Will the classroom tablet market behave like the cell phone market?

Will the classroom tablet market behave like the cell phone market?

There’s a lot of excitement around pushing iPads and other tablets into the K12 system right now and while it seems there are more and more being used in the US-based classrooms, my hunch is that it will take some time before there’s a wide-spread adoption, especially in the 1:1 ratio.  However, this may not be the case outside the US.

Last November I visited the Philippines to meet up with our partner Mind Mill (of parent company Learning Systems) that is leading the integration of SAM Animation into schools there.

I had the opportunity to visit two schools in Manila, and also spend some time talking to the folks at Mind Mill.  What’s interesting in my travels is that it appears there’s going to be a quicker adoption of 1:1 tablets into schools in areas of economic status like the Philippines than there will be within the US.  If we look back to the adoption of cell phones in the Philippines, it was massive compared to the presence of landlines pre-cellphone days.  The country didn’t have the infrastructure in place for landlines to begin with, so when the pricepoint of cellphones dropped, it just made economic sense to leap over the landline infrastructure and nationally adopt the cell phone network.  In a similar way, there’s a very good chance that schools not sufficiently equipped with desktop computers in the Philippines will never be equipped; however, they will have students paired with their own tablets…perhaps long before that scenario becomes a reality in the United States.  It’ll be interesting to see how / if this prediction unfolds!


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