We'd buy iPads for all if we could – minister

ALL 2,000 States secondary school students should have access to tablet computers, but the money to pay for them cannot come from the Education Department, minister Robert Sillars (pictured) has said.

ALL 2,000 States secondary school students should have access to tablet computers, but the money to pay for them cannot come from the Education Department, minister Robert Sillars (pictured) has said.

He added that in the long term he would like to see some primary school pupils with the equipment as well.

The announcement follows news that Les Beaucamps High School is planning to expand its netbooks trial to more year groups and St Sampson’s High is exploring getting iPad2s for its Year 7 pupils next year.

But while the Les Beaucamps netbooks were paid for by the department, St Sampson’s High has been asking businesses to help fund the scheme, with the rest of the cost probably being picked up by parents.

Comments for: "We'd buy iPads for all if we could – minister"


Hahahahahahahahahaha... No but seriously, get this guy out immediately!

I have never heard anything more insane in my life.

Tablet's are not the productivity boosting devices some people seem to think they are, especially not in the hands of children!

This is honestly the worst idea i have ever heard.


Several scientific studies in the US and UK appear to contradict you. Studies have show an improvement in literacy in kindergarten pupils and improved maths ability's in 7 to 10 year olds.

This is however a very new area and therefore conclusions either way cannot be drawn.

Small scale pilot test are a great way to assess benefits and review the potential of a full scale role out.

The work idea ever would be to dismiss this development completely or to rush out and buy 2000 devices without any planning on how to implement it.

sarnia expat

Ridiculous. Just put better teachers in place where they can actually teach the children, or do away with homework and extend the school day, halve the annual school holiday allowance, and stop shillyshallying around.

Mr Sillars - get a grip for goodness sake - you cannot actually believe this tripe surely?


Holy Trinity Church are collecting food outside both Waitrose stores tomorrow for a food bank. I thought this may interest as I think I remember you asking if there were any.

sarnia expat

Thank you for remembering me Dani, yes, I saw this in the paper yesterday, and at the same time had a really nice email from the Salvation Army saying the same. It just goes to show that there are people with far more worries than wondering about iPads at schools.


and how are you qualified to speak on this?

From what I've seen there are some valid and compelling reasons to use tablets over other technologies.

Once again we run the risk of being left behind just because someone might think the idea a little too radical.


So you buy 2000 tablets ......then two weeks later a new version comes out.


Or as is the case here, the newer versions are already out before you've even bought the old ones!


Luckily in looking at ipad 2's they have realised that school kids do not need the latest and greatest.

Apple provide a fairly stable and consistant platform which should last kids a number of years.


That rate of redundancy indicates just how fast traditional education needs updating. The restless evolution of technology applications is changing the nature of society and the economic opportunities that are opening up for the younger generation, and those adults prepared to recognise that change is already present.

Mr Bee

IPad = compatibility issues with normal computers...

IPad = compatibility issues with many programs...

IPad = compatibility issues with standard Wi-Fi networks...

IPad = no compatibility issue with Apple’s costly proprietary components...

IPad = no compatibility issue for those with more money than sense...

Ipad = Dont go there...


I'm not sure what compatibility issues you are talking about.

I have no problem with compatibility with normal computers (I assume by normal you mean windows, but that another argument)

Every app I've installed on my ipad has worked fine so no compatibility with programs

And I use my iPad on many wifi networks so don't see an issue there.

I think the idea of a computing device issued to all pupils is a great idea although it's something that needs a lot of thought and planning.

Ipad's are a great option as they are an easily controllable, standardised system with few issues relating to viruses and malware.

Compared to the issues that come with with low quality under power netbooks they are a much better option.

They are however a much more visible target for theft and even though stronger and more durable than cheap netbooks can still be broken by a child who has no respect for the cost of the device.


True story


As a parent I am 100% in support of using technology in education however I need some convincing that giving Internet-ready portable devices to primary school children (or 12 year olds for that matter) is wise - particularly from a security perspective.

Most people are aware of the child protection issues surrounding the Internet - such as cyber-bullying, access to adult material, the dark side of social networking....and worse.

At home, many parents give their child access to the Internet but in a shared space such as the lounge - thus making it much easier to regulate time spent on the web and what's being viewed. With an iPad that flies out of the window so I would want to be damn sure there are appropriate safeguards in place - and as an IT professional I wouldn't be easily fobbed off.

- Will the devices be encrypted in case they are stolen to prevent people getting access to a childs personal data - or even contact details? This technology is available through Apple but needs to be enabled.

- How would Internet usage be regulated outside of the school environment? For example are there plans to set devices to automatically connect via a VPN to the school network - with any other access blocked? This way Internet access would only be possible through a network where all usage is content checked and logged. Would parents be allowed to view logs of their childs web usage?

- Will they allow parents the facility to be able to remotely view the screen at any time whilst the device connected to the network? This technology is already available but would probably require investment.

These are just a few questions I would have. I think the idea of leveraging technology is excellent in principle, but as someone posted in the other thread - change is good IF it's done right.


What a great idea! Of course businesses have spare funds just lying around to fund this madness. They haven't been cutting back, laying staff off, etc... If the school hasn't got sufficient funds to provide these already outdated iPads then make do without. Also, maybe the parents can't afford to pick up the additional cost due to the ever increasing cost of living.


As with anything its using the right tool for the right job.

If there are good reasons why Ipad (or indeed any other type tablet) should be used then why not explore the idea.

Agreed we dont have a bottomless pit but to simply dismiss the idea isnt exactly forward looking is it.


I think youll find its yet another states member commenting on something that they simply havent got a clue about!

What exactly is the difference between a laptop and an iPad, the simple answer is the dumbed down operating system that allows even monkeys to use it. How is that educational exactly?!

Now if they were writing apps to be put onto iPads, that would be a worthwhile exercise that has plenty of place in the modern world. However it still doesnt require them purchasing 2000 of them, only a few to share about the class.


IT's not about learning how to use the operating system.

I'm guessing there are very few school kids who don;t knwo how to use a computer be it windows or mac os.

The ipad environment is highly regulated so can be configured to provide a more secure system with greater safe guards.

Managing antivirus and device security on 2000 windows pc's would be a nightmare, as would be managing software.

With the right tools managing 2000 iPads is simple and if required the device could be locked down to a very tightly controlled level.


I think someone summed it up in the paper when they said they would be useful but not needed. At a time of restraint need is the operative word.

Devil's Advocate

Can any education professionals point me to some evidence that tablets are better than books and pens? The only potential benefit I can see would be if all the childs textbooks are digitised and put on one thus negating the need to carry loads of books around.


E-textbooks are a huge potential saving.

The only problem being that you can't read the text book and make notes on the table at the same time


I have a couple of children in their first school year attending reception class. They have access to an ipad at home and it's wonderful for the learning apps available for their age group. The phonics and maths apps are providing a real boost to their schooling whilst feeling fun to them at the same time.


Let's just think about this - public enterprise don't come up with funding; will said children who are already in possession of an iPad2 or similar be allowed to bring and, use them, into the classroom? I rather hope not since this could create a 'them and us' situation. Many parents struggle to buy blazers for their offspring and don't need further financial constraints on tight budgets.

Why don't our Deputies kick start public enterprise and have a whip round at their Christmas Do?


With Primary and Juniro school children, I'm struggling to agree with that they should move to tablets. Writing to a reasonable standard and being able to 'think' through numeracy, I would have thought would be better.

Secondary school up, no problem. We are in the digital age.


P.S. Apple is similar to Jersey Royals, starch and marketing. There are better potatoes out there!


No doubt we have a business man running education with no experience of education. It's time Guernsey schools had a board of governors to oversee what is going on, they would be able if set up properly to assess ideas like this

round of silliness and chuck it out. I do have a lot of experience of technology

In both school and colleges it only works if properly thought out is educationally justifiable, and has appropriately trained staff. It seems to me this is a whim that is only half thought through.

Le Andre

If only Newton and Einstein had had these - they would have been so much cleverer.


My son plays with our iPads all the time. He is 2 years old, and thanks largely to the educational games we have downloaded for him, can count proficiently, recognise patterns and he has fantastic motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

I'm not sure they are the way to go for secondary pupils, I would suggest they are better for a slightly younger generation, before moving on to a "proper" computer for secondary school.

No matter how much apple, google and microsoft fight it out in the next few years, we are all still going to be using traditional keyboards and mice at work for the foreseeable, and training kids up to use them makes more sense to me.

Stone age man

Cant believe you are just thinking about this issue now my wife works in the primary education system in Australian and the kids here have been using tablets for some time now, the kids with learning problems seem to get a lot of benefit from using them.

Surly Guernsey cant be that far behind the times ......but then i guess that's why I left the place in the first place


Yes but who funded these ipad's or whichever devices and how much are they over there?

I had to save up my rubbish wages over several months to afford this "item of luxury" and won't be particularly happy if my taxes have to go to buying these for "other people's children" only for them to break them within ten minutes, or for the class bully to smash someone else's or try flush it down the bog!


After following the debate on secondary pupils having IPads for a few days now, I feel it would now be appropriate for a member of the Education Department be given the opportunity to explain to the public how they envisage this equipment being used in schools. It seems there is a common (false) belief that the teachers want the pupils to have IPads to avoid teaching. As a primary teacher with a keen interest in using ICT to ENHANCE teaching, I believe this is a great initiative - particularly as the pupils will have access to the educational software used in schools. In addition to this, the Virtual Learning Environment that has already been piloted by some schools will be incorporated into the use of the IPads.