I have no qualms about relying on Apple and the Apps Store, but do have some serious concerns about using tablets for 1-to-1; they're inherently limited use items. Printing, typing, lack of an optical drive - these are pretty basic functionality concerns.
Back-dooring a brand environment into a public school is a bad precedent. Anything you add to an Apple you buy from the Apple Store. This is an incredible long term financial commitment to a single entity.
"There's an app for that" only goes so far. If these are to be the primary devices (instead of an auxiliary or supplemental device), why limit what students can do with them? Students need one device which can "do it all." Are tablets really the way to go?
Some apps are truly amazing, and their interactive features score big points on the "very cool" meter. But the fact is, you must rely on those apps to work with the tablet. Typing/presenting a major research report on them (for example) is, to put it mildly, annoying.
So, does it come down to this? We must choose between using intuitive and engaging apps, or a more fully functioning "traditional" device? The thought of also purchasing keyboards and mice (or docks) to add to tablets' functionality is more than I, or our budget, can handle
Drew Blanchard, MAT
Winooski City Schools
Winooski, VT 05404(802) 655 - 3530 x6073