Does Apple’s iPad 2 belong in your school?

“A UK school has announced it will be Europe’s first to equip all students with Apple iPad 2 units, and while critics slam such moves as a waste of cash, others believe that enabling pupils to get to grips with learning while using technology they actually like will actually boost education,” Johnny Evans reports for Computerworld.

“Honywood Comprehensive School in Coggleshall, Essex sent out letters to 1,200 parents this week informing them their children will receive an iPad 2 by the end of the year,” Evans reports. “Honywood isn’t the first school to be equipped with iPads — there’s many iPad-equipped schools in the US: Clark County School District has spent over $1 million on buying iPads in the last six months; Hillsborough County School Board are spending just under a million on the same; and these devices are all over higher education.”

Evans reports, “Use of the tablet has been successfully implemented in school districts in New York City, Chicago, Scottsdale, and San Francisco.”

Much more in the full article, including videos, here.


  1. the iPad and iPad2 represent as much (or more) of a paradigm shift as the transistor radio did back in the day …
    so.. sure .. you can’t stop it’s momentum ..
    the question shouldn’t be .. “should the kids have them” …. it should be … “how soon can we get these devices to them?”

    No way to put that genie back into the bottle !

  2. In the early 19th century, pupils in schools did not have notebooks and pencils. They used a little piece of chalk and a small slate. If this were the standard for schools today, concerned parents would be extremely upset if the school decided “waste” money by introducing pencils and notebooks. They would fail to see the benefit over the old “technology”.

    It doesn’t take too long for teachers to learn how to effectively use these, once they are familiar with the devices and the software available to them. Much like all other school equipment made its way into the classroom (compass, protractor, ruler, pencil sharpener, rubber eraser, smartboard, digital projector, etc), iPad will likely take its natural place in that classroom. It is just the matter of time.

    1. In Roman times pupils would use a wax tablet and scratch out the day’s sayings of Homer in Greek and rubbing it off before scratching out new lines by Ovid.

      “A radish may know no Greek but I do,” seems to be Augustus’s favourite saying, like a headmaster admonishing a pupil in Hogwarts School of Magical iPads.

  3. What is quite amazing to me is the agility of these school districts. The iPad only appeared one year ago; educational software for it appeared during that one year, yet these are already clearly seeing the possibilities that iPad opens up for teaching and are jumping in head first.

  4. Obama gave 5 MacBooks as a wedding present to Billy Boy & Kate on his visit to the UK. Not sure why he went cheap there – should have been top of the line MBP – but they were in turn donated to a school in Northern Ireland which seems to be a part of the Emerald Isle but under the thumb of the British. The Queen still holds sway there it seems as they venerate pictures of her, the Irish.

    Without a shadow of a doubt there’s always a use for a fruit in school.

    1. “Not sure why he went cheap there – should have been top of the line MBP”, to which I answer “for what purpose?”. Just how is the Pro a better system for a student than your basic MacBook? Or an iPad with Pages and Numbers included? Too bad Apple doesn’t make an “iPad 1e”, with no camera and limited RAM, with Pages pre-loaded. Save a little on the PO.

      1. How would Obama-mama know that the MacBooks were to be donated to a school in NI? For all you know they could have been used as a prize in a beer drinking contest. If you’re the most powerful chap in the known universe you’d want to showcase American technology to the great unwashed masses.

            1. The comments section are for leaving comments. If you don’t like what you read scratch your eyeballs out. You have a differing opinion from mine, so? Kill yourself by all means dickwad.

    1. Our local district went with Dell laptops in cases that students are not allowed to remove, with only sanctioned, locked-down software, etc., etc. The first day the kids had them home, they figured out how to bypass all the restrictions. But unfortunately, a piece of Dell is still just a piece of Dell.

  5. iPads can be purchases for little cost to a district if they use funds set aside for textbooks (and use digital textbooks). I would hope that technology like the iPad will replace textbooks, computers, and even pen and paper.

    1. Physical textbooks, while expensive, aren’t much more expensive than digital versions; perhaps about 30% at most. If we assume that an average physical textbook costs about $80 (a fairly wild assumption), the virtual version would likely cost no less than $60 (making physical about 30% more expensive).

      In order to justify the investment in the iPad by the savings, one would have to buy at least 25 digital textbooks. Depending on the grade, this would take 3 – 5 years.

      1. Your assuming that the only use of an iPad is as a textbook replacement. Obviously you have never used an iPad before have you? Those iPads will pay for themselves within the first year for sure.

      2. Actually $80 isn’t bad. My Calculus text ran me $80 bucks… in 1982! I nearly plotzed. It wasn’t even a very good text, either.

        I would have killed for digital books and an iPad – not only for the $, but for lugging the bloody things around. You hadda have a strong back to be an Engineering student.

    2. Sure i look forward to the future generation of adults who will have no clue how to function daily without all of this technology.

      My hope with any technology is that it compliments a well rounded education and basic learning not just replace them.

      The day a kid cant write their name on paper without the help of a computer is the day we have gone too far.

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