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New York City school system orders 2,000-plus iPads

updated 10:40 am EST, Wed January 5, 2011

Part of national trend

The New York City public school system has ordered over 2,000 iPads, the New York Times reveals. The total cost of the arrangement is valued at $1.3 million. As an example of the distribution, 300 of the tablets are reported to have gone to Kingsbridge International High School, located in the Bronx. The Times suggests that the number is "enough for all 23 teachers and half of the students to use at the same time."

A number of school districts around the US are said to be dipping their toes into iPads, including ones in Chicago, Illinois, Scottsdale, Arizona and the Californian cities of San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach and Riverside. Despite the often tight budget constraints imposed on public schools, some teachers argue that the iPad serves as a multifunction teaching tool, and/or that it draws the attention of students. In some cases it may handle many of the mundane aspects of schooling, such as contacting teachers, turning in assignments, storing past work and providing access to textbooks.

Critics charge that the iPad may be a costly fad. "There is very little evidence that kids learn more, faster or better by using these machines," says Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. "iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning." Professors at other universities note that schools may save money by opting for smartphones, which can offer a lot of the same benefits as the iPad for less than the latter's minimum $499.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a waste of money

    Another fine example of wasted money in the school system.

    Same with schools that buy students laptops.

    Seriously children don't need laptops or ipads to learn. I consider the technology to be more of a crutch in the education system than anything else.

  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better than Detroit

    I bet those kids are LOTS happier than those poor students and teachers in Detroit who were forced to accept Asus EeePC netbooks!

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple + Education = Value

    Dear Mr. Fancy Stanford Professor Emeritus:
    In a public middle school in philadelphia, PA, Apple was my first interaction with a real computer; and it was an important tool that not only fascinated me but contributed to my desire for a career in technology and design. And that was just one of 40 beat up Apple-IIEs locked down in a crowded computer lab room shared by hundreds of students. I'll bet my life's reality against your vapid statistics and say those iPads will do a heck of lot more for educating those Bronx students than your criticism will.

    There's more to education than just learning words and numbers better and faster. Children want to feel "connected" to language or science. Apple has a gift for doing this, don't poo-poo on that gift just because you don't understand it or can't quantify it.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Children need whatever it takes to get their

    attention. There's no perfect solution to education. Most children will learn, some will not regardless of what devices or methods used. They just have to keep trying all different things. There's an awful lot of wasted money in NYC, so $1.3 million is just a drop in the bucket. I'm just glad Apple is seeing the benefit instead of Microsoft and Dell. There have been iPad pilots that claimed an increase of test scores after using an iPad, but that may be an exaggerated claim. And schools do get educational discounts on Apple products, but it probably isn't much of a reduction considering the limited budget schools have.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Super substaniation

    The critic cited in this article (Larry Cuban) has been RETIRED for nine years after 20 years of working at the COLLEGIATE level. He spent the previous 7 years as a superintendent in VA schools. While Mr. Cuban may live and breath educational statistics, I would opine that after 36 years out of the classroom he may be less familiar with the way young people communicate and are engaged through electronic means.
    Further, his inconsistency in the statement "iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning" is stunning. First he claims the product to be great to engage kids, then states it doesn't address teaching and learning issues. One of the foremost issues in education is engaging kids. If this or any other product facilitates that connection while providing the myriad resources such devices are known for, I would argue that (contrary to DeezNutts preceding post) the iPad is an invaluable tool for education.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I am a programmer today because of Apple in school

    My first exposure to computers and programming came in the form of an Apple II in elementary school with something called LOGO. I also learned basic on the Apple II.

    My first exposure to what I would characterize as a "real" compiled languages would be Pascal on the macs in high school. I wrote a screen saver like the windows "mesmerize" screensaver on the mac, a simple vector based drawing program that saved the "drawings" in a text file as instructions on how to reconstruct the drawing and a simple music program that saved notes and duration into a text file for playback.

    I was pretty proud of myself when I wrote those programs in high school.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As a teacher for over 40 years.........

    .......I can assure you that giving kids the box of 64 Crayolas with the built in crayon sharpener, instead of a box of 10 Crayolas, won't turn them into Rembrandts.

    There are just too many variables. I agree with the Stanford prof.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: As a teacher

    Wrong! I'm a Rembrandt today because our school had 64 count crayon cartons with the built-in sharpener.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm sure these kinds of purchases are being done the same way all sorts of expenditures are done. The high-flying schools that already have the current bells and whistles, and the 'prime' students, and all that, will be getting the iPads. Meanwhile, the 40 year-old schools with A/C issues, no computers, and poor test scores, will continue plugging along with nothing, under the guise of either "They need to raise their test scores to score more funds" (one of the most insane arguments one can make, or "Those buildings are too old to make it cost effective to add all these computer labs and new fangled ideas. So we just add it to the newer schools" (which, oddly, never go where the amenities are missing, but where the population is 'growing', meaning where all the affluent people are moving to because, gee, their schools are better).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: I am a programmer today because of Apple

    My first exposure to computers and programming came in the form of an Apple II in elementary school with something called LOGO. I also learned basic on the Apple II.

    That's exciting. My first exposure was TRS-80s (model 1 and 3) with TRSDOS and Basic.

    One doesn't need Apple computers to get interested in computers.

    Then again, Bill Gates made billions inspired by Macs...

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