The iPad is becoming an increasingly interesting device for various organizations, be it from the educational field or among enterprise users. According to a recent article in the Star Tribune publication, Minnesota's St. Paul School District is preparing to deploy tens of thousands of iPads to students in 37 schools around the city.
This represents another victory for Apple in education as currently the company isn't exactly in its best moment. The LA Schools iPad program has recently been suspended amid talks of close ties to Apple, as my colleague Maura has informed recently. St. Paul officials have compared the usefulness of the iPad to a pencil, saying that it's an important tool that allows kids to be creative. Hamline Elementary Principal Craig Anderson said the following:
"As educators, we have the luxury of whether to use the tool or not. But kids are not going to have the option of living in a world that doesn't use technology."
The Minnesota school district has also identified a number of "core apps" that it's going to use - Apple's own iWork suite, iTunes U, iMovie, and iBooks, along with utility apps like classroom management system Socrative and image manipulation app Skitch.
The school district will lease the tablets from Apple instead of purchasing them. The cost of the program will begin at $5.7 million per year for the initial rollout and rise to around $8 million. Around 1,000 MacBooks are also said to be part of the purchase plan.
This iPad initiative is the largest ever for a state school system and it's a sign that Apple hasn't lost its appeal for clients in the education field.