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ipads or laptops

Renee Scott Fifth grade teacher, Tennessee

Which is the better choice for the classroom ipads or laptops? Our school is looking into stepping up the technology; up until this year it was ipads are the hot topic.
Any opinions out there?

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Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

Hi Renee

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I went ahead and asked my friends on Twitter this question and here's what a couple of them had to say:

"My vote is for iPad--love the possibilities to share via Apple TV, long battery life, immediacy & intimacy of it." (!/drmcgettigan)

"If you are looking for true engaged learning...I say iPad all the way." (!/jaimeh1012)

PS: There's a great community of educators who are passionate about edtech on Twitter. Just follow these hashtags: #edtech, #ipadchat, #edchat.

Hope this helps!

Math Teacher @ a Project Based Learning Charter High School Brighton, MI

Benefits to both

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We have gone with both options here, but a cheaper version of the lap top: Google Chrome Books (approx. $20/month rental fee). All of our "written" work is in the Cloud on GoogleDocs (students submit papers here, create presentations, etc) so it works really well for us. Having a classroom set to share among a group of teachers has been wonderful in the classroom. They are also small and portable with a long battery life, so this works really well for group work or for setting up stations around the room.

We also use iPads for some of the educational apps you can quickly access, and we use those in place of TI-NSpires as we could find calculator apps that met our requirements. There are also dissection apps for virtual dissections in the science classroom (all the benefits, none of the smell). These are great for individual student use in the classroom.

Technolgy Integration Specialist

Recent Question of my own...

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I am the tech coordinator at a technology magnet school. We have approx. 560 students and 420 laptops and 300 iPads. When I was purchasing this year I asked this question of the teachers because they all have both...the results...50/50. My personal thoughts...iPads. They are really simple and lend themselves to creating. It will take training but teachers and students CAN use them just as the use laptops. My one caution...our state is quickly moving towards computer based assessments and you need to makes sure that whatever you buy will support those types of requirements! ENJOY!

iPads are portable

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Practical reason for iPad or tablets: In my CROWDED classroom the laptops need to be located on the computer tables -- very concerned that they could be dropped or knocked off if moved to student desk,. No such worries with my iPads in their "destructo" cases . And when placed on the desk the iPads have a smaller foot print. less likely to be knocked or topple off desk. I am going 50/50 currently in a wireless class. I am the only one allowed to move the laptops for projects, but any kid can grab and move the iPad to their group location.

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Ipads v. laptops?

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We have this discussion in our district as well. My own kids who are on 504 plans for really awful handwriting, use iPads in school. What I like about them best is: LONG battery life, lightweight, and a form that can be used as a laptop with an external keyboard, or as a tool meant for sharing with others. Laptops by their nature, have a screen that divides us from others and makes collaboration in a classroom a bit more difficult, since only one person can really be in command at a time.
How to manage apps in a school setting can be an issue. But at least on a individual basis, my kids have great apps like audio note where they can record a class and take more outline notes, and then relisten to the lecture later when doing homework, or studying for a test, knowing that they have an accurate version of what the teacher actually said. Apps that help set reminders for homework, coordinate projects and the like are great, as well as the "helpers" like spanish apps that let kids practice skills with games while learning new vocab; flashcard apps for learning and testing new vocab; SAT prep apps, etc. The rick is figuring out which apps are worth the price- and sites like are great with doing education app reviews.

High School EFL teacher, Chongqing, China

I've just joined this group,

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I've just joined this group, and I am eager to learn from other members. I am headed for Chongqing, China with LCD projector in tow to begin teaching TOEFL and Aural/Oral classes. Anyone out there teaching in China? Cheers.

Well balanced children in a connected world

We had the similar discussion

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We had the similar discussion on Surprisingly most of the parents still love desktop. I would personally go for a tablet, as suggested by Holly. There are many more useful classroom apps made for tablets than laptops or desktops.

In my opinion, Ipads woud be

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In my opinion, Ipads woud be more reasourceful and useful than a laptop would be. Laptops take up a lot of space and can also take up an entire classroom. If Ipads were given to the students, it can easily fit in their desks or easily stored in a small cabinet in the classroom. Not only would it create more space, it can help interact with the students better with the activities and technology the Ipad has and the laptop does not.


I think the ipad is

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I think the ipad is definitely the better bet. They take up less space, they are way more interactive, and there are a lot more things you can use the ipad for. The students today are also accustomed to this type of technology, and will already know how to use it.

Former Social Media Marketing Assistant at Edutopia

Responses from Twitter

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Hi Renee,

What a great question! Since this seems to be a hot topic lately, we asked our Twitter followers for their input. Here are some of the responses we got:

Jonathan: I prefer ipads for the simplicity of touch screens and mobility. However, I do use netbooks as well.

Lesley: Age plays a lot into it. Ipads are more user friendly for young ones. However, typing is a real-life skill students need to learn.

Sarah: In my classroom we use convertible PCs that can be used in tablet & laptop mode

Violeta: Depends on what you are going to teach. Although I must say, iPads are fantastic for ICT teaching in the Early Years.

I hope this helps! We'll post this question to Facebook as well to get some more responses.


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