Scottish school system to supply students and staff with 39,000 iPads

in iPad edited April 6
Every student in Edinburgh, Scotland, will receive an iPad as part of Scotland's "Edinburgh Learns for Life" initiative.

Image Credit: Apple
Image Credit: Apple

Starting in September, every student between the ages of 10 and 17 will receive their own iPad, thanks to a 17.6 million GBP ($24 million) grant rolled out via a partnership with the city of Edinburgh Council's ICT services provider CGI.

Younger students will also have access to iPads, but the city has not listed the quantity that will be available yet.

The iPads come as part of Edinburg's Empowered Learning program, which will provide the devices in a phased roll-out from September 2021 through the end of 2022. The program will issue 27,000 new iPads to pupils and staff and 12,000 refreshed iPads for pupils and staff.

Additionally, Edinburgh schools will expand their wireless connectivity by adding additional wireless access points.

"This is a really exciting project which is going to be a real game-changer for the learning and teaching in our schools," said Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council. "Giving pupils their own device has been shown to improve outcomes and result in increased engagement and motivation for our young people.

"It will create a learning environment which will drive higher levels of creativity also improve teacher and learner collaboration," he added.

The objectives of the program, as listed by Edinburg's City Council, are:
  • Fair and equal access from P6 (primary year 6) to S6 (secondary year six,) ensuring all pupils have personal access to digital learning with their teacher in school or at home

  • Fair and equal access from P6 to S6, ensuring all pupils have personal access to digital learning with their teacher in school or at home

  • A range of innovative accessibility features to improve access to the curriculum for pupils with additional support needs

  • Pupils can work online simultaneously in a class or collaboratively outside the classroom

  • High-quality digital applications for productivity and creativity, providing more ways to personalize and choose how they learn

  • Development of learning, thinking and digital literacy skills vital for success in today's rapidly evolving, technological society
The roll-out meets Article 29 (goals of education) for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, designed to encourage developing children's personality, talents, and abilities.

The iPad is becoming an increasingly popular choice for schools worldwide, thanks to its portability and extensive educational apps and tools.

In 2020, California announced that it would provide a million iPads to the states neediest students and families through a partnership with T-Mobile.

In March, Apple highlighted how a school in Australia uses the iPad to engage with its students, foster inclusion and equity, and drive change during the pandemic.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    Dougie.SDougie.S Posts: 21member
    Good to see. However unfortunately the multiple spellings errors of Edinburgh in the article (Edinburg) was hard to read  :D
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,665member
    Mmm. Thought these things were too expensive for education. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,823member
    Laptop or they are wasting money. The iPad is functionally restricted, and school should be about being useful in the workplace, where laptops and desktops are used. And an iPad costs pretty much what a laptop costs these days.
    edited April 6 martinxyzmuthuk_vanalingambyronl
  • Reply 4 of 7
    dymmasdymmas Posts: 12member
    Please - give them less tech. It will be infinitesimally better for their learning...
  • Reply 5 of 7
    dymmasdymmas Posts: 12member
    Make that infinitely...........
  • Reply 6 of 7
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    dymmas said:
    Please - give them less tech. It will be infinitesimally better for their learning...

    The future will not be a question of to tech or not to tech.   it will be a blend of the best of both.

    Students lugging around 20 pounds of textbooks and teachers wasting time manually grading handwritten homework assignments is simply so unnecessary it verges on the ridiculous.   On the other hand, having a teacher watching each student, motivating them, removing obstacles and addressing their needs is a resource that cannot ever be replaced by any kind of computer.

  • Reply 7 of 7
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Mmm. Thought these things were too expensive for education. 

    I get the sarcasm there ....
    But Apple did a good job making the iPad affordable for both schools and for students -- they seem to be priced fairly competitively with the cheapest of laptops.  

    I think their main drawbacks are:
    -- To fully realize their power you need to add a keyboard, trackpad or mouse and a pencil.  But, once you do that you've added over 50% to the price.
    --  And, unfortunately, many school programs are targeted to a Windows operating system and may be restricted or unreliable on an iOS based system.

    But, both of those things can be overcome.  I hope to see more schools go this route.   The iPad is an outstanding product for students and, at its heart encompasses the 2 in 1 concept that is necessary for students to fully realize the benefits of technology.

    With my 8th grade grandson in cyberschool we switched regularly between tablet and laptop -- sometimes even within the same assignment.
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