What is the best value proposition for a school planning to purchase tablet devices?

Joseph Videtto February 10, 2013
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My impression is that nothing is easier to use than the iPad – and that Apple’s App Store has the largest choice of software with the highest quality control – e.g. the apps with the least bugs thanks to Apple’s software development policies and early monopoly on the market.

But given a school with limited budget, that wants to buy at least enough tablet devices for a classroom, what is the best overall value proposition for both good quality hardware AND good quality educational apps?

I know there are lots of Android based non-apple tablets, and I’ve heard of the Chromebook – where do these items weigh in, in your opinion?

Also – please share your personal experiences with non-Apple devices for classroom use, and compare with iPad use in the classroom if possible.

  1. James Bruce
    February 11, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Anyone who has used an iPad wouldn't recommend an Android tablet instead, so your question is biassed for bad answers.

    It's also not just an initial purchase cost; it's the cost of your time supporting those devices; it's a deferred cost of not being able to run the best software; it's the cost of early hardware failures and lack of aftercare for those products.

    You'll find a lot of "ideas" and theory for the best ways of using Android in the classroom, but no actual case studies.

    Better still - make a quick list of key apps or features you want from apps, then try searching both the app stores for those products, bearing in mind that the Google Play doesn't give an indication of tablet optimized apps because most aren't. I think you'll arrive at the same obvious conclusion as everyone else rather quickly.

  2. Oron Joffe
    February 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Chromebook is a completely different thing. It's basically a way to have a "minimal PC experience" by using a browser for most (all) tasks. It would be suitable for schools in that it would be difficult for students to mess with the software, but there is no direct equivalent to "Apps", so all work would need to be centred around the browser.
    Android is quite similar to IOS, but much more hackable (by design). If the kids are very young, this may make little difference, but the more urchins you have, the more attempts there will be on your systems!

  3. ha14
    February 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    perhaps to ask the students which kind of tablets and OS they have at home, in this way you can reduce the learning curve.

    How Android Tablets Could Fit Into Your Classroom