Elia Freedman, explaining why Apple chose to keep the iPad 2 around — for schools:
The basics of educational buying are pretty straight forward. Will the technology provide an appropriate educational environment for students? Can schools control the devices as much or as little as they’d like? Is the cost within the budget of the grant or purchasing agent who will spend the money? (I say this oddly only because in many cases it is not the school or district purchasing but the purchase is made through a parent organization, grant or other funding body.) Is there training (professional development) for teachers? Is there education materials available for the technology?
The iPad, iOS and App Store have nailed all of these.
A couple years ago, when I was still at Glankler, our administrator at the time applied for and was awarded major grant money. She then spent it on electronics for the school — HDTVs, laminators, etc — but she also bought every classroom an iPad 2 and iPod Touch. In fact, it was those iPads that gave me cause to write about their impact on our students. To my knowledge, both iOS devices still happily in use today, and no one feels any pangs to upgrade. They’re more than suitable for the kids’ needs.