Apple sees schools increasing tablet dominance with iPad in class as ‘iPad mini’ looms

“Julie Garcia handed Apple Inc. iPads to students in her seventh-grade pre-algebra class on a recent morning before showing the pupils how to use the tablet to graph data, hunt for correlations and record how-to videos,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg.

“A math instructor at Innovation Middle School, Garcia is one of the first to use some of the more than 25,000 iPads the San Diego Unified School District bought from Apple this year,” Satariano reports. “Apple executives plan to make a point of highlighting the iPad’s educational capabilities at tomorrow’s event, according to a person with knowledge of the planning. Little wonder. Education spending on information technology, including hardware, was about $19.7 billion in the 2010-2011 period, according to the Center for Digital Education.”

Satariano reports, “The education push is part of a strategy put in place under co-Founder Steve Jobs, before the iPad was introduced in 2010. While Apple has a history of selling Mac computers to schools, the company realigned its education sales force to emphasize iPads, a person familiar with the changes said… In southern Texas, Ponce of the McAllen Independent School District reached out to Apple soon after the district decided to get away from buying laptops and desktops… The work resulted in McAllen buying about 25,000 iPads, paying Apple about $3.5 million a year as part of a financing deal the district worked out with Apple. About half the district’s technology budget is now going to Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

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18 Comments

  1. I would rather tax money be spent hiring motivated and higher educated teachers than inanimate objects. It’s a myth that tablets alone can improve learning in the absence of a dedicated and competent instructor.

    1. I agree but here in L.A. with the unions it’s difficult to raise the level since education has become more about teachers comfort level with pensions and being near impossible to fire for incompetency. The money our state wants to raise to disingenuously “improve education” is really just to be able to fund the engorged public unions (whose benefits are approved by politicians not ultimately held accountable in return for union support) and won’t help the educational process hardly one bit. Tablets ca’t hurt and I think in many cases help motivate students or kickstart their intellectual curiosity.

      1. There will be no improvement in education until teachers are held accountable for the performance of their students and administrators are held accountable for developing and maintaining an environment conducive to learning. It’s cheaper to buy a tablet than reform the education system, but the same people dragging education standards down are the same people claiming they know the solution to the mess they created.

        1. Spoken like someone who has NEVER set foot in a classroom. Teachers can and should be held accountable for what they teach. They CANNOT be held accountable for the actions of others,

          In this case, the students and their parents/ families are accountable for their part in the learning process. Teachers and admins have no control over a students’ willingness to learn, engage, and participate in the classroom. The teachers cannot force pupils to learn, or be over their shoulders at home to make them study and do their homework.

          1. Incompent teachers always claim that someone else is responsible for poor student performance. It amazes me that these same idiots never feel motivated to relocate to a school where they can teach. Hell, why move when you can collect a salary and pension paid for by taxpayers.

        2. To Mac Freek and Darknite,

          Yes and no. Its been my experience with the school system that while good teachers TRY to teach, they are held in check with administrators whose goal is to get promoted. Students and their teachers are only addressed if it gets the administrators points towards promotion.

          Also, the teachers are kept in check by all the “feel good” policies towards students. Unruly students can take over a class room cause the teacher cannot punish the student or make the parents control the student.

          PS, yes there are bad teachers but I would say that the system makes them bad. Most teachers do not become teachers because of the great pay. LOL

          Just a thought.

    2. “Think Different” still applies. If they were buying textbooks, you would be saying nothing. I believe each text book cost between $50 and $75 each.

      Ok, how many text books will no longer be needed or replaced? English, math, history, science, foreign language, social studies, … So, lets say 6 books at $50 each. The math I took in school told me that would be $300 per student.

      Independent study will allow the better student to reach their potential while the teacher focuses on the 25% of the students that need individual help. That would remove the class boredom for the students that got it the first time it was explained. The teacher could get the few students that need it up to speed with the individual help they may need while the others learn something else. Maybe learn Mongolian with Rosetta Stone or get to understand the American Constitution and our real founding fathers.

      You have know idea how far this can go. Try learning beyond what your teacher knows instead of hoping to learn 80% of what they know.

      1. My brother-in-law has a BS and MS in physics, and teaches high school kids in El Paso. The reason he teaches there is because the administration supports and encourages learning. So, in answer to your comment, yes, there are highly qualified people willing and eager to teach, they only want and expect a positive environment for teaching.

    3. MacFreek,
      While I agree technically, the problem with schools today is more political and internal than just hiring teachers. Teachers cannot teach as they feel, they have to work inside the garbage that is the school system and many times just do what they are told cause its either that or the highway. Its sad but true.

    4. You seem to be arguing against a straw man – the article does not claim tablets alone can improve learning.

      I’d rather see tax money spent on better teachers AND tools that can help them.

  2. If priced correctly the Mini will be THE Apple product of 2013/14… It has the potential to outsell the larger iPad in education, business, OEM and institutional markets. The Halo effect will be worth it’s weight in IPads.

  3. iPads are replacing static books as tools for teaching, not teachers… That set of history books that your school just bought was outdated before it even went into production, and how many years are they going to continue to use it?

      1. Sounds like there’s an Apple educational promotion: Trade in your net books and get an iPad/iPad mini at a discount.

        That investment should provide dividends beyond just the $$$.

  4. If we, as parents gave some attention and guidance, as well as some of our own learning experiences to our children it may help negate the terrible effects those darn teachers have on our kids. Tongue placed firmly in cheek.

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