One million primary and secondary schools to get iPads and tablets for Christmas

Massive influx of devices threatens to overwhelm school IT infrastructure, while a huge learning opportunity risks being lost on a generation of school children
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Jan. 3, 2014 - PRLog -- Newbury, 9 November, 2013 – This Christmas, parents across the UK expect to spend over two hundred million pounds3 (£200,000,000) to buy nearly one million1 new iPads and tablet computers for their primary and secondary school-aged children.

Since 26 percent of this techno-savvy age group already own an iPad or tablet, they will then own more than three million4 iPads and tablets between them.  When they go back to school in January, many will be taking these devices with them.

However, just one in five (22%) schools currently permit pupils to connect their iPads and tablets to the school’s own wireless network.  This discrepancy suggests that the majority of schools are either not prepared for, or risk missing out on, a tremendous digital learning opportunity.

These were the key findings of a survey1 of 900 parents through Mumsnet’s Research Panel, by Wi-Fi network specialist Extreme Networks (  The survey was designed to give schools a better understanding of the impact and adoption of pupil-owned iPads and tablets in the classroom, and whether schools were ready, willing and able to take advantage of the learning opportunity these devices offer.

The survey findings are supported by another recent study, this time by the British Educational Suppliers Association ( (Besa)5, which found that just a quarter of schools in England offer fully accessible Wi-Fi to pupils.

According to Valerie Thompson of the e-learning foundation6 (

“Fully accessible Wi-Fi is vital to a 21st century learning environment and is a key requirement if schools are to embrace digital learning in all subjects.  Many parents are considering investing in a tablet for use in the school environment as well as at home. Their expectation is that the investment in technology will be beneficial to their child’s education.”

Spotting the trend for pupils bringing their own devices onto school premises, The Grammar School at Leeds ( is determined to enable children to be able to harness their own technology for learning purposes both at home and in the classroom.

Mark Whitehead, head of computer services at The Grammar School at Leeds, said:

“We expect a bumper crop of iPads and tablets in children’s stockings this Christmas.  We’re working hard this year to ensure our Wi-Fi infrastructure is up to the task of supporting them in 2014.  We have revamped our entire Wi-Fi system so that our 2,200 pupils and over 350 staff can now log-on to the network from anywhere across the school’s multiple sites, even at busy times.”

Whitehead added, “Children now own such advanced technology and have equally advanced computing skills.  If schools aren’t able to harness this, the opportunity for an enhanced learning experience is lost.”

Mark Pearce, strategic alliance director, Extreme Networks warns that too many schools risk losing out on a tremendous digital learning opportunity.  He said: “Although iPads and tablets are recognised by many as essential learning tools in the classroom of the future, poor Wi-Fi infrastructure and limited Wi-Fi access undermines the potential of the learning opportunity that lies ahead.  Schools need to follow the lead taken by forward-thinking parents and invest in their side of the deal – in WiFi connectivity – so that pupils are given the best learning opportunity possible.”

For a full copy of the research report, visit:


1.     Survey carried out in November 2013 during a one week period, commissioned by Extreme Networks, polled 900 users of the Mumsnet ( Research Panel and the results represent nearly 2,000 children.

2.     11% of parents plan to buy primary and secondary school aged children (5-16 years) an iPad or tablet computer this Christmas. There are 8.2m primary and secondary school children (state and independent) in the UK according to The Department for Education.   11% of 8.2m equates to 907,479 new devices this Christmas.

3.     The retail price of devices featured in TechRadar’s ‘Best tablet 2013: top 10 ranking’ varies from £99 up to £500. Therefore, if you assume the average tablet costs £250 (907,479 x 250), there will be approx. 226 m spent on iPads and tablet computers this Christmas

4.     26% of children already have an iPad or tablet computer.  There are 8.2m primary and secondary school children (state and independent) in the UK according to The Department for Education, which means there are 2,144,950 existing devices already owned (8.2m x 0.26). In January, the existing and new devices combined (37% of children) will be 3,052429 (8.3 m x 0.37)

5.     The BESA research page can be found here:

6.     The E-Learning Foundation’s research and campaigns can be found here:

About Extreme Networks
Extreme Networks, Inc.  sets the new standard for superior customer experience by delivering network-powered innovation and best-in-class service and support. The company delivers high-performance switching and routing products for data centre and core-to-edge networks, wired/wireless LAN access, and unified network management and control.  Our award-winning solutions include software-defined networking (SDN), cloud and high-density Wi-Fi, BYOD and enterprise mobility, identity access management and security.  Extreme Networks is headquartered in San Jose, CA and has more than 12,000 customers in over 80 countries.  For more information, visit the company's website at

Extreme Networks and the Extreme Networks logo are registered trademarks of Extreme Networks, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other names are the property of their respective owners.

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including without limitation statements as to features, performance, and benefits of Extreme Networks products, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date. Because such statements deal with future events, they are subject to risks and uncertainties, including network design and actual results of use of the product in different environments. We undertake no obligation to update the forward-looking information in this release. Other important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are contained in the Company's 10-Qs and 10-Ks which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Extreme Networks
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Tags:Tablets, Education, Technology, Mumsnet, Learning
Industry:Education, Technology
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