Larry Magid: Laptops Here To Stay For Some L.A. Students

LOS ANGELES (KCBS)— The Los Angeles Unified School District is making a change to its program to provide every student with an iPad. The district will now let some high school students get laptops instead.

Tablets were once touted as the end of the laptop so why this about face? Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs, famously talked about the post-PC era and claimed how laptops and computers were like trucks and that only some people would have them. He said the majority of people have cars, as if to say most people have and prefer Apple products.

But as it turns out, students need a truck in a sense, because they have quite a workload on their plates. Tablets are great for consuming content, games and learning exercises. But when it comes to production (like if I want to write one of my newspaper columns) I’m not going to use my iPad. I could if I add a keyboard, but that really makes it more of a tablet.

Schools Favor Laptops Over Tablets

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High school students do a lot of writing and their workload is similar to that of a professional, so they really are better off having a laptop. The school district has acknowledged their need for serious work tools and they’re getting rid of their one-size-fits all mentality.

Certain artistic tasks like video and photo editing are better suited for work on a laptop or desktop computer rather than a tablet, although that’s not to say it can’t be done. But the school district’s decision makes it clear that for the future generation, keyboards are here to stay.

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