As all the education geeks say, “It’s not about the device.”
But … it is about:
- SIMPLICITY: The iPad is only a device but Apple has built a complete eco-system that makes everything very easy for non-technical people. In general, you’ll find people that argue for Android, Microsoft or “Open-source” are geeks and can cope with searching for and setting up complicated groups of tools from various sources.
- SUPPORT: Apple’s support system for those not so geeky and the ease at which they can discover the next step or application is years ahead of any rival. Also, the iPad is so much more common in schools now, that it’s easier to find help as a teacher if you are on an iPad.
- WORKING TOGETHER: Within the school, having everyone working on the same device makes it easier for the teachers and the students, who themselves are not often completely savvy when it comes to being productive with technology (They’re great at gaming/YouTube but…). Also Proffessionl development becomes so much easier.
- RELIABILITY: I know a school technician who was adamant at the start of their BYOD (Bring your own device) rollout that the school must leave the choice of device open and that there was important value in Androids devices. After 4 months of supporting the variety of devices, he recommended to the school leadership: “the 2013 should be iPad only!” He said: “They just work and the others have problems”
- 3RD PARTY SUPPORT: The iPad has become the globe’s choice for education and the other companies who have been involved in education for years are producing their tools for iPad first and sometimes iPad only.
- IBOOKS AUTHOR: This free Mac app for producing interactive books with animations, 3D objects, movies and quizzes is the easiest app I’ve ever used. It has been produced for the non-techies!
- ITUNESU delivers courses from all the top universities in the world and allows any teacher to organise an interactive individualised course with a range of resources from either the iTunesU system or ones own eBooks.
- NO TECHIES REQUIRED! It’s a universal problem that organisations’ tech support people are more interested in ‘their’ system and technical arguments, than what the users are actually trying to get done. This is particularly the case in schools. The iPad is a self-supported, easy-to-use, self-backing-up teaching system that only requires the techies to ensure there’s wireless.