iPads soar in popularity among K-12 schools

When asked what ed-tech devices their schools plan to buy next year, iPads were the top response, at 57 percent.

Desktop and laptop PCs still dominate in schools, but iPads already are the second most widely used ed-tech devices in K-12 classrooms just three years after their introduction in 2010, according to an informal survey of educators by the ed-tech company Netop.

What’s more, the survey reveals a dramatic shift in spending toward iPads next year, with 57 percent of educators saying their schools plan to invest in iPads for the 2013-14 school year.

The survey results suggest “there is an exciting transformation going on in schools,” said Kirk Greiner, senior vice president for Netop Education.

(Next page: What the research says)When asked, “What kinds of technology are students using in your classroom,” 78 percent of respondents to Netop’s survey mentioned desktop or laptop PCs, and 50 percent said iPads. Thirty-two percent said student response systems, 30 percent said desktop or laptop Macs, and 16 percent said other tablets.

Google Chrome devices are used in 13 percent of classrooms, and 14 percent of educators cited “other” technologies, including smart phones and interactive whiteboards.

When asked what ed-tech devices their schools plan to buy next year, iPads were the top response, at 57 percent.

Greiner cited the connection that students have made with the iPad as one reason for its explosive growth in schools.

“Because iPads are immersive, interactive, and portable, students are inspired to become creators instead of just consumers [of information]—and that is fueling a huge shift in the way that technology is used in education, perhaps even a revolution,” he said.

“At the same time, we have to be careful not to view the iPad as a panacea. Only with the proper tools, training, content, and guidance will the iPad and tablets like it be able to realize the full potential of an anytime, anywhere learning device.”

Fifty percent of educators said their schools plan to buy desktop or laptop PCs next year, 20 percent said desktop or laptop Macs, 16 percent said other tablets, 15 percent said Google Chrome devices, and 14 percent said “other” technologies.

Interactive whiteboards were cited the most in this “other” category, and “there were also several mentions of schools investing in Apple TV as a classroom sharing device,” said Cindy Banks, director of marketing for Netop.

Interestingly, student response systems appear to be losing ground, with only 13 percent of educators saying their schools planned to invest in these devices next year.

When educators were asked, “What’s the one thing you wish you could do with classroom devices,” the top response was allowing students to display their work to the whole class.

“Interaction and collaboration between students is still the No. 1 wish of teachers who teach with technology,” said Netop, a maker of classroom management software.

The information is based on survey responses from nearly 4,000 educators.


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