It used to take years and now it seems that as soon as I write a blog post about what might happen I read an article or hear a story a few weeks later and it IS happening. The pace of change has surely changed! Here’s another example:
Are iPads on their way to replacing computers in K-12 schools? It sure looks that way. A recent survey of district tech directors found that all were testing or deploying tablet devices—and they expect them to outnumber computers by 2016.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster questioned 25 educational IT directors at a conference on the integration of technology in the classroom, and his small survey, “Tablets in the Classroom,” reveals that all were using Apple’s iPad in schools, while none were testing or deploying Android-based tablets.
Munster explained that the trend in education may be due to a familiarity with Apple devices among students and school employees.
The IT directors polled indicated that within the next five years, they expect to have more tablets per student than they currently have computers. Since iPads represent most of the tablets seen in schools, Munster said the word “tablet” is basically synonymous with “iPad.”
“Within the next five years, our respondents expect to have more tablets per student than they currently have computers” Munster said. The school districts represented in the poll have about 10 students per computer, but in the next five years, IT directors for school districts say they expect it to drop to about six students per iPad. Devices like the iPad are preferred over computers in the classroom because they provide more individualized learning than a traditional computer.
Earlier this year, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook indicated that demand for the iPad is strong among education customers. In February, Georgia Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams (R-Lyons) proposed a plan to replace conventional textbooks in middle schools with the iPad. Williams met with Apple to discuss a plan to make the iPad a central component in the state’s education system.
“[Apple] has a really promising program where they come in and their recommending to middle schools—for $500 per child per year, they will furnish every child with an iPad, wifi the system, provide all the books on the system, all the upgrades, all the teacher training—and the results they’re getting from these kids is phenomenal,” Williams said at the time. “We’re currently spending about $40 million a year on books. And they last about seven years. We have books that don’t even have 9/11. This is the way kids are learning, and we need to be willing to move in that direction.”
This article originally appeared in the newsletter Extra Helping. Go here to subscribe.