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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Going to High-School: Would iPhone be useful?

Going to High-School: Would iPhone be useful?
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Aug 9, 2008, 06:40 PM
 
Hey everybody. I live in the Middle East and I'm going into High-School in about one month and I was wondering if I should get an iPhone because of all the downloadable applications and wi-fi etc. Would it be a waste of money or a somewhat useful device for a student.
     
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Aug 9, 2008, 06:50 PM
 
Without true document creation/editing ability, it's of limited use for school I would think, though it makes a pretty decent desktop calculator.
     
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Aug 9, 2008, 07:22 PM
 
I don't see the iphone as a great H.S. gadget. I do see it as something you could lose in H.S.
     
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Aug 9, 2008, 09:08 PM
 
I don't see the use for much but distracting you from learning.
     
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Aug 9, 2008, 09:12 PM
 
Question: are you heading off to boarding school? 'Cause if so, that's a different equation, where I'd say the iPhone might be worth having. Depends on where the school is...because the rates will vary so much.

My brother's kids had to go off to boarding school from the Middle East, and they really could've benefited from an iPhone (but they weren't available, natch.)
     
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Aug 9, 2008, 09:16 PM
 
I never would have made it through high school without my iPhone.

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Aug 9, 2008, 09:25 PM
 
Are you suggesting the iPhone for use outside of class times? As in keeping in touch with family, etc? Because I (old guy that I am) can't see a reason to have any phone during class... Just wondering what the actual application on a daily basis would be... That would make a difference in how I'd think about what phone would be useful.

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Aug 9, 2008, 11:05 PM
 
No.
     
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Aug 10, 2008, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I never would have made it through high school without my iPhone.
Thats pretty sad
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Aug 10, 2008, 02:19 PM
 
It might be fun, but it would be really unnecessary. If anything, an iPod Touch would probably be a better choice.
     
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Aug 10, 2008, 04:59 PM
 
Okay, I don't actually really think the iPhone would be a good gadget for high-school. But it would soon be time for me to get a new phone and I am starting high-school here. I though that out of all the phones it might be good for keeping in touch with teachers or student via e-mail. The iPhone has wi-fi and I could download some applications that might be useful.

Info:
- I am not going from the Middle East to a boarding school I'm staying in my American school.
- Some teachers allow the use of phones during class as calculators. (iPhone 3G has scientific calculator)
- Students are allowed to use phones when not in class. (during break, or free period)

That's all that is relevant for now. Anybody have any change in opinion please let me know.
The iPhone is 0% necessary for me, but I want to know if in any case it might be helpful.

--- 1 question for for BoingoBongo: Why would the iPod touch be a better choice?

--- And stevesnj... well said.
     
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Aug 10, 2008, 05:55 PM
 
I think the Touch would be a better choice because it has pretty much all of the iPhone's features (except of course for the phone...but that means you don't have to deal voice and data plans). You can still use wi-fi and download applications and all that. Plus there's a good chance a new Touch will come out soon that will more than likely have even more features and probably cost a little less.
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 10:03 AM
 
Some schools disallow cell phones on the basis that the text ability and phone abilities lead to distractions or enable cheating.

In other schools, shiny-gadgets are theft targets. You wouldn't want the iPhone to get stolen.

The iPod Touch would work well for most of the uses you've described.
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 10:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by applesbiggestfan View Post
Hey everybody. I live in the Middle East and I'm going into High-School in about one month and I was wondering if I should get an iPhone because of all the downloadable applications and wi-fi etc. Would it be a waste of money or a somewhat useful device for a student.

I didn't think that AT&T has expanded into the Arab world yet?
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I didn't think that AT&T has expanded into the Arab world yet?
GSM and sim-unlocking.
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
Thats pretty sad
It's even sadder because I graduated from High School 15 years ago.

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Aug 11, 2008, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
It's even sadder because I graduated from High School 15 years ago.
15 years ago I had a bag-phone; my first cell phone. We got it because my wife was going to be working nights a fairly dark and lonely highway distance away. Fast forward to today, and all three of us have black RAZRs. We don't do ANYTHING other than talk and occasionally text (or play Bejeweled) on our phones, so an iPhone (and especially that $40 data plan) would be both unnecessary and overly expensive.

Oh, and I graduated 16 years before you. The concept of a phone you could stick in your pocket, but pull out and use to call anyone on the planet was very much science fiction then (Robert Heinlein's "Between Planets" to be specific, published 26 years before I graduated).

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Aug 11, 2008, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
It's even sadder because I graduated from High School 15 years ago.
Don't worry, I recognized the joke when I saw it.
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 05:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
We don't do ANYTHING other than talk and occasionally text (or play Bejeweled) on our phones, so an iPhone (and especially that $40 data plan) would be both unnecessary and overly expensive.
My suspicion is that you might change your phone-using-behaviour with an iPhone. My wife is as far from being a geek as can be (I maintain her MB for her because she has zero interest in doing it herself) but she saw me using my new iPhone on Friday evening and Saturday. Sunday afternoon she went to the Rogers store and got herself one too.

She loves the fact that she can use it to call her mom long distance using TruPhone (VoIP application) and she now actually uses her calendar and contact lists. She has also downloaded apps that allow her to upload images to her flickr account (a first), a travel guide to NYC, the NYC subway map, a Sudoku game generator, the New York Times, a Mah Jong game and several others. Unheard of until the arrival of the iPhone, I assure you.
     
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Aug 11, 2008, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
We don't do ANYTHING other than talk and occasionally text (or play Bejeweled) on our phones, so an iPhone (and especially that $40 data plan) would be both unnecessary and overly expensive.
The iPhone is the first mobile phone I've ever seen that makes you WANT to do the things people have been telling you for years you could do with your phone.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 12:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The iPhone is the first mobile phone I've ever seen that makes you WANT to do the things people have been telling you for years you could do with your phone.
EXACTLY.

I couldn't stand using my phone before, and now I love it. It feels like the same sort of relief I had when I bought my first Mac and didn't have to deal with Windows anymore.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 01:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The iPhone is the first mobile phone I've ever seen that makes you WANT to do the things people have been telling you for years you could do with your phone.
Most eloquent way of putting it I've heard (and true too!). Apple marketing should hire you.

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Aug 12, 2008, 03:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The iPhone is the first mobile phone I've ever seen that makes you WANT to do the things people have been telling you for years you could do with your phone.
I'm going to second third fourth this notion.

I have always disliked using cell phones. Somehow I just couldn't figure them out. As somebody who earns his money with computers and is used to fiddling around with Linux I was always surprised that something as simple as a cell phone could confuse me to the point where I'd just give up trying.

I left my Treos, Nokia Communicators, and Sony Ericssons behind after seeing how the iPhone does things. The iPhone works like a computer. Better yet, it works like a Mac. Clarity, consistency, and elegance. No bloat. It's the first time I have a phone I actually like using. Hence I'm now actually using it to do all these great "phone things".
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 07:56 AM
 
Agreed with all of the above. I theoretically had the ability to send pictures from my SE for years. I never did, partly because I could not be asked to figure out how to send them, partly because I knew the recipient would have to jump through hoops to view them and partly because of the cost gauging associated with it.

With the iPhone I'm emailing pictures all the time. It's easy and it works.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 11:40 AM
 
I guess that if I actually had time during the day to do those things then I'd be more interested in the iPhone and its extra monthly cost... I'm not "against" it at all-I did some navigation for a friend this past weekend using his iPhone 3G's GPS and built in maps (very cool stuff). I just don't see myself using those features...

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Aug 12, 2008, 05:05 PM
 
It depends on whether any of the apps are things you'd actually use. I mean, if you never use Facebook or Twitter, never search around in new areas for a new restaurant (Yelp, Urbanspoon), never search for new music (Last.fm, Pandora, AOL Radio), then the apps wouldn't be for you, plain and simple. And outside the apps, it depends on how much you use mobile browsing (i.e. how often you'd need to search for something while away from home) or GPS. And if you're only getting the iPhone for GPS, you're better off getting a standalone unit anyways.

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is a great phone period. But people pay extra for all the other stuff. If you're like me and you constantly found yourself thinking "I wish I could Google that" or "I wish I could look that up on Wikipedia", then it's perfect for you.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by giggs11 View Post
If you're like me and you constantly found yourself thinking "I wish I could Google that" or "I wish I could look that up on Wikipedia", then it's perfect for you.
Indeed. I absolutely love the fact that whenever I am wondering about something or I want to look up something I forgot I can just do it. No more I'll have to look that up when I get home. Now whenever something comes to mind you note it down, or read up on the thing you're curious about. Anytime. Anywhere. I really enjoy that part of the iPhone.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 05:28 PM
 
I travel a fair bit for work at the moment, and the iPhone is the perfect companion. From displaying my boarding pass (within Canada on Air Canada flights) to me just taking a quick picture of wherever I happen to be and mailing it to my wife to finding a decent local restaurant to never getting lost again in an unfamiliar place, it has made my life just that little bit better and easier
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 05:50 PM
 
Excuse me if I missed someone else mentioning this, but the iTouch wifi capability would probably not work at school do to the fact most, if not all, school wifi systems are password protected to keep students, and others, from logging in with personal devices.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 06:22 PM
 
Although I graduated high school 20 years before the intro of the Apple II computer, I recommend that any high student get an iPhone, if they (parents) can afford it. It is the ultimate creative tool outside of a fullblown computer. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of applications that will appear. You can view the podcasts from iTunes U anywhere, and many schools are placing their coursework on iTunes.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by efithian View Post
Although I graduated high school 20 years before the intro of the Apple II computer, I recommend that any high student get an iPhone, if they (parents) can afford it. It is the ultimate creative tool outside of a fullblown computer. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of applications that will appear. You can view the podcasts from iTunes U anywhere, and many schools are placing their coursework on iTunes.
Are you inferring that iTunes U would be of use/value to a high school freshman?
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 07:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by efithian View Post
Although I graduated high school 20 years before the intro of the Apple II computer, I recommend that any high student get an iPhone, if they (parents) can afford it. It is the ultimate creative tool outside of a fullblown computer. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of applications that will appear. You can view the podcasts from iTunes U anywhere, and many schools are placing their coursework on iTunes.
Being quite an effective and flexible tool is not the question. Would it be applicable in a high school environment is the question. Sure you could use one for all sorts of things. How much of learning world history or geometry will include those things? MAYBE for a senior, but certainly not for anyone younger, especially a freshman. Freshmen get introductory classes, like algebra and English composition, not classes where real creativity (or for that matter, computer power) factor very highly.

<Old Guy and Parent>If students in high school spent a third of the time they use just goofing off on actual study, and if they just paid a tiny bit of attention in class, they'd find high school to be much less of a burden. Of course this is a lesson that can only be learned by experience.</Old Guy and Parent> Of course I see the same sort of stuff in college students, and even some graduate students...

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Aug 12, 2008, 08:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Are you inferring that iTunes U would be of use/value to a high school freshman?
Uhm. Why would it not?

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Aug 12, 2008, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Uhm. Why would it not?
It would have to be supported by the school. And that means that this high school would have to have its teachers record their lectures ahead of time. That works in college because both the material and the students are advanced enough for a straightforward lecture without much in the way of feedback and questioning from the students. High school is not built that way; it's often filled with short presentations that are peppered with interruptions for clarification and explanation. Sure, it could work. But odds of it being used in a high school are pretty low.

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Aug 12, 2008, 09:20 PM
 
Supported by the school? You can download ANY material off iTunes U from any university. Learning is never just restricted to any sort of curriculum.

Heck, I enjoy grabbing stuff from iTunes U and I graduated a long time ago.

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Aug 12, 2008, 09:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Uhm. Why would it not?
Because, unfortunately, at least in this country you would be very hard pressed to find high school students that go out of their way to listen to university lectures, especially freshman.
     
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Aug 12, 2008, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Because, unfortunately, at least in this country you would be very hard pressed to find high school students that go out of their way to listen to university lectures, especially freshman.
That would make it of MORE value for a high school freshman then, not less as you implied.

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Aug 12, 2008, 10:02 PM
 
"value" was a poor way of putting it on my part. What I'm saying is that it is idealistic to think that freshman kids will listen to the lectures on their own time, and if you incorporate the material in the class than you probably don't need individual iPhones.
     
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Aug 13, 2008, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by efithian View Post
Although I graduated high school 20 years before the intro of the Apple II computer, I recommend that any high student get an iPhone, if they (parents) can afford it. It is the ultimate creative tool outside of a fullblown computer. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of applications that will appear. You can view the podcasts from iTunes U anywhere, and many schools are placing their coursework on iTunes.
Dude! Two player TapTapRevolution!

I'm kidding, but not by much. It can be used as a study tool just as much as it could be used as a distraction.
     
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Aug 13, 2008, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Supported by the school? You can download ANY material off iTunes U from any university. Learning is never just restricted to any sort of curriculum.

Heck, I enjoy grabbing stuff from iTunes U and I graduated a long time ago.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Because, unfortunately, at least in this country you would be very hard pressed to find high school students that go out of their way to listen to university lectures, especially freshman.
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
That would make it of MORE value for a high school freshman then, not less as you implied.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
"value" was a poor way of putting it on my part. What I'm saying is that it is idealistic to think that freshman kids will listen to the lectures on their own time, and if you incorporate the material in the class than you probably don't need individual iPhones.
A high school student needs the fundamental background knowledge to use what is presented at a post-secondary level. You can't expect a 12-year old with just an elementary school education to be able to comprehend, let alone make use of, college-level material. Sure, you can get all that stuff, but if you can't understand it, why bother? My point about a school "supporting" iTunes U was more about that school providing age-appropriate, educationally-appropriate materials. While there are occasionally young people who are way ahead of the curve, they stand out and get plenty of personal attention; it's not hard to figure out who can handle more advanced material. But the majority of high school students haven't matured (physically, emotionally or intellectually) to the point that they can go much beyond the level of material aimed at their age group. Expecting a 14 or 15-year old to be able to understand and make use of abstract concepts, when they are developmentally not yet quite past a stage of almost total concrete ideation, is a disservice to the child.

Further, besson is very much right about the majority of today's high school students. Getting them to actually apply themselves to their basic course materials is a challenge; getting them fired up about stuff that's right now beyond them is not something that would be very useful for anyone. erik, if you can motivate a 14 year old to be more than passingly interested in college level material, however "useful" it would be for them, then you should be teaching high school. I suggest that you try it some time; it's an eye-opener to see what sort of level of attention, thought and comprehension middle-school students have. Startlingly LOW when compared to what I remember of myself. And that's the thing: most of us don't really properly remember what we were like at that age because we didn't have the mental mechanisms to properly store the details that would provide us with proper insight.

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Aug 17, 2008, 07:27 PM
 
YES BUY IT

I will be going to highschool this fall as well.
Im going to attend an elite prep boarding school in new england.
Everyone who is cool has the iPhone or an imported phone.
I bought mine and i am looking forward to using it at school.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 04:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dilworth94 View Post
Everyone who is cool has the iPhone or an imported phone.
For a moment I thought you were being serious. Thanks for the laugh!
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 09:17 PM
 
I'm with Simon. If it's a status symbol, then it's already history. Like designer clothes and the "latest" in fashion accessories. If it's USEFUL, and the cool kids actually have it for that reason, that's another story. Seriously, even if you're looking at this phone as a great tool, is it actually possible that you will be allowed to use it DURING school? It sounds like a huge security problem for tests, it sounds like an enormous distraction with all those cool apps in it, and it sounds like a terrific waste of money if "cool" is its most important factor.

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Aug 19, 2008, 04:15 AM
 
I figured it had to be a joke because of the "imported phone" reference.

As if there were any that aren't! (Motorola, arguably, though they sure aren't made in the U.S. - and does anybody still buy those things?)
     
   
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