You are overgeneralising. My youngest son goes to a school that uses iPads. The kids all take their iPad to school every day, and after one and a half year, his one is still in perfect condition, and I think the whole class had one 'accident' over that period. The school found a pretty simple solution to prevent this: the parents pay for the iPads themselves...
This is just stupid. An ipad is a specific device by a specific brand. They can tell you to bring a pencil or paper, and as long as it meets specifications, it doesn't matter what you bring. But to specify a certain brand of tablet is not right.
In an ideal world, all courseware would run on all tablets. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While in principle I agree it would be better if you could pick your own tablet, this is nearly as unrealistic as saying you could pick your own books - it's just not going to work in a school situation. I'm not happy about that. But the school we picked was clear about what tablet they'd picked, and that was the point where we could make a choice.
First of all tablets are expensive.
Yes, they are. Especially Apple ones. But so are books, and teachers. Money well spent, in my opinion.
Only rich people or people who are bad with money can afford to have them for their children. I'm sure that Obama will buy them for the poor folks. But the middle class people are then left out. They can't afford to buy one because they are subsidizing them for the poor people.
Maybe things are a bit different here in Europe, but AFAIK we have a higher tax rate here, I'm what you'd call middle-class, and I don't have any problem with buying an iPad for my children - nor with subsidizing the ones for poor people. Again, money well spent.
This is just corporate graft an d corruption to use our tax dollars to shore up an industry that is drowning in its own profits.
Let's agree he 5% educational discount Apple provides is a bit meagre :-)