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    Joined: Aug 2010
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    *never mind--linking to the piece Bostonian already linked to!

    Last edited by ultramarina; 09/16/13 07:01 AM.
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    WOW. So if you don't make the cutoff for GT, you just have to show you aren't on track to graduate to get into the class?? That may be the policy showing the very least comprehension of any I've ever heard of.
    (Not to say that some environments tailored for GT/2E couldn't work well for both. But in middle school, in an existing GT program, that's unlikely.)

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    I get so angry when I hear this.

    Universal Design for Learning (http://www.udlcenter.org/) and other organizations that should be helping 2e parents and g/t community with getting the curriculum to fit the child rather than banging our heads have made little difference it seems. All research being conducted with Joan Cooney Ganz's center (http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/) seems to be flying out the door too. All the research and data on moving away from the mass industrial education machine too is being thrown out the window.

    Instead, I'm reading reports about iPads and other proprietary hardware/software being pushing through without any thought or plan for the sake of improving competitiveness, test scores, and performance-based results (and a company's profits and revenues). It's scandalous.

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    Here's a further update on how that billion-dollar LAUSD iPad project was engineered for failure: Link

    Quote
    It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads

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    Is anyone really surprised by this turn of events? Some students in our district apparently had them unlocked/hacked by the end of the first day of class-- at least at the middle school level.

    My DD has rewritten an Avenue Q song about that, Dude. But it's probably not family-friendly enough to post here.

    Well, perhaps without the chorus, it would be okay.

    My new iPad is really, really great
    --For {response}
    with wireless connection, I don't have to wait!
    --For {response}
    I browse the school-day through;
    --For {response}
    there's always something new!
    --Like {response}
    School's now expanding my worldview...


    Because "your new iPad is for..."

    well, learning. But other things that can be found on the internet, too. wink







    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Val Offline OP
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    One of the teachers at my kids' school uses iPads for a variety of things during class. She's obviously working very hard to make good use of them. The saving of paper is nice, and nothing (except the iPad) can get lost. So that's good. The kids can also use their iPads to access their homework assignments via the school's online system. But they can also do that at home with a computer. But I'm not sure what anyone else does with them. The math teacher doesn't use them at all.

    I don't see the value, personally.

    I mentioned that I found a great French dictionary that would be very useful for French class. It was cheap ($4, I think). But the teacher I was talking to told me that school iPads are all connected to a single account and that the dictionary might end up costing more if you buy it for x iPads. Apparently a lot of apps are more expensive if you buy them for a lot of people. Has anyone else heard this?



    Last edited by Val; 09/25/13 12:05 PM.
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    Right-- you have to site-license for anyone that has access to download, basically. If the school has ONE account, then all content is available (theoretically) to everyone on the network. The alternative is building specific pages to act as content gateways, and recognizing individual devices by ID and governing what content is permitted for the device.

    I know this because Pearson/Connections uses this kind of model and so we've gotten used to some of the peculiarities of DRM and how the work-arounds have to operate in order to pinch pennies. It's cheaper for them to send textbooks to math tutors than it is to provide them with the links to the iTexts, or at least some of the time it works out that way. I'm not entirely sure if the reason is number of downloads, or if it's number of unique IP's, but either way, it leads to weirdness.


    I also know that I can get to things that theoretically are only available to staff-- if I know the URL, that is. So it's not IP governing access. It's controlling who gets the link.

    In an app-store model, that doesn't work. Because a third-party is the content host.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by Val
    I don't see the value, personally.

    Well, clearly it teaches (some) kids mad hacking skills.
    Or something.

    Re. being able to access the curriculum just as well from home with a computer, that's wouldn't be a valid assumption at our (Title I) school. Some kids would have to walk 10 blocks to the public library, which only has a very limited number of computers in the children's section anyway.

    As for iPads being procured through very, very expensive channels... yes. Looks like some people are making a lot of money on that right now.

    But. I have seen piles of donated computers figuratively rotting away, unused, in our district, because there are only 2 IT techs available to manage all computers on 10 different sites (district office, school admin, teachers' laptops, classroom computers in elementary and middle school, computer labs, computer carts...). The bottleneck is *not* the hardware. iPads are pretty black-boxy, but you still need somebody to research and load apps, handle returns for malfunctions and breakage, and reload/update/reimage the content. Some school districts might be better than ours at managing this (there are many other jobs available at better pay/promise of IPO money for skilled techs around here), but it needs to be taken care of... or outsourced, at a significant price.

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    What really kind of drives me bonkers about this is that wireless devices are prone to extensive abuse-- but there are e-readers out there that are rugged and NOT wireless.

    I know because we have a pair of them. They have to be loaded with content, sure. But that also prevents them being used for other purposes like websurfing and social media.

    They are compatible with EPUB formatting, including everything on Project Gutenberg, and not a little from public libraries with digital collections.

    I get that there is now research suggesting that hey, e-readers are not identical to paper-based reading, and that for some kids that is a good thing (on the other hand, if we're willing to believe that conclusion, then kids on the other end of that particular spectrum are probably HARMED by a paperless model, right?).

    I'm just not yet ready to believe that wireless, web-capable mobile devices are a good substitute for the other things that used to be going on in classrooms.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    What really kind of drives me bonkers about this is that wireless devices are prone to extensive abuse-- but there are e-readers out there that are rugged and NOT wireless.

    It's not so much that it's a wireless device (you can do just as much damage wired), as it is the fact that it's a fully-functional tablet PC running an operating system designed for phones. It was intended to be a personal device, meaning it has one user, the owner. The idea of provisioning permissions never entered the design.

    Nobody at Cupertino will tell you it's a bad idea to hand kids raised in the digital age a device that they can reconfigure or factory reset, because there's too much money in it for them to pretend it's the right tool for the job.

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