Tablet ownership nearly doubles in January

using-ipad

According to new information from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, tablet ownership has jumped from about 1 out of every 10 Americans to approximately 19 percent. The previous study was conducted around the middle of December, thus the massive increase in tablet ownership can likely be attributed to the holiday shopping season. While Apple’s iPad definitely helped boost that percentage, less expensive tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were also partial contributors. Analysts have estimated that Apple sold approximately 13 million iPads over the holiday season while Amazon sold between four to five million Kindle Fire tablets. In addition to tablet ownership increasing rapidly, e-book reader ownership also spiked from 18 percent in December 2011 to 29 percent in January 2012. 

teacher-ipadWith Apple making a big push into the education market with the iBooks 2 application and its partnerships with textbook publishers, it’s clear that the company is interested in expanding beyond selling the tablet to the mainstream consumer during 2012. According to a report from Global Equities Research, Apple has seen approximately 350,000 textbook downloads in the first three days of release. While the $15 price of a textbook on the iPad seems detrimental to publishers, production costs are cut by up to 80 percent and the publishers don’t have to deal with third parties in order to get the textbook into educational retailers. With over 5 million in textbook sales in the first three days, publishers are likely encouraged by the potential of more educators adopting the platform.

Apple’s efforts are also likely to be encouraged by the findings of a recent year-long study that discovered students were able to produce higher math scores by using an iPad application over a traditional textbook.  According to a recent study conducted by PBS LearningMedia, over four out of five teachers believe that tablets enrich the classroom experience, yet only 22 percent of teachers reported that they have the right kind of technology in the classroom. The study also found that teachers working in affluent school districts are twice as likely to have access to tablets like the iPad.  

If Apple has plans to become an influential force in the education system with iBooks 2, the company will have to work with school districts on providing iPad hardware for students either through the school system or encouraging parents to purchase the tablet. However, many teachers have already began an effort to obtain iPads and other tablets through sites like DonorsChoose.Org. According to a recent Forbes article, the dollar amount for requests of Apple products rose from $50,000 over the 2009-2010 school year to $800,000 during the following school year. While some of the requests were for Macbook laptops and the iPod Touch, the vast majority of Apple requests were related to the iPad. Officials at DonorsChoose.org said that the company plans to distribute 40 million dollars between 80,000 classroom project requests during 2012.

apple boldly reinvents the school textbook with ibooks 2 and itunes u but will educators bite textbooks

At the Menlo School in Atherton, California, the private school has been operating a pilot program with iPads for the last year as reported by Venturebeat. According to school officials, students in the eighth and tenth grade are given an iPad to carry use during the entire school year. While the expensive tablets are still owned by the school, the student is free to take the iPad home in order to complete homework. According to Menlo School director of technology Eric Spross, he stated “We choose iPads because they’re lightweight, portable, have a long battery life, and are self-service. They’re easier to support.”

However, the situation for public schools is vastly different from the Menlo School. Beyond monetary deficits for technology like tablets, public schools also have to deal with regulations from state and federal entities in regards to what technology the school is allowed to purchase. These same regulations dictate which textbooks have to be purchased, thus a textbook on the iPad platform may not be authorized.  

Computing

It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Outdoors

The best battery packs and power stations for use in the outdoors

If you want to keep your smartphones, tablets, and other devices charged while camping int he backcountry these battery packs and portable power stations are rugged enough to survive while providing plenty of power too.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.
Computing

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Computing

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Here's how, whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence.
Computing

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.
Computing

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.
Web

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.
Computing

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.