Apple’s New iPad 2, is it for Education?
Education had always been Apple’s niche market, since the launch of the very first Macintosh, however with more and more consumer devices added to its portfolio such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad, they were able to break into the mass market taking on other market segments (portable music players, mobile phones and tablet computers), subsequently creating new ways for marketing their wares (iTunes, AppStore and Accessories). Apple calls this the post-PC era but is the iPad 2 for Education?
The first generation of iPad was not quite as popular among schools in the UK probably because it came at an uncertain time, when schools were struggling with budget constraints and having to cut back on spending. The steep price tag compared to other competiting devices such as PDA handhelds, netbooks and laptops meant schools stayed away from the iPad to strectch their budget.
However, all is not lost for Apple for the iPod Touch has gained significant grounds. All this while, we have seen the iPod Touch carrying the torch for Apple in the Education segment in UK. This is largely due to the lower cost of adoption, the ability to provide one to one access,the ease of use with the touch interface and is popular among students. Schools such as Essa Academy in Bolton, Malpas Junior in Wales, Burnt Oak Junior in Kent and Bowes Primary in London have chosen the iPod Touch as part of their ICT and learning strategy.
We have also seen pockets of iPad adoption in schools especially in special schools where the use of iPads have really made a difference and produced great results in learning. Three Ways School in Bath is one of such school. Three Ways School not only use the iPad but develop custom apps for their students that are both engaging and fun, allowing them to interact with their environment in ways that they would not normally be able to.
So what do we make of the new iPad 2 which launched on the 2nd of March 2011, and will be released on the 25th of March in the U.K? Will it enjoy the same success it’s smaller siblings, the iPod Touch and the iPhone have or will it just be another want and not a need where it struggles to find a way into the classrooms in the UK?
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