In recent educational history in the United States, no single tool has been as readily and rapidly adopted as Apple’s iPad.

By the end of 2012, Apple reported that it had sold more than 4.5 million iPads directly to educational institutions. At its January Education event in New York City, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stated, “The adoption rate of the iPad in education is something I’d never seen from any technology product in history.” Such a statement should come as no surprise to anyone that works in schools today and is witnessing the excited practice of buying iPads for classrooms.

In my role as an ed-tech speaker, instructor, and consultant to various schools and districts, I have witnessed a myriad of iPad proposals and programs. I have heard administrators, educators, and parents debate the merits of various apps, discuss how to fund purchases, plan training and professional development.

(Next page: What do schools and students gain when using iPads?)