The iPad Pro Can Do a Lot for Education, But It’s Missing Something

“Hey Mom, can I buy the new iPad Pro, I’ll need more than a thousand dollars by the way.”

Apple’s newest installment of the iPad, called the iPad Pro, is essentially a mobile device but it’s groomed by Apple to replace laptops in the future. Though Apple is aiming its crosshairs at large companies like IBM to use its products, especially Macs and MacBooks in their workplaces, we are not sure where the iPad Pro comes in.

However, the animators at Pixar tried the tablet and its main accessory, the Apple Pencil, and they absolutely loved it. With that said, the yet-to-be released tablet computer could find its niche animation studios as long as it proves to be better than its rivals, the Surface Pro 4 and Wacom tablets.

However, apart from being an a product for professionals (hence, the name), the iPad Pro has the potential to be an effective educational tool, particularly for students of all levels and ages.

What it can do in a classroom and school setting

The features, capabilities, and the numerous apps of the iPad pro open up numerous possibilities for both the learners and the teachers handling them. The best ones we can think of include the following:

  • Students will no longer need to “write” on paper. They will either type in their notes or simply use the Apple Pencil to write them. Sure, teachers can simply dish out reading material, but note-taking is an all-important skill!
  • Synchronized tests, homework, etc. Teachers can easily hand out test or homework using the iPad Pro – simply upload questionnaires on an app which students can easily gain access to.
  • New education materials. Traditionally, teachers use chalk, whiteboards, and other visual aids to support their lessons. However, the digital age is here and kids are increasingly demanding new learning materials. For example, teachers can easily make use of videos and documentaries to help out in the learning phase. Introducing new learning materials will always bring excitement and make kids eager to learn.

  • It will be more organized. Usually, a teen’s room will always be messy but if you turn on their computers and check their desktop computers or laptops, you will see that the icons and folders are neatly organized and meticulously put in place. Kids will always have a hard time arranging their notes and books, so why not create a digital version to make it easier for them?
  • Better for teachers. There will be no need to work on individual class records and grading sheets to monitor their students’ progress: they can easily use the iPad Pro to do it instead.

The iPad Pro’s usefulness in education cannot be questioned: it can act as a notebook, textbook, and a digital learning medium all at the same time. Bear in mind that it’s also equipped with a split-screen multitasking feature which allows users to seamlessly switch between tasks and applications.

However, though Tim Cook claims Apple values education and helps educators, the effort is there, but it’s not enough. Sure, there are programs and discount promos in place and the company has been powering classrooms since the mid-1980s, but there’s nothing groundbreaking in the past several years. Anyway, check out Apple’s education page to learn more about its commitment to transforming classrooms.

It’s expensive…or is it?

The iPad Pro is INSANELY expensive, which is why we’re sure potential customers will be put off by its entry-level 32 gigabyte one with a $799 price tag – the 128 GB one is at a whopping $949. Note that these are only equipped with WiFi. You need to spend $1,079 for the 128GB WiFi + cellular model. And yes, they do not come with accessories, which are sold separately: you need to spend at least $300 to avail the Apple Pencil ($99) and the smart keyboard ($169).

Calling Apple’s pricing scheme “expensive” is an understatement, especially for students who have not worked an hour in their lives. We also have fond memories of us in college being broke and surviving on microwave dinners and canned tuna. The device commands a premium price, just like any other Apple product and buying one is relatively more expensive in the long run…or is it?

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There is an argument that resorting to an iPad Pro, or any other Apple tablet, is cheaper than having to deal with notebooks and textbooks. Yes, this has basis and here are the reasons why:

  • E-books are generally cheaper compared to their printed counterparts and it’s easy to figure out why: the printing phase is skipped and there is no need to spend for the paper, which can be quite expensive depending on what you’re using. Note that there are college textbooks that range about $300-$500 or more. Though you can sell your books after a semester or two, most book stores will accept it for a fraction of a price. However, you will need to purchase several e-books to offset the money spent on the iPad Pro.
  • For some students, particularly art majors, there may be no need to avail sketch pads, coloring materials, pencils, and etc – the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil may be all you need. This can save them a ton of money in the long run, especially if they fill in their sketch pads with their creations every few weeks.
  • Since the iPad Pro is primed to be a laptop replacement and can match some of its capabilities, there may no longer be any need to purchase one, especially if you’re looking for a new one to replace your old, rickety MacBook.

Yes, the iPad Pro is generally pricey for students, but overall, it is a worthwhile investment, particularly for teachers. Though it may cause you to go broke in the short term, but you will likely find it to be a great investment and a money-saver in the long term.

Numerous people make a common and fatal oversight: they look at the price at face value without brainstorming and delving deeper. If you’re having doubts with the iPad Pro, try to think of the expenses that would no longer be part of your budget if you choose to buy one.

Looking to the future

If Apple wants to take advantage of the educational landscape, it should find a way to mass deploy millions of iPad Pros without losing profit. Under Tim Cook’s watch, the company has become more philanthropic in nature, but there’s no way it will sacrifice profits for a good cause: after all, it has responsibilities to its stakeholders.

The future of the iPad Pro in classrooms looks bright – it may not be suited for elementary and high school students (at least for now), but it seems like it is well-suited in a college environment. Though Apple will likely release a newer version of the device in two years, the current one looks like it can be used for up to five years or even more.

Apple is increasingly becoming a greener and a more sustainable company, as evidenced by Tim Cook hiring ex-EPA head Lisa Jackson. If the iPad Pro enters the education landscape on a mass scale, the deed would be in line with Apple’s environmental goals: it will drastically reduce the need for papers – for both note taking, admin duties, and in textbooks. This in turn will lead to less trees being cut. We can safely say that if the iPad Pro is put in schools around USA, the effect on the environment will he phenomenally positive.

Possible downsides

pencil

However, there are still a number of issues Apple needs to address if it aims to make a huge impact in the education sector. Apple may not even be able to address some of these, despite their resources and expertise.

  • Eye strain. Nothing good can come out of having your eyes glued to the iPad Pro’s high definition screen for more than eight hours. Of course, this is something Apple can’t address themselves – this has to be done by both the teachers and the parents. However, if they used it for academic purposes in school, they will also use it to browse the Internet and do their homework, which could render them to spend more than 10 hours on it a day.
  • Power problems. Let’s say a school managed to equip their students and teachers with iPad Pros. Although most of the expenses can be offset by such, there’s another problem: electricity. Expect electricity consumption to skyrocket.
  • It’s bulky. Though Apple strives to create devices which are smaller and thinner, the iPad Pro is pretty large: the screen is 12.9 inches and weighs in at 1.57 lbs. It’s also noticeably thicker at 6.9 millimeters. Regardless, it’s still a portable device, but it could prove to be too large and heavy for a number of users.
  • It’s still questionable if publishers and authors are willing to turn their printed books into e-books.

Overall, the iPad Pro is not only a laptop replacement, but an all-in-one educational device. Since Apple is already reaching out to large corporations, we may see them forging partnerships with private schools and universities in the near future.

It’s still missing the mark due to its price (despite the expenses it offsets) which could turn off potential buyers and partners.

One Response to "The iPad Pro Can Do a Lot for Education, But It’s Missing Something"

  1. Dina Ghobashy  January 27, 2016

    None of the features you highlighted for education is exclusive to the iPad Pro, all other iPads share those features at half the price!
    And no, iPad Pro is not a replacement for laptops, at least not yet.

    Reply

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