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Tablets in Schools
#1  leebase 06-14-2019, 12:25 PM
This thought was spurred by the color eInk thread. The person in the video remarked that it's school books, not iPad's or laptops that their focus is on.

If the iPad can't break the school market "new book" concept, then nobody can. Or at least, nobody can without revolutionizing the entire software experience for the schools. And if somebody does crack that nut, it will be with a general purpose tablet (like an iPad or Android tablet)....not an eInk device of any kind.

It's not the price of the iPad that has been the biggest obstacle as some might think. It's two other things.

1. Format. A tablet is not the proper format for writing papers. More than people want "bookless books", they want cheap computers. That's why the Chromebook is doing quite well in schools.

2. Existing software is all web based. Schools buy into complete systems and they are all built to be delivered by the web. Again, that's why Chromebooks are doing well and iPad's are not (outside of wealthy schools where you can expect kids have a computer AND an iPad).

The effort needed is not solving for the eBook. You already have iPads that have solved that. Apple even created wonderful, teacher accessible, ways of creating enriched books. If the tablet format ebook was "what schools need" and iPad's are too pricey, somebody would have already done for Android tablets what Apple has done for the iPad. Better yet, develop for both.

But nobody has....in any way that is making a difference.

What kids really need is a laptop/Chromebook and a tablet. A tablet is a far better format for reading a book. A chromebook is a far better format for writing papers and working with keyboard oriented web apps.

Now, a bright person might think "just add a keyboard to an iPad/Android tablet". And that should work. Nobody is because, frankly, folks are happy giving students a crappy "read on a Chromebook" experience.

What is needed is a soup to nuts, great experience both for "the book" and "the laptop". It's all about the software.

What isn't even a concern at ALL? Color eInk screens. A Lenovo Android tablet with a color eInk screen isn't going to do anything in education without FIRST solving why iPad's and existing Android tablets aren't being used a great deal in schools.

Adding a keyboard case to an iPad makes an already expensive solution even more expensive. But one could easily have an Android tablet with keyboard and be as cheap as a Chromebook and cheaper than an iPad.

Why don't we have this? Because Android tablet makers barely put any innovation into the tablet in the first place. They buy off they shelf components, slap Android on it, and put their name on the back. Nobody is going to spend the money Apple is spending to make a compelling offering.

The walmart $64 Onn tablet would be just fine for school books. Spend the extra $15 to have the 10" version. For those parents able to spend more...let them spend more.

You just need a decent keyboard case to cover the Chromebook use case as well.
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#2  John F 06-14-2019, 05:35 PM
Quote leebase
This thought was spurred by the color eInk thread. The person in the video remarked that it's school books, not iPad's or laptops that their focus is on.

...
Could you provide a link or post # to what you are referring to?
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#3  BookCat 06-14-2019, 06:21 PM
After quickly reading through your post I gather that you're not in the UK? Here, there isn't the money available for each student to have an ipad and a computer.

Also, it's not clear what age you're speaking of, I gather this is at least Secondary age? With web-based software, you can't be sure that the student has access to the internet at home. Although most homes do have internet access, there are still many where the parents are unemployed/low paid/uninterested. You even have the risk of some students selling the ipads etc for drugs.

Therefore books are, in the long run, still cheaper for the education system.

While not a teacher myself, my best friend used to be a secondary school teacher (history), as was one of my elder sisters (English). Your system may work in 'public' schools (British definition = fee paying, often boarding) but not state schools (publicly funded).

I may have totally misunderstood you, if so I apologise.
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#4  leebase 06-14-2019, 10:28 PM
Schools aren’t going to buy both a tablet AND a computer. The computer form factor is the one, of the two, to get if you only get one. Thus the chrome book is thriving.

Ergo....the tablet form factor itself is not being widely adopted. iPads are expensive. Android tablets are not. Apple has developed some terrific software for schools. I haven’t heard of anything close for Android tablets.

Folks could add a keyboard to an Android tablet and hit Chromebook prices and be useful in computer mode or book/tablet mode. But there is no margin on the type of cheap Android tablets for anybody to try to make a business doing so.

This is my analysis of why the tablet itself isn’t succeeding that much in schools and thus why adding a color eInk screen isn’t going to change a single thing about the plight of tablets in schools.
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#5  DNSB 06-14-2019, 11:04 PM
Quote leebase
Schools aren’t going to buy both a tablet AND a computer. The computer form factor is the one, of the two, to get if you only get one. Thus the chrome book is thriving.
Hmm... looking at the devices connected to the network here, iPads outnumber Chromebooks by 24/7 for school district owned devices. The student BYOD devices are more Windows or Mac laptops with iPads a distant third closely followed by Chromebooks.

Part of this is special needs preferring iPads due to the software and the cases to protect the iPad from abuse, part is due to the availability of software for K-7 on the iPad platform compared to the lack of software for Chromebooks. We are testing some Android software on Chromebooks but so far, it's been less than impressive.

We also have not manged to find anything for Chromebooks or Android tablets that even attempts to match the Apple VPP for Education program for convenience.
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#6  ekbell 06-15-2019, 11:52 AM
My high school children have laptops (two are ours and one older HP laptop was school provided). Being able to easily type up essays and browse tablet unfriendly websites (which unfortunately includes the school's) has trumped the advantages of a tablet of the size to properly display a textbook page.

Having a tablet plus keyboard setup would still require the same amount of space for doing work in and would be if anything more of a nuisance setting up and taking down.
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#7  ZodWallop 06-17-2019, 11:25 PM
Quote ekbell
Having a tablet plus keyboard setup would still require the same amount of space for doing work in and would be if anything more of a nuisance setting up and taking down.
My Surface with Type Cover is both a tablet and a computer and it is no hassle at all to work with. Windows 10S was created at least in part with schools in mind. And when thinking of the costs of any of the hardware, don't look at the price at Amazon. A school would get a steep discount.
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#8  leebase 06-17-2019, 11:43 PM
Quote ZodWallop
My Surface with Type Cover is both a tablet and a computer and it is no hassle at all to work with. Windows 10S was created at least in part with schools in mind. And when thinking of the costs of any of the hardware, don't look at the price at Amazon. A school would get a steep discount.
Windows isn’t a tablet even when there is no keyboard attached. It’s a wonderful Pc though
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#9  ZodWallop 06-17-2019, 11:48 PM
Quote leebase
Windows isn’t a tablet even when there is no keyboard attached. It’s a wonderful Pc though
What makes you say that? Windows 10's tablet mode is great to me.
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#10  leebase 06-17-2019, 11:58 PM
Quote ZodWallop
What makes you say that? Windows 10's tablet mode is great to me.
I never argue with "great to me". To each his own. For my uses, the tablet/finger apps just have not appeared on Windows anywhere close to the vibrant app ecosystem for an iPad such that I'm even tempted to replace an iPad with a Surface.

As an ultra portable PC, I'd love to have a Surface.

Frankly, the Android tablet app ecosystem isn't anywhere near the iPad either...but for "media consumption" purposes, I quite enjoy my cheap Android tablets.

For "computer work" (like programing), of course the Surface would be far better. Msft Office, of course, is on all 3 platforms. Still, I'd choose a PC over any tablet for writing papers on.
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