- Schools in Virginia, California, Maine, Texas and North Carolina have all seen problems with the use of iPads as educational tools, and Apple is now replacing some tablets with laptops upon request.
- Many students see the tablets as toys, and not tools for learning, especially since they have no built-in word processing capabilities and don't come with keyboards.
- The tide turning away from the devices is bigger than just education, with Quartz reporting that iPad sales dropped to their lowest level since June 2011 in the last quarter of 2015.
A series of issues have plagued iPads in K-12 schools, including the serious problem of inter-school pricing disparities. A study by the Technology for Education Consortium (TEC) found iPad prices for schools ranged from a low of $367 to a high of $499 per device, and that price differential does not correlate to district size. Instead, it seemed to relate to how aggressively districts negotiated with Apple sales reps.
The current situation in Maine gives credence to the possibility of Apple questioning an ongoing push for iPads as educational tools. There, a survey revealed that most teachers and students wanted to stop using iPads and have laptops instead; Apple responded by agreeing to replace the tablets with reduced-cost new Apple MacBook Air laptops.
It's possible the company will continue trying to make inroads to classrooms nonetheless. Recently, Apple announced the acquisition of ed tech startup LearnSprout. Some believed that acquisition was aimed at making iPads more competitive.