iPad Can’t Get Into College

Despite Apple wanting you to think otherwise, tablet computers are not new.  In fact, they’ve been around for a while, but their applications have been somewhat limited to specialized fields, including contracting, where people have to be in the field and need access to data.  But they are also very useful in educational settings.  Schools have been using them as e-readers long before Kindle was cool.  Ironically, school is where the iPad, the newest tablet computer, is running into trouble.

According to the Washington Post, both George Washington University and Princeton University have banned iPads.  If you’re thinking that it’s a “no cell phone in class” policy updated, that’s not quite the case.   It seems the iPad is a little too hot for the schools’ Wi-Fi systems to handle.  Princeton officials say that out of the 41 iPads on their campus, 22 caused DHCP client malfunctions, which affected other wireless devices around the college.  Cornell University experienced similar fallout after the iPhone was released, and IT director Steve Schuster says that Cornell is “working to ensure the iPad does not have devastating consequences to our network.”

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Such issues could be a blow to Apple, which has gone after the higher education market by highlighting the iPad’s portability and availability of e-books. But students may not be willing to pay $499–or more, depending on the type of iPad–if they still need a desktop or laptop computer to check course assignments or email. Some higher education insiders also worry there isn’t enough educational content available via the iBookstore application to eliminate expensive physical textbooks.”

The universities and others across the world don’t have enough bandwidth to meet the incredible demand.  Israel banned Apple’s new tablet completely and are confiscating them at their border crossings because the country cannot support the demand.  This may be a problem for students who bought iPads to use as electronic text books, but who may have to pony up the cash to buy the old paper editions instead.  That adds to their cost, as well as to the weight they’re carrying around.  The Washington Post suggests that students find out about their schools’ ability to handle iPads before they buy one.  The problem is being addressed – the world just wasn’t ready for the iPad quite yet.

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