Education is something most often associated with Apple, since the company has historically been strong in that market. iPads are still the favorite devices among schools, but Chomebooks are starting to gain traction as well.
A US National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education shines some light on what technologies schools are considering. 558 educators were surveyed, 81 percent of which of said they interested adopting iPads - up from 73.5 percent in 2012. However, Chromebooks gained considerable ground, with adoption plans increasing from 14 percent in 2012 to 31 percent in 2013. According to Forbes, "Google announced that 2000 schools were using Chromebooks, up from 1000 in November." They also note that Chromebooks accounted for approximately 20-25 percent of all netbooks sold for under $300. The PC market, which has shrunk over the past few years is being greatly outpaced by Chromebooks, with "global shipments [falling] 10.9 percent to 76 million" units.
An overwhelming 84 percent of those surveyed in the above report wanted to begin a "1-to-1" solution - providing a device to every student. Considering the high entry price of iPads ($500 and up) Chromebooks make a lot of sense. Google's Chrome OS has been mocked in the past as a platform with a lack of features. While it may not measure up to Apple's ecosystem, Chrome OS has an entire section dedicated to education extensions (a telling clue that it's aimed at that market) many of which are designed for teachers. Some of the app categories respondents were most interested in were digital textbooks (76.9 percent), student productivity (54.3), and creation tools (51.6 percent). Chrome OS definitely has ample offerings with regard to the last two, but Apple's iBook platform definitely has an edge when it comes to textbooks. However, Google Play's book collection is vast, and a Chromebook combined with a Nexus 7 tablet - roughly the equivalent price of one iPad - is a compelling combination. Price is going to be the determining factor, as many school systems are facing budget cuts. After the troubled rollout of iPads in Los Angeles schools, other distructs might be hesitant to adopt iPads.
The interest from educators is real. A total of 64.3 percent of respondents said they were either very likely or somewhat likely to adopt mobile technology in the classroom in the next 1-2 years.