Schools Expect iPads To Outnumber Computers In Next Five Years [Report]

Schools Expect iPads To Outnumber Computers In Next Five Years [Report]

The days of students lugging around massive backpacks loaded with heavy textbooks are numbered. According to a new poll of educational IT directors, signs are strong that within the next five years, all U.S. schools could adopt tablets, many as a replacement for textbooks. The good news for Apple is that in education circles (as with most consumers) the only tablet worth considering is the iPad.

All 25 educational IT directors surveyed by institutional securities firm Piper Jaffray said they were using iPads. In fact, according to analyst Gene Munster, not a single school reported employees using Android-based tablets.

Although the Android absence may be due to the relatively low number of competitive products, the results give the Cupertino, Calif. company a “first mover advantage,” says Munster.

The iPad is preferred over computers in the classroom because the tablet provides what IT experts see as more individualized learning. Although classroom computers are now shared among an average of 10 students, iPads allow the student pool to shrink to roughly six per tablet, the survey found.

Apple’s departing head of retail, Ron Johnson, has said today’s students could be “the last generation with backpacks.”

Earlier this year, Georgia State Senator Tommie Williams proposed replacing printed textbooks with iPad versions for middle school classes. The politician even met with the tech giant to talk over his plan.

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  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    I thought everyone was waiting for Windows 8 tablets because they’re supposed to be able to do everything.  I hear that students really love to use a stylus to take notes.  What’s a student going to be able to do if he or she doesn’t have full access to Microsoft Office on every tablet?  It was said that any tablet that doesn’t use a full desktop version of Windows OS is completely useless to students and businessmen.  I think these IT directors were lying to Gene Munster just to get rid of him.

  • Mark

    Students want something that “just works” not a rehash of a windoze system

  • CharliK

    You can use a stylus with an iPad, you just don’t have to. there’s Page and other options for access to Office on the iPad. 

    and the talk that not having a full OS is useless is just wrong. as proven by a number of schools, hospitals, airlines etc that are using iPads just fine. When they need the full OS they have the 3 computers over on the wall or the 50 unit lab in the library for that stuff. 

  • CharliK

    25 that he talked to versus how many he didn’t. without that detail we can’t judge how statistically sound his information is. 

  • Xseedman

    It is fortunate that most schools are familiar with iPad.

    Same can be said about tablets in general.

    Too bad some schools don’t realize that there are other tablets around; some that may, or maybe eventually offer better features.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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