San Diego’s Unified Schools District has spent $15 million on almost 26,000 iPads that will be distributed across 340 classrooms this fall in what is reportedly one of the largest educational iPad purchases to date. The devices will be used by fifth- and eighth-grade students, in addition to some in high schools.
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Apple’s e-textbook initiative, which the company launched in January along with iBooks Author and a revamped iTunes U service is aimed at K-12 schools rather than higher education. Higher education has a different set of needs when it comes to textbooks, study, and reference materials. There are also big differences in device/platform selection between K-12 and the college market.
In fact, these differences are probably a big part of why Apple decided to focus the majority of its e-textbook (and, by extension its iPad in education) effort on the K-12 market. It’s a market that yields Apple more growth opportunities now and down the road.
Many schools in the U.S. haven’t even had their spring break yet, but school administrators are already planning for the next school year. For public schools that means determining how best to allocate scarce financial resources and trying to determine how far they can push their budgets before the residents and homeowners in their district will vote them down. School IT departments meanwhile are beginning to consider what major projects and upgrades they’ll be doing over the summer recess.
Although this decision-making process tends to run like clockwork for most schools and districts, this year there’s a new factor to consider: Apple’s iPad-based iBooks 2 e-textbook initiative (as well as the iPad itself).
A special education teacher from Lincoln High School in Stockton, California, is currently on paid leave after she set up a pornographic website business on a MacBook issued to her by the school. Heidi Kaeslin was suspended when school officials discovered her moneymaking scheme, and she is now under investigation.
Amazon has released a new iPhone app for college-bound students that offers online price comparisons for textbooks. As the school year beings, finding a good deal on class textbooks can be tricky.
The new Amazon Student app lets users scan the barcode of a textbook and determine its trade-in value. Users can also buy new and used textbooks from Amazon.com and have them shipped from within the app.
A 9-year-old girl with sight problems has swapped out magnifying glasses and other clunky equipment for an iPad.
Holly Bligh, of Melbourne Australia, has albinism, which affects her vision. To read, teachers had to make photocopies with enlarged text for her or she had to use a magnifying glass or other devices to read.