back to article Scottish iSchool goes 100% iPad

A Scottish independent Christian school has forsworn books, pencils, pens, and paper, and will now educate its young charges solely via Apple's iPad. "We wanted to give each of the pupils an opportunity to use the best equipment available," IT teacher Fraser Speirs told the Daily Record Each and every one of the 105 students …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    iThink ...

    ... this iS an iNcredible waste of money.

    But what do iKnow. I'm probably just an iDiot.

    Last time I checked, the three Rs were still iMportant. Surely the money would be better spent on paper & pencils?

    Somehow, I suspect the followers of iChthys are in cahoots ... and iSis is appalled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      There's a clue to the expenditure here...

      > A Scottish INDEPENDENT Christian school.

      1. Tigra 07
        Thumb Down

        Not far off

        "Last time I checked, the three Rs were still iMportant."

        They still are, they've just changed to: Rooting, Recharging and finally Regret for buying the things and expecting kids to actually do their work

      2. bothwell

        @ac complaining about the independence or not

        The school's independence doesn't really have much bearing on value-for-money, surely?

        I mean it might not be *your* money they're spending, but surely those kids would still be better off if they spent that money on proper learning materials, regardless of its provenance, no?

  2. famousringo

    Fewer dead trees is good...

    But there's no substitute for hands-on science!

    Troll, because he's clearly been hands-on with a Van de Graaff machine.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Well, that's evolution out of the way

      It's an Xtian school - evolution? "All down to God. Right next subject, Paleontonlgy - we've got five minutes before lunch"

  3. Anonymous Coward

    re : sodium in water

    That was a perfectly safe experiment for chemistry teachers to do until the nanny state decided otherwise.

    1. Code Monkey

      And dashed good fun

      Experiments like sodium in water (especially followed by potassium - which had me looking down the periodic table imagining even better pyrotechnics) and the thermite experiment are a great way for a science teacher to get the kids excited about the subject.

      I pity these Scottish schoolids and their sanitised, dull science lessons.

      1. bothwell

        "sanitised, dull science lessons"

        I went to a scottish state school 15 years ago and I never once saw a sodium-in-water experiment or was let anywhere near thermite :/ I feel like I've been cheated out of an education and can't even blame it on the nanny state.

        If my experience is in any way indicative of the state of Pictish schooling then those kids would have been getting crap science lessons to start off with.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Despite people's usual misconceptions about "Health and Safety gone mad!", the only thing stopping science teachers from doing so-called "dangerous" experiments are.... science teachers! who are increasingly under the misguided notion that certain experiments have been banned, when they haven't.

      Anon, incase the GTC are against me correcting these notions.

    3. DrXym

      Yes in the lab

      Not saying schools shouldn't be able to do this experiment but I recall from my school days that a kid stole a large chunk of potassium from a lab, and tossed it into a bath with somebody in it. Funny at the time but the guy could have been seriously burned.

      So better to say it's safe under controlled conditions, such as in a vented box with a barrier in but schools should be required to keep it under lock and key.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Sodium in water...

      Unfortunatly on youtube you can't wash sodium down one sink, pour diethyl ether down another and then run a book on which sink the flames would come out of first!

  4. JaitcH

    Unlike other schools they won't view detailed biological information

    At least the teachers will appreciate the inability to limit content but what happens when it comes to detailed biological study?

    I remember the discussions surrounding calculators and the likelihood of children being able to do maths 'the old way'.

    If these children have no paper or pencils how will they practice their writing?

    1. Bassey

      Re: How will they practice writing

      Actually, I would argue handwriting is no longer a universally required skill. I can't remember the last time I wrote something by hand - probably a cheque and I only do one or two of those each year. Today's kids won't know what a cheque was. Things move on. I'm not suggesting giving everyone an iPad is a great idea but I'd certainly far rather see my kids learn technology, science and Maths than spend their first few years at school learning the "correct" way to join letters together in cursive script. A complete waste of time for 90% of today's job market.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Yes, it's useless until...

        * They need to read someone else's cursive handwriting and can't (if you've not got the experience of it, it just looks like a mess)

        * Their battery runs out and they need to write something down

        * They need to scribble down a note during a phone call

        * They need to fill out a prescribed form

        * They need to write out a calculation (not that you can't do that on a computer, but loading up MathCAD to do some relatively simple maths- or spending a while crafting an Excel spreadsheet to do the same is nowhere near as simple (actually, the iPad doesn't HAVE software to do more advanced maths, does it?!)).

        * They need to draw a graph.

        * They need to annotate someone else's scribbles

        * They want to pass notes at school

        * They're sitting an exam, which should be away from the computer to prevent cheating (can't guarantee no network/internet connectivity) and to encourage their brains to do the thinking for them (i.e. they do the maths, not their Calculator app).

        Or any other of a million and one tasks that require handwriting. I'd also bet it improves fine motor skills and co-ordination when taught from an early age.

        So yes, after a couple of years it's probably okay to not teach it again. But it's definitely a required skill.

    2. Woodgar

      re:Unlike other schools they won't view detailed biological information

      What is this "writing" of which you speak?

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge


    They can't negotiate prices or licences, the best they can do is buy each piece of software in the App Store on each iPad.

    And hopefully the pupils won't be taking them home with them or their replacement rate will be rather high (thefts), which means they might as well have gone for desktops as what's the point of having a portable computer sat in the classroom?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      never mind thefts

      Would you trust an iPad (which has a surface component made completely out of glass) to the hands of a 5-year-old?

      1. bothwell

        trusting stuff to the hands of 5 year olds

        When I was a nipper I would lose all my things on a weekly basis. My mum had to resort to actually tying my lunch money to a little bag on a string around my neck because I'd keep losing my lunchbox along with my bag and everything else. I was told off regularly for losing the various books I had to read at home as homework.

        Hopefully for this particular school I was just a particularly absent-minded and hopeless child and in no way representative of the nation's yoof of today.

      2. Richard 120

        Hell No

        I wouldn't trust anything expensive in the hands of a 5 year old.

        But then I wouldn't trust my 5 year old into the hands of a christian school either.

        (the joke would probably have been better if it was described as a catholic school, but thems the breaks)

    2. Scott Mckenzie


      ..just sync all of them to the same PC and thus be able to use any Apps on each unit.

      However, the commercial licence differs somewhat from the one used by Joe Public - do you really think the hospitals and huge companies in the US that have written their own software, publish it to the App Store for all and sundry?

      Are people really this stupid?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Jobs Horns

        Their own software

        1. Do you really think the school will be writing their own educational software? It's enough of a struggle to find one which can manage its own LAN.

        2. Your post made me look again and Apple indeed does have a Volume Purchase Program to buy software from the App Store, as of last week... , obviously this time lag is inexcusable when it comes to following events from everyone's favourite fashion company run by blackshirted James Bond character and I do apologise for being 'stupid'.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    The reason schools SHOULD have budget cuts!

    Utter fashionable stupidity. All they are using the things for is browsing specified webpages. What use is that! Wow, we've told them they can only visit Wikipedia sheesh. Bunch of utter idiots.

    Best device? what for? wasting money. Let's see, if they had looked at the Android route on this, as well as not having to suffer the maintenance headache of Itunes, they could of use Googles lesson planner and system for putting tests and quizes and other resources the teacher wants on the device's. Hell, they could use some of the toughended netbooks which guess what, can be locked down and controlled much further, and are ruggedised for school use!

    This is why schools shouldn't of been exempt from the gov's spending cuts. They look for increasingly stupid ways to piss away money on stupid schemes like this. Would laugh but it's frankly not even worth laughing at how bad the situation is.

    1. blackworx


      It's a private school you nitwit.

    2. chizz


      Lets try reading the first line of the TFA again. It's a Scottish INDEPENDENT school. Not a state school. Ergo it'll be the parents who are paying to have their spawn educated in the ways of christian excellence that'll be pissing their money against this wall, not the taxpayers.

      Not that i'm against letting mere facts get in the way of a good rant, mind you!


    3. Barracoder

      Physician, heal thyself

      If you're going to start criticising someone's choice of educational hardware and proselytising Googles (sic) lesson plans, you'll find you'd be taken a lot more seriously if you could speak English correctly.

      "Could have", or "could've". Never "could of".

      "Toughened". Never "toughended".

      "Thick angry twat". Never "Anonymous Coward"

      It looks like your school had quite enough budget cuts, thank you very much.

    4. Jimmy Floyd
      Jobs Horns

      Yeah but no but...

      I agree with everything you say, but for the sake of accuracy should point out that it's an independent school so I'm presuming it doesn't receive much money, if any, from Westminster or Holyrood.

      It does show that their fees are way too high, of course...

    5. Jamie Cole

      A Scottish independent Christian school

      Calm down dear, it's a private school. "A Scottish independent Christian school" - the Government has not sanctioned this.

    6. Chris Miller

      Look up the meaning of 'independent'

      As well as the distinction between 'of' and 'have' (they don't even sound the same).

      I note the school's home page has an entry 'Contacing the School' - but then it is built on Wiki, so no doubt it will soon be edited.

      Need a 'bangs head against wall' icon.

    7. Mark Whelan

      RTF Post

      This is an INDEPENDENT school, numptie nae-brain.

      They control their own budgets and raise their own funds.

    8. sig

      Back to school for you

      If you read the article properly you'd have noticed the word 'independent' in 'Scottish independent Christian school'.

      I won't mention your "shouldn't of been" offence either...

    9. Anonymous Coward


      I get most of the others arguments against this and find myself agreeing with some of the points, although I have to question their motives and disapprove of the literal 'WON'T YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?' style rants. You though. Wow. You are just opposed to them using Apple products instead your own choice from Google. That is truly pathetic. Are you one of these new 'fandroids' I've been hearing about?

      "This is why schools shouldn't of been exempt from the gov's spending cuts. They look for increasingly stupid ways to piss away money on stupid schemes like this. Would laugh but it's frankly not even worth laughing at how bad the situation is." It's an independent school, dumbass. It's privately funded and as such entirely up to them how they spend their money. Maybe reading and understand the article fully before getting all apoplectic and mouth-foamy is a better approach? That startling piece of fact aside; education is arguably the single most important thing, other than perhaps health, that the government is responsible for and education funding should absolutely be left well alone.

    10. Jim Morrow

      FFS read before you post

      if you'd bothered to actually read the article, you might have noticed the first sentence saying it was an independent school which has spunked its money on ipads. no public money was involved. the cost of steve's overhyped toys will be lost in the noise of the school fees. which can easily be afforded by mummy and daddy.

      it might also have helped if you'd stopped to think instead of ranting. there are ~10m school age brats in the country. if the government bought them all ipads it would cost 4-5 billion quid (about 10% of the education budget). 5 billion is almost a rounding error in the national debt that's heading towards 1.2 trillion. besides, there are plenty of more deserving targets for spending cuts than this hypothetical example: defence procurement, pfi schemes, beardie's train subsidies, cctv and anpr systems, every government it project and web site, etc, etc.

  7. Greg J Preece

    Hope they've got a lot of charging points...

    Do you really expect 10 year olds to remember to charge the things every night?

    Or even keep them intact?

  8. maccy
    Jobs Horns

    If it's a Christian school ...

    why didn't the kids get jesusphones?

  9. Matt 5

    Does ayone really think...

    That the school isn't getting some kick back or other from Apple on this?

  10. blackworx


    This is what happens when mactards get in to positions of IT-buying authority. Bloody latter-day missionaries the lot of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Cut to

      Cut to the adoption of pen and paper and some old guy whining about how chalk and slate shouldn't be replaced.

      1. blackworx

        Re: Cut to

        How very

  11. Pete Rowley

    r.e. anon coward

    OK, untie the union jack from around your shoulders, remove the gas mask and stop wielding that Daily Mail quite so rabidly. Sodium in water is still done in schools, along with lithium and potassium, and lets not forget good old thermite.

  12. BenR


    With this being an independent Catholic school, i presume I'm right in guessing that these iPads were privately funded? ie that my bloody tax money hasn't paid for them?

    If it's a school with a separate income stream then "pssht, whatevs." Let them waste their money however they want. With it being a Catholic school, I'm the Sky-Fairy Followers probably dropped some dosh on them. They've got enough.

    If this is funded out of Government budgets however, then they should be audited and their funding reduced, as they clearly have too much.

    1. daldred


      BenR - it's not a Catholic school.

      Oh, but the rest of your post shows you're just off on an anti-Catholic rant, so why bother letting the facts get in the way?

    2. vagabondo

      NOT "an independent Catholic school"

      This school is run by the Struthers Pentecostal Church. Presumably to keep their offspring from being tainted by science as we know it, and indoctrinated with "intelligent design".

      1. BenR
        Jobs Horns

        My mistake

        I either misread the article, or forgot between reading and posting. A Christian school, not a Catholic school.


        Rest of the point still stands though. Either it's independently funded by parents, in which case they've paid for them, or it's funded by the (whichever) church it is, so the church have funded it, or a combination of the two.

        Either way, as long as taxpayer money wasn't used, it's a non-story. Let churches/rich Scots/parents etc. etc. waste their money however they want.

        And I assume your presumption of an anti-Catholic rant was based on my usage of the term "Sky-Fairy"? Way to miss the point of the post. You've obviously not seen some of the other posts floating around on El Reg's comments board! Really, if I was going to devolve into that sort of pointless posturing, I'm sure I could find any number of better derogatory phrases about the Catholics...

        ... but I won't.

  13. James Cooke
    Thumb Up

    Gov money wasted err no

    Read the first sentence this is an independent school and therefore is not funded in any way from your taxation.

    Not that I'd necessarily agree with their purchasing iPads but mainly because its always poor value to be an early adopter. Waiting 6 months and they could of bought a raft of different tablets for much less cash.

    Schools though are full of computers these days and probably the better for it as virtually every workplace is also full of the things.

  14. alain williams Silver badge

    Absolutely lunatic!

    * Pupils aged 5 to 15, that is 10 years. What happens when, in 5 years, Jobs decides that the iPad is out and that we should all buy the incompatible iFolder. 105 new machines must be bought, 1050 new apps need to be bought. Who pays for all of this ?

    * Little Jimmy leaves to get a job and on his first day: is asked to sign a contract but can't use a pen; use a PC with keyboard (or whatever we have then); can't do/use ... because his employer is not an Apple shop.

    * When a 5 year old looses his iPad -- who pays for a new one ?

    1. Scott Mckenzie


      In all the time i've used a Mac i've never come across a piece of software that is no longer compatible with a newer version.... but hey, what relevance are the facts in a witty retort!?

      1. Hydrosylator

        I can't speak for them but..

        I've had nightmares trying to get software for older macs, which is, I think what they're referring to.

        If you're moving software across a divide like that of the PowerPc / Intel mac families it can be impossible. That's my experience.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    what an incredible waste...

    and a strange choice considering Android tablets are now out, include things like USB connections, and all Android handets allow you to load your own content without having to go though the app store/marketplace.

    I could see a purpose for tablets, but not closed Apple ones..

  16. stuart barkley

    Experiments on Youtube?

    How are they going to watch them without Flash?!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are the Teachers stupid?

    I believe children should have limited access to technology at school until they reach certain age.

    They need to learn to read books, write with pens and pencils. Do maths without the aid of a calculator/computer.

    But giving 5yo's iPads to do their school work on will result later in life the inability to write, to do simple calculations in their head.

  18. DrXym


    So all the students in this school will be able scrawl like a fingerpainting 4 year old. Since that's what a capacitive screen entails.

    In principle there is nothing wrong with a tablet based learning an absolute prerequisite is to be able to write normally on the screen with a stylus device. Not only for learning handwriting, but also taking notes etc. That doesn't mean doing away with capacative input either since there are hybrid screens that do both.

    Other prerequisites are that the device should be rugged, cheap and unattractive to thieves. All things that should instantly rule out using the iPad in any school.

    It sounds like this school hasn't thought their cunning plan through or charges such exorbitant fees that they can afford to waste it stupid gimmicks instead of on proper facilities for their students.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Education... and Flash..

    Too bad that much of the educational material created over the past decade or so was done in Flash, particularly Knowledge Box and much of the Digital Curriculum content.

    But as they're a private independent faith school, I guess that won't be troubling them.

  20. Stuart Halliday

    Wait for it....

    I can just see a gang gathering outside at the end of the day figuring who to bully or how to break in to steal 10 or 20 iPads which will be worth quite a bit of money to druggies.

    1. Hydrosylator


      Forget the druggies, go direct the fanbois. These kids are going to be the most attacked catholic schoolkids since the Holy Cross.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The school is in Greenock

        Forget about the fanbois, it'll be the junkies. If you don't know Greenock, just check out the latest news on the Greenock Telegraph website. AC obviously, I don't fancy getting myself stabbed.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    The land of deep fried Mars bars and Irn Bru

    How will their chubby little finger cope?

    1. Rob 101

      Don't knock the bru

      It's the amber nectar. What could be better to kick of the day than sugar and caffeine with bubbles in.

      Deep fried Mars bars are rare these days but I grant you many places do fried piza slices which are not nice.

  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    So I'm guessing that...

    This next generation of privately educated god botherers will be prohibited from downloading either Darwin and Dawkins from the iTunes store?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    At the right hand of Steve

    Indoctrination from two directions at once! Quite some competition for prayers and offerings, too. How will they fit all that into the curriculum?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    The following week...

    Way to go teach - announcing it publicly.

    <cut to one month later, Daily record front page article>

    " The crime rate around the Cedars School of Excellence in the town of Greenoch has dramatically increased over the past 4 weeks. Police are baffled by the new crime wave and are continuing to investigate. Meanwhile the headteacher of the school has announced additional equipment provisions as pepper spray and panic alarms will be issued for all pupils. The planned Gymkhana event will be replaced by training in both armed and unarmed combat."

  25. Lloyd

    Ahhh, Chemistry

    I remember doing A level chemistry at college and walking in to find the lecturers bench scorched and the polystyrene ceiling tiles missing above the area in question. When pushed on the subject it turned out that the lecturer and a lab tech (who was in his 30's and doing his second PhD, thus destined to never have a proper job) had been playing with iron filings, group 1 metals and various household materials (I seem to remember washing up liquid was mentioned), one of these had resulted in red hot iron filings being blasted upwards, melting the ceiling tiles and scorching the hell out of the desk, ahhhhh, thems were the days.

    He also introduced me to a very helpful book called the psychedelic guide to experimentation.

  26. Daf L

    Another idea...

    So you buy the kids an iPad but they need to type essays, so you get them an iPad keyboard. You then have to use a network synching solution to keep files as they can't use USB memory sticks to transfer their files. You have to buy each child an iPad case so the device can be tilted for them to look at so that their arms don't have seizures holding it.

    You have to find some software and buy it from the app store for each device that can sort of be used for educational and business software but forget about using Alice or Yenka for instance. You can get someone in to write apps but they can only be issued to the kids in limited numbers as a Beta or they will have to be published to the app store.

    Once your kids gets RSI from typing his essay because they've left his keyboard dock at home, they can print it as it has no printing capabilities.

    ...or they could have just bought cheap notebooks (MAC, Windows, Linux, whatever) which would have saved a lot of money and been designed for this sort of purpose and allowed the kids to learn using devices that are used in "The Real World".

    1. DrXym


      A netbook costs half the price and is vastly more suitable for the job. Even a netbook sounds like overkill to teach kids.

      Tablets are only going to be suitable for academia when people can take notes on them. With a stylus. Drawing with a finger, or using some crappy rubberized wand, or using 3rd party software which tries to make sense of capacitive noise is no substitute for a proper resistive precision input.

      That's the iPad's main failing but there are plenty of others when considering giving these to kids. iPads are eminently stealable and expensive items. iPads don't like being dropped on floors or smashed around by kids. iPads suck for education software. It doesn't take much to see what a terrible idea it would be for a school to use them.

  27. John Latham

    So much negativity

    Computer-based education has great potential, to be realised sooner or later. I have a shelfload of technical books I haven't opened in years - all my learning is on-screen.

    Not sure you can get rid of writing on pen and paper until all examinations are computer-based, but then you don't write in textbooks either.

    I haven't actually seen many computer-based learning resources that are better than a textbook for secondary school students, but I don't deny the possibility.

    I have had some success with some simple javascript-based tools to teach basic algebra to a kid with very underdeveloped maths skills, and some of the phonics iPhone apps are quite interesting (although didn't hold the interest of a four year old for very long).

    Anyway, good to see the market being developed with private money and other people's kids. Experimentation is good, right?

    1. bothwell

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "but then you don't write in textbooks either."

      Speak for yourself. There wasn't a single textbook in my old school that hadn't been thoroughly defaced on every page.

      Still the plus side of kids not being able to write is that they won't be capable of putting graffiti anywhere

  28. Hydrosylator

    Here is your finger, far from the point..

    iPad = (almost) porn-free zone

    Whatever you might think of not letting an adult look at porn on your device, not letting kids look at it is actually advantageous.

    I bet they would have used netbooks had it no been for Apple's porn-resistance.

  29. Ryan Kendall

    Bad writing

    They will have terrible handwriting when older

  30. Andy_B
    Thumb Up

    Luddites and Daily Mail readers all!

    Wow, who'd have thought The Register readership would be such a hotbed of reactionary luddites!

    Seem to be very ill informed too.

    It's an independent school and the IT teacher there is a well known OSX/iOS developer. So I think the daft points like 'have they considered how these will be charged up' will have been thought out pretty thoroughly up front.

    And then we have the wearisome 'but Android has flash and USB ports'. Yes - but it also has a really poor infrastructure for commercial software development, unlike Apple's thriving app-store. Oh yes, and flash is thankfully dying. Strange that everyone hated flash until Apple stopped supporting it.

    £400 for a computer is cheap, and as everyone on this forum SHOULD know, the cost of IT is all in running costs and maintenance anyway. If the school has a good charging/syncing model then this should be relatively stress free (and by all accounts they seem to).

    Are none of the seasoned IT professionals on this board excited by the prospect of 1-per-child computers in schools, or is everyone so burnt out and jaded about IT that you're yearning for those old days of pencil, paper and chalkboards?

    1. DrXym


      £400 for a computer which has a high probability of being lost / stolen / broken is ridiculous.

      OLPC are talking of a $75 tablet, which this time around is actually within spitting distance of realistic. Certainly there are already 7" android tablets on sale for $100 (e.g. Eken Apad) so it is not unrealistic to expect a computer for kids to be in that ballpark.

      As for Flash, there is a vast amount of educational software written for it. You expect people to just pretend none of that exists.

      As for yearning for the old days, no I'm not. I'm excited about the prospect of computers in classrooms but there has to be a reason for computers in classrooms and the tools have to fit the requirements. The iPad doesn't. Giving every kid an extremely expensive, glass fronted thief magnet is barking mad.

      1. Andy_B

        Report: Flash on Android is startlingly bad

        So that's a non-starter then.

        The iPads are leased actually. It would be interesting to know what the terms of the lease and the cost to the school is (less than £400 I assume).

    2. Tim Almond


      <i>And then we have the wearisome 'but Android has flash and USB ports'. Yes - but it also has a really poor infrastructure for commercial software development, unlike Apple's thriving app-store.</i>

      The Apple infrastructure works great for buying a game or something that makes fart noises. For yourself.

      But for corporate/supported applications, it's actually worse. You can't download from your own server unless you're a massive corporation with thousands of copies. With Android, you can just put the .apk on a server and get people to install it (or you could just copy the app onto the machines).

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Before the Tories rightly scrapped the BSF scheme I was in talks with a consultant who wanted to kit out every pupil with an iPad, completely ignoring how many thousands it had cost on repairs at another nearby school which gave every pupil a Netbook.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back when I was at school......

    We had to have a scientific calculator. That was about the same size as an i-pad, probably heavier but with more battery life.

  33. web_bod

    YouTube in t' classroom

    1000lbs Thermite Vs SUV

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Science vs Religion rant

    As a supply teacher I have taught science at many schools. I can say that I have never met a science teacher that denied the evolution and/or big bang theories at church schools - and I have taught at Catholic, Anglican and Jewish schools. However, you do find them at secular state schools in alarming numbers.

    BTW, any introduction to genetics will cover the work of Mendel, an Augustinian priest. I usually mention Georges Lemaitre, an RC priest, when covering the Big Bang theory.

  35. Ebeneser


    Truly Pathetic

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too pricey for me, but...

    I can see many useful ways an iPad could be used in schools. Schools have computer labs, and iPads are really just portable computers, and far more advanced than the computers I used throughout school. It's probably not the best use of funds, but it's a private school, so go figure.

  37. Hegghogg

    A 'Jennifer Government' Vibe

    Putting aside the froth that invariably erupts all over The Reg the moment someone mentions "faith" or "religion", AC @ 09:17 01/09 made an important point. Technology has a place in education, sure: a very important place. But it must be introduced at appropriate times, and not used as an easy alternative to actual education.

    I remember throwing a minor paddy as a v. small person because I hated maths and didn't see why I couldn't have a calculator. The parental units sat me down and patiently (really patiently) explained that being able to do maths with a calculator isn't really "being able to do maths". It's "knowing what buttons to press on a calculator". Once I'd proved that I understood the concepts behind the subject, then I'd be allowed to use a calculator.

    I sulked a bit at the time but I have to admit that even then, when I thought about it, this kind of made sense to me. And as an adult I'm bloody grateful to the parents and teachers that they didn't just give in to my childish demands then. The odd thing is I actually find I really like maths now.

    But that aside, what struck me about this story was the 'Jennifer Government' vibe it had. Yes, I know it's a private school, and therefore in theory it can do whatever it wants (and yes, it's run by religious people anyway -- cue aforementioned hysteria). Still, I can't help thinking that submitting an entire school's equipment supplies to one single multinational corporation is a step towards imposing a pseudo-education in which history, economics and other similarly... flexible... subjects are redefined to suit the corporation's own desires.

  38. Bram

    Whats Important

    Whats important is that children learn the basics before they get to the tech.

    There is no point giving a child a keyboard before they have learnt to write. Don't just give them a iPad let them research the thing and find out for themselves whether its a good idea or if something else is better.

    The fear is a generation will grow up not being able to use simple tools like dictionarys and reference books in order to find information. How sad will it be if when ever they want to find any information they go to a consumer deveice and take what ever it tells them as Gospel (excuse the pun)

    The only saving grace is that its private school kids who are going to grow up being detached from the real world... hold on

  39. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Not Catholic

    I think Catholic schools in Scotland are all paid for by the taxpayer.

    I expect this place doesn't pay VAT for anything, though.

    Pentecostal means that they believe in superhuman powers, I think - "speaking in tongues" and healing and so forth. I've seen this "done" elsewhere, and when, unlike in the bible, they are seen to be not speaking any language known on Earth, it probably doesn't bother them. This makes it quite easy to do. There is a separate superpower of understanding what a person speaking in tongues is saying, which is rarer. I mean, -they- don't know. refers very unfavourably to what appears to be now the little network of churches that supports the school. This seems to be at variance with other evidence.

    "Some members of my family started going to a scottish pentecostal church called "Struthers Memorial Church" In Greenock Scotland which in my mind has many almost cult-like attributes. And I saw how children in that church were almost brainwashed form an early age and encouraged to fear anything form thew "world" including newspapers, TV, theatre - basically anything that didnt "glorify" god. Not the typical pentecostal church by any means - far more "radical" but i saw what kind of personality type was drawn to that church and didnt like it. Think JESUS CAMP meets the "strict brethren" and you get some idea."

    The other evidence I mentioned is that the school apparently are blogging on Blogspot, maybe have just started. The science blog didn't touch on evolution directly yet that I could see, but they don't seem to be coy about biology in the natural world (and cheese making), or emphatically pious. Mainly it's pictures, taken on iPhone if you were wondering.

    Also, their prospectus on their wiki, there, at first glance doesn't mention taking care not to learn things that God disapproves of. is an older report about how the school was much concerned about the amount of smut on offer in the App Store, which I think has now been substantially removed. "Their students might be exposed to apps like Amateur Swimsuit , Movie of Sexy Japanese Girl and A Hidden Cam Thong. Silly or no, the school has an obligation to parents..." And to the children. I don't think that is silly, do you?

    But, what would "A Hidden Cam Thong" actually show you? I mean, if it's facing out then you see your trouser zipper, if it's facing in then it's dark. Perhaps you unzip and let the lens peep out to surreptitiously photograph people around you at waist height, for what that's worth, but I think you'd be noticed. Or you leave the thong lying around and hope that somebody else finds it and decides to put it on. But I don't think they've thought this through...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Can they take them home with them???

    How do they do homework if not????

    How do they do homework if so, maybe Greenock has improved since I lived there but the idea of every child walking round the streets with a £300+ device in their bag is a druggies dream surely!!! How many will be mugged before the school rethinks - I bet they wear a lovely uniform as well so they are CLEARLY marked for muggers!

    Daft I tells you!!!

  41. Dylan Fahey

    DRM, Let's inject it into their DNA

    Why would a school tie down their students with DRM infested hardware? Any responsible school would use linux. It will be the only surviving OS after the zombies kill most of us in 2012.

    FAIL, because sometimes you just shouldn't let just 'anyone' to manage a school budget.

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