• Gwen Hedden

Does the 2018 iPad Change the Game?

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

The new iPad for Education may have just changed the game for student device market

Pundits proffered a wide array of predictions leading up to the Apple Event Tuesday--all of which shared a common theme: Apple was going to answer to the enormous successes of their competitors with a new line of Educational products and programs, and--like so many times in the past--they were going to change the game.  With a new, powerful 9.7” iPad developed specifically for Education, affordable accessories, the integration of AR, Classroom and School Management Apps, improvements to iWork applications, and curriculum initiatives to promote innovation and creativity, Apple did not disappoint. Cook and Greg “Joz” Joswiak showed that they had created a technology tool geared specifically for the real needs of students and teachers today.


Within the context of the classrooms and auditorium of Lane Tech, attendees were able to clearly observe how the improvements to the iPad and new initiatives were meant to improve and enhance the student learning experience.  Unlike what so many experts predicted, Apple did not make any direct attempt to confront the strides and successes and achievements of Google or Windows in the Education Market-- instead, they redefined what technology could do in the classroom and established new frontiers for education through their iPad.  Curriculum initiatives like “Everyone can Create” and “Everyone can Code”, a new focus on Augmented Reality in the classroom, applications that engage student creativity and innovation, and programs that eradicate preventative obstacles to learning only helped to illustrate Joz’s point: “We believe this powerful combination of hardware, software, services, and ecosystem make this iPad the very best product ever created for students and teachers.”

The new 9.7” iPad for $329.95 (32GB) has been designed with the reality of Education in mind.  As Lance Ulanoff of Mashable wrote in his article, this device is certainly a “love letter” to Educators and students everywhere.  Made with the same high quality standards that we have come to expect from Apple, this product has been designed to be sturdy and durable enough to survive a school day and support students to thrive in their learning.  Many of the improvements to this new iPad replicate features that had previously set the iPad Pro series apart from the base models:

  • 9.7” retina display

  • 8 MP Camera

  • 300 Mbps LTE

  • A10 Fusion Chip supports multitasking

  • Supports Apple Pencil ($89 for students) or the Logitech Crayon ($49)

  • Annotation features, such as Smart Annotation for grading and Teacher/Peer feedback

  • Supports multiple users (Device Sharing)

  • Touch ID Security

  • 10 hr battery life

  • Facetime HD camera

  • GPS, Gyroscope, Compass, and Accelerometer

  • Logitech Rugged Case that includes prop stand, keyboard, protective case, and pencil/crayon holder ($99)

“We believe this powerful combination of hardware, software, services, and ecosystem make this iPad the very best product ever created for students and teachers.”

Making these features available in a more affordable model has the potential to  transform the possibilities for classroom computing. While a recent study suggested that Apple was trailing the Education market, with only 19% of K-12 Schools in the US using iPads and Apple devices, 58% using Chromebooks, and 22% using Windows products, this new iPad has the potential to cause a significant shift in the ways K-12 schools think about computer purchasing.  While Chromebooks have been the leading product in recent years, this iPad is going to force School District Administrators and Board members to consider more than just the price point. This new, affordable iPad model, with its inherent versatility, native iWork applications, and access to over 200,000 applications for Education and Learning go so far beyond the capabilities and goals of G Suite, Google Classroom, and Chrome Web Store. To learn more about the differences between these devices, or to get a little insight about which one is best for you, read Google vs. Apple: Which device is the right for my budget?


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