A Scottish independent Christian school has forsworn books, pencils, pens, and paper, and will now educate its young charges solely via Apple's iPad. "We wanted to give each of the pupils an opportunity to use the best equipment available," IT teacher Fraser Speirs told the Daily Record Each and every one of the 105 students at …
... this iS an iNcredible waste of money.
But what do iKnow. I'm probably just an iDiot.
Last time I checked, the three Rs were still iMportant. Surely the money would be better spent on paper & pencils?
Somehow, I suspect the followers of iChthys are in cahoots ... and iSis is appalled.
There's a clue to the expenditure here...
> A Scottish INDEPENDENT Christian school.
Not far off
"Last time I checked, the three Rs were still iMportant."
They still are, they've just changed to: Rooting, Recharging and finally Regret for buying the things and expecting kids to actually do their work
@ac complaining about the independence or not
The school's independence doesn't really have much bearing on value-for-money, surely?
I mean it might not be *your* money they're spending, but surely those kids would still be better off if they spent that money on proper learning materials, regardless of its provenance, no?
Fewer dead trees is good...
But there's no substitute for hands-on science!
Troll, because he's clearly been hands-on with a Van de Graaff machine.
Well, that's evolution out of the way
It's an Xtian school - evolution? "All down to God. Right next subject, Paleontonlgy - we've got five minutes before lunch"
re : sodium in water
That was a perfectly safe experiment for chemistry teachers to do until the nanny state decided otherwise.
And dashed good fun
Experiments like sodium in water (especially followed by potassium - which had me looking down the periodic table imagining even better pyrotechnics) and the thermite experiment are a great way for a science teacher to get the kids excited about the subject.
I pity these Scottish schoolids and their sanitised, dull science lessons.
Despite people's usual misconceptions about "Health and Safety gone mad!", the only thing stopping science teachers from doing so-called "dangerous" experiments are.... science teachers! who are increasingly under the misguided notion that certain experiments have been banned, when they haven't.
Anon, incase the GTC are against me correcting these notions.
Yes in the lab
Not saying schools shouldn't be able to do this experiment but I recall from my school days that a kid stole a large chunk of potassium from a lab, and tossed it into a bath with somebody in it. Funny at the time but the guy could have been seriously burned.
So better to say it's safe under controlled conditions, such as in a vented box with a barrier in but schools should be required to keep it under lock and key.
Sodium in water...
Unfortunatly on youtube you can't wash sodium down one sink, pour diethyl ether down another and then run a book on which sink the flames would come out of first!
"sanitised, dull science lessons"
I went to a scottish state school 15 years ago and I never once saw a sodium-in-water experiment or was let anywhere near thermite :/ I feel like I've been cheated out of an education and can't even blame it on the nanny state.
If my experience is in any way indicative of the state of Pictish schooling then those kids would have been getting crap science lessons to start off with.
Unlike other schools they won't view detailed biological information
At least the teachers will appreciate the inability to limit content but what happens when it comes to detailed biological study?
I remember the discussions surrounding calculators and the likelihood of children being able to do maths 'the old way'.
If these children have no paper or pencils how will they practice their writing?
Re: How will they practice writing
Actually, I would argue handwriting is no longer a universally required skill. I can't remember the last time I wrote something by hand - probably a cheque and I only do one or two of those each year. Today's kids won't know what a cheque was. Things move on. I'm not suggesting giving everyone an iPad is a great idea but I'd certainly far rather see my kids learn technology, science and Maths than spend their first few years at school learning the "correct" way to join letters together in cursive script. A complete waste of time for 90% of today's job market.
re:Unlike other schools they won't view detailed biological information
What is this "writing" of which you speak?
Yes, it's useless until...
* They need to read someone else's cursive handwriting and can't (if you've not got the experience of it, it just looks like a mess)
* Their battery runs out and they need to write something down
* They need to scribble down a note during a phone call
* They need to fill out a prescribed form
* They need to write out a calculation (not that you can't do that on a computer, but loading up MathCAD to do some relatively simple maths- or spending a while crafting an Excel spreadsheet to do the same is nowhere near as simple (actually, the iPad doesn't HAVE software to do more advanced maths, does it?!)).
* They need to draw a graph.
* They need to annotate someone else's scribbles
* They want to pass notes at school
* They're sitting an exam, which should be away from the computer to prevent cheating (can't guarantee no network/internet connectivity) and to encourage their brains to do the thinking for them (i.e. they do the maths, not their Calculator app).
Or any other of a million and one tasks that require handwriting. I'd also bet it improves fine motor skills and co-ordination when taught from an early age.
So yes, after a couple of years it's probably okay to not teach it again. But it's definitely a required skill.
They can't negotiate prices or licences, the best they can do is buy each piece of software in the App Store on each iPad.
And hopefully the pupils won't be taking them home with them or their replacement rate will be rather high (thefts), which means they might as well have gone for desktops as what's the point of having a portable computer sat in the classroom?
never mind thefts
Would you trust an iPad (which has a surface component made completely out of glass) to the hands of a 5-year-old?
trusting stuff to the hands of 5 year olds
When I was a nipper I would lose all my things on a weekly basis. My mum had to resort to actually tying my lunch money to a little bag on a string around my neck because I'd keep losing my lunchbox along with my bag and everything else. I was told off regularly for losing the various books I had to read at home as homework.
Hopefully for this particular school I was just a particularly absent-minded and hopeless child and in no way representative of the nation's yoof of today.
I wouldn't trust anything expensive in the hands of a 5 year old.
But then I wouldn't trust my 5 year old into the hands of a christian school either.
(the joke would probably have been better if it was described as a catholic school, but thems the breaks)
..just sync all of them to the same PC and thus be able to use any Apps on each unit.
However, the commercial licence differs somewhat from the one used by Joe Public - do you really think the hospitals and huge companies in the US that have written their own software, publish it to the App Store for all and sundry?
Are people really this stupid?
Their own software
1. Do you really think the school will be writing their own educational software? It's enough of a struggle to find one which can manage its own LAN.
2. Your post made me look again and Apple indeed does have a Volume Purchase Program to buy software from the App Store, as of last week... http://learninginhand.com/blog/app-store-volume-purchase-program-explained.html , obviously this time lag is inexcusable when it comes to following events from everyone's favourite fashion company run by blackshirted James Bond character and I do apologise for being 'stupid'.
The reason schools SHOULD have budget cuts!
Utter fashionable stupidity. All they are using the things for is browsing specified webpages. What use is that! Wow, we've told them they can only visit Wikipedia sheesh. Bunch of utter idiots.
Best device? what for? wasting money. Let's see, if they had looked at the Android route on this, as well as not having to suffer the maintenance headache of Itunes, they could of use Googles lesson planner and system for putting tests and quizes and other resources the teacher wants on the device's. Hell, they could use some of the toughended netbooks which guess what, can be locked down and controlled much further, and are ruggedised for school use!
This is why schools shouldn't of been exempt from the gov's spending cuts. They look for increasingly stupid ways to piss away money on stupid schemes like this. Would laugh but it's frankly not even worth laughing at how bad the situation is.
It's a private school you nitwit.
Lets try reading the first line of the TFA again. It's a Scottish INDEPENDENT school. Not a state school. Ergo it'll be the parents who are paying to have their spawn educated in the ways of christian excellence that'll be pissing their money against this wall, not the taxpayers.
Not that i'm against letting mere facts get in the way of a good rant, mind you!
Physician, heal thyself
If you're going to start criticising someone's choice of educational hardware and proselytising Googles (sic) lesson plans, you'll find you'd be taken a lot more seriously if you could speak English correctly.
"Could have", or "could've". Never "could of".
"Toughened". Never "toughended".
"Thick angry twat". Never "Anonymous Coward"
It looks like your school had quite enough budget cuts, thank you very much.
Yeah but no but...
I agree with everything you say, but for the sake of accuracy should point out that it's an independent school so I'm presuming it doesn't receive much money, if any, from Westminster or Holyrood.
It does show that their fees are way too high, of course...
A Scottish independent Christian school
Calm down dear, it's a private school. "A Scottish independent Christian school" - the Government has not sanctioned this.
Look up the meaning of 'independent'
As well as the distinction between 'of' and 'have' (they don't even sound the same).
I note the school's home page has an entry 'Contacing the School' - but then it is built on Wiki, so no doubt it will soon be edited.
Need a 'bangs head against wall' icon.
This is an INDEPENDENT school, numptie nae-brain.
They control their own budgets and raise their own funds.
Back to school for you
If you read the article properly you'd have noticed the word 'independent' in 'Scottish independent Christian school'.
I won't mention your "shouldn't of been" offence either...
I get most of the others arguments against this and find myself agreeing with some of the points, although I have to question their motives and disapprove of the literal 'WON'T YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?' style rants. You though. Wow. You are just opposed to them using Apple products instead your own choice from Google. That is truly pathetic. Are you one of these new 'fandroids' I've been hearing about?
"This is why schools shouldn't of been exempt from the gov's spending cuts. They look for increasingly stupid ways to piss away money on stupid schemes like this. Would laugh but it's frankly not even worth laughing at how bad the situation is." It's an independent school, dumbass. It's privately funded and as such entirely up to them how they spend their money. Maybe reading and understand the article fully before getting all apoplectic and mouth-foamy is a better approach? That startling piece of fact aside; education is arguably the single most important thing, other than perhaps health, that the government is responsible for and education funding should absolutely be left well alone.
FFS read before you post
if you'd bothered to actually read the article, you might have noticed the first sentence saying it was an independent school which has spunked its money on ipads. no public money was involved. the cost of steve's overhyped toys will be lost in the noise of the school fees. which can easily be afforded by mummy and daddy.
it might also have helped if you'd stopped to think instead of ranting. there are ~10m school age brats in the country. if the government bought them all ipads it would cost 4-5 billion quid (about 10% of the education budget). 5 billion is almost a rounding error in the national debt that's heading towards 1.2 trillion. besides, there are plenty of more deserving targets for spending cuts than this hypothetical example: defence procurement, pfi schemes, beardie's train subsidies, cctv and anpr systems, every government it project and web site, etc, etc.
Hope they've got a lot of charging points...
Do you really expect 10 year olds to remember to charge the things every night?
Or even keep them intact?
If it's a Christian school ...
why didn't the kids get jesusphones?
Does ayone really think...
That the school isn't getting some kick back or other from Apple on this?
This is what happens when mactards get in to positions of IT-buying authority. Bloody latter-day missionaries the lot of them.
Cut to the adoption of pen and paper and some old guy whining about how chalk and slate shouldn't be replaced.
Re: Cut to
r.e. anon coward
OK, untie the union jack from around your shoulders, remove the gas mask and stop wielding that Daily Mail quite so rabidly. Sodium in water is still done in schools, along with lithium and potassium, and lets not forget good old thermite.
With this being an independent Catholic school, i presume I'm right in guessing that these iPads were privately funded? ie that my bloody tax money hasn't paid for them?
If it's a school with a separate income stream then "pssht, whatevs." Let them waste their money however they want. With it being a Catholic school, I'm the Sky-Fairy Followers probably dropped some dosh on them. They've got enough.
If this is funded out of Government budgets however, then they should be audited and their funding reduced, as they clearly have too much.
BenR - it's not a Catholic school.
Oh, but the rest of your post shows you're just off on an anti-Catholic rant, so why bother letting the facts get in the way?
NOT "an independent Catholic school"
This school is run by the Struthers Pentecostal Church. Presumably to keep their offspring from being tainted by science as we know it, and indoctrinated with "intelligent design".
I either misread the article, or forgot between reading and posting. A Christian school, not a Catholic school.
Rest of the point still stands though. Either it's independently funded by parents, in which case they've paid for them, or it's funded by the (whichever) church it is, so the church have funded it, or a combination of the two.
Either way, as long as taxpayer money wasn't used, it's a non-story. Let churches/rich Scots/parents etc. etc. waste their money however they want.
And I assume your presumption of an anti-Catholic rant was based on my usage of the term "Sky-Fairy"? Way to miss the point of the post. You've obviously not seen some of the other posts floating around on El Reg's comments board! Really, if I was going to devolve into that sort of pointless posturing, I'm sure I could find any number of better derogatory phrases about the Catholics...
... but I won't.
Gov money wasted err no
Read the first sentence this is an independent school and therefore is not funded in any way from your taxation.
Not that I'd necessarily agree with their purchasing iPads but mainly because its always poor value to be an early adopter. Waiting 6 months and they could of bought a raft of different tablets for much less cash.
Schools though are full of computers these days and probably the better for it as virtually every workplace is also full of the things.
* Pupils aged 5 to 15, that is 10 years. What happens when, in 5 years, Jobs decides that the iPad is out and that we should all buy the incompatible iFolder. 105 new machines must be bought, 1050 new apps need to be bought. Who pays for all of this ?
* Little Jimmy leaves to get a job and on his first day: is asked to sign a contract but can't use a pen; use a PC with keyboard (or whatever we have then); can't do/use ... because his employer is not an Apple shop.
* When a 5 year old looses his iPad -- who pays for a new one ?
In all the time i've used a Mac i've never come across a piece of software that is no longer compatible with a newer version.... but hey, what relevance are the facts in a witty retort!?
I can't speak for them but..
I've had nightmares trying to get software for older macs, which is, I think what they're referring to.
If you're moving software across a divide like that of the PowerPc / Intel mac families it can be impossible. That's my experience.
what an incredible waste...
and a strange choice considering Android tablets are now out, include things like USB connections, and all Android handets allow you to load your own content without having to go though the app store/marketplace.
I could see a purpose for tablets, but not closed Apple ones..
Experiments on Youtube?
How are they going to watch them without Flash?!!