Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said at an Education Event last year, “Education is in Apple’s DNA.” Apple broke its own sales records in the education in 2012. The popularity of the iPad with students and instructors helped Apple break its own education market sales records in 1012.
According to a recent national survey, access to mobile technology in the classroom has more than tripled among high schools students in the past three years — and even more interesting, parents say they are more likely to purchase a mobile technology device for their child if it’s for classroom use.
Use of tablets and smartphones by K-12 students has hit 50%, according to an analysis released in October, 2012 at the Wireless EdTECH conference by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. The report, “Learning in the 21st Century: Taking it Mobile!” found the 50% of high schoolers and 40% of middle schoolers use smartphones or tablets on a regular basis. In November, more than 500 educators attended the iPad Summit hosted by Ed Tech Teacher at Harvard Medical School.
With iPad Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Revolutionizes Education System
Apple is best equipped to take advantage of the K-12 tablet market. It has quietly worked with schools to develop tools for successful classroom use and to improve the manageability and delivery of custom content and applications. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) offers extensive training and support for educators, and the iPad Mobile Learning Lab is a charging cart designed for classroom sets of tablets.
The latest iPad technology has been of great help for the devices in automating the classroom processes as well as in implementing new learning methods that were left unexplored earlier. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s move could greatly enhance the ability of educators to create custom instructional content for the iPad, especially in math and the sciences.
Mathematical typesetting for ebooks of all types has been a source of enormous pain for as long as ebooks have been around, but Apple has just made it easy. The newly released update to the iBooks authoring app allows text to be created in three forms widely used for mathematical typesetting, LaTeX, MathML, and MathType.
This is obviously the question many are asking, because the iPad is the de facto choice for many schools. And the reality is that the hardware, specs, and price make the Nexus a viable, perhaps a better, option if only looking from that perspective.
But Google does not appear to be taking on a leadership role in education. The company is promoting Chromebooks for educational use, but not Android. While the Google apps for education suite shows a tremendous commitment to education, Google’s education focus with the Nexus and the ecosystem wrapped around it is nowhere near Apple’s heavy education focus with the iPad and its ecosystem.
Apple’s iPad vs. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface
Microsoft might have a shot in education with its new tablets, but an obscure technical decision will limit their appeal. One of the big attractions of Windows, at least to school system IT departments, is the ability to manage devices centrally, including deploying software and locking down systems. But Windows RT devices, including the Surface and other tablets based on ARM processors, are not able to join Windows Active Directory domains.