Apple and the Maine Department of Education are swapping out iPads for MacBooks after a survey found that students and teachers alike favored laptops for older students. The deal means that there will be no additional cost to schools for exchanging the devices, reports the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.
Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson said that the success of iPads in primary grades had make them look like the right choice at the time, but they have turned out to be less than ideal for older students …
One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads “provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible … I applaud this change.”
“The iPads are largely students’ gaming devices,” another teacher wrote. “The iPads are a disaster,” another said.
In all, 88.5% of teachers and 74% of students said that MacBooks would be the better choice. The State funds up to $254 per student per year on devices, and the deal with Apple means that it is matching the $217/student/year for 2016-17, rising to $248 thereafter.
The preference for laptops over tablets is one of the reasons Chromebooks have beaten out Apple devices in the classroom. Not all schools agree that iPads are just toys, however: one school district recently credited them with helping to lift graduation rates from 65% to 82%.