“After hearing students and teachers overwhelmingly say iPad computers are used to play games in class, while laptops are better for schoolwork, Auburn and other districts are sending iPads packing and returning to laptops,” Bonnie Washuk reports for The Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. “The Maine Department of Education and Apple are offering Maine schools a ‘Refresh’ swap offer at no additional cost.”
“Laptops and iPads ordered in 2013 can be returned for new and improved Apple MacBook Air laptops, which cost less than the Apple laptops three years ago. Schools can also opt to get new iPads since both devices have been improved,” Washuk reports. “Before Auburn decided what to do, the district surveyed grades seven through 12 students and teachers, Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson told the Auburn School Committee on Wednesday night. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of laptops: 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students favored them over iPads.”
“In the ‘Refresh’ swap offer from the state, Auburn’s iPads are going back and 1,718 laptops will be delivered in the fall to Edward Little High School and Auburn Middle School,” Washuk reports. “Apple came up with better priced and designed laptops and iPads for Maine schools after hearing complaints about iPads, and after a number of schools opted for less expensive, non-Apple computers such as Chromebooks three years ago, Maine Learning and Technology Initiative Director Mike Muir said. The state ‘underestimated how different an iPad is from a laptop,’ Muir said. Laptops do better coding and programming and allow students to do more, he said. Student use of iPads could have been better if the Maine Department of Education encouraged more teacher training, Muir said.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In some ways, this is a step backwards and an illustration of the discomfort Steve Jobs predicted six years ago:
When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people… The transformation will make us uneasy because the PC has taken us a long way. We like to talk about post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010
Unfortunately, this is also an illustration of Apple’s inability to move quickly enough with iOS and iPad hardware (lack of RAM, for one example) to provide a reasonable alternative to traditional laptops for certain use cases (until recently; iPad Pro goes a long way to addressing the issues and all schools should give them a a proper try – meaning have a plan, don’t just throw iPads at the teachers and students).
Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.
Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.
Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?