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Apple's Announcement of the New iPad. How Will It Affect Education?

Apple's Announcement of the New iPad. How Will It Affect Education?

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11 a.m. PST - Steve Jobs just announced the much anticipated iPad - a touchscreen tablet computer.

From the many tweets and blogs I've been following about this, it's described as a giant, touchscreen iPhone. The iPad weighs about 1.5 pounds, is 0.5 inch thin, has a 9.7-inch display and should have a battery life of 10 hours. For more information on the specs of the iPad, I've found this article helpful.


I'm wondering how this innovative product will affect the education sector. There's a great article on msnbc about the current e-reader market.

"Last year, about 3 million e-readers were sold. Estimates are another 6 million will be sold in 2010 according to the Yankee Group. The Kindle, which has a 6-inch screen and sells for $259, has the bulk of the e-reader sales."

"There are about 6 million people who are gearing up this year to buy an e-reader. And they’re going to spend between $250 and $700 on it," said James McQuivey, Forrester Research principal analyst. "They are already people who care about media, and who are willing to spend money on media."

One of the many benefits projected about the iPad, is the ease it creates of consuming multiple types of media in a very mobile fashion.

The tablet's "most revolutionary impact is on the way people consume media in the home," he said. "You take it from room to room, you dock it next to your bed, it becomes your alarm clock. You dock in the living room, it’s a photo frame and a video server for your TV; you dock it in the kitchen, and it displays your recipes for you."

Can you imagine a classroom that has this mobile and instantaneous sharing of information? Please let us know what information you've found out about Apple's new iPad and your predictions on how it will affect education in years to come.

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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yu win's picture


1. I think the iBooks Store has great potential, especially in 1:1 environments. I would like to see my district with it's own personalized iBooks Store with the required texts/readings easily available. Also, I want my students to be able to have their own publications available in our district's online store.

The fact that individuals make their purchase decisions outside of K-12 supports the fact that this Fall
some text books will be purchased or leased from Apple's Book Store. A plan to offer a subscription for
your college textbooks is likely to be an option. Since the authorization is from the Book Store Apple could delete last year's books and update with this year's textbooks.

Apple's advantage is their advanced protection for the digital rights. To allow all student the ability to
copy their Apple eTextbooks would not be tolerated by the publishers.

2. The 10 hour battery really helps with the access over a school day.

This is course the 1st Gen battery. Apple has PA Semi working on advanced designs to conserve battery life with their custom chips. Palo Alto Semi has engineers who have been working on the ARM processors
for a while. Now they are a part of Apple since 2008.

3. The simple iPhone/iPod Touch OS is great, easy and intuitive for an education environment where we constantly struggle between the demands of tech support, training, security. I don't need my users to be able to even poke around in the guts of a machine. An OS like this keeps a natural wall around the OS and makes it disappear.

The OS Rel 4.0 will be released prior to the iPad release. Look at the Android multi tasking for a clue to
what Apple has ready.

The Snow Leopard OSX 10.5XX will be replaced with the OSX 10.6 at the WWDC in June '10.

The XGRID software will be deployable for the iPad in a K-12 environment perhaps. The ability to link
a classroom together would be excellent.

The WiDi standard was annouced by Intel in Early Jan. This allows a device to wireless link at much higher
speeds to a HDTV.

The case of the iPad has room for a iChat camera. The Nikon point and shot camera for $350 includes
a projector for group viewing. Perhaps Apple is going to offer the option for a video + projector in their
future generations. The first gen iPod clearly is nothing like the 5th gen of today.


1. The App/iTunes/iBooks Store model does not work in an educational environment. I need a way to provide the apps and content to all the iPads and control the minimum available requirements without fuss. The model is great for consumers, but purchasing procedures and restrictions will keep me from making a school purchase any time soon.

The Apple Book Store will be similar to iTune University perhaps. The ideal will be the Google model
where the device will be part of a state wide contract such as Maine. A no cost model would make
sense if a subscription was contracted by an organization. The savings in labor and inventory alone
would make sense for a school district to use eTextbooks.

The Texas B.O.E. influence on what is in our text books is likely to disappear with eTextbooks.

2. The device leans heavy on consuming rather than creating content. While you can create content, the interface is restrictive in creating mass amounts of it. Without the keyboard accessory, it will take time for the device to become more balanced in this area.

The content creation would be the domain of the Apple traditional laptops and Power Mac. The students
work can easily be done with the iWorks apps which likely would be part of a textbook package.

3. No Flash support - so much good content on the web relies on Flash.[/quote]
The fact is html5 is likely to be the open source alternative to Flash. Most web developer have already
dropped Flash once they have mastered "5"

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Personally, I'm pretty excited, for a number of reasons. Wouldn't it be incredible to be in on the design of truly multimedia textbooks that could be sold on the store? I mean, think about it - instead of a rather dull drawing of the water cycle, you could have an animated video clip - with a voice over! Or you could have clips of Shakespeare being performed at crucial times in the text.

Of course, it's all pie in the sky stuff at the moment, but I think the potential is there. I'd be curious to know what it's like on the eyes - if its like the iPhone it might be tough to look at all day.

Jared Johnson's picture

I know that if you really need a regular keyboard, apple created the keyboard attatchement for people who need to focus straight to their typing, and the on screen keyboard has to be good, considering that I typed whole English papers right on my iPod touch, then simply emailed to myself to print or posted it straight online. This and online class discusion groups such as moodle, which our school is quickly converting all of our papers and labs to, we either simply post our results or upload a file, which you can create using IWork right on the ipad. I personaly believe that this device can reelutionize education, especially in high school and college. Also I haven't found the need to have multitasking on my iPod touch for anything, including schoolwork. But if the 3g wants to succeed, it has to drop AT&T.

irene hensley's picture

i'm looking for something that i can do text book with me and write my papers at the sametime. will this let me do this?

yu win's picture

The text books are perhaps the central purpose for the iPad. The College Textbooks are clearly too expensive and are purchased by individuals not BOE's. The K-12 purchases will follow after the administrative process takes it course.

The combination of a virtual disk ie: Mobile Me @ $100/yr allows virtual storage plus the ability to "Find my iPad" A lost top end iPad with local storage is way to risky.

The use of a currently owned blue tooth keyboard and Apple's Pages, Numbers and Keynote (@$10 each) are solutions for any writing project/presentation. Numbers will allow for quantitative project to be included. The ability to link the iPad to a HDTV or VGA projector will allow a class to see other the presentations.

If you want to save money buy the iPad $499 model and a mobile wifi hotspot. The MiFi and Overdrive @100 plus $50/mo for unlimited data. (Trade off your current spend from AT&T or other local carrier)
units are examples which link to a 3G/4G wireless connection and then provides a mobile WiFi hot spot
for about 5 users. The Apple 3G iPad will quickly become outdated once the 4G networks are fully deployed.

If you eliminate your landline phone and use Vonage on the iPad with a blue tooth head set you will save more money.

With the Overdrive unit you easily can cancel your landbased DSL service since you will move your Overdrive with you as your personal Hot Spot.

Any dedicated FAX lines that are still installed can be cancelled.

Add up the taxes on each of the above services including your cell phone and you will find you likely spend more than $25/mo. The local taxing authority love to tax communication services and they
hide in the billing with zero ability to control how much you are paying in taxes. Cutting out these
multiple landline services is the best way to trade off the costs for your mobile Hot Spot. The unit
has both 3G and 4G and self selects the fastest available service.

If you are near a public hot spot the iPad has this service built in as part of the $499 unit.

To read a book or write a paper you do not need to be online.

The use of a USB video camera will be able to be attached to to your iPad. Skype clearly can handle the
video conference calls and with the 4G service @ up to 10 Mbs a free or low cost video call is possible.

The purchase of the iPad with the Barclay credit card will earn points for the iTune purchases. The textbooks will be even cheaper if you leverage your credit card points.

The Apple iBookstore is based on ePub open standards. It is likely that you will be able to self publish
with ePub format via the iBookstore much like the Apple Apps store. To allow Apple to carry your publication "on consignment" for their 30%/70% revenue split will easily cut out the publishers much
like the Indie artists do today with iTunes. The iTune University allow lectures to be freely exchanged -
to offer a eTextBook by the Professor will clearly add to the benefit of Apple's iTune Store.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Just came across this article from PC World that does a good job comparing the iPad to the Kindle in the educational market.

Apple's iPad may be a promising alternative to Amazon's Kindle DX as an electronic-textbook reader for students, according to this comparison of the two devices. The e-readers are similarly priced and have the same-sized screen, but the iPad has significantly more features -- such as games and Internet browsing that may be distracting for students -- and a color LED-backlit screen that can support images, diagrams and other sophisticated features of digital textbooks that the Kindle cannot. The Kindle, however, may be better suited for heavy readers. PC World/Today @ PC World blog

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Some interesting tidbits the article mentions:

:: Apple has received preorders for 240,000 iPads, and some analysts project it could sell up to 5 million units in the product's first 12 months.

:: How big will the tablet craze be? Trip Hawkins--a tech-industry veteran who once worked at Apple, then founded videogame giant Electronic Arts, and currently is CEO of Digital Chocolate, a game maker--says that as Google and others rush into the tablet-computer space, the market is going to explode. Within a decade there will be 1 billion tablet computers in the world, he predicts, adding that even then, "I'm probably being conservative."

:: Remember that it has been less than three years since the iPhone debuted, that the App Store has not yet reached its second birthday, yet it already offers 150,000 apps and has delivered more than 3 billion downloads. Now comes the iPad, with a bigger screen, faster processor, an ecosystem of eager developers, and millions of loyal customers who are hungry for Apple's next big thing. Analysts say the device could generate $2.5 billion in new revenues this year, which helps explain why Apple now stands ready to boom, with revenues expected to soar nearly 50 percent, to about $54 billion in the current fiscal year. Magical? Revolutionary? You bet.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Great blog post on on the iPad in classrooms.

Check out his initial thoughts about the iPad being used in the classroom.

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