A past student sent me the following:
Working in a multimedia department at a community college, I would NOT use a tablet device to teach how to do video editing and recording. In my opinion, the best option (if the budget allows) is to have laptops to run these programs. Our "Communication Arts Technology" program's goal is to have as close to state-of-the-art equipment as the budget allows. It may involve purchasing a new laptop lab one year and additional equipment another year. The one possible area that I can think of for conserving money would be to purchase cameras that you can use to take video and still pictures. Hope this helps!
I hate to say it, but I don't think that iPads are quite ready for prime time as audio and video production workstations--especially if you're not doing more than the basics. I think you'd be better off keeping the flip cameras, and buying some inexpensive laptops, and installing something like Reaper for audio production. It's only $60 a seat, and is a better solution than audacity.
The other option would be to buy some laptops, and install ubuntu studio. They still have Audacity, but you have many more powerful choices like Ardour. and Cinelerra. The downside is that the learning curve for Ardour and Cinelerra is fairly steep, and your students would have to learn to get around in ubuntu.
Another option might be for you to purchase a few iPads for collecting material, web, etc. and then investing in one or two workstations with decent graphics and audio cards and monitoring on an LED TV.
I got Brian access so he might be logging in to discuss this more.
I had a similar reaction as you guys did. Ipads are essentially the cost of a basic laptop so I don't know if much money can be saved. I think a few multipurpose cameras (which students could share... not to mention depending on school policy most students have a smart phone which can record decent video) and new laptops might be enough.
Android tablets are cheaper but I think they have many limitations (as a tablet) as well.
You can install Linux on Chromebooks but they wouldn't run problems like PhotoStory (though I don't know if MS is still updating that program... it's shelf life might be almost done).
I have used Garageband, I-tunes, and I-Movies on my Mac, and I find that they are quite user friendly and effective. I know widespread adoption of Mac is not as common in schools because of budget issues. All of these have App versions for I-Pad. Even though I haven't used them, I agree with the others, I am skeptical that I-Pad could handle the demands. I'm curious how you currently avoid problems of file memory, as audio files and video files are relatively large, and on a large scale, capacity can fill up quickly. Even with a new system, this could be problematic if there is no external storage.
You could swing Mac Minis with LED displays for close to the same price as an iPad and the horsepower would be much greater. I would avoid the Laptop or Tablet area and look for a mid-level desktop, whichever platform you choose. You'll typically get more bang for your buck.
I'm at the university level, but our production classes have access to 3-4 nice cameras (SD Card based) and a lab full of iMacs. The students shoot what they want on the cameras and then take their personal SD card out of the camera and transfer the files to the computer. There's a bit of juggling the equipment, but it works well. It's also an incentive for students to sign up and think ahead to make sure they get the equipment they need when they need it.
Thanks, everyone, for the input so far... I have one of our tech guys coming to meet with me this afternoon to discuss options. I think I'd like to stick with the laptops running Windows, since the curriculum is pretty much built around it now. Our admin is really looking at "all-in-one devices" with the purchase of iPad carts each year, so I hope my discussion with the tech guy will help steer them in a different direction for me. What are your thoughts on the touch-screen convertible laptops, such as the Inspiron Duo or IdeaPad, that have the flippable or removeable screens? Or something that folds back that can act like a tablet? As my FlipCams and digital cameras die (which is close to happening), I know those won't get replaced, so I hope to get something that can also serve as a camera or camcorder if needed. As for space, memory, etc., since this is a middle school class and just an "introductory"/sampler course, what we do isn't space or memory-intensive, so I could go with a mid-level laptop of some sort and get away with it. Students do all have 1 GB of storage "in the cloud" they are to use for school stuff. Thanks!
I am going through something similar, trying to choose which piece of equipment to purchase that will work for almost everything in my high school math classroom. I will be teaching AP Stats in our building next year so need a fully functional office excel, photos, video, internet and also have the downloadable apps option. I also need something that will run external programs. After talking to others, the newer Microsoft Surface Pro is the direction I am headed. It has the functionality of an iPad and also a laptop but in the size of a tablet and has a USB port.
It is a very nice machine, as an all in one, although a bit more pricey. But I will save money by not having to purchase software we already have for desktops and the camera option is included as well as office.
Good Luck figuring this out!!