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Apple’s right: K-12 schools are embracing the iPad, as this Google Map of tablet rollouts show.

My kids returned to school this week. They attend a suburban elementary school built only one year ago. Everything there is beautiful and state-of-the-art – with the glaring exception of its computing technology. Not only does the school still use computer labs, but they run an outdated platform, as I discovered after quizzing my son:

Me: “Do you know what operating system the PCs in the computer lab run?”

Him: “Umm, I think it says XP when I turn them on?”

Me: “What?!? That OS was introduced two years before you were born!”

Him: “Wowwwww, that is old.”

My mind reeling, I quickly decicided I needed to: a) get involved in the PTA RIGHT AWAY; b) find out what schools are moving forward, not backward, towards tablets and e-textbooks.

Through the magic of Google, I found more than 120 schools, school districts, and colleges and universities that are deploying tablets to students for the first time this fall.

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Credit: ShutterStock.com

My list is no doubt an undercount. 1.5 million American students and 1,000 colleges worldwide use iPads (see this infographic by MDG Advertising). Meanwhile, I can only find deployments that make the news – a difficult ask since rollouts of Android tablets tend to attract much less attention from the press.

Still, I’ve done my best, and have created a map in Google for you to browse. You can zoom in and out and click on the blue points to find out more about each deployment (including iPads as well as Samsung and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets), including the original news reference or web link.

If you do not see an embedded map below, please click on this link.

I’ve added the larger deployments – San Diego Unified, Rochester Minnesota, Mansfield County (Texas) and others – to another blog/chart listing the 100 Largest iPad Deployments Worldwide today.

I also plan to take a closer look at some of the trends in the new school deployments in a coming blog. 

If I’ve missed any deployments, please e-mail me at ericyolai@gmail.com or tweet me at @ericylai.

View School iPad & Tablet Deployments, Fall 2012 in a larger map at Google

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4 Comments

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  1. Steve Rumsby

    I was going to comment on this when it was first published, but got distracted and forgot! Reading this story reminded me of it…

    I wonder if schools deploying tablets in large numbers have thought it through properly, or are they just jumping on the current bandwagon? Tablets are good at many things, but not at everything. We’re a long way from being able to do without laptops/desktops, in my opinion.

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    1. Eric Lai Post author

      I agree that tablets don’t do everything. But IMHO, the proper comparison in the schools’ case is not with laptops, but comparing a tablet loaded with apps/e-books versus 7 hefty paper textbooks. Since schools are funding their purchases by converting their textbook budgets.

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      1. Steve Rumsby

        Is there yet a critical mass of school textbooks available to make this practical? Or are the schools doing this starting with relatively empty tablets and hoping the content will come? I assumed initially that content would be a problem, but I see a lot of K-12 schools on your list. Maybe things are further advanced in the US compared to here in the UK?

        If I were a school I’d also be worried about the robustness of tablets versus text books. Books can take a lot more abuse! Seeing how some kids here treat their school bags I’d give a tablet an average lifetime measured in months.

        In principle I agree with you. I’m just not sure of the practicalities, and wonder if people have given that aspect enough thought.

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        1. Eric Lai Post author

          Hi Steve – belated reply. My understanding is that the textbook publishers are still hedging their bets, afraid of cannibalizing themselves. There are some apps and e-textbooks, but not a ton yet.

          http://www.mobiledia.com/news/136174.html

          http://www.zdnet.com/will-the-new-kindles-change-the-game-for-tablets-in-education-7000003909/

          Fortunately, I think there is momentum. Perhaps the bet is that within 2-3 years, when textbooks need to be replaced, there will be a large selection of e-textbooks available?

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