How To Choose The Very Best Device For Your Classroom

The following is an excerpt from our upcoming issue of the Edudemic Magazine. We’ll be featuring just a few of the many articles over the coming days.
Look for this article and the full issue in the Edudemic iPad app very soon!

Chances are pretty good you’re reading this on an Apple iPad. It’s all the rage in education these days but it may not be exactly what you need. Sure, it may be what you want… but not what you need.

In fact, I’ve noticed more and more of my PLN and Twitter pals talking about how their BYOD students actually prefer Google Chromebooks over iPads.

Since Chromebooks were underwhelming when first unveiled, this comes as a bit of surprise. Edudemic has done some cursory coverage of Chromebooks but it seems like that needs to change.

So is it time for you to take Chromebooks seriously and think about deploying them? Are iPads really worth the premium price you’d pay for each device? Would you be better served by simple netbooks? What about the new Microsoft Surface tablet(s)?

Let’s try to answer all these questions (and a few more) so you can be as informed as possible about which device is right for you. We’ve developed a handy (and highly printable) chart that maps out what you need to know about each device as well as how it could integrate into your classroom.

We then polled our nearly 15,000 Twitter followers to find out what they look for in a device. Using that information, we extrapolated the most important questions that teachers should ask when considering deploying expensive technology into their classroom. Then we answered those questions as best we could. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for figuring out how the heck you should figure out what piece of tech is right for you.

After all, the web is cluttered with a few facts here, a few tidbits there, and takes a lot of Googling to understand it all. Since you’re one of the amazingly handsome and / or beautiful readers of Edudemic Magazine (or a reader of the Edudemic website of course!), we wanted to help you skip over the hours of searching and jump straight to the knowledge. So let’s begin.


Don’t forget to download the Edudemic iPad app here


Step 1 – What Devices Should You Consider?

There are a plethora of devices out there and they come in all shapes and sizes. Tablets, desktops, laptops, phones, and basically everywhere in between. They’re making phones that are meant to be used like tablets, laptops that could be desktops, and even tables (the original Microsoft Surface) that act like tablets. It’s beyond confusing and downright impossible to grasp enough details about each device to make an informed decision.

So we’ve scoured the web and created a curated list of products that we think would make a good fit into a classroom. We understand there are many other options out there so forgive us ahead of time for not including every possible option. Shoot us an email at edudemic@gmail.com and make a case for your product. We may feature it in the next issue of the magazine!

The Apple iPad has all the buzz and marketshare so it deserves a seat at the table. In addition, the Google Chromebook and new Chromebox should also be included. The not-yet-released Microsoft Surface Tablet is poised to make a big splash in education (depending on the price) and the more generic Netbook should also be considered. Finally, let’s consider the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 by Google.

These are by far the biggest and most popular devices currently in classrooms (or at least will be in the coming year) and gives us a terrific set of devices to choose from.

So what’s next?

Step 2 – POP QUIZ!

You didn’t think you would be able to leisurely read this article, did you? It’s time for a pop quiz so pencils down. I’ll be asking you some important questions that you should carefully consider before moving onto Step 3.

No cheating or looking at someone else’s answers.

1) What do you hope to accomplish by bringing technology into your classroom?

2) What is more important to you? Apps or device features? (For example, do you want a more robust app ecosystem or a high quality camera or screen?)

3) How comfortable are your students (and you) with technology in general?

4) What will you be using technology to accomplish? Project-Based Learning, studying, remote learning, etc.

5) What is the current level of IT support for technology in your school?

Want More?

Want to view the charts we’ve built? The next steps you should take? Tips and tricks about the devices we mentioned? Grab the Edudemic Magazine iPad app today and be sure to download the July issue when it’s available. Enjoy!