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4 Calif. school districts launch iPad pilot program

From THE Journal:

Education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a new algebra curriculum delivery system for Apple’s iPad. Dubbed "Fuse," the system is being piloted for a one-year period in middle schools in four California school districts.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said the Fuse: Holt McDougal Algebra 1 app is the first full-year algebra curriculum application for the iPad. In addition to Holt McDougal content, the app’s interactive tools provide feedback on practice questions, allow students to take notes and save them for later use, give students access to video-based lessons, and provide guided instruction. It also offers tracking tools focused on student comprehension, as well as real-time reporting tools for teachers.

I made a vow to be less negative on this blog, but this is such a bad idea. We’re talking about a $600 piece of electronics running a custom app (which was probably pretty expensive to develop).Does anyone really think there are any school districts who can afford  expand this program to cover a whole school district? I don’t.

I don’t see any value in even trying these pilot programs if there are no funds to expand upon it. And so long as a school district asks parents to send in supplies to be used by the teacher, no, there is no money to spare.

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fjtorres September 8, 2010 um 7:14 pm

Oh, but California school districts have tons of money for all sorts of projects–haven’t you heard of the new, gold-plated, LA school that cost US$578 million to build?

They just don’t have money for actually, you know, "teaching" students.
Go figure.

To be fair, Massachusetts has one that cost almost $200 million, NYC one that cost over $200 million, and NJ too.
Surely LA students deserve a showcase school building to build up their self-esteem?

Anonymous Coward September 8, 2010 um 10:31 pm

Am I the only one who thinks the iPad is an overpriced overrated platform?

fjtorres September 8, 2010 um 11:10 pm

No. But its not going stop the hordes from buying it. 🙂

ammulvey November 27, 2010 um 7:21 pm

A random investigation on the cost of college textbooks shows that the digital versions are coming in around $30 cheaper than the traditional format. At that rate, it wouldn’t take too long to pay for the iPad simply by the savings in textbook costs. From the student’s point of view, that’s a win even if they end up paying for the iPad through an increase of fees or whatever.

Nate the great November 27, 2010 um 8:01 pm

I disagree. Your numbers assume that the student is too lazy to find a good price on textbooks. My textbook costs were usually under $200 a semester becuase I bought at the cheapest price and resold at the highest. The iPad route would have cost me more.

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