Why iPads not laptops?

 January 18, 2013  admin

Within an educational environment, we believe that the use of iPads provide our students with significantly more advantages than a laptop. These advantages include size, weight, battery life and versatility. The decision to introduce a universal technology program for children in Year 5 and Year 6 was taken as a result of our desire to ensure all our students are fully equipped to meet the needs of future work places and higher education institutions. These 21st Century skills are better delivered by tablets through their flexibility and portability.

 

Advantages of iPad devices

• Significantly smaller and lighter than laptops – iPads are roughly the size of a small pad of paper and a weight less than a kilo;
• More portable and easier for students to keep secure and carry between home and school, and around the school site;
• iPads are predominantly self-contained. With the exception of headphones and the charger, it is rare that any other peripheral devices will need to be plugged into them. Fewer peripheral devices, wires and cables means that students have fewer items to carry around and no set up installation time is required.
• Long battery life.
• iPads can be easily put away when not required in the classroom and will not clutter desks when in use.
• Fast powering up time
• Wide range of exceptional educational apps
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Document storage

All students at Shrewsbury International School are provided with 5gb of cloud-based storage space to keep their files and documents. Content from tablets can be quickly and easily transferred to this storage meaning that they can instantly be accessed from other devices such as smartphones, laptops or desktop PCs.

Battery life

Many tablets can run for a very long time before requiring a charge. The average laptop would only run for 3-4 hours. This means that tablets can achieve all day usage which few laptops can achieve. Tablets are optimized to use less power without sacrificing resources and will typically allow upwards of 10 hours of uninterrupted internet-linked working time.

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Software

The apps available on the iPad provide a number of educational advantages. They are downloaded from the Apple App store which means there is little confusion over what version of the software is required, as well as allowing updates to be downloaded automatically. By installing apps from a single verified source, the risk of viruses and malware is reduced and complicated installation procedures are avoided. Parents will register their own email address on their child’s device allowing parents to have complete control over which apps are downloaded. If a student wants to install a game on to their tablet, they will need to get parental permission first – without their password, they simply won’t be able to install it. This is not the case with laptops where software can have numerous different versions available, risk viruses and malware, come with complicated installation guidelines and require regular manual updating.

Ensuring that students are not playing games or accessing inappropriate content is a very high concern for us. Fortunately, the design and layout of tablet devices means that it is easier for both parents and teachers to see what students are doing on screen

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