Regarding Education Technology, the devices and tools that you can use in your academic curriculum, there’s a lot to consider and choose from. Definitely the hardware choice will impact which EdTech tools will be available for students and teachers, since each device used to have their own particularities.
Two of the most popular devices in the world, are that of Apple’s iPad and the Google Chromebook, and both of them can provide K-12 institutions with tools and features for Education, but it's important to keep in mind that they are essentially different in many aspects.
In this article, we’re going to analyze the iPad and the Chromebook and go over their features and tools, discussing how each one can benefit students and their learning experiences in and out of the classroom, advising you to take your time when considering which device to deploy in your school district.
Let's get started seeing how the Chromebook's ecosystem works first.
The Chromebook is a device that is currently associated with Education, being very common in the classroom of primary and secondary schools in the United States - especially due to its price.
Google’s ecosystem offers the possibility to have access to it, using their devices such as the Chromebook or platform using the browser. This ecosystem consists of Google Drive, and applications such as Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Slides, which are very similar to Microsoft Office or Apple's iWork applications, that most students are familiar with.
As an example, students can use a Chromebook to write a paper for the class, being able to pick back up where they left off at, at home or in the computer lab - all by logging into the associated Google account. It allows the student to access their school work from anywhere and at anytime.
If the students are working in groups for a large project and they’re using their Google Chromebook, Google Drive can play another huge role in it. Students are able to all work within in the same document at the same time, whether in Sheets, Docs or Slides, what saves time on having to wait for another student to finish their thoughts or their portion of the project.
Another aspect about the Chromebooks that makes it a very popular device in Schools, is the security and privacy automatic configuration. Since the Chromebooks already have installed into them a couple of policies, which allows IT Admins to do minimum actions to monitor and view security on all the school's Chromebooks.
Since the Chromebook is a laptop, being able to use the keyboard will give this device a much different experience than using the iPad. Not having to use a portion of the screen as an acting keyboard, can improve the experience, if the goal is writing a paper, for example.
But the same result can be achieved with the iPad by connecting a keyboard to it. When talking about the usability and convenience of the devices, the iPad wins with its lightweight, and easy to navigate OS, on top of all the tools and features - and that's what we are going to show you now.
The iPad is the most famous piece of technology that has ever been created, and one of the most powerful and secure too. In recent years, Apple has made leaps to improve on it, and have bursted into the Education world - especially with the special educational featured released on iOS 9.3.
Apple’s iPad is used in schools throughout the world, and that continues to grow everyday. This is all due to the powerful tools and apps available, such as the Schoolwork and the Classroom app, as well as the Everyone Can Create and Everyone Can Code curriculums, that combined have the potential to create the most innovative digital environment for boosting creativity through the learning experience.
Similar to Google’s Ecosystem, Apple also has their very own ecosystem that allows for collaboration between students in the same document, presentation, or overall group project using any of the iWork applications. Using the Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps, students can work together, developing important collaboration skills, while learning the topic of lessons. This can help the overall learning experience for the students in your class.
The plus of Apple’s ecosystem is the possibility of using the Schoolwork App to assign the projects that are going to use not only the iWork applications, but many other apps, having them fully integrated for the students.
The Schoolwork app is a great tool that can be used in a lot of ways. Another one of the greatest features within in the Schoolwork app, is being able to connect and communicate to the students through the app. A perfect example of this, is if the students are all working in their groups on a project, the teacher can send an announcement type of alert to all of the devices, to let them know that it’s time to return to their seats, or let them know to complete their projects before the class ends if they won't be able to finish it at home.
You can also use this app to help guide students to other educational apps that you’re wanting to use for your lesson or lecture. This will allow teachers to ensure they’re paying attention and staying motivated for the lesson at hand. An example of this, is if the teacher is switching from a lecture to a follow up assignment, they can use the Schoolwork App to guide the students to the right app, so that they are able to get there, and not slow the rest of the class down.
Apple’s Classroom app is another tool that can help schools provide the best learning experience for students while using the iPad devices. The Classroom App is a game-changer since it allows teachers to guide students as well as follow what they are doing on the devices remotely during the class. This makes it easier for the educators to see if the students focused and assure they’re not using any inappropriate apps or websites.
When deployed using an Apple-only device management solution, the workflows for setting up the Apple's Classroom and Schoolwork applications get a lot optimized for IT administrators. You can prepare the entire digital environment of your school, by integrating Apple School Manager and the MDM solution, create the Managed Apple IDs for students and teachers - that provides 200GB of cloud storage for free to them, and deploy all the applications remotely, giving the most powerful environment for learning.
Since the iPad has been introduced into Education, student engagement has increased, being a direct reaction from using these Apple devices in assignments, projects and school work, which is a huge added plus due to the technical literacy that will be taught to them, can prepare the students for the future world.
Knowing that both the Chromebook and iPad can better education technology and influence students, we must compare side by side to find out which one is perfect for your school or district, based on what you expect.
Price point will be the first trait that schools and administrators look at, due to their budgetary needs. When it comes to the price of these devices, The Chromebook pricing is $230, while Apple's iPad 9.7 inch is available for $299. At first look, there seems to be a lot of differences between them, but we should analyze it more carefully.
Price aside from these devices, comparing the features and tools that can influence students and better education technology, Apple’s iPad continuously is the favorite across classrooms, and that's because of the Return on Investment (ROI) that schools and districts see after implementing it.
From increased engagement during class and projects, the increase in student test and exam scores, to the indirect costs with softwares and applications, the investment with an iPad fleet is definitely paid back to your school. You can read more here on the aspects to consider when measuring the ROI that Education Technology has in schools.
When choosing your preferred educational technology tool to integrate into your school or district, the iPad is the favorite. With the native iOS features available, and the constantly growing educational applications that can be implemented into the lessons and more, the usages of iPads in classrooms will continue to increase year, after year. You can read more on how the iPad is the perfect tool to better education technology in schools.
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