Surely the iPad has a ton of potential—its ability to store stacks of textbooks in a slim, sleek form-factor—but will it see widespread use in schools? Assuming there is plenty of content available, schools will have to consider the worth (and risk) of distributing $500 relatively fragile devices to children. Rugged cases would be a possible solution, but not without adding to the already high cost. In the same vein, public schools (and many private ones), take advantage of government programs for textbook purchases. As publishers begin to distribute electronic textbooks, state governments may realize the cost reduction stemming from digital versus physical media, and reward schools accordingly. The advantages of digital textbooks are not the extent of benefits for students and schools, however. With some restrictions/parental controls (which iPhoneOS 3.x already supports), students can be in contact with their teachers, and be kept up-to-date with schedule changes and other announcements, all through one device. Many students don't need a full-fledged laptop for school. The iPad offers top-of-the line technology, an effective means of communication, and an intuitive interface with a shallow learning curve. In this economic recession, it is unclear whether schools will be eager to adopt such an unconventional and costly approach. Only time will tell. Discuss.