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Knoxville High School Makes iPads Mandatory

By - Source: TUAW | B 78 comments

A school in Tennessee has made iPads mandatory for students in grades four through twelve.

The Webb School in Knoxville is embracing the tech trend of 2011 and has asked all students to purchase Apple tablets. The private school has made the iPad a mandatory accessory for all students from grades four through twelve and is hoping that it will replace heavy textbooks.

"We have some students carrying 50 to 60 pounds of books and the iPad weighs just a pound and a half,” TIME quotes Jim Manikas, Webb School's technology director, as saying.

Though the school is making the device a requirement, it seems they’re not oblivious to the fact that the iPad isn’t exactly cheap. According to TUAW, they’ll be offering a rental program for parents who don’t want to or can’t buy the iPad. Pricing for this be $200 per year, or $20 per month of a 10-month academic year.

Facebook and Twitter will be blocked and we assume there will also be restrictions on what kind of websites the children can access.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Think they'd allow a Android or Windows XP/7 tablet instead?
    There are those of us who would enroll into a different school before buying an iPad. Or maybe just me...
  • 20 Hide
    dogman_1234 , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Are you kidding me! Spend the Money on Education! Not crapware! Geez! What a mess!
  • 18 Hide
    warlord1312 , January 27, 2011 3:45 AM
    Why the iPad? Decent notebooks can be obtained for those prices that can do so much more while still being light and cheap. Also what about the issue of theft since every kid will have one?
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    dogman_1234 , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Are you kidding me! Spend the Money on Education! Not crapware! Geez! What a mess!
  • -1 Hide
    haxs101 , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Wow, I live not to far from there!
  • 24 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Think they'd allow a Android or Windows XP/7 tablet instead?
    There are those of us who would enroll into a different school before buying an iPad. Or maybe just me...
  • 15 Hide
    bavman , January 27, 2011 3:43 AM
    Wow this is just ridiculous.
  • 18 Hide
    warlord1312 , January 27, 2011 3:45 AM
    Why the iPad? Decent notebooks can be obtained for those prices that can do so much more while still being light and cheap. Also what about the issue of theft since every kid will have one?
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2011 3:46 AM
    On the long run, i guess the rental is still cheaper than purchasing text books no?
  • 13 Hide
    dwave , January 27, 2011 3:48 AM
    Apple sucks, they should have a choice, not cram apple at them. How about a Samsung tablet?
  • 9 Hide
    alidan , January 27, 2011 3:58 AM
    ok, my problem with this is replacing books with ipads. the ipad itself will out date every yea, possibly 2, and tech wise, become almost unusable in 3 due to apple forceing os migration.

    a book, unless its cutting edge science class, will last 10-20 years, and over all, if there is a MAJOR breakthrough in how we know science form grade 1-12, we can make a copy and give it to the kids.

    over all its cheaper to get a new book than to get an ipad every 3 years.

    at the very least get a program that is universal, as in ipad, laptop, and so forth. that way there is choice. i would be @#$%in @#$%ed if i had to pay even 200$ for one of those over blown pieces of @!#$, much less 600$ every 2-3 years or 2400 total for rending the thing.
  • 5 Hide
    xrodney , January 27, 2011 4:08 AM
    This is ridiculous, iPad s far away from being trend, it have too small small share in notebook market for that. Personally if my child is on that school and they raise this requirements I would be more then wiling to sue them.
    Also Steve is not going see single penny from me because there are often better or cheaper options and more user friendly business models.

    There is nothing wrong from requiring students to have notebook or ebook reader, but forcing you to use single brand is not right.
  • 9 Hide
    palladin9479 , January 27, 2011 4:11 AM
    Notice they also "offer" a rental service. And I bet they only accept iPads and not any other device for their books.

    It simple, their getting low rates on their "Apple" educational computers, and if they push the iPad they will get lower rates on their equipment. Apple has been doing similar things for educational institutions for years, offering lower rates as long as the institution only goes with Apple branded equipment. The students use the Apple products are get used to it, then as adults they are supposed to prefer Apple products over MS ones. Its Apple's way of breaking how universal the MS platform is. Just ask anyone who is an Arts / Graphics design major, everything the university taught them on was Apple branded even though there are better non-Apple items out there. Industry standard isn't even Apple, but hey its supposed to make you more "creative" huh.
  • 3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 27, 2011 4:25 AM
    Oh I love what we're teaching our children: "Spend your money on toys that suck you in and waste your life away." Yep, that sums up the iPad, iPhone and iPod right there. I'll give Apple some credit though, the iMac does absolutely nothing game-worthy.
  • 7 Hide
    the_krasno , January 27, 2011 4:28 AM
    If they wanted books replacements, isn't an ebook cheaper and more convenient?
  • 6 Hide
    rohitbaran , January 27, 2011 4:30 AM
    Shoot the damn rule maker!
  • 6 Hide
    haxs101 , January 27, 2011 4:45 AM
    I agree, why apple..? No usb, or anything like that.. Could have got a notebook.
  • 1 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , January 27, 2011 4:48 AM
    xrodneyThere is nothing wrong from requiring students to have notebook or ebook reader, but forcing you to use single brand is not right.


    This was my first thought as well. But then I thought about it more... when I buy a book for a class, it has to be a specific book written by a specific author(s), and often has to be a specific edition of the book.

    So really, this request isn't so far off from what most students in universities/private schools have to do now.
  • 5 Hide
    rantoc , January 27, 2011 5:01 AM
    If they want to embrace new tech why force them into a single brand who is locked to one store with near no possibility to be "creative"?

    Instead allow the user to pick the brand of choice, i know i would take the win7 tablet over an ipad ANY day, tons of software way more possibility to be truly creative!

    I for one don't like being looked up in a sheep pen!

    And in latest news - The Knoxwille School have received a sum of money from Apple after fulfilling a contract!
  • 5 Hide
    alyoshka , January 27, 2011 5:01 AM
    I think the Administration at Knoxville really deserves some "Knox"......
  • -4 Hide
    shin0bi272 , January 27, 2011 5:14 AM
    hey how about we do what I suggested in the 90's... give the kids their own room with their own pc and desk and have the teachers move around from class to class. lessons on power point presentations can be emailed to the students so they can have them for notes etc and the teacher just needs a notebook and each classroom can have a projector for the teacher to plug into. Then none of the kids need to be carrying around an 800 dollar piece of equipment they just mail their home work home or do it remotely from home on their school pc. No need to endorse any one company over another either cause as long as they can install logmein or gotomypc or some other web based vpn client they can do their home work and get their assignments off of their classroom computer from anywhere in the world.

    But of course that wouldnt make them learn any better if the teacher sucks... which is why we need to get rid of teachers unions first.
  • 2 Hide
    snoogins , January 27, 2011 5:16 AM
    While I agree with every single one of you.. look at it from the school's perspective.

    What other tech can they lock down as they see fit.. no pr0n.. no usb.. LOL

    LOL
  • -2 Hide
    inthere , January 27, 2011 5:19 AM
    The school is forcing the kids to all use the same brand because you don't want to run into a situation where a book is available on one tablet and unavailable on another........come on people, it's not rocket science. There may also be specific apps that they want run, with everyone having the same hardware that's no longer a problem.

    Why the iPad? Sure there may be a couple of superior specced tablets out there, but the iPad had a huge head start on the competition and has already been established as stable. Audiobooks and podcasts can also be easily obtained through iTunes, which is also more established than any competing tech.
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