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Making the Grade: Celebrating ten years of iPad in K-12

Added 01-25-20 09:31:01am EST - “2020 is the ten year anniversary of Steve Jobs introducing the iPad. It's impact can be felt across K-12 and enterprise environments.” -


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From “Celebrating ten years of iPad in K-12 and the enterprise - 9to5Mac”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

About Making The Grade: Every other Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

When the iPad was announced in 2010, I had just started working in K–12. We were just getting started with Macs, but when I saw the iPad, I knew that the device was going to change K–12 forever. Why has the iPad made such a difference in K–12?

When the iPad was announced at $499, 1:1 computing became affordable for a lot of schools that hadn’t considered 1:1 before. MacBooks at the time were $999, so a stock iPad came in at half the cost. Over the years, Apple has cut the price for education customers even further. I am placing an order soon for a few hundred iPads, and we will be paying $299 for each one. When you consider the computing power we’re getting for $300 in 2020, it’s astonishing. Yes, you still need to add on accessories like cases, keyboards (if you need them), etc., but for those of us remember deploying $999+ devices in mass, the iPad ushered in a new era of affordability.

When iOS was first being deployed in K–12, schools didn’t have a great way to license and deploy applications. Before Apple’s Volume Purchase Program, we were buying single apps from iTunes on the Mac and installing them by connecting a cable to iTunes. I could reasonably sync 15 iPads at a time. We were buying a $1 application and deploying it on all of our iPads. While I didn’t like doing that since I knew developers weren’t getting the revenue they deserved, it was our only option in the early days.

After Apple built the VPP store, we had a path to license an application for each iPad, but it was still a fraction of the cost of macOS software. Where a single seat for many Mac apps was $30-$50, iPad apps were $1-$5. Teachers often felt terrible about asking for new applications, but I continually reminded them how inexpensive iPad apps were compared to similar options on the Mac. When I’d place an order for 20+ copies, many of them became half the cost due to bulk discounts that developers could opt into to reward bulk purchases. Today, all of this is managed through tools like Apple School Manager.


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