During 2014, American K-12 schools will spend an estimated $9.94 billion on educational technology, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year, with Apple’s iPad being the number one tool for students. However, it’s still unclear whether the tablet is the device best suited to the classroom.
A study was done at a Hillsborough, New Jersey school district. During the 2012–2013 school year, the district executed a comparative pilot, giving iPads to 200 kids and Chromebook laptops to an almost equal number. After receiving teacher and student feedback, Hillsborough sold its iPads and planned to distribute 4,600 Chromebooks by the fall of 2014.
For those new to this term, a Chromebook is essentially a slim laptop that runs Google Chrome OS and mainly uses the cloud for storage. All applications are accessed or downloaded from the Chrome store that the Chromebook relies on.
While no one completely ruled out the iPad as a useful tool, according to Joel Handler, Hillsborough, New Jersey ISD’s director of technology, “students saw the iPad as a ‘fun’ gaming environment, while the Chromebook was perceived as a place to “get to work.”
The keyboard. When are we rid of it? The hindering of Apple’s dominance in the education field has also been lead by new Common Core online testing rules, which requires physical keyboard capability.
On average, schools spend about a third of their technology budgets on computer hardware. As the cost of equipment decreases, software improves, and state policies drive expectations for technology access in the classroom, more schools will look to both Chromebooks and 2-in-1 hybrid laptop-tablets.
In the meantime, Gartner predicts Chromebook sales to nearly triple 2017.
Sales of Chromebooks will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner. By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units!
Not to mention, the demand for Chromebooks is mainly driven by the education sector, which Gartner estimated accounted for nearly 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013.
Is there still room for tablets in the school yard?
HOBI International will be exhibiting at the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Convention in Dallas from September 26-28. Stop by booth 1254 for information on how our mobile lifecycle management and custom tablet repair services can maximize ROI on your district’s mobile assets, both tablet and laptops.