So some schools are buying up Apple products by the hundreds while others are diving down the laptop highway.
Why? Is there really any difference between them?
Some of the schools I work with go ahead and spend a bucketload of cash on iPads then sit back and say ‘We are now an iPad school’. Is that really how it works though? There’s a lot more to choosing technology than the brand name. Unfortuately, in Victoria at least, there aren’t many other tablet options at the moment. While some schools are trialling Windows or Android tablets, it does seem to be the iPad that’s dominating schools – for now at least.
Tablets have so far proved to be a fantastic, even revolutionary learning tool that many kids love to use. We parents are buying our kids iPads (or other tablets) of their own at an ever-increasing rate and they quickly become indispensable. Videos, games, email, messaging, music, creating, sharing, interacting….these are the hooks that pull our kids towards them.
But when you think about learning and iPads there’s a couple of things you need to know.
First why not laptops?
Well, really it comes down to the schools’ choice. What do they want to manage, provide and support in their school. They also make this choice, hopefully, based on what the tool can offer for the kids in the classroom. Laptops do indeed offer different learning opportunities than iPads. And I think it’s really about how the teacher uses them.
In the end though it’s the teacher who directs the learning and who makes the choices about how the tools will be used – they are the key to making the most of the tool. But when it comes to making the initial decision about what to buy, I think are a few things parents and teachers should be thinking about.
Here’s a quick comparison of what iPads and laptops offer – from my own experience.