Students, teachers cite increased game-playing on iPads and ask for laptops to use for educational purposes

After hearing students and teachers overwhelmingly say iPad computers are used to play games in class, while laptops are better for schoolwork, Auburn and other Maine districts are sending iPads packing and returning to laptops.

The Maine Department of Education and Apple are offering Maine schools a “Refresh” swap offer at no additional cost.

Laptops and iPads ordered in 2013 can be returned for new and improved Apple MacBook Air laptops, which cost less than the Apple laptops three years ago.

Schools can also opt to get new iPads since both devices have been improved.

Before Auburn decided what to do, the district surveyed grades seven through 12 students and teachers, Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson told the Auburn School Committee.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of laptops: 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students favored them over iPads.

The results “are pretty darn clear,” Robinson said. The survey findings “made the decision for us.”

Next page: What educators have found when it comes to iPads vs. laptops

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