Educators have already glommed on to iOS devices in the classroom, as I learned when I attended the biennial Connected Summit at Abilene Christian University last year. The iPad, with its 9.7" screen and sub-$500 price, quickly became a popular device for one-to-one technology initiatives in K-12 classrooms. And Apple encouraged that adoption late last year when it introduced a revamped iTunes U app, iBooks Author, and affordable, iPad-optimized digital textbooks.
When Apple released the third-generation iPad in March of this year, it retained the 16GB iPad 2 at a lower, $399 entry-level price. That price drop made the already attractive tablet a better deal for cash-strapped schools, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. For instance, San Diego's school district bought the tablets once the price dropped to under $400, and the McAllen Independent School District in southern Texas recently inked a $3.5 million per year deal to outfit its students with about 25,000 iPads.