Less expensive than coursebooks?
Now let us talk about the costs. The actual cost of coursebooks depends on what specific courses the pupils are planning to attend. But we can all agree that it is a fair amount of the total school costs. When using an iPad, pupils can use eBooks, which are a lot cheaper, and in some occasions even free. They are also able to use free applications. Of course the pupils will have to buy or rent an iPad. When buying an iPad in the first year of secondary education, students should be able to use it until they go to college or university.
When using digital paper it also drastically diminishes the costs of copies for the school. For example, if you have class with about 20 pupils, you will save money every time you would have given a written or printed out assignment.
Some things should however be thought through, what if an iPad breaks down? What about software updates? What about new models and compatibility? If everything goes to plan, and you can use one iPad for the entire school career, you will be cheaper off than buying
books every year. But if events take a turn for the worse, you could end up getting a lot of unexpected costs.
Some studies even state that using iPads for education, would mean a rise in 7
prices. Lee Wilson, a prominent education-marketing expert1, has estimated the annual costs per student per class and has come to the conclusion that using iPad would quintuple the cost compared to regular textbooks. His arguments seem valid, but he has only studied the implementation of the tablet. When starting with something new, the cost of implementing is something to take into account. When looking at the bigger picture, we could say that in about four years the tables might have turned. Teachers in four years will be more educated about the subject, the possibilities of applications and tablets will have increased, and the prices of lead-in-series will be lower than today. Does this mean we should wait another four years? Of course not, if we wait another four years teachers are still going to have to implement iPads in classrooms.