Victorian Premier buys 500 iPads for schools


Victorian Premier John Brumby today announced the state would buy more than 500 of Apple’s iPad devices, to be distributed to eight schools in the state in a trial of the technology.

“This trial will allow us to understand the impact of iPads on student learning and communication, and on the way teachers plan and deliver curriculum in the classroom,” said Brumby in a statement. The iPads are the lowest priced model — at $629, they come with 16GB of memory and no 3G connection.

The department hasn’t yet finalised its list of the schools which would participate in the trial, but some of those which would be included would be the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Southbank and Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College in Wyndham vale.

In addition, students with illnesses at the Royal Children’s Hospital will also receive iPads — through the hospital’s Education Institute.

“Education is the top priority of this Government and our Australian-first trial of iPads in schools will ensure our students remain one step ahead when it comes to emerging technology,” Brumby added. “Students and teachers want access to the latest technology, and the iPad will provide them with the best in innovative learning technology.

The Apple iPad went on sale this morning in Australia to great interest from consumers, many of whom lined up in the cold for hours overnight to be the first to buy the device.

Apple stores across the nation were packed from 8AM. In addition, Apple simultaneously launched its new store in Bondi Junction, Sydney, finishing final construction details overnight.

Image credit: Apple


  1. Is there a Victorian election coming? Or Brumby looking to get more apple stores in Vic?

    I don’t mind the idea of tablets in schools, however I would prefer a device that allowed students to learn how to develop software in an open manner. Even MS tablets allow different language choices. However objective C may not be a good first choice as a school level language, compared to Pascal, basic or even runrev HyperCard style language. Even Java, but I don’t think it is a good entry level language, however it is very widely deployed, unlike objective C which is locked into Apple ecosystem.

    • I think this is an attempt to cash in on the iPad hype and keep Victoria on the map when it comes to making people believe it’s a ‘smart state’ in terms of technology and so on. And while I have a degree of cynicism about the truth of that, there is no doubt that it’s only Victoria that would even go so far as making a gesture along these lines … the other states would never even bother. And so I have to give Brumby some kudos.

      And yes, I would much rather they handed out devices that ran open source software so that kids could learn to tinker with them. The iPad is pretty much the most locked-down device you can get. I have some further thoughts on that here:

    • It’s not … but ideally it should be. You shouldn’t be providing school children with tools that don’t allow them to create things. The iPad is primarily a consumption device and it is not the right tool for kids, IMHO.

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