Top of the class
While Apple may have taken an early lead in getting its products into schools, these days it’s a much more competitive area. Both Google and Microsoft have made strong efforts to push Apple out and to replace classroom iPads with Chromebooks and Surfaces.
The low cost has been an obvious factor. Until recently, an iPad could cost several hundred pounds more than a Chromebook, and didn’t come with a keyboard which, for some teachers, made it less geared towards productivity. And whereas Chromebooks and Surfaces look like they belong in a work environment, many students viewed iPads more as a device for playing games.
But Apple is fighting back. The new, affordable iPad is a big step towards getting it into the classroom, and there are a range of affordable third-party keyboard cases that can be bought alongside it.
As an extra incentive, Apple also runs its Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) programme, which recognises teachers who use Apple products in innovative ways to teach and improve education.
And it offers an Apple Teacher scheme as well. This is a free training programme for teachers to help them learn how to use iPads and Macs in an educational environment, and gain skills that they can pass on to their students.