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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the keyboards-still-useful dept.
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes Apple thrilled investors earlier this week when they revealed that they had sold 13 million iPads to schools and claimed 85% of the educational tablet market, but that wasn't the whole story. It turns out that Apple has only sold 5 million iPads to schools since February 2013, or an average of less than a million tablets a quarter over 6 quarters. It turns out that instead of buying iPads, schools are buying Chromebooks. Google reported that a million Chromebooks were sold to schools last quarter, well over half of the 1.8 million units sold in the second quarter. With Android tablets getting better, Apple is losing market share in the consumer tablet market, and now it looks Apple is also losing the educational market to Google. Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

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  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @04:43PM (#47525905)

    That's probably a good thing since students shouldn't be static consumers of information and tablets are really subpar for most kinds of content creation. Add in the fact that a Chromebook costs half as much as even an ipad mini and overall the schools are probably making the rational choice.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mystikkman (1487801) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:13PM (#47526107)

      Content creation? You mean only English essays, right? Can the students even install and use a proper compiler or something like AutoCAD? Photoshop?

      A heavily DRM'ed up "laptop" that no one can do anything except be forced to Google cloudservices to even login and a browser is a rational choice now? Not to mention Google Apps and email which helpfully uploads everything to the Google Cloud.

      It pulls Palladium to shame since you can't install any apps except those provided by the Google overlords.

      This proves that all the Slashdot talk about software freedom is thinly disguised Microsoft hate since everyone here seems to be pumping up heavily locked down iDevices and Chromebooks.

      • by afidel (530433)

        You don't have to login to use a Chromebook, you can browse as a guest. As to your comment about compilers, MS offers Visual Studio Online Basic for free.

      • Because Every Student Needs AutoCAD and Photoshop!

        Well that and yes, you can do Photoshop and AutoCAD on Chrombooks, via VDI infrastructure like VMWare View Desktops, like we are. It isn't as nice as $1500 specialized workstations and 22" monitors but it works in a pinch (and at home). So, you have VDI for remote work, a Lab full or real Computers for classwork, and not spend a shit ton of money on laptops that are used 85% of the time as IM and Typing stations.

        Spending money is easy when it isn't yours.

      • by Threni (635302)

        >This proves that all the Slashdot talk about software freedom is thinly disguised
        >Microsoft hate since everyone here seems to be pumping up heavily locked down
        >iDevices and Chromebooks.

        Many people - especially Slashdot readers - don't use Microsoft products unless, perhaps, they'd paid to use it at work (either as end users or developers). They're just not relevant to a discussion about tablets (they don't make any that have any impact on the market) or Chromebooks (which are usable in seconds,

        • by Graymalkin (13732) *

          If only tablets had on-screen keyboards or supported Bluetooth keyboards or keyboard docks! Those poor students with tablets! They're unable to do anything but watch Netflix!

          This sort of commentary just sounds stupid. Even if you want to make a point that tablets don't have good native input solutions don't go full hyperbole. All you're doing is reducing the impact of the point you're trying to make.

          In the real non-hyperbolic world tablets are perfectly capable of being typed upon. I would even suggest tabl

          • by Threni (635302)

            > If only tablets had on-screen keyboards

            They're dreadful.

            > Bluetooth keyboards or keyboard docks!

            A decent bluetooth keyboard costs a lot of money. Keyboard dock? Why not just buy a laptop?

            > All you're doing is reducing the impact of the point you're trying to make.

            But i'm right though. That's what this story is about. Using a laptop, not a tablet, when you want to do something other than consume. How many people use laptops to write books, code etc. And how many use tablets. Thank you.

            > It

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > If only tablets had on-screen keyboards or supported Bluetooth keyboards or keyboard docks!

            In other words, spend extra money to turn your tablet into some kind of laptop wannabe. You're trying to make the tablet something it's not in order to make up for it's inherent flaws when the simple and obvious thing is to buy the thing that already meets your requirements.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

        by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:31PM (#47526661)

        Content creation? You mean only English essays, right? Can the students even install and use a proper compiler or something like AutoCAD? Photoshop?

        Well you can develop webapps, there's IDEs like Codenvy and there is a version of AutoCAD 360 for Chromebooks.

        A heavily DRM'ed up "laptop" that no one can do anything except be forced to Google cloudservices to even login and a browser is a rational choice now?

        It isn't particularly "DRMed", there's nothing to stop you dual booting a full Linux distro if you want. But really if you're talking AutoCAD and Photoshop then obviously you're suggesting Windows or OS X are the necessity.

        Not to mention Google Apps and email which helpfully uploads everything to the Google Cloud.

        Well that makes it accessible from anywhere and prevents data loss from hardware failure so i'd say that's pretty damn helpful in the education environment. Though having the option to upload to DropBox or OneDrive or some other alternative would be useful.

        This proves that all the Slashdot talk about software freedom is thinly disguised Microsoft hate since everyone here seems to be pumping up heavily locked down iDevices and Chromebooks.

        Or maybe they are finally realizing that not everybody needs/wants a fully open, infinitely configurable, high maintenance product all the time. Sometimes they just want it to do a limited subset and do it well with minimal requirement from the user. That isn't to say you couldn't dual boot and have full desktop Linux on there as well.

        The whole free and open thing seems to be stagnating a bit, I mean Android is free and open but where is all the FOSS innovation? Sure there are some helpful utilities for devs and admins but that's about it. There's no reason a FOSS package or distro couldn't have been developed that provided all the innovative features that exist in Google Play Services but it didn't. It's nice for everything to be FOSS but from the consumer perspective it doesn't seem to have much advantage over proprietary.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Albanach (527650) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @08:35PM (#47527573) Homepage

        Can the students even install and use a proper compiler or something like AutoCAD? Photoshop?

        How many school kids have a daily need for AutoCAD or Photoshop? I'd imagine only a tiny percentage. So why should a school district equip elementary and middle school kids with a computer powerful enough for tasks that only a small minority of their high-school students need? Would it not be better to give something more powerful (and much more expensive) to just those with the specialist need for something more powerful?

        As for a compiler, they could use something like Cloud 9 [c9.io] for cloud based developing.

      • by narcc (412956)

        What we need is FireFox OS on the desktop.

        Hate Mozilla all you want, this is exactly the reason we need them around.

      • Chromebook is perfect for the sort of people who don't understand the difference between a computer and the internet. The lack of ability to install anything you want (aka malware) with just a click is in this case a bonus.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        How many schools can afford licences for AutioCAD and Photoshop? They each cost several times as much as the laptop. There are plenty of productivity apps for ChromeOS, and of course Google Apps for office stuff.

        • They can probably get really good deals on student versions of those products. AutoDesk, certainly, would like as many young people to grow up using their software as possible, so when they're out in industry as adults they can tell their boss to buy big-boy AutoCAD.

      • by jwdb (526327)

        It pulls Palladium to shame since you can't install any apps except those provided by the Google overlords.

        You don't know what you're talking about. I can install apps from anywhere on mine, and I haven't even put it in developer mode. That includes unpackaged apps I've developed on the device itself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Chromebooks are also probably a lot less likely to be stolen than iPads, which is possibly even more of a factor in making them a rational choice.
  • Keyboards (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Thursday July 24, 2014 @04:44PM (#47525907) Homepage

    It's hardly surprising that schools would prefer laptops with keyboards, since students are expected to do a lot of writing. Chromebooks make sense because they are cheap, virus-proof and don't run Windows games.

    • But it will run games using Java and WebGL.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Chromebooks don't support Java, or Silverlight for that matter, in the browser. There are of course web games, but the school will have their internet connection censored to block those out anyway. The students can't install much on those machines, and in fact I think they can be locked down so that no apps can be installed at all.

        • The students can't install much on those machines, and in fact I think they can be locked down so that no apps can be installed at all.

          Unlike the Apple iOS devices where whole classes of applications were banned outright by Apple even before it got into the admins' hands, not matter who buys them...

          • No porn and no torrenting, and no hacker tools are not a disadvantage for schools use.

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              > No porn and no torrenting, and no hacker tools are not a disadvantage for schools use.

              Lack of "hacker" tools is a disadvantage for any educational environment. Students might actually be expected to create something rather than just being mindless consumers.

              There have already been educational programs mired by patent attacks that have been pre-emptively banned from the iPad. The corporate IT mentality filters out more than just "the bad stuff".

              This much should be obvious to ANYONE that has had to deal

      • Chrome devices have Flash support built-in, but they do not support Java or Silverlight. If you need Java, Silverlight, or other plug-in support, there are virtualization and remoting options you can use for Chrome devices

        https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/1290513?hl=en

    • It's hardly surprising that schools would prefer laptops with keyboards, since students are expected to do a lot of writing.

      It would be hardly surprising if schools prefer tablets with touch screens, as students are expected to do a lot of drawing and diagramming.

      Whilst you can type modest amounts of text on a touch screen, drawing with a keyboard and trackpad or mouse is not practical.

      Further: Keyboards are only better for typing. The direct manipulation of objects that a touch screen enables is far better for most kinds of educational software.

      When kids get to college, and they have to write long essays, then the laptop become

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...except consumer tablets aren't proper digitizers. This is especially true for platforms where a stylus is a banned option because it doesn't seem fashionable enough.

        Proper tablet inputs typically are PC peripherals, not the limited functionality that comes with consumer tablets.

        Even a mundane mouse is better at the "direct manipulation" stuff than what's provided on your average consumer tablet. The "direct manipulation" on a consumer tablet is crude and clumsy.

  • Surprise, surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeMo (521697) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @04:48PM (#47525939)
    I'll be darned. Cheapest product sells more units. I wonder who's making the most money?
    • Probably Apple. But which one's more useful in the education setting? It certainly isn't the iPad or any other tablet.
    • I'll be darned. Cheapest product sells more units. I wonder who's making the most money?

      But don't you really mean "who has the most to lose when sales volume dries up?"

  • What do I think? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?

    As a parent in a school district, I'm pissed that our school district is buying every student a Chomebook*.

    I would be even angrier if they had gone with the iPad.

    These programs are a bloody sham--they're a waste of money and will not help the education of our next generation one bit. There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab. These devices will only be a distract

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:13PM (#47526099) Homepage

      When I was at school I wasted vast amounts of time being forced to write stuff out in draft form and then re-write it neatly. Fortunately now we have computers that allow editing. This is progress - I can write a report and edit it without endless copying out by hand.

      Kids should have access to computers. Not all families can afford them. By giving all the students the same computers it is easier for the teacher to teach without getting bogged down in technical differences, and allows the school to administer and manage them.

      • by GuB-42 (2483988)

        When I was at school I wasted vast amounts of time being forced to write stuff out in draft form and then re-write it neatly.

        They don't ask you to re-write stuff to annoy you, they force you to re-write to make sure you double-check your work. Or, in the case of lessons, to help you memorize it.
        I'm all for teaching kids how to use a computer but it doesn't mean that they should be used all the time. For writing reports, sure, it improves efficiency, but whether it is better for learning is debatable.

      • Kids should have access to computers. Not all families can afford them. By giving all the students the same computers it is easier for the teacher to teach without getting bogged down in technical differences, and allows the school to administer and manage them.

        I actually agree with you, which is why I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

        Writing a 5 paragraph essay for an exam is no burden by hand, but I agree that handwriting large English assignments would be a bear. But with a computer lab and a computer at home, nobody would be forced to write by hand.

    • Re:What do I think? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by daemonhunter (968210) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:23PM (#47526173)

      The thing these programs [try] to bring isn't so much help with learning as much as EQUAL ACCESS to learning. It attempts to level the playing field between the kids at home with no pc for research and the more well-off kids with greater tech access.

      That said, it doesn't provide in home internet access, satellite or 3g coverage, so many times it seems like a wasted effort, but it allows students greater flexibility than previous generations. They aren't tied down to a classroom, or getting shuffled out of the lab so a new class can come in. They can do their work anywhere there's free wifi. Further, it adds a value to your district in less tangible ways: showing kids you trust them with not-inexpensive hardware does interesting things to their psyche.

      • That said, it doesn't provide in home internet access, satellite or 3g coverage...

        Citation needed. I am aware that some Chromebooks come without data, but I actually read the article and I don't see anywhere where they differentiate between Chromebooks with mobile data (and wifi) and Chromebooks without data (but only wifi).

        My first Chromebook came with 2 years of free 3G Verizon service at 100MB per month (if you want to buy more than the free level of service, you can prepay for more, but there is no danger of getting charged when you go over that amount, once above that quota and if y

      • The thing these programs [try] to bring isn't so much help with learning as much as EQUAL ACCESS to learning. It attempts to level the playing field between the kids at home with no pc for research and the more well-off kids with greater tech access.

        That is not a point of benefit our district has ever tried to make, but I see the benefit of that. That's why I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

    • There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab.

      Homework. Many poorer kids do not have a computer at home, and a smartphone is terrible for writing papers and research. The laptop/tablet is also locked down so distractions are kept to a minimum.

      These devices will only be a distraction and huge expense for families and schools as millions of them are broken every year.

      Hyperbole. Citation needed. Yesterday's article about iPads in Coachella said district-wide there were less than 10 lost or stolen. How does that scale up to millions?

      • There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab.

        Homework. Many poorer kids do not have a computer at home, and a smartphone is terrible for writing papers and research. The laptop/tablet is also locked down so distractions are kept to a minimum.

        These devices will only be a distraction and huge expense for families and schools as millions of them are broken every year.

        Hyperbole. Citation needed. Yesterday's article about iPads in Coachella said district-wide there were less than 10 lost or stolen. How does that scale up to millions?

        I'm replying to comments now, and it's amazing how person after person has responded with, "but what about the poor kids?!?!" Apparently everybody has terrible reading comprehension, for I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

        I read the iPad story on Slashdot. That is an amazing story, and it made headlines because it's [going to be] an outlier. Have you ever purchased a new piece of equipment? You baby that thing at first, then as the familiarity grows

    • Actually there is. I refer to you Google Classroom (using Google Apps for Education). http://classroom.google.com/ [google.com]

      This provides interactive access to the students up to 24 hours every day. The teacher gives feedback and the student receives it immediately, regardless of whether or not they are in class at the time. With Hangouts a "sick" student can be in class, and participate without having to infect classmates with Virus of the year. And so on.

      What is a waste of money, is spending it on is old style indu

      • I foresee the time when we dump Industrial Education and start providing kids all the education they can handle at any age and quit trying to pigeon hole them into "age" segregated classes, and start putting them into online sessions with educational peers

        That's interesting, but I don't see what you rant has to do with school districts providing laptops. If the incumbents keep promoting programs like OLPC through the schools, then I can assure you that the world will actually be moving away from your vision of reformed education.

        And at $200 ea. Chromebooks offer even the lowest income people a chance to own technology that can help bridge the education gap. $200 buys one, maybe two textbooks these days, something school districts have to do every year or two. Are they as capable as a Laptop? Probably not, but they are usable for 85% of what kids need in school.

        Wow, I am amazed at how many people seem to lack basic reading comprehension. I explicitly had said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families." I am in favor of equal access for all and hug

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      they're a waste of money and will not help the education of our next generation one bit

      I believe that the real goal is to make every student familiar with computers.
      Tablets are easier to understand than laptops.
      But I do agree that they'll increase ADHD even more.

    • There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab.

      I would guess it depends on the implementation of the program. Giving kids laptops and then doing everything else the same old way doesn't really help. However, it opens up the possibility of having lessons that include multimedia, interactive lessons, and lessons in logic/programming. If you have some kind of open-source textbooks available on the computers, then you might be saving money over buying textbooks. The kids can' use the computers to write their papers, which is potentially more convenient

      • Thank you for offering a very sensible reply. I agree that the right implementation would make a difference, and I suppose part of my being upset is not trusting our school district to do it right--they certainly have not offered any indication that they will do anything novel with these laptops. They just came in to a little extra money and it's burning a hole in their pocket.

        I hope they offset the cost by putting open source textbooks on them, but I'm skeptical. School districts (including mine) seem to b

        • I'm not particularly happy with the state of education, and I might agree that it'd be more effective to spend extra money on having more/better teachers rather than more computing equipment. I would just argue-- and you don't seem averse to this-- that providing each student with a computer *could* be a helpful educational tool. I think the problem that we run into tends to be that we want computers to be a replacement for good teachers and high-quality educational materials rather than a supplement.

    • Um... have you heard of personalized learning applications?

  • Outselling? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048)

    Google's basically giving them away for free or extremely subsidized and then tries to make money from them by snooping on the kids' email, while Apple actually tries to make a profit from them.

    http://thenextweb.com/google/2... [thenextweb.com]

    From http://www.edweek.org/ew/artic... [edweek.org]

    The plaintiffs allege that Google has employed such practices since around 2010, when it began using a new technology, known as Content Onebox, that allows the company to intercept and scan emails before they reach their intended recipients, rather than after messages are delivered to users’ inboxes, regardless of whether ads are turned off.
    Mr. Fread and Mr. Carrillo say that neither they nor any other users of Google Apps for Education consented to such practices. They are seeking financial damages amounting to $100 per day of each day of violation for every individual who sent or received an email message using Google Apps for Education during a two-year period beginning in May 2011.
    While the allegations by the plaintiffs are explosive, it’s the sworn declarations of Google representatives in response to their claims that have truly raised the eyebrows of observers and privacy experts.
    Contrary to the company’s earlier public statements, Google representatives acknowledged in a September motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ request for class certification that the company’s consumer-privacy policy applies to Apps for Education users. Thus, Google argues, it has students’ (and other Apps for Education users’) consent to scan and process their emails.
    In November, Kyle C. Wong, a lawyer representing Google, also argued in a formal declaration submitted to the court in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification that the company’s data-mining practices are widely known, and that the plaintiffs’ complaints that the scanning and processing of their emails was done secretly are thus invalid. Mr. Wong cited extensive media coverage about Google’s data mining of Gmail consumer users’ messages, as well as the disclosures made by numerous universities to their students about how Google Apps for Education functions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Whoop dee fucking doo.

      • by Thruen (753567)
        I don't understand this response. People are up in arms about the NSA collecting our private information, but somehow it's okay for Google to read our kids' email? This makes no sense.
        • by satuon (1822492)

          The only people up in arms seem to be the slashdot editors, it seems to me. I've started to be like "Oh God, not another NSA article!" I got it, the NSA is doing surveillance, how many times a day do I need to be reminded?

  • Although this information is interesting, unless someone does a survey or purchase poll it is difficult to infer why chrome is doing as well as it is. Since iPads are more expensive on average it would be difficult to control for price selection to determine any other user preference bias.
  • by statemachine (840641) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:55PM (#47526441)

    USRobotics kept walking around and saying their modems were the #1 selling modem. This is analogous of what Apple is doing today.

    However, while USR was the #1 brand, most modems sold overall had the Rockwell chipset, with most brands simply adding a plastic box and different color LEDs.

    More recently, Apple claims that the iPhone is the #1 selling phone. However, phones that use Android sell the most, period.

    I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised how religious people get when their favorite electronics company is shown to be extremely misleading. I know a guy that I'd known for years who threatened to "unfriend" simply because I refuted his claim that the iPhone was the #1 phone.

    So this iPad/Chromebook issue is just another chapter of misleading sales tactics. But if you look at what Apple actually says officially, they're very specific in the literature. Unfortunately, people will be blind to anything that might change their worldview... and any company would be nuts not to take advantage of that.

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)

      I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised how religious people get when their favorite electronics company is shown to be extremely misleading. I know a guy that I'd known for years who threatened to "unfriend" simply because I refuted his claim that the iPhone was the #1 phone.

      So this iPad/Chromebook issue is just another chapter of misleading sales tactics. But if you look at what Apple actually says officially, they're very specific in the literature. Unfortunately, people will be blind to anything that might change their worldview... and any company would be nuts not to take advantage of that.

      It's strange. It like tribalism in a globally connected world. Product brands and companies are one of the few things that touch most places on Earth so they have been able to build this strange support from people. If people got so passionate about things that really mattered, instead of consumer electronics, just imagine what they could do.

  • every freaking year they try to raise the wheel tax in my county (which goes to schools) cause the teachers cant buy fucking paper towels and tissues

    meanwhile every tween is totally ignoring what is going on in class with their state issued internet gadgets

    sigh

  • Any overpriced product has limited life

  • I can not imagine homework is very practical without keyboard or trackpad. Chromebooks are also easy to pass along to next kid or share without privacy issues, and if they break down, like things in kids' hands often do, replacement is exceptionally cheap. Tablets for web browsing, visual tasks like photo editing, and casual games, laptops for heavy duty typing and bigger screen/multi application workflows.

  • There is a simple reason for this - economics. Early adopters went with iPads as they were really the only choice at the time. Now that the rest of the schools are going to jump on the bandwagon there are other choices and price comes into play. You can buy twice as many chromebooks as you can iPads for the same money.

    Of course, that is assuming that their is educational software on the chromebooks that fit the students needs.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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