"... But I will not allow a networked, computerized system to be placed on this ship while I am in command."
We live in a world of Cylons.
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Apple doesn't get a penny from the end user or from the retailer
So they're doing this out of the goodness of their corporate heart?
If you believe this, then I have a bridge to sell ya'.
Well, that and selling iPhones.
I'll take that bridge. What? You don't take Applepay? Never mind.
I liken this to the state family-services programs. We went through foster training on a long road to adoption and it blew me away just how terrible some of these foster homes are. Some are excellent, certainly, but WAY to many of them are just in it for the cash.
During the training, I broke into my "WTF?!" moment and the trainer simply said, "Yes. It sucks. But it sucks less than having them in the 'system' or on the street."
So, to me, a tablet can follow that same logic. There will always be idiot parents who suck and not much to be done about that until we start birth regulation. (Heh. Think of trying to pass THAT test down at the DMV.) But tablet is certainly better than a TV with much more of an upside to where it might take a kid.
Our elementary school had dilapidated playground equipment that they couldn't afford to fix up. Then a state funded a program came in to add secure entryways to all schools--which resulted more or less a new "wing" added to the school that included new offices for the administrators.
But the playground equipment was still dangerous. And yes, I brought it up in the PTO meetings.
In your case, I'd wager that Apple offered a discount to the state to make it look like a great deal that could get through the legislature. Often monies are earmarked for one category (statewide tech budget) and aren't allowed to be spent elsewhere (local bus service) which is an attempt to ensure even bad budget management doesn't result in catastrophe. In this economy, that sort of thing becomes glaringly painful.
The software just isn't there yet for the tablets to become an adjunct tool for daily classwork. And since you only have five per classroom, you can't effectively use it for anything but remediation. However, the tablet does EXCEL at providing great remediation, provided (and this IS a big one) you have the content to back up what you've been teaching. The quiz app seems ridiculous. I don't know what levels you're teaching but at the elementary level, there's a website called "raz-kids.com" and they offer a pretty decent listen/read/quiz suite that is assigned and tracked by the teachers. The major failing of raz-kids is that it is flash-based. It can, however, be used with the flash-enabled iOS browser called "Rover". Rover has a "not ready for prime time" feel to it. The interface is non-intuitive, you can't easily manage bookmarks (you're forced to wade through their picks for websites) and it's significantly slower than say, Safari. But once you get to the flash, it works like a champ.
raz-kids even has an iOS app but it requires two separate subscriptions, which our school (and frankly, it pisses me off, too) is not amenable to being squeezed for.
Were I in your shoes? I'd take those iPads the other teachers are foisting on you, figure them out and be the "go-to" person on tablets. Then leverage that into either higher pay or a new job at a private school. Or maybe become a consultant for some small educational software company. My brother was the marching band / music teacher at his high school. Apple gave them a budget to build a small video studio but the "arts" staff had no interest. He took the money and developed it into one of the most respected and award-winning video production programs in the state, now his full-time position.
% "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work" -- Robert Orben