Are iPads Showing Up In Schools?

I am often asked for references to schools in specific areas that are implementing iPads. My default resource for finding those locations and deployments is typically to do a search in Google and look for references or articles about those deployments.

Eric Lai, a writer for a technology publication called ZDNet, has created an interactive list of over 130 schools, school districts, colleges and universities deploying tablets to students for the first time this fall. Use this interactive map he created to find out more about these deployments.

View School iPad & Tablet Deployments, Fall 2012 in a larger map

The following infographic developed by creative media agency MDG Advertising, shows more than 1.5 million are currently in use by students, and schools bought some 47,000 in the first month-and-a-half after its release. There are currently more than 20,000 apps meant for education, and 80% of learning apps in the App Store target kids. Some studies even show that students who have access to iPads do better in school than kids who don’t.

All this information comes from sources including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and others to produce the following infographic. Check it out below for the fuller picture.

iPads in Schools This Past Week

There is plenty of evidence the iPad is making larger and larger in-roads into schools. Just this past week there were the following articles:

Apple goes back to school with the iPad

by Jonah Loeb, Market Watch, Published September 12, 2012

Starting with business news, beyond Apple introducing the iPhone 5 and iOS6, MarketWatch has an article discussing how Apple is offering parents the option to buy a Mac or an iPad – both with bundled applications. Their take is that Apple isn’t offering enough – or rather, that the deal isn’t sweet enough (it’s good, but they say it could be better).

It’s a logical time for parents to buy their high school and college-bound kids a new machine, not to mention all the frantic retail bundling that happens in Best Buy Co. Inc.BBY  and Apple Inc. AAPL  stores. That’s why it’s interesting to see what Apple is offering to students this fall: A choice between a Mac and an iPad, the former with $100 worth of apps and the latter with $50 worth.


Glue, Scissors and an iPad
by Lauren Covello, That’s Money, Published September 13, 2012, FOXBusiness

Next up from Fox Business news  suggests that some point in the future the back to school season will have iPads on the ‘required’ supply list.

Thousands of public school districts across the country are taking serious steps toward making iPads an important tool in their curriculum – and at a rapid pace. Apple (AAPL: 691.28, +8.30, +1.22%) sold almost a million iPads to education buyers in the K-12 market in the third quarter alone, doubling sales from a year ago, according to an analyst at Needham & Co. By contrast, PC shipments in the education market reportedly fell 13.9% during the same period. While schools have been testing iPads for awhile, many of them are now looking to deepen their investment. A school district in San Diego recently spent million expanding its iPad program, taking on 26,000 iPads in what was one of the biggest iPad deployments to date. The McAllen school district in Texas, which had only distributed 5,000 devices as of last April, will provide nearly 20,000 to students this fall.

Next we have an article exploring whether tablets should replace textbooks. I’ve argued that this is inevitable – it’s just a matter of time.

Patch Talk: Should Tablet PCs Replace Print Textbooks in School?

With the rising popularity of the Apple iPad and Google Nexus 7, should heavy print texts go the way of the buffalo?

by Scott P. Moore, published in the Garden City Patch, September 12, 2012
“We are piloting tablet use at the primary, elementary, middle and high school levels and in content areas across the curriculum while developing our infrastructure and a solid method of assessing how tablet computers improve student learning,” said Dr. Rita Melikian, director of educational technology and staff development. “Our special education teachers and speech pathologists, in particular, have been utilizing the specialized applications available on the iPad.”


Then we have the following stories about schools moving to iPads.

Paul School Readies iPad Pilot Program

by Laurie Welch, published in the Magic Valley Times-News, September 13, 2012

Paul Elementary School in Idaho will be be piloting iPads this year. The article mentions the fact that Paul school is taking part in the iSchool program and references the fact that full deployment of what they call a “Smart School” on a single K-5 campus has been done in six states, including Utah and Colorado, and has been piloted in nine states. The iSchool Campus is headquartered in Park City, Utah.

About 450 K-5 students and their teachers will receive iPads as part of the project, which is funded through a grant and partnership between iSchool Campus and Apple Inc. The school was chosen to participate because it is an award-winning Idaho Leads Project school.

Students in grades 2-5 will be allowed to take the iPads home.


by Bobby Tedder, published on  on September 12, 2012.
Immaculate Heart Catholic School in an Atlanta suburb is expanding the use of iPads. Last year every 8th grader received iPad2s – and iPads have now completely replaced textbooks. This year the program expanded to include 7th graders – augmenting textbooks.
“The iPad is a technological tool available for the teacher to incorporate into the classroom,” said Immaculate Heart Assistant Principal Bob Baldonado. “Although we have a mandated curriculum to cover, the iPad provides many innovative and interactive ways to cover the curriculum while at the same time keeping the students motivated and engaged.”
Another Catholic School, St. Elizabeth Seton in Naples Florida gave teachers in every classroom in the school an iPad.

Knowledge at their fingertips: Local Catholic schools go high tech to engage students

by Anne Claire Shilton, published in the Naples News on September 15, 2012

 “We wanted to give them to the teachers at the end of last year so that they’d have all summer to get familiar with them,” said Gina Groch, the school’s assistant principal. “We gave them a list of apps and told them to have fun!”


How to Get a New Apple iPad: Be a Johnston High School Student

The Johnston Community School District is moving ahead with plans to get the iPads into the hands of every Johnston High School student.

by Todd Richissin, published in the Johnston Patch, September 13, 2012

Another Iowa High School is moving ahead with a program to provide all high school students with iPads this January.

Following a successful pilot program last year, Johnston Community School District  moved forward with a 1:1 Initiative that will place an innovative tech tool in the hands of every high school student, according to a news release from the district. This program directly aligns with the standards set forth by the Iowa Core 21st century technology skills focus.


Another high school in Montgomery School District in Pennsylvania is putting an iPad in the hands of all students this fall.

High School Students Equipped with iPads

by Jim Hamill, published on on September 11, 2012

An iPad in each students’ hands changes the library experience at Montgomery Area School District. It means kids no longer have to check out hardcover books. They can check out e-books at school or even at home.

Scholastic is giving away free eBooks to people that download their new app called Storia.

Storia Back-to-School E-Book and iPad Giveaway

Scholastic will also be giving away 25 iPads via a Facebook sweepstakes. Each iPad will come with 10 e-books of the winner’s choosing.

 and I’ll end with an article from last week that says the iPad is overtaking PC sales to schools.

Apple’s iPad overtaking PC sales in schools

The education market is a big segment of computer and tablet sales in the U.S. and new data claims, “the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a material portion of PC sales in this market.”

by Dara Kerr published at on September 4, 2012

As back to school kicks off in the U.S., new data claims that Apple’s iPad is outpacing traditional PCs in sales to students and schools for the first time ever.

Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company, wrote to investors today that the iPad is now “cannibalizing” PCs in sales to the K-12 market, according to Apple Insider.

“Clearly, a significant portion of iPad sales represented an expansion of the market,” Wolf wrote, according to Apple Insider. “But in view of the fact that Mac sales held steady at around 520,000 units but overall PC sales declined by 265,000 units from 1.90 million to 1.64 million units, we believe the inescapable conclusion is that the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a material portion of PC sales in this market.”

What’s your school doing this fall?

The iPad is Changing Schools


ipad in schools

It’s been about 2 years now since the iPad was first realized and a lot has happened in that short time. Apple has sold approximately 64million iPads in two years. To put that into perspective, I believe, no other product of any kind has ever sold this many units in that time frame. And, at a price point of $400 or more that’s no small feat.

I’ve written before about how I feel the iPad itself won’t make the difference. What is truly needed is a rethinking of the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ in schooling. Teachers must become much more learning facilitators and coaches – and the idea of singular subjects as curriculum just won’t cut it for 21st Century success. That said, the iPad is still making a significant impact on schools and schooling.

The following are only a few ways the iPad is changing schools:

  • much like a computer but with a smaller and more accessible form factor, the iPad can be used for much of the same things computers have been used for in schools: to do research on the internet, take notes, write papers, create presentations, shoot and edit a video, or take advantage of the 100s of applications being developed specifically for learning.

California School District Uses iPads to Help Teachers Deliver Quality Physical Education Program to Students

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) uses the SPARK PE curriculum on iPads to optimize outcomes for their students.


  • there are general applications – like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – that can be applied in many different learning scenarios, and there are specific applications designed for particular subjects.
  • there are also applications designed to support teachers in the managing and delivering content including the distribution and collection of assignments, grading, as well as feedback and improvement. Some applications also allow both students and teachers to access files on school networks – like ClassLink’s LaunchPad app.
  • there is at least one iPad pilot program in every state in the US – including pilots in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities as well as hospitals and medical schools.

A sweeping vote by the Detroit Lakes school board Tuesday night launched the district into a new realm in education.

With what seemed to be cautious enthusiasm, the board approved the purchase of 244 iPads, which will go to every single 5th grader in the Detroit Lakes Public School Districts, as well as every 5th and 6th grade teacher.

Two additional carts holding roughly 30 iPads each will also be purchased for Roosevelt Elementary and the High School, which will be shared amongst classrooms. Rossman Elementary already has an iPad cart, and the Middle School recently purchased one as part of their budget.

The cost for this initiative is roughly $105,000.


  • some schools are providing iPads to specific groups (grade levels or classrooms) while other schools are providing iPads to every student at the beginning of the school year. There are even a few schools making the iPad mandatory for all students

UTICA — Utica High School students are going to be connected in a new way next school year.

Every student will be given an iPad on the first day of school in the fall.

“I think it’s the way education is going,” Principal Mark Bowman said. “Myself and my staff are very excited, and my students are very excited. Any time you can get kids excited about coming to school, that’s great.”

The North Fork Local School District is leasing 560 iPad 2’s at a cost of $74,500 per year for four years, with the option to buy each for $1 at the end of the lease, Superintendent Scott Hartley said. Teachers district-wide also will receive iPads.

The devices are being paid for through textbook and Title I money.  Utica High School Putting iPads in Student’s Hands


  • at some schools the enthusiasm for adopting and implementing iPads is overwhelming.

Farmington teachers line up to be iPad early adopters

190 Farmington teachers submitted applications to be among the first to have iPads in their students’ hands when the 2012-13 school year starts in the fall. The district hopes to roll out 1,730 of the tablet computers to students.


Here’s additional articles illuminating just a few of the many schools that are shifting to providing all students iPads:

Johnston School Board OKs Concept of iPad for Every High School Student
The initiative would provide iPads for each high school student starting the second semester of the 2012-13 school year.


Jefferson Elementary School in Oshkosh to buy iPad for every student


All Mansfield high schoolers will get an iPad


If School Superintendent Jim McIntyre has his way, what started as a pilot at Pond Gap and two other schools this year will be extended to every student in all 87 of Knox County’s public schools by 2015. That means procuring some 56,000 iPads or similar devices and installing a robust wireless network and other infrastructure in every classroom in the county. With a multitude of instructional apps to choose from, teachers would have some leeway in picking the ones that work best for them.


  • New Zealand may be the first country to have all students have iPads in a 1:1 program that requires parents to provide them –  School iPad revolution may go nationwide
  • many of these schools are shifting to using digital textbooks – taking advantage of textbooks created with Apple’s iBooks Author.
  • some schools hire new technology support personnel while other schools use students to help support new iPad programs.
  • Apple has even created an app that can be used to deploy and mass configure many iPads, iPhones, or iPods. Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution.
  • in Britain there has even been, for the first time, a pilot of an exam administered on iPads

School trials iPad exam

The traditional pen-and-paper school test could become a thing of the past after a leading exam board successfully trialled the use of iPads for pupils sitting a mock GCSE.


  • there are even significant experiences taking place using the iPad with special education and learners who have various disabilities or are challenged learners – in particular young people with autism.
  • finally, this summer the largest education construction project – The American International School – will open in Asia

Stamford American The Most Advanced International School Ever Built – Coming To Singapore

See the future of education today. 1 to 1 iPad program, virtual lecture hall and more. $300 million investment – largest K-12 education project in the region.

These articles reflect only a small portion of what’s happening today (almost all of these articles were posted or printed in the last two weeks). In the future we’ll highlight some of the behind the scenes requirements of implementing iPads in school.


One Year of iPad in Schools

Now that a year has past since Apple introduced the iPad it’s no longer ‘new’ to talk about the fact that more and more schools are using iPads. Every week I see more articles mentioning this – in fact, not only are they being used in schools but people are finding very creative uses for them.

Here are a few from this week:

  • A company (Safe School Security) has made an iPad application for bus drivers to use to take attendance on the bus. The application has the bus route management system programmed in to it so the location and time of when a child entered the bus can be logged.
  • This article (from last week) in the Omaha World Herald discusses how schools in Nebraska and Iowa are using the iPad for learners of all ages –
  • This article talks about a charter school in Colorado that has found a way to get iPads for all students –
  • This Florida school district has received a $1million gift. They are planning on using the money to provide every student an iPad in August when they return to school. The donor said the gift was intended to change the high school and the community.
  • The University of Southern California (USC) has announced the release of an iOS application for use in the college of education. It will be used by new teachers in training. “This new app gives our MAT@USC students the ability to do their learning from almost anywhere, while preserving the quality of the learning environment our faculty and administration have worked so hard to create,” said USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher.  “This is a big step forward for the program, our school, and teacher education.
  • This is a bit more than a week old, but a Minnesota School Board has approved more than $1.1million to buy 1450 iPad 2s (and a bunch of other stuff) for an initiative they call Project REAL.
  • Another article a bit older than a week is about a high school in Massachusetts that is planning on providing students. Students and teachers at Burlington High School next fall will be helping to break new ground in Massachusetts on incorporating technology in the classroom. The school will be distributing Apple iPad 2s to students for use at school and at home. The district plans to acquire the computer tablets in a three-year lease-purchase with Apple, and then provide them to be used for free to all students who choose to participate.
  • The Waiting for Superman folks have released an iPad application that ‘teaches’ why education is important and brings light to some of the issues facing schools.

And just for fun here is a video I think is worth watching.

This is about man that is implementing iPads in a school in Scotland – Fraser Speirs. Here is his application for Apple’s Distinguished Educator.

and the video on this page talks about paperless classrooms and the use of the iPad.

iPads to Pay for Themselves

In an article I read recently it said a private Tennessee school will require all students grades 4 through 12 to use iPads next year. They believe the program will pay for itself within three years. The school is a private school and will give students and their families an option for how they would like to participate in the program.

One of the primary motivators for the school to use iPads is to transition to digital textbooks. They believe digital textbooks are easier to use, lighter to carry, and cheaper for families. The other interest in getting digital text books that they are more interactive and can be updated to contain more current information. The school believes digital textbooks are more engaging than paper.

The school is still working out issues such as the initial cost for the 1,000 iPads it plans to purchase as well as getting teachers to plan the transition away from paper textbooks.

“There are a handful of teachers who are still struggling with the idea of electronic books. It’s certainly a personal preference,” the school’s technology director said. “Even people who prefer a (conventional) book see the advantages of an electronic version.”

Students will have the option of buying their own iPad or leasing the iPad from the school on a three year lease (at which time they will own it). From the school’s perspective the cost of an iPad can be compared to the cost of several text books. An example text book for advanced psychology sells for $130 and weighs 10 pounds. The online version is updated regularly and costs $50.

“We fully expect, not immediately, but over time, the savings they have will make it a wash at least as far as cost,” the school said.

One of the advantages of going to a device like the iPad is there is almost no learning curve for students. Today’s students are “digital natives,” and teachers can learn from them, their 62-year-old superintendent noted.

“I think the future will be where the actual wall is a computer,” he said.

Many school districts will continue to play the conservative wait and see card. But for this one school they are committed to moving ahead with the iPad and getting students using them as soon as possible.