternatives. If they get curious about how it works, just tell them it'll cost a bunch of extra money to do it and they'll have to get permission from someone else to even run their software, and that they can't because of it.

Sadly, Apple's approach to technical literacy seems to be catering to the ignorant instead of educating them, and this is an example of people encouraging that ignorance and borderline corporate subservience.

Throwing money at the cradle!?!?! (2, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430660)

Another school system that just throws money at problems? I never understood the rich/poor school district thing. Most knowledge is free, and with the amount of free information on the internet, public libraries and such, why can't schools just get by on redistributing free material and then working off that? Is there a need for the multi-hundred dollar textbooks, software packages, OS licenses, mega-calculators, mongoloid gyms and sports-programs, massive administrative overheard, super expensive art-decko modern design crap, and all that other new-age school bullshit? I'm pretty sure all that crap is extraneous, but the DoE has blossomed into a monstrosity, and schools now operate under the assumption that we must get great standardized test scores to get more money and once we get more money we can buy more shit to get better standardized test scores to get more money to hire more administrators to plan us getting better test scores.

There is a reason home-schooling is on the rise along with the growing demand for vouchers and more private-school flexibility.

Re:Throwing money at the cradle!?!?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430764)

Spending money on basic educational resources: forbidden
Spending money on fancy accessories from the company that charges the most for them: required
 
The fact that Apple and Apple alone has been getting their overpriced toys into schools for decades now (look it up; this is not a recent trend) suggests that whomever is responsible for appropriating these funds does not have the students' own best interests at heart.
 
But still, as always, people ignore the upper management entirely and blame teachers for what their bosses do. Upper management calls all the shots and holds all the responsibility, yet they never actually take responsibility for what happens under their watch or even by their own decision.

Re:Throwing money at the cradle!?!?! (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430784)

Good point. I remember being in my early years in K12 (dating myself here) and having Apple IIs plastered against each wall in our school, those big-ass really floppy disc with all, and now that I think about it, worthless games that just wasted our time.

Re:Throwing money at the cradle!?!?! (1, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430786)

why can't schools just get by on redistributing free material and then working off that?

Liberals would refuse because then they can't waste shitloads of money to make themselves look like they're doing something for the little people.

Conservatives would refuse because then they can't rewrite history to remove Thomas Jefferson.

A Bunch of Rubes (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430662)

I am from Maine. A close family member of mine works in a school district there.

My judgment is that frequently Mainers are a bunch of rubes, and surprisingly easy prey for slick business salespeople in this regard.

Re:A Bunch of Rubes (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430698)

My judgment is that frequently Mainers are a bunch of rubes, and surprisingly easy prey for slick business salespeople in this regard.

I wondered if they were just overly well-off:

School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartener an iPad

Must be nice having schools so well funded that even the kindergarten kids get ipads. I remember we had a fake, ROTARY phone at my kindergarten. That was our 'technology'.

Re:A Bunch of Rubes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430730)

You had rotary phones? Bah! In my day all we had was imaginary string.

Re:A Bunch of Rubes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430744)

> I am from Maine

Hopefully, that means you're not here any longer.

>My judgment is that frequently Mainers are a bunch of rubes

Bite me, flatlander.

Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430684)

Maybe competitors should pay school districts to use their product and overcome Apple for once.

Ongoing Program? (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430686)

TFA isn't really clear on this. It mentions the goal of improving test scores by the third grade. So does the same tablet a kid is issued today stay with him thru third grade? (If so, I hope it comes with a booger scraper and a coupon for a can of Goof-Off) If not, when does the kid get separated from his tablet? Before going into first grade? Is the school district going to scrape up another $200k for next years incoming kindergartners? Or are they SOL?

What iPads are good for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430700)

Give a kid an iPad and he/she will learn how to use it. Isn't that good enough? Do we have to raise test scores too?

Geez (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430706)

Another school jumps on the tablet bandwagon. For fun, take an article like this, replace "iPad" with "laptop", and like magic you have an article that could have been written 7 years ago. And just how much did all those laptops help?

And that was with a more powerful platform that could run full-blown apps, like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Office.

What a waste! (2)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430720)

I would be more wise to invest the money in teachers, teacher's education and other staff stuff. Devices make kids not wise or clever. They will not be better in understanding the media when they have an iPad. The important thing to know: How media works. How information can be retrieved and how you can evaluate it.

Beside that. Kids shall run around a lot and have fun. Still sitting is not really something they should learn. And they should learn to eat real food. So the money would also better be spend on good food in kindergarten.

iPads! What a crap.

Re:What a waste! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430810)

Teachers education and 'other staff stuff', How do you know they are not already providing great coverage in those areas? What type of training do you recommend that they haven't already received?

Sitting still is not something kids should learn? Isn't that a prerequisite for the rest of their education? By the time a child is in kingergarden, they should be able to sit still for short periods. If not their parents have failed. They should learn to eat real food? I'm not even sure what that means.

From experience, I can tell you the iPad is an amazing teaching device. Kids as young as 1 1/2 years of age benefit greatly from touch screen devices (not just the ipad) Hand eye coordination, shape recognition, language, numbers, etc are all improved by using the iPad. That's not saying that a parent/school couldn't accomplish the same thing with lots of books and puzzles, but a tablet provides a lot more material for overall a much lower cost.

grade level reading (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430728)

40% of the third graders in Auburn are not reading at grade level. Superintendent Katy Grodin says to the goal is to fix that number.

- what, they are going to fix this to be 20%?

What do they think iPads do exactly?

Re:grade level reading (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430772)

40% of the third graders in Auburn are not reading at grade level. Superintendent Katy Grodin says to the goal is to fix that number.

- what, they are going to fix this to be 20%?

What do they think iPads do exactly?

What students think: Yay more games and distractions, but they're authorized!!!!
What the teachers think: Yay more games and distractions, but they're authorized!!!!
What the parents think: It's technology, it will make them smarter!!!!
What the administration thinks: It's technology, it will make them smarter!!!!
What Apple thinks: "$$$$ LOL VENDOR LOCKIN $$$$ LOL"
What Microsoft thinks: "Do you have a Windows license for each of your remaining desktops?"
What /. thinks: "Society is fucked."

Aren't we all loving this brave new fucking world shit...

Kindergartners? (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430748)

To be honest, if it was to more... mature pupils I'd say it *could* improve learning (provided it's done the right way [does it even exist?]). But for kindergartners, I don't think it will. Prove me wrong though. I would love to be proven wrong, specially when it comes to using computers (this includes iPads) to learn.

who is NOT thinking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430752)

killer kindergarten iApp: ANGRY BIRDS

Maine is a welfare state (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430754)

I used to work in Maine, and a friend of mine was in charge basically of handing out welfare in Lewsiton. She told me "I don't bother to check income - if they come to me, they must need help." Meanwhile Somali immigrants are overrunning Maine's welfare system because they're known to be a joke. I feel bad for the people of Maine - they have no industry other than tourism - logging and fishing are dying. It has an aging rural white population, and a burgeoning gimme population in the cities. Meanwhile there's nobody paying into the system.

Why the hell iPads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430758)

iPads are extremely expensive tablets. There are a lot of Android tablets out there. What's with this Apple mania?

Apple Marketting (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430774)

Just realised something.

This same district handed out apple laptops to their older students in the past. So this isn't really a case of "What are they thinking" as it is a case of corporate branding being imprinted on fresh young minds. Sure at face value you'd say "Sure its an iPad, its the most popular tablet so that's fine. Instead of going with a tablet, they went with an iPad" - but the other event makes it clear who's really pulling the strings.

Come kids, join the iChurch of Apple.

"sturdy cases to protect them" (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430804)

I guess they have never seen 5 year olds play with their toys. Considering that you need to keep the screen exposed so that it functions as a touch screen there is not case that can protect the screen from a blow. I would really like to see the stats on how long they last. I bet the average time will be less than a week.

Tools don't teach (1)

oxdas (2447598) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430806)

If I don't understand carpentry, giving me a shiny new hammer is not going to help.

Re:Tools don't teach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430848)

What about a device that shows you step by step instructions on how to build a table?

It's only money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430824)

It's only money and these kindergardner's need classroom distractions. It's not like this tax money is coming out of your pockets. So it is? Sucker .....

Man (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430828)

As a new home owner, I suddenly have an opinion on property taxes. I'm glad mine aren't going to this school district.

Re:Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430936)

I'm with you. Unfortunately projects like this are usually tied to federal grants that we wind up paying for anyway. The education system in this country went socialist in this country a long time ago, Along with a lot of help from the Feds (who aren't far behind).
  Go to a local school board meeting during budget time, or better yet become a board member yourself (i was till i couldn't take it anymore). You'll come to realize how frighteningly easy it is to spend other peoples money once you get started. Sigh.

Mom and Dad say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430842)

MINE! (The second the kid walks in the door)

Of course the lockdown software makes it a poor bathroom toy, but it's better than spending $699 for your own.

WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430846)

If you do the math $200,000 divided by 250 is $800 a pop.The school distinct did not even get a discount for volume.

First off we have people without jobs and honestly job creation in the US sucks at the moment so hey lets spend 200K on computers made in china..AWSOME lets not forget the fact that ipads for 6 year olds are the stupidest idea I've heard all day.

Test Scores? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430874)

Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?

There's more to learning than test scores.

What a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430898)

And a perfect time to do it too. I hear your economy is great at the moment!

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430900)

I expect a lot of cracked screens and crying kids. What a fucking waste of taxpayer money. A $500 tablet isn't going to replace a competent educator. And 5 year old kids want to fingerpaint and take naps. WTF. Fire the school administrators and use their salaries to pay teachers more.

Software matters (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430904)

Give them software that teaches them how to count, do basic math and if they master basic math, give them advanced math... and if they do advanced math, give them physics. It seems like teaching could be simplified into software, but the software has to be moderately well involved(though we have the tech to do it now).

ePad? (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 2 years ago | (#37430906)

I don't understand why Apple doesn't make a school-oriented version of the iPad. Plexiglass screen for the kiddies, some kind of built-in LoJack, distinctive looking case so the kids' parents can't pawn them, etc.

stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430914)

bad idea. Kids don't need ipads. They need functional and safe educational facilities, caring and talented teachers and parents.

Thoughts for the newcomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430924)

I am a loner. Always have been.

Still, this trend saddens me a lot. I have always been told that kindergarten was there to make interact and cooperate kids among themselves.

I imagine each kid leaning over his/her iPad... And I wonder what consequences it will have.

Will they find out, each one inside its own bubble, that we are all deeply connected. Or will they lose themselves in a sterile inner cage.

I wish all the best to the next generations. May they all find who and what they truly are.

Sounds like a waste of money to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37430940)

1) Tech toys are fun but don't really help with education. I mean, in SPECIFIC cases it can -- it's harder to learn to program without a computer, I took a math class or two where Mathematica was quite useful (we did learn how tihngs actually worked and do them by hand, but it would have taken a week to graph some of the graphs we made in seconds...) I had a physics class in high school where we used probes and such to collect data via computer. But in general, just attaching "computer!" to some random curriculum just doesn't help one bit, and for some classes there is not a good fit for adding computers, period.

          2) Kindergardeners tend to cover anything they own with a corrosive, disgusting layer of slime. Of course if they try to be fastidious and clean the IPad they are even more likely to get water where it shouldn't be and destroy it. These IPads will be trashed post-haste.

          3) IPad is just not that good a device. There's not even a keyboard (admittedly, kindergardeners would not be typing out large reports.) If I were expected to type more than a word or two on one of these things, I'd toss it out the damned window. I have a Droid 2 Global, Swype is better than stabbing "buttons" but is still crap compared to flipping out the flip-out keyboard I have (but that an IPad doesn't). Of course for pure typing joy nothing beats an IBM Model M, but it's a bit too big to lug around with my phone 8-).

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