In Schools

Educators sometimes ask us about how useful iPads and other iOS devices can be in the classroom. We just write the apps here at Cowirrie, but here are a few paragraphs and links on the subject.

What Does the iPad Do, Anyway?

Like any other programmable computer, it does nothing... or, with the right programming, it can do anything. These programs are the 'apps' you can buy for it. Do apps exist for your subject? Browse the App Store and find out.

Like most computers from 2000 onwards, the iPad can browse the Web, if it has an Internet connection. It can also display most eBook formats.

The iPad can run a number of word processors, spreadsheets and presentation packages (including Apple's own Pages, Numbers and Keynote), and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

Buying Apps

Many apps, including those made by Cowirrie, may be bought at bulk discounts by educational institutions. To do so, you must sign up for the App Store Volume Purchase Program.

Apple - iTunes - App Store Volume Purchase Program


Showing an app to a class that doesn't have devices of their own is inconvenient. Fortunately all iPads and recent iPhone and iPod touch models can be connected to a projector or other large screen. You will need one of three types of cables, depending on what you're connecting to. If uncertain, look at the input on your screen and the pictures on each item in the Apple Store.

Apple VGA Adapter

Apple Digital AV Adapter

Apple Composite AV Cable


The Apple website has an extensive section devoted to Apple products and their educational uses.

Apple in Education

The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development maintains a site for schools using iPads, or considering doing so.

iPads for Education | Victoria, Australia

Trinity College at the University of Melbourne started using iPads in August 2010.

Trinity College iPad Program

At Cedars School of Excellence, in Scotland, Fraser Speirs has been administering 100 student iPads. He has kept detailed notes on the tasks involved.

Fraser Speirs - Blog

Fraser Speirs - Blog - How the iPad Wants to be Used

I speak to a lot of schools who envisage the iPad in the roles that PCs formerly occupied. The "laptop trolley" becomes an "iPad trolley". The "checkout netbooks" become the "checkout iPads". The "PC lab" becomes the "iPad lab".

That's not how the iPad is designed and, it seems to me, the iPad is an extremely uncomfortable fit for those roles defined in an earlier era. The iPad is not another "thing" to have in your classroom in the way that you might buy one thermometer for every seat in your science lab. You can't easily share an iPad the way you might have pupils share a digital camera.