Scotland considers dishing out more iPads to schoolkids
Maybe, if it's 'promoting new teaching behaviours' elsewhere
The Scottish government has announced plans to "explore" the option of rolling out more mobile devices to education institutions in the country.
Education Secretary Michael Russell revealed the plans on a visit to a primary school in Edinburgh, which is already using technology such as iPads. He said that the government will take stock of how well such schemes are working and consider how they could be used on a wider scale.
"I want Scottish school pupils to be both connected and collaborative and I want to see digital technology being used purposefully both in and out of school," he said. "The range of mobile devices that are now available and the promise of what they can bring to teaching and learning is very exciting and something that must be embraced."
According to the government, 10 local authorities – almost 20 schools and hundreds of pupils – are already piloting iPads and Android technology.
He has asked government agency Education Scotland for recommendations on how the country can benefit from mobile technology for all learners in Scotland.
The government previously outlined five objectives for ICT education in Scotland:
- To change the culture of the use of ICT.
- Improve confidence in the use of ICT for learners, teachers, school leaders and parents.
- Promote new behaviours for teaching.
- Deepen parental engagement.
- Strengthen position on hardware and associated infrastructure.
A spokesman for the Scottish government told Guardian Government Computing that no specific timescale had been put in place for when a decision would be made on a further rollout. He said that the government would look closely at places where such technology was already being used and consider the benefits.
"Obviously, we'd also have to look at the costs of rolling out more mobile devices. At the moment we're not saying, 'We're going to roll out this technology to all learners in Scotland'," he added.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.
Missing the point
A book is a valid learning tool, but they need to be able use other forms as well.
This obsession with technology is good but *very* misguided. The gov/education service will consider ipads as IT learning. Which it isn't. Yes web is now an important tool but doing it on a fondleslab misses some key things. You can't learn to touch type of a tablet! They are also hideously expensive and subject to getting broken by careless kids (as all kids are btw!). Now apple will no doubt flog them to schools at a knock down price (catch em while they are young) but think about this
HDMI monitor ~£80, Raspberry Pi ~ £25, keyboard and mouse ~ £15, HDMI cable ~ £2, Power Supply and SD card £10
So for £140 quid you can have some kit that will teach them a lot more and stil 'surf the web' etc. And best of all, at £25 I'd be willing to let the little buggers take them home at the weekend!
We are really missing some important things, kids today are (on the whole) shit at computing. They are very good consumers (I watch my 6yr old daughter on my Xoom, Mac, phone etc) and she can navigate her way around like a true pro. But they are amazed at the fact that I can type without looking and 'program' the thing. They even think its quite "cool" that I wrote some software for my phone. What chance have they got of doing that kind of thing if I don't teach them.
My wife is a teacher and has zero interest in computers. Likes her phone for facebook and her PC for a bit of surfing but beyond that doesn't see the point. One of her friends works in a school where they [teachers] have all been issued an ipad. It strikes her [the teacher with said ipad] that its only because the head wanted one and didn't want to buy her own. But they have limited work value.
Problem is MP's think they are the answer, schools think they are the answer but people who work in tech know they are a tool, but not the answer to getting kids doing real computing. This is a huge vanity roll out which will have little to no benefit but a large cost.
How about because
People buy computer hardware only as a means of running software. If the software and content you want isn't available on the cheaper tablet then it will sit in a drawer and gather dust, in which case you really have wasted money.
What utter crap! Tablets are designed to allow complete morons to use them so there's no educational benefit in using them over real books.
Providing student with real books that they need to read (not cut&paste from) to work is far better.
Try looking at those educational systems in the world that actually produce well educated students.
Almost all are from the far east, and almost none of them play with toys.
Look at a Chinese or Japanese schools and you will typically find computers only where they are specifically necessary for the work (such as Computing, Sciences and in Libraries). Everywhere else there will be Black-boards, Text Books and Exercise books.
The benefits being:
No need for constant power (so its better for the environment).
No need to work in the dark so the overhead projector can be seen.
The teacher has to actually do some work rather than providing death by power point lessons.
The teacher has properly demonstrate how to use basic tools like rulers, compasses,... rather than playing with graphical toys.
The students have to do their own homework (or at the very least read what someone else did for them), so at least they get to practice hand writing.
Student learn the basic skills of using basic tools such as pens, pencils, rulers,...
The other basic need for the UK (and other western countries) is to stop making excuses for the lazy ignorant students. The typical one being the nonsense about Oxbridge taking more kids from private schools that public, the reason is obvious to anyone who is not a moron or a politician.
Kids in private schools are sent there by parents who believe an education is worth getting, as such they will encourage the offspring to work hard and do their home work.
Kids in public education will include whose parents just cannot afford private schooling, these kids usually do OK, thouogh they could often do better in a streamed environment.
The others have parents who don't give a toss, and allow their kids to bunk off, not do home work, take them on holidays in term time, use them help raise the younger siblings or any number of excuses. But it's not their fault they cannot read, do basic maths or get a job; no it's because they were hard done by and they were not given the chances.
Re: Why waste money on tablets at all?
Using a tablet won't teach you the basics of computers. It will teach you the basics of using a tablet which is as hard as putting your finger on the screen.
Re: It doesn't matter about the cost...
ABSOLUTE NONSENSE! Scotland MORE than pays its way in this so called union.
in fact if you look at the Scottish economy as taken separately from the UK then Scotland is actually in SURPLUS.. admittedly only by just under 2 billion per year but surplus nonetheless .
Scotland contributes more than 120 billions per year all told to the so called union and gt barely 30 billions back......
Have a read of the McCrone Report you muppet and you'll see why it's been Scotland and it's natural resources that have kept England out the kak for years... say thank you for the M25 and many other such capital projects. And with the masses more oil and gas reserves now available to Scotland due to new reserves discovered, new techniques to further extract present reserves and the expected continual price hike with minimal fluctuation to lower prices.... Scotland's future looks rosy.
so tell me Einstein... how is it England pays??.. let me tell you.. it doesn't..
Point to note, i live in Edinburgh, my daughter and son go to one of the schools in the trial and they have Android devices.
but the desktop machines they have are apple... this is due to the VERY big educational establishment discount that apple gives.