Saturday, April 21, 2012

PPS considers buying 6000 ipads

From the PG:


mad tech employee said...

Dell is willing to sell us desktop computers for $700. And they will extend the warranty for 5 years. That equals over 7,000 computers over the next 5 years, plus the infrastructure is already in place to use the computers unlike the Apple devices that we would have to buy extra equipment and software for to even make them work. What a joke!

Questioner said...

It would be nice if PPS had the money to supply each student with an ipad, but it doesn't have the money. How are 6000 ipads placed at schools that win the bidding contest going to help students who are in losing schools with computers at the end of their useful lives? And will PPS really be able to keep track of ipads that float throughout buildings, in different classrooms and in the hands of different students? Again it is one of those things that would have benefited from a trial at one school (and not a magnet) first.

Curious George said...

We all have our own personal list of "the top 10 things wrong with the Pittsburgh Public Schols."

I'll bet that not a single one of us has "students need ipads" on their list.

This ipad proposal is just another expensive and wasteful gimmick - just another thing Central Administration can brag about as the our schools slowly go down the drain.

Anonymous said...

That article doesn't make much sense, if you actually think about what they are talking about.

All in all, this sounds very much like the copying contract of last year: paraded as some sort of savings and improvement of services and likely to end up costing more for less value.

A beginning list of issues not discussed (are they being talked about at all?) or glossed over:

1) How long will the ipads last before they walk? One advantage to desktop computers is that you can't just walk out the door with them very easily.

2) Many schools have a laptop cart -- which can be signed out and used in addition to the computer labs, connectivity/router is in the cart so you don't need to worry about internet access or signing up for a specific room.

3) Typing papers on ipads?

4) Careful perusal of lease terms -- screens will be cracked, ipads will be dropped, etc. Are replacements issued? Is there an additional charge? Is there a limit in the lease on # of repairs or replacements?

5) Is the useful life of an ipad in a school setting 5 years, let alone more than 5 years?

6) How is needed service to be provided? Desktops are easier to maintain, switch out parts, cannibalize, etc. than ipads which are basically a locked box.

7) What is the budget for ipad friendly software over the next five years? -- obviously they have to maintain softward for the very old computers as well, since not all schools will be getting these, nor will all schools have enough capacity.

8) Yes, it's true there are some very old computers out there -- and some newer ones. It's not that difficult to assign someone to boot up the computer labs in the morning, getting your long boot-up time out of the way. Older computers can be replaced first.

9) It talks about wireless being spotty -- what is the cost of fixing that? Is it worth having ipads in a school without good wireless?

Questioner said...

Since PPS is in too much of a hurry to pilot, it would be helpful to at least know if there are other districts that have tried a similar arrangement with ipads. Even for a little while.

Anonymous said...

If you google ipad pilot schools you'll get a lot of articles, though none very scholarly -- this one is a great example:

The district they are talking about is a wealthy suburban district too, note the student who talks about his bluetooth keyboard. I'm guessing that was his purchase, not the district's. Also, they seem to have full wi-fi connectivity!

Note where one of the administrators says "as soon as there's something better, we'll use that too." Loved the description of "everyone" wants one of these tools, too, well, heck yeah, if your workplace is giving out ipads, wouldn't you want one too?!

I also enjoyed the "note-taking in class" function. If you've ever watched a college class full of people "taking notes" on their laptops or other devices, you figure out pretty quickly that they are...using facebook, wandering the web, chatting with friends, writing a paper for another class, etc. Some even have an earpiece in so they can watch/listen to music or a movie at the same time.

But note taking itself? Not nearly as much.

Anonymous said...

Mad Tech Employee: You are very right. Everything about this seems wrong. Yes, Ipads could be nice, but they will walk, break, and not be used to their full academic value. Mostly, the kids will play on them, steal them, break them. Desktops would be a much wiser purchase. I am also concerned about the distribution process. Might it make sense to give them to teachers the first year to learn how to use, then have teachers write proposals for how they would use them in their classrooms and distribute to those who would actually use and care for them?

Questioner said...

Ha ha about note taking 1:46. And if some notes do get taken- do students then need to go print them out so they can study at home? Or before they turn the ipad over to someone else, if ipads are not assigned exclusively to one student for the year? (And if they are assigned to one student there will be pressure to let students take them home.)

Anonymous said...

This is just one more example of poor decision making by Central Office staff. Board members who approve this purchase need to be held accountable when their term has expired. I hope the tax payers of Pittsburgh remember.

Yes, there is a need to update our schools technology but desktops and laptops can provide this service at a reasonale cost without the concern expressed regarding the potential for stolen or broken ipads. What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the great "lap top caper" where we were giving free computers away and they ended up being sold in a local pawn shop by the FBI, and some were sold on ebay? Or the teacher at CAPA who stole laptops to sell per her heroin addiction. - 27k - 2011-12-09

PPS has very poor memories!!!

Anonymous said...

The Ipad plan is poorly thought out just like everything else in the district. Without wireless they can't even print and even if they could very few printers are compatible with Ipad, so add the cost of new printers. To install decent secure wireless would be expensive and would pose many challenges that would be costly.

Next PPS would have to purchase additional hardware and software to enable the IPads to function in the enterprise.

Buying these will incur significant additional cost and manpower. As usual PPS doesn't see the big picture and additional or unanticipated costs. I imagine a few "IPad consultants" will be needed to be added to the payroll. The things needed to make this work could double the initial IPad proposal.

If Angry Bird scores show up on the PSSA test, PPS may have a shot at excelling.

This really makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Now is not the time for even an ipad pilot. Too many other things to fix first, especially this year when we have to sit back and see if each class will max out to be overflowing. I wonder how many teachers have broken/unuseable computers in their classrooms now.

Anonymous said...

4:07 -
It is not just a problem of "poor memories" at 341 South Bellefield Avenue, but more importantly, its "poor" thinking, "poor" decisions, "poor" judgment, "poor" planning, "poor" management, "poor" experience, "poor" consultants, "poor" administration, "poor" professional development, "poor" problem solving, "poor" curriculum, "poor" academic achievement, "poor" extra-curricular activity, "poor" education, and "poor" capacity for sustaining a public school district.

However, Bellefield Administrators have great salaries, great press, and great P. R. contracts!

Anonymous said...

Before we invest all this money in ipads,why don't we invest it in all the staff being laid off? A live body beats a machine.

Anonymous said...

It is not just a problem of "very poor memories" at Bellefield Avenue, but more importantly, its poor thinking, poor decisions, poor judgment, poor planning, poor management, poor experience, poor consultants, poor administration, poor professional development, poor problem-solving, poor curriculum, poor academic achievement, poor extra-curricular activity, poor education, and poor capacity for sustaining a public school district.

However, Bellefield administrators have great salaries, great press, and great P. R. contracts.

Anonymous said...

What does this comment mean?

"If Angry Bird scores show up on the PSSA test, PPS may have a shot at excelling."

Anonymous said...

You have successfully reached "Out of Touch" level 99

Anonymous said...

Omg the Angry Birds comment was priceless but then paled next to Anon 7:16. Lolololol.

Anonymous said...

now why is it anyway that you are only buying 6,000 Ipad(s)who decides to what students will be getting a Ipad? right now you are setting up your self for a debate meaning that certain neighborhoods would get preference than others here we go ago no research or fact finding on how this distribution will be FAIR and BALANCE here we go again kicking the CAN down the road now PPS you know what is going to happen some students will not get a Ipad so why set yourself up for a lot of hard feelings among communities,families,students this will be very interesting to see how this play out folks! something you need to think about

Anonymous said...

not to mention blowing VAM right out of the water. If one school has ipads and another doesn't, those teachers without them would be at a significant disadvantage. Just the ability to link them to a projector could change the way a classroom operates.

Anonymous said...

How does an internal RFP process for the iPads align with Dr. Lane's equity theme?

What are the desired student:desktop, student:laptop and student:handheld/tablet ratios?

Which and how many devices will be cycled out of the fleet as a by-product of this purchase?

Isn't the iPad already on its third major version at less than two years old? Is the product family mature enough to invest almost the entire 2012 hardware budget on AND commit a total of $5 million over 5 years?

What is the projected hardware budget for the next 5 years? What is the procurement strategy for those years?

Is PPS migrating to Apple as a standard? Are they fully prepared from a network, software and repair standpoint?

iPhones, for instance, that are not much more than a year old are choking on iOS and application updates? What is the basis of belief that this will not happen with our iPads?

What is the procurement strategy for applications through iTunes? How will this be managed and tracked?

Anonymous said...

How will the district prevent kids from jailbreaking the devices? It is commonly done. Here is one thread I found about a school ipad.

Anonymous said...

What happen to all the lap tops that the university of pittsburgh bought for the students at univesity prep? In one year there were about 40 missing.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! PPS can purchase 6,000 ipads that will probably walk and they'll have limited use because of the lack of wireles infrastructure to support them in our schools but teachers in the meantime are buying copy paper on their own because our principal says we can only be alotted 1 carton per semester due to budget constraints. Let's pay attention to what the Mad Tech Employee posted on April 21 2 12:31PM.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is the answer to the "buy your own ink plot" in the schools--no papers to write, no use ink ??

Anonymous said...

I dont see anything related to this in last nights Board minutes, does anyone know if the 6000 IPADs were approved??