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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:13 pm 
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I read that Tomahawk Seniors will start using the Chrome net books for school starting next year. I could not be more happy that this little town is taking such a step forward in education. I hope ALL schools follow this lead, make it mandatory staring in Middle School, and then just update them each year with that years books and materials they need. This will save on paper, materials, save the kids backs from lugging 30lbs of books daily, and will be teaching them to live in the current world.
Kudo's for Tomahawk! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:52 am 
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It will be interesting to see how this works. Remember that most schools use textbooks for multiple years but most ebook licensing doesn't allow transferring the book from one student to another. Because of that, and the cost of the electronic device, the studies I've seen have shown it's actually more expensive. It's the same problem they are running into at the college level. They still charge a lot for the ebook and you can't sell it at the end of the semester.

On the flip side, studies have shown that using tablets has increased interaction, test scores and overall education quality in a large percentage of students. I haven't seen any studies that talk about Chromebooks (which aren't tablets) specifically yet. I'm a little concerned that Tomahawk is going backwards by going back to laptops when the whole world is migrating toward tablets...


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:34 am 
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IMO, tablets are still primarily toys. I can see where they would be more useful for younger students where interactive games and programs increase interest, but the middle and high school students shouldn't need those things to keep them on task. I've never been a fan of the iPad for several reasons. I think the chromebooks are a wiser choice. However, that is dependent on other costs associated with e-text licensing and any other costs.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:00 am 
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We're finding a lot of uses for tablets in our higher ed environment and if needed, the addition of a keyboard basically turns it into a laptop. The beauty of a well written tablet application is it basically becomes any interface you want. Need a calculator, the entire device becomes a specialized calculator. Need a textbook, the entire device is now a textbook. The well written and designed textbooks and magazines I've seen on the tablets have been able to provide a much better user environment and higher level of interaction than I've seen with a purely keyboard and mouse interface.

For example, being able to zoom in, rotate and completely manipulate a molecular structure with your hand is a pretty powerful method to help increase interest. It doesn't compare to doing it on a computer with a high end 3D display, but it's better than your typical 2D computer interaction with a keyboard and mouse.

In addition, so far, the tablets have been more durable devices. Short of a fall onto a hard surface or dropping in a lake (both of which laptops don't do well with either) they have far fewer moving parts to break.

Pretty high end work environments are utilizing tablets more and more (hospitals for example) and a number of our faculty and students are using them extensively. Over 94% of Fortune 500 companies are using or testing the iPad. They've definitely moved beyond the toy stage.


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:52 pm 
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I understand the benefit of portability for professionals, but the application here is students doing homework. I don't see where that would justify paying $400+ for an ipad when a $200 laptop will have the same capabilities, or at least will provide the functionality to meet the demands of a high school course. Schools have paid thousands of dollars for smartboards that can be 90% recreated for about $50 each.

Also, with the highly proprietary nature of Apple, I don't think it is a good idea for schools to rely so heavily on them to fit the needs and maintain reasonable price points for the schools.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Also, I would still maintain that they are primarily toys. I would be willing to bet that the ratio of game apps to business apps downloaded to ipads is roughly 10:1. It's a bit like saying, "I bought my smartphone so I can access my e-mails." That may be true part of the time, but most of the time it is used to play bejeweled or angry birds.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:07 am 
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I'm guessing you haven't seen, or don't know about, the enterprise tools for managing iPads. My iPhone has plenty of games, and I'm guessing most consumers devices do as well, but I also have quite a few work related apps that significantly improve our response time during an outage, keep me informed of news, etc. I'll take the bet on how much time is spent on productive tools vs games though. It gets used way more for productive uses, but I paid for it and I'll use it however I want. However, work (or school) owned devices can be managed quite easily (there are VERY good tools from Apple for this). We can control what is installed on the devices so that they ONLY get used for work, just like we can for the computers.

As far as the proprietary nature of Apple, again, I'm guessing you don't know about the enterprise tools and are looking at the devices as a consumer. Businesses can load their own applications (without any involvement from Apple). So, if a school or business wants to build a scheduling App, they build it and deploy it (a web page makes more sense, but to each either own). Apple also is the only one providing the tools necessary for the UW to actually use the devices and buy the apps. They have a program that allows us to buy an application and provide the redemption code to the users. We currently have no way to legally buy apps from the Google App Store using UW funds (it violates state purchasing rules).

In all honesty, it doesn't really matter what tablet they go with, but we've seen some of the Chromebooks and as with all things, you get what you pay for. A $200 device is generally crap when it's a computer. It's not going to have a quality display (which is important for long term or science uses), the battery won't last all day (the students will love having to find an outlet partway through the day), quality parts, etc. And the school doesn't have to be tied to just Apple for devices. They could go with Android based tablets, or Microsoft, or the convertible laptops that do both. Generally the long term costs will show the Apple devices to be cheaper, but they do have other options. The school also can buy with education discounts and in bulk. When purchased in packs of 10 by a school the iPad's start at $309 each and that's without talking to a sales rep (for school level quantities they often offer larger discounts on things).

No matter what, the interaction (which I think is a major part of the goal) will be significantly lower on a laptop than it will on any tablet. I'm not sure the "blended" ed concept is going to prove to be a good one anyway. I suspect we'll be killing many of the changes in a year or two and this might be a nice "resume builder" for a superintendent that apparently doesn't have any interest in staying in Tomahawk long term.


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:28 am 
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http://gizmodo.com/5890602/the-most-pop ... f-all-time

Kerry Tobin wrote:
this might be a nice "resume builder" for a superintendent that apparently doesn't have any interest in staying in Tomahawk long term.


In the end, this is probably the most telling factor.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:51 am 
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Yes, those are the most popular apps. However, considering consumers are buying way more iOS devices than schools and businesses are, it makes sense that games and "fun" apps are the most used. Doesn't mean business owned devices are the same.

Solitaire and Minesweeper are still a couple of the most used programs on Windows based computers. Does that mean they are only toys?

I do think the superintendent isn't likely to consider long term if he isn't planning on staying...


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:57 pm 
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Kerry Tobin wrote:
Yes, those are the most popular apps. However, considering consumers are buying way more iOS devices than schools and businesses are, it makes sense that games and "fun" apps are the most used.


Exactly, which makes them primarily used as toys. Just because Lockheed Martin can control satellites from an iPad, doesn't mean that's the primary use. You can also turn Wii controller into the IR reader for a smartboard application, but that's not how people are using them. With a considerable amount of work, Scotch tape can be used to create rudimentary x-rays, but don't look for large quantities of tape to be sent to hospitals to make this happen.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:50 am 
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neup99 wrote:
Exactly, which makes them primarily used as toys. Just because Lockheed Martin can control satellites from an iPad, doesn't mean that's the primary use. You can also turn Wii controller into the IR reader for a smartboard application, but that's not how people are using them. With a considerable amount of work, Scotch tape can be used to create rudimentary x-rays, but don't look for large quantities of tape to be sent to hospitals to make this happen.


So because a lot of people choose to use something as a toy we shouldn't teach your young the tools that will be used in future careers? Tablets are taking over as cash registers, books, research devices, medical devices, automotive diagnostic tools, etc. I'd be surprised if there are many careers in a few years that don't interact with tablets in one way or another. PC sales are slowing and tablet sales are climbing (quickly). Tablet sales have already grown to 52.5 million shipping in the last quarter of 2012 compared to 89.8 million personal computers.

Do we want to teach our children the tools of the past, or prepare them for the future? I was taught how to use a typewriter in one class at THS ('96 or '97). Want to take a stab at how many times that knowledge has been used since? I've used a computer a lot, but never load anything into a typewriter (in fact, I'm not even sure where one is). A majority of my student employees already have tablets so we don't even have to buy them the devices, we simply pay for the applications they use to do their jobs. They still use a computer, but as the applications on the tablets get better, I suspect they'll replace our desktops more and more.


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Kerry Tobin wrote:
So because a lot of people choose to use something as a toy we shouldn't teach your young the tools that will be used in future careers?


Yes, for an experimental program that may or may not be supported by (immediately) future administrations, a piece of technology that is more widely used and understood for the application at hand, the chromebooks are a better product to use. Tablets CAN BE great tools, but there's no reason I need to replace my calculator with an iPad.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:40 pm 
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neup99 wrote:
Yes, for an experimental program that may or may not be supported by (immediately) future administrations, a piece of technology that is more widely used and understood for the application at hand, the chromebooks are a better product to use.


Quote:
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization, surveyed the major studies on the subject last year and concluded: "Most large-scale evaluations have found mixed or no results for one-to-one initiatives."

Separate research also suggests that the sort of frenetic multitasking that tweeting, blogging and social networking often entails can affect people's memory and performance in negative ways.


Quote:
Early test results of kindergarten pupils like David who used iPads for nine weeks last fall — compared to kindergartners who did not — show the iPads pupils did better, according to an Auburn School Department report released Wednesday.


How about Algebra 1?

Quote:
“Overall, the percentage of students who rated either proficient or advanced (the ‘passing’ rate) was 49% percent higher in the ‘flipped classrooms’ using the iPads than in the traditional classrooms with no iPads,” according to the report. “The difference was most pronounced in the percentage of students rated as ‘advanced,’ which was 150% higher in the ‘flipped classrooms.’”


So, Tomahawk chose a technology that isn't catching on in the marketplace (Chromebooks) rather than choose typical laptops or the new technology that is replacing computers.

neup99 wrote:
Tablets CAN BE great tools, but there's no reason I need to replace my calculator with an iPad.


True, but when you get the same scientific calculator interface for $25 on the iPad vs $90 for the calculator. And then you can get the financial calculator I was required to have for some classes for $15 on the iPad vs $50 for the calculator. And the textbooks are interactive (and nearly universally available), and the students don't have to carry 5 textbooks and two calculators around. And, the iPads will last all day, on one charge.

I suspect we're going to have to agree to disagree...


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:22 pm 
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I'd be willing to bet iPads aren't allowed during tests. You'd still have to buy the calculator.

Also, the testing results you quoted were based on Kindergarten students. I stated earlier that I believe interactive programs on tablets would be benificial to younger (grade school) students. However, for remedial or special needs students, I can see where tablets would be helpful.

True, we may have to agree to disagree, but it is a little sad that only three people have posted with any interest in a topic like this.

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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:19 pm 
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One of the results I quoted was kindergarten. I'm pretty sure they aren't teaching Algebra 1 (the other example I gave) at that level in most cases...

Also, Arkansas State just announced their iPad Initiative. ALL incoming freshmen will be required to have, or get, an iPad now.

http://www.kait8.com/story/21420774/ipa ... u-freshmen


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Just an update on this. After two years on the market Chromebooks are still 0.023% of worldwide web usage. By comparison, Windows RT, which is considered a disappointment, has more usage in three months...

http://www.zdnet.com/first-real-world-u ... 000014102/


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 Post subject: Re: So Proud of Tomahawk
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:56 am 
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Somebody is buying them.

"As of February 2013 more than 2000 districts in the United States have deployed Chromebooks to their students and faculty."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevange ... -district/

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