Are Ipads used a lot in secondary schools?

(57 Posts)
vkyyu Sun 01-Dec-13 15:08:45

Will any secondary school teachers or parents share their views please. My children are not in secondary school yet. However many and more and more primary schools seem to be acquiring IPads for pupils use in schools. So just wonder if this is also happening in secondary schools. As I want to invest my saving in the right equipment for my dcs. I think IPads are very expensive for what they are. However there many tablet-PCs available on the market and often come with Microsoft office seem very good value as comparing to IPads. So just wonder whether a IPad or a tablet-PC will be better support their school / home work in secondary schools?

blueemerald Sun 01-Dec-13 15:13:18

I've worked in 3 secondary schools and the only one that used iPads was a special school. A desktop PC or laptop is more useful for homework/research. If you are set on a tablet you can get an iPad (I personally think they are better than others on the market) for a comparable price at somewhere like Computer Exchange.

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 15:14:13

is irrelevant which one. def one or t'other tho

LoopyLobster Sun 01-Dec-13 15:14:54

Definitely a laptop supports learning better for secondary pupils. Ipads are toys. Lovely, useful, engaging toys, but toys nevertheless.

MissMillament Sun 01-Dec-13 15:16:27

They are not used at all in my secondary school. I can't see any particular reason why they would be useful in my subject (English) though I would love a bank of wifi-enabled laptops for use in class - access to machines with keyboards being more of a priority for me. But we don't have the budget for that. In terms of homework, again for my subject, a computer or laptop would be more useful than a tablet.

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 15:16:53

i think that might be the case for those of us who are used to trad laptops

kids ( sheesh!) nowadays dont see them as viewers like adults do

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:31

NOT USED at all? christ -you need to get with it.
Ours does a HUGE amount of work on google docs for drafting etc

its a missed opportunity

MissMillament Sun 01-Dec-13 15:18:26

Show me the money, Brad.

vkyyu Sun 01-Dec-13 15:29:34

I've seemed some tablets with preloaded Microsoft office and with detachable keyboards plus larger memories and window 8 etc at just around half of the prices as to similar sort of IPads. So just wonder..........?

LoopyLobster Sun 01-Dec-13 15:37:52

We have ipads and macs at school. Given the choice, the kids always go for the macs. Ipads hardly get used.

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 15:38:45

apply for the grant lady

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 01-Dec-13 15:47:26

Our school has a huge shortage of IT in general.
I've just worked out that I will never be able to do computer work with my year 9s as we only have lessons when computing is on (so can't room swap). Most secondary schools are far away from the everyone having an iPad situation.

MissMillament Sun 01-Dec-13 15:52:05

I'm sure the school applies for every grant going. I teach in a huge comprehensive in an area of deprivation - we have many IT needs that are far more urgent than some 'nice to have' tablets.

Metebelis3 Mon 02-Dec-13 05:38:11

iPads really aren't toys. For school use their main advantage is the weight though.

I suppose a key advantage of a Windows tablet would be nobody would want to nick it. Mind you, you might find your DCs 'losing' it.

Unexpected Mon 02-Dec-13 10:21:02

Every student in my dc secondary (hit-achieving comp) is getting an iPad! Year 10s already have them, I think Yr 7 is next, DS1 who is in Yr 11 won't get his until beginning of 6th form but I think by beginning of the next academic year they will have been distributed to every year group. TBH, I am ambivalent, school has never let us down so far so I trust they know what they are doing here and I'm afraid I also have no idea how these are funded.

Indy5 Mon 02-Dec-13 12:56:00

Tablets like ipads are not toys (though they can of course be used as such) - they are powerful portable computers and great for taking notes especially if you don't want pages of scruffy writing to revise from ...would recommend tablet (for classroom notes/portability) plus laptop at home. You can always add a small keyboard to a tablet to make it easier to type with.

In the work place, people use tablets all the time for taking meeting notes/ diary...etc, not sure why senior school should be different.

Indy5 Mon 02-Dec-13 13:13:31

oh and forgot to add tablets can store lots of lovely textbooks on them full colour and interactive carrying your own personal library around ...portability is key these days... anyone dismissing them as a toy is clearly not using them the right way

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 02-Dec-13 13:34:17

One of the reasons why iPads are used is because Apple gives much better educational discounts than other manufacturers. When you are buying 200 of them that countsgrin.

HowardTJMoon Mon 02-Dec-13 13:41:03

Both of my DCs' schools have spent inordinate amounts of money on iPads that very rarely get used. Tablet computers are not well suited to a lot of educational tasks because you can only really interact with one app at a time. By contrast a laptop makes it easy to have multiple web pages open plus a word processor, spreadsheet or whatever, to quickly and easily flick between them and bring that information together. Tablets, by contrast, work best at media delivery rather than content creation.

I think a lot of the time schools buying into technology like this is a massive waste of resources that are of more use in looking good for prospective parents rather than being useful for delivering real educational value. And I'd very much put Windows tablets and Android tablets in with this. What's missing is the same thing that a lot of IT projects miss - you should select the applications first and only then decide what platform to run them on.

Talkinpeace Mon 02-Dec-13 13:46:21

DCs use them a lot
but they are school ones not ours
I refuse to buy one
the school has over 100 ipads and they are in constant use

noblegiraffe Mon 02-Dec-13 13:51:48

My school is currently looking into all the kids getting iPads. Can't wait, it's going to be fab smile

mimbleandlittlemy Mon 02-Dec-13 13:57:52

Every Y7 in ds's school (local comp) has now got an ipad supplied by the school and they are seeing how it goes with the Y7s before rolling it out through the school. School spent the best part of two years testing and working out which tablet would be best for battery life, what they could do on it etc, etc and the ipad mini came out top so they went with that. Parents can either pay £20 per term for 6 terms or a one-off £180 and the ipad is yours at the end of three years. All of them arrived with a school case and with the child's name engraved on it. If you can't afford £20 per term then the child isn't allowed to take the ipad home.

The children are allowed to put a few games on as long as they don't take up too much memory (no shoot 'em up type games obviously) and they are allowed to have their music on it. School can oversee exactly what they have on and what sites they have been accessing as soon as a child turns it on on the school premises.

So far, 4 weeks since arrival, it has been used extensively for various homeworks including PE, RS and geography with far more imaginative projects than we ever did at school, that's for sure.

Certainly not a toy.

Klingyston Mon 02-Dec-13 14:30:16

My children's schools - 1 at primary 1 at secondary - both use ipads a lot at school - Not toys at all but fantastic teaching aids - for art, drama, music, science ,literacy, maths and more - using apps or photographs, video etc etc. However, there is no expectation they will have one at home. They are however expected to have a pc at home - lots of homework is on pc - mathletics etc or just typed up stuff and laid out in word/publisher. Also often have to use internet for research.

I would never let a child take one into school. If school provide them fair enough. A lap top or pc for use at home is pretty essential and more use than an iPad.

Metebelis3 Mon 02-Dec-13 19:43:59

If DD1 had to carry a lappy round (even a MacBook Air) her life would be intolerable, it's difficult enough for her as it is, she is severely dyspraxic and has to carry instruments around too. Being able to use her iPad in all lessons is a real boon. DD2 will also use an iPad once she is at secondary school. I agree with the point about spreadys, but school kids don't need spreadys. For what they need, the iPad is superb.

vkyyu Tue 03-Dec-13 17:38:53

Thanks for all your responses. Still interested to read more views. But I think I just wait for another year. As we already have pc and a tablet-PC. There s urgency for an iPad for now. May ask the same question again next year.

lljkk Tue 03-Dec-13 20:26:24

Not used in any state schools I am familiar with (DC in 2 secondaries, 1 primary).
Probably another sign of our backwards ways in Norfolk? (Or our bounty of common sense)

BackforGood Tue 03-Dec-13 22:20:29

None of the secondaries I'm familiar with use iPads or tablets or anything similar.
My dc do use their laptops every night for homework though.

Talkinpeace Tue 03-Dec-13 22:24:25

most of the big ones round here use them - probably an lea wide deal from before they became academies

Loshad Tue 03-Dec-13 22:55:14

We use them all the time, students and teachers. Some students get them free (fsm), some use the school ones, many pay a small sub per month.
They are so far from being gimmicks. the number of apps that really enhance student learning and engagement is huge. I am not saying another tablet couldn't do the the job, but they are far superior to laptops in terms of battery life and weight for students to carry them around all day. They are imo the best option for afl - assessment of student learning, handing in of assignments, making movies etc to demonstrate understanding, etc etc.
I was a real sceptic 2 years ago when the idea was first mooted in our school, I am now a total convert. The students love them and are far more engaged with their learning.

LAlady Tue 03-Dec-13 23:18:03

At my DS's school all boys from year 7 right through to the 6th form have iPads. Scheme was rolled out last year and has been successful. We pay for them on a monthly basis.

petteacher Wed 04-Dec-13 12:24:21

The techology is on the way to conquering most of us. Schools included.
And amazing game changer for good or ill(both I suppose)

Travelledtheworld Wed 04-Dec-13 16:11:10

Ok so what software are schools using for word processing on an iPad, and are they offering keyboards too ?

lljkk Wed 04-Dec-13 17:56:42

Schools that use them, issue them even: Do they bring them home? What if you refuse to pay? I really don't want to be held responsible for such an expensive bit of kit, especially if brought home on bus or around younger siblings.

Hulababy Wed 04-Dec-13 17:59:59

DD's secondary school doesn't appear to use iPads either. They have PCs and Macs, but no tablets that we are aware of as yet.

I know more primaries who use them than secondaries - probably because of the numbers needed and the cost I would think.

Regardless though, I would still let a laptop rather than an iPad for a secondry school age child - if it is wanted for homework purposes.

LIZS Wed 04-Dec-13 18:01:40

dc school have been trialling them and next September will start issuing to all year groups over a 2 year period. They remain property of the school though. atm dd uses her Kindle for school work.

vkyyu Thu 05-Dec-13 13:36:44

My yr6 dcs use my tablet-PC to do homework, make videos, online games. Dc1 is learning to use excel and sometimes use PowerPoint for school work. Thats what really hold me back from buying an iPad. My dcs have a lot of fun with my tablet-PC everyday. And again it is only half of the price of an iPad but twice the capacities. It is a very tough choice!

Nibs777 Mon 09-Dec-13 10:16:41

And if you still think Ipads are just toys like LoopyLobster then think about all the new interactive text books that are coming out on tablets and read what Head of Eton has to say about this over the weekend (from the Mail on Sunday/Telegraph):

Schools have to embrace the internet and invest in teachers "like never before" or they will become redundant in a generation, the headmaster of Eton College warned today.

Anthony Little said "league table obsessed, class-room focused schools" would be overrun by the new technological age unless Ministers, schools and parents adapted.

He said that in an era where children could study Maths at Harvard over the internet, a new generation of flexible teachers was needed where they combined a traditional commitment to childrens' development with modern practices such as online marking.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, he said the pace of change and rapid spread of internet tablets such as the iPad meant "the ground is shifting underneath adult assumptions".

He said: "Teachers and parents are understandably worried by the threats and dangers of social networking and the internet.

"But we should not confuse the medium with the uses to which it can be put."

He claimed that rather than worrying about becoming "relics" schools had to embrace "the massive dynamic frightening and exhilirating technological revolution " in classroom practice.

He added: "Second, we must celebrate the primacy of love over systems. We need to place the development of the person - heart and spirit as much as mind and body - at the very centre of what we do, or our schools will die.

"And to make these things happen we must invest in teachers like never before. The teachers of the future will need to be flexible, innovative pioneers."

Mr Little said inventive new approaches in the classroom were already on the way, such as using gaming to motivate children in tasks they find tedious.

He said the world of online shopping offered other possibilities, such as using the same principle behind 'people who bought x also bought y' in teaching.

He said: "Why not the same principle as an education aid? 'People who struggled do x, found that y helped?' Using the distilled experience of millions of students gives far greater depth than one expert can achieve."

Nibs777 Mon 09-Dec-13 10:19:48

fwiw - for senior school I plan to but my kid an iPad (with keyboard attachment) for portability and making notes in class and he alreday has a macbook (with word/powerpoint software). I just hope he takes care of them !

friday16 Mon 09-Dec-13 10:55:47

he alreday has a macbook (with word/powerpoint software)

Why on earth would you buy a Mac and use Word and Powerpoint, when Pages and Keynote are cheaper, cheaper and native?

LoopyLobster Mon 09-Dec-13 11:52:36

Ipads have no flash. We have a number of interactive, online text books that can't be accessed on the ipads, hence the need for the macs. Same with many educational websites.

I still stand by my toy comment. Powerful, interesting toys, but not in any way a replacement for a computer. Storage issues and keyboard issues mean that, if I were inclined to buy a tablet as my only work machine (impossible) I would look at an android device rather than ipad (although I do own an ipad, it isn't great for educational purposes - I use mine as a diary and organiser, but mostly my toddlers play with it).

Apple's ipad apps are amazing for use in the classroom as engaging games/toys. However, you really need a whole class set for this, in which case the school would be providing them.

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Dec-13 12:03:25

They aren't a replacement for a computer, but not many classrooms have a full set of computers either, so an iPad is a lot better than nothing.

Flash is becoming less of an issue as educational websites adapt to the increasing numbers of iPads being used in schools.

Pinkpartysprinkles Mon 09-Dec-13 12:09:19

I look after a 12yo, his whole year group were given iPads this term in a pilot scheme, so far all he seems to have used it for is playing games. Still ends up using the desktop computer at home for the majority of his homework as the iPad does not appear to have the tools needed to complete his work.

Nibs777 Mon 09-Dec-13 21:40:34


why - because not everyone else in the world has a Mac - so he can switch between the two as needed.

(and because i got a special deal and got it v cheap because of work offer) eg sometimes he has to do a powerpoint presentation and take it in on a stick and use teacher's PC to present it...agree I much prefer Keynote

Nibs777 Mon 09-Dec-13 21:43:11

agree iPad is not replacement for laptop but portability is the obvious benefit =so supplementary to a laptop or desktop- instead of lugging text books about, interactive text books, educational videos, take notes in lessons etc.

Loshad Mon 09-Dec-13 21:53:26

lobster you are so far off the truth with your toys comments, although i agree all the class need one, we don't provide them for most, a charity runs our scheme, and as i said the vast majority of parents pay a small monthly fee. We have started writing our own textbooks as well, to be viewed on the iPad, so giving the students access to way more revision materials than they had beforehand. We have embraced the technological age and are running with it (cool to be ahead of Eton) and the future is looking great to us, and our students.

Talkinpeace Mon 09-Dec-13 22:17:40

we looked at bying an ipad for DHs work - to run a specific thing - and just could not justify the cost as it was so utterly non versatile
having no sockets to attach (eg) the wireless mouse was the killer
we stuck with Tosh laptops

the kids use the school ones for all sorts of art, english, tech type projects
but homework seems to still be done on the laptop

friday16 Mon 09-Dec-13 23:13:15

having no sockets to attach (eg) the wireless mouse

iPads have Bluetooth, so any Bluetooth mouse would work, in so far as a mouse makes any sense on a touchscreen device. Isn't the point of wireless mice that they're wireless, and therefore don't plug into anything?

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Dec-13 23:23:26

Wireless mice need a USB dongle. But yes, I also can't see the need for a mouse with a touch screen.

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 08:00:04

Wireless mice need a USB dongle

Only the ones sold for desktops that don't have Bluetooth. For practical purposes, all mobile devices do. A mouse like this will pair directly with a laptop or tablet without the need for a receiver.

Talkinpeace Tue 10-Dec-13 11:19:41

sorry I was not clear
the toy he uses is a remote pointer with integrated mouse buttons and laser pointer for when he's doing a presentation in a huge room

so he has both hands practically free and does not have to keep dashing back to the side of the stage to press a button or touch a screen

if there is such a thing that will work without any plugging in I've not found it ( but would be delighted if y'all know where one is )

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 12:16:41
Talkinpeace Tue 10-Dec-13 12:27:17

the keyboard thingies are not appropriate

the Satechi is nearly there but does not have a laser pointer
and its only for apple, whereas we've already got laptops
also the reviews clearly say it goes to sleep without warning ....

thank you so much for looking : I'll keep checking and try not to derail the thread any further

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 12:52:55

and its only for apple, whereas we've already got laptops

Nah, it'll work on anything.

And I thought the whole reason you were asking was to drive an iPad...

Talkinpeace Tue 10-Dec-13 13:30:54

we decided not to get the ipad because it could not drive the remote as well as the specific piece of kit that was going to go with it ....

let the kids play on the school and my sister's ipads !

Nibs777 Tue 10-Dec-13 16:56:50

Most kids love video games- especially boys...that requires concentration for prolonged period and mental alertness...there must be some better ways of channelling this somehow for revision or homework video game recreating Battle of Hastings where you get to choose which side you are on, which weapons you have access to, what you wear (all historically accurate) and the interactive plan of the battle field with little quiz questions on the way....or games retracing Columbus's journey or travelling through space and learning astrophysics along the way etc. Games and education are not mutually exclusive at all.

stillenacht Tue 10-Dec-13 17:00:40

Not at all in the school I work in.

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