Kansas State will give every freshman a good iPad, which they’ll, uh… completely use for schoolwork

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Ohio State will give every freshman an iPad, which they'll, uh... totally use for schoolwork

Image: LightRocket via Getty Images

Starting next drop, all new students at Ohio Condition University will be receiving an ipad tablet Pro, along with an Apple Pencil, a good Keyboard, a case, a suite associated with apps, and Apple Care+.  

Ohio State told Mashable how the iPads will be completely free for college students â€? the cost will not be rolled in to tuition or fees. Apple is providing the university a discounted price for the iPads, but the parties are usually “still finalizing terms. ” The particular university valued the deal at more than $10 million.  

The free of charge swag is part of a “digital learning initiative” that OSU provides implemented through a collaboration with Apple company. The university claims that many teachers already integrate iPads into their classes, and that the initiative will give them greater ability to do so.

OSU is also committed to establishing a good iOS design laboratory, where college students will learn Swift, Apple’s programming vocabulary, and be encouraged to develop apps intended for iOS.  

The OSU effort is just the latest step in Apple’s prolonged push for iOS development training. Over the past few years, Apple has provided code curricula to a number of state plus community colleges, and a few high educational institutions. It also released Swift Playgrounds at the begining of June, an app that instructs Swift through games and questions.  

But while iPad Benefits may be shiny and cool, this excellent collaboration between a tech huge and a state university begs several questions. Most pertinently: Why?  

While there’s no questioning the fact that technologies is important in today’s workforce, the types of classroom iPad use cases offered by OSU (such as watching classes online, publishing iTunes U classes, reading online textbooks, and getting digital notes) are all tasks which could presumably be accomplished just as well for the $250-cheaper iPad Mini or, let’s not pretend, a computer in the library.  

So why the iPad Pro particularly? “The particular model and deal is similar to the ones already successfully being used, and were identified by or[sic] team as the ideal system for the educational goals, ” OSU mentioned.

In short: because OSU officials said so.  

While many types of smart device sales are usually surging, with tablet sales (yes, even iPad sales) low throughout the board, and it’s unclear whether getting proficient with the iPad is the best preparing for the modern technological world. Even though programming experience certainly won’t harm students’ job prospects, fluency within the Swift programming language will only assist students develop apps for iOS. Spending time learning it will trade away from with learning other, more flexible computer programming languages.

And lastly: Does anyone actually think college students aren’t going to use these to try out Candy Crush in the back of lecture? Just time will tell, but we would bet that addictive (and time-sucking) iOS games will likely make their way on to these free devices.

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