Make note: Apple’s best device in the classroom would be a 12.9-inch iPad with a $499 Magic Keyboard

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As we enter a new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about where Apple stands in its K-12 strategy. The discussion around technology in education was evolving before COVID-19, and it continues to evolve after COVID-19. Thinking about Apple’s place in K-12, I see one glaring weakness: the company needs a low-cost solution. iPad 12.9″ package with a Magic Keyboard Style Case.

About making note: With experience deploying and managing hundreds of Macs and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight how Apple products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management in education, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


When I think of students using devices day in and day out, I see glaring weaknesses in Apple’s low cost. iPad today. The defect has nothing to do with the power inside the iPad but rather with the size of the screen. A screen smaller than 10 inches will be difficult to use for long periods of time with multitasking (using it like a traditional laptop).

Creating an Education-Only iPad Package

Apple’s strategy for larger iPads has been to use them to push what the iPad can do in terms of power and so created the iPad Pro line. For most people, power isn’t the reason they get the 12.9″ iPad Pro, but rather screen size. I’d like to see Apple create a new combination strategy for its K-12 focused iPad.

I’d like to see a $499 iPad package with a 12.9″ iPad and Magic Keyboard included with every device. The power and technology of this iPad will have to be reduced for Apple to deliver a product at this price, but I think it would be a powerful K-12 device.

Right now, it’s just too expensive to deploy a 12.9″ iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard in the classroom. Apple doesn’t have the same price as a 13-inch Chromebook, but it has to be upgrade with a device with comparable hardware.

iPadOS in the classroom

I still believe iPadOS is one of the more powerful options out there, but ChromeOS is still a worthy contender. The more I think about the educational environment I want my kids to grow up in, the more I like iPadOS. I don’t want my kids staring at computers eight hours a day – they have the rest of their lives for that. The iPad is a companion device in the classroom. The laptop is the focal point of the class.

A 12.9″ iPad with a $499 Magic Keyboard-style attachment would be a great device for schools to build their technology strategy around. They would get the best of iPadOS with the biggest screen size at a CFO-approved price.

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