LearnPad Comments from area Directors

I saw a demo of the LearnPad’s last week at our CESA meeting. I see a few issues with them.

-They add an additional layer of planning and prep to our already busy teachers.
-They make it difficult to adjust on the fly if you should want to utilize something that you didn’t pre plan for
-A teacher must be able to completely predict all resources needed for each and every lesson. If they don’t they are wasting class time by logging into a portal to reconfigure the LearnPads.
-Students need to scan a QR code every time they change gears instead of just sitting down and getting to work.
-Apps are limited and LearnPad needs to be contacted to add existing Android Apps to the LearnPad platform if they haven’t already been approved.
-Content creation seems weak at best.
-The LearnPad XD is $400 so your spending the same amount (prior to edu discount) as an iPad 2 and getting much less
-How does the student take the device home and have access to everything they need. Who makes that QR code.
-It takes the learning out of the students hands. When we are trying to make learning student centered and put them in charge of it the LearnPads take resources away. In a properly managed classroom, control is not what benefits student learning.

Other that the things I listed above they seem great.

JB Grangaard
JB Grangaard’s profile photo

Of course your “opinion” is from never having used a LearnPad and is based entirely on what you saw from a demo.  We are actually using them and they are much easier to setup and use than an iPad.  While your list of “issues” seems plausible at first glance, it certainly is no where near reality. 

For example, you state “Students need to scan a QR code every time they change gears instead of just sitting down and getting to work.”  That is not true, but even if it were, that would be like saying a student on an iPad has to stop and click on a different app every time he/she wants to change gears instead of just sitting down and getting to work!
A similar list of “issues” could be easily created for iPads.
They are not the same cost.  $399 for a LearnPad vs. $499 for an iPad 16GB WiFi is a $100 difference in price.  Multiply that by 100 and that is a $10,000 difference!
Having to support both, I would much rather have Learn Pads than iPads!

Rob Demeuse
Director of Technology
Mauston School District

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