Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 19:12 UTC
Apple It's one of those days again: Apple held a product announcement today, announcing several new products. The most important of which was rumoured about for a long time now: a smaller iPad. It's called the iPad mini, and has the potential to become the best-selling iPad - and thus, the best selling tablet.
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RE[2]: unknowns
by ezraz on Thu 25th Oct 2012 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: unknowns"
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"android tablets have been a disaster for education (for a variety of reasons) and the existing iPads are a bit too large/heavy/valuable/breakable to be ideal investments for every 3rd grader in the district to drag around every day.

Source for that statement?

As strapped as schools are for cash, Apple would have to undercut the prices of the Nexus 7 to make them even an option worth discussing.

As a parent of a child in high-school, I have asked him if he would rather read his books on a tablet computer or for me to just keep buying the books - he'd rather read the actual paper books.

In addition, a 3rd grader would have to not be held liable for any damage caused to a tablet - they tend to drop and break stuff.

The money for schools would better be spent on teacher salaries.

Source -- I work in the K-12 software market, and have been on the front lines for the tablet takeover. We have extensive district contacts. The iPad 1 & 2 are useful and reliable, but a little large, heavy, and expensive per unit for the kids. I don't know of any district that bought iPad3's because they were waiting for a mini or windows tablet to be useable.

Of course the kids don't pay when it breaks, the district does, which is why the plastic android tablets are generally avoided. Kids can break large numbers of those things in weeks, not years. Security issues are also a major problem on large rollouts of android tablets, partly from user ignorance as 3rd graders aren't linux/android hackers and K-12 IT is very understaffed, so they need a device that can mostly manage itself.

There's also familiarity. Almost every one of these kids has or has played with an iPad. Kids often learn it faster than adults because of Apple's stellar work on human to machine interfaces. I know my boy was 4 and could run the iPad as good or better than his mother (at first). It's just natural to them, not magical.

The money might be better spent on teacher's salaries, but that's for the school board and voters to work out. Bottom line is they have a tech budget, and they need to get useable tech to all kids in the district, and it has to incorporate their curriculum and be reliable. tablets beat laptops in this regard, so many districts have rolled out tablets or will be shortly.

Most in the US education market believe we are very close to moving nearly the entire printed curriculum to a tablet format, and issuing tablets to students will be equivalent to issuing them an ID.

As far as your kid wanting real books -- good! I love real books, no one wants to kill those. But he shouldn't be required to carry 40lbs of books around with him all day, especially if those printed books are years out of date.

Districts are more interested in durability and long term usability far more than initial hardware price. Part of the reason old Apples are still all over schools is because of this durability.

This nexus tab for $100 less will more than likely be abandoned on the software front within 2 years, whereas most districts will get 5+ school years out of their iPad investment.

Finally, hardware is only part of it -- as textbooks become software, the book purchase agreements move to software licenses, and schools are looking to save some money there too. 500 3rd grade science books cost alot to purchase, ship, and store, and they come with NO updates. If the eBook makers cut a better deal (and they should) that's an offer schools can't afford to pass up.

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