An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

Moderated by Jason Hiner | February 6, 2012 -- 07:00 GMT (23:00 PST)

Summary: One way or the other, e-textbooks are coming. But will it be an Apple-dominated market?

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Inevitable

or

Impossible

Christopher Dawson

Christopher Dawson

Best Argument: Impossible

Closing Statements

What's best for the students

Matthew Miller

I understand that many people have an aversion to Apple products, but they need to set that aside and look at what is best for the students. Android has not shown that an open ecosystem is that beneficial -- with inconsistent experiences and content experiences that range from good to bad. Closed ecosystems generally result in more consistent products that can be easily managed with minimal staff.

Apple has made the iBooks Author tool simple to use and free so teachers who want to offer up customized experiences and tools are free to do so. When teachers create outstanding resources, they can easily share these throughout the country and know that others are able to use and take advantage of their work because the ecosystem is standard across the entire educational sector.

Cost is a factor, but let's all step up to the plate and make education the priority.

Open and cheaper alternatives

Christopher Dawson

There aren’t many people who aren’t utterly enamored of their iPads. But guess what, folks? There are alternatives. Apple will make plenty of money in education, but the iPad will not become the de facto choice for the “tablet in every backpack”.


As we’ve seen with Windows marketshare in education, no matter what sort of discounts or market positioning Apple applies to the iPad 2 when it launches the iPad 3 (think white MacBook), there will always be cheaper alternatives that meet the needs of students as well as the iPad and that don’t require buy-in to a closed ecosystem. Apple threw down the gauntlet with iBooks and iBooks Author and made it abundantly clear that for educational content on the iPad, it was the Apple way or the highway. While this will work for some settings, most will gravitate towards more open (and cheaper) solutions.

Budget realities and impossible dreams

Jason Hiner

When we look at tablets for education, Apple is off to a running start with the iPad and interactive books, and this is likely to get Apple back into the education market and shape the education industry in the years ahead. Matt is absolutely correct that the Apple approach offers a simple, unified experience that a lot of schools and school systems are going to embrace.

Still, it's unlikely to become a universal standard. There is already a strong open source bent in a lot of the education sector and a lot of well-funded companies from Intel to OLPC want to continue to feed that. Budget realities will also drive a lot of educational institutions away from Apple and toward low-cost alternatives. So, Chris is ultimately correct that an iPad in every backpack is an impossible dream.

 

Talkback

185 comments
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  • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

    Inevitable. Because everybody wants to be original and creative.
    paul2011
    Reply 1 Vote I'm for Inevitable
    • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

      @paul2011 - BYOD is going to happen. Right now, the dominator is iPad and it will be more dominant with the increased use of iBook textbooks. What parent wants their child to tote around half his/her weight in bound books? Not to mention the obvious benefits of interactive, highlighted, bookmarked, customized, content.
      This will result in 1:1 since the students who don't have their own devices will have increased access to school technology because of those who bring their own. The onus will be on the schools to provide secure, reliable access.
      poteatj
      Reply Vote I'm for Inevitable
      • Not happening

        @poteatj <br>If this BYOD is to work, even the poorest household needs a way to provide these to the students. There is a significant portion of the population where the household cannot afford a basic computer. How then will these families and students participate?
        rhonin
        Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
    • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

      @paul2011 Surely, that's tongue in cheek. If they want to be original they don't want Apple's walled Orchard
      jmeinhart
      Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
    • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

      @paul2011 I use HTC and I am very creative and very original ...
      AdnanPirota
      Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
    • So why aren't you thinking different then?

      @paul2011 <br><br>You're thinking (just pretending, maybe) like any other Apple fanboi. Definitely not original. And not very creative either.
      Not a Fool
      Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
    • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

      @paul2011 what a laugh riot, original and creative? was apple ever original? if this baby o.s survives next 5 years hitler will come back and rule the world. there are just not enough resources for these type of devices to become mainstream.
      augustus_rome
      Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
  • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

    NOT iPad - but any tablet.
    helmut.leuprecht@...
    Reply Vote I'm for Inevitable
    • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

      @helmut.leuprecht@... I think you voted incorrectly. Chris said there will be tablets for everyone, just not iPads.
      chadness
      Reply Vote I'm for Impossible
      • RE: An iPad for every child: Inevitable or impossible?

        @chadness

        The title says iPad and the voting box is before the arguments, it's a misleading click bait using the iPad name instead of tablets but I voted before reading arguments, so it's impossible to get iPads to everybody, but cheaper tablets might be possible.
        lepoete73
        Reply 1 Vote I'm for Impossible