Give a student a choice between reading something off an iPad and reading something in a textbook, but donâ€™t expect much love for the non-Apple, paper-based option. As fashion dictates, iPads are cool, stylish and cutting edge (for now, at least), so square-eyed, tech-obsessed kids will naturally be more drawn to reading material presented on a sharp and shiny iPad screen. It seems Apple has grown savvy to this, judging by their recent decision to supply an iPad â€“ complete with digital, interactive textbooks â€“ to every high school student currently living and studying in America.
In a dream world, this sounds like a fantastic idea: teachers could find their students becoming more enthusiastic about their education, because hey ho, they get to play with an iPad. Unfortunately, one must view this from a financial standpoint, and as Online Teaching Degree points out in the handy infographic above, widespread use of Appleâ€™s brand spanking new education plan seems unlikely. For one thing, the cost of supplying every student in the US with Appleâ€™s latest technological offspring is the equivalent of a full year’s salary for 675,000 of Americaâ€™s teachers. Compare that to regular olâ€™ textbooks, which are 41% cheaper and much less likely to be smashed to bits under little Billyâ€™s sneakers. Even if schools were to get rid of their computers in favor of iPads, the total computer budget ($2 billion in 2010) would still only provide an iPad for 10% of Americaâ€™s students.
So, unless Apple supplies a ginormous hardware discount for US schools, donâ€™t get your hopes up about getting your own personal iPad to play with in the classroom any time soon, kids.
By Stephen Watson