iPads are becoming an increasingly common presence in schools. More and more educators are seeing these tablets as a worthy replacement for laptops or desktop computers in the classroom. This trend has developed faster in the United States. In fact, the Los Angeles school district recently splashed out more than $30 million on 35,000 iPads. Yet, a few British schools are jumping on this trend as well.
This leads to the question of whether the future of education lies within a ten inch tablet. Will teachers soon be giving an Apple to all of their students?
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Laptops vs. tablets
The iPad certainly does seem to possess some significant advantages when compared to more traditional computers. The device’s portable nature makes it more than feasible for kids to be able to use it out of school hours for homework or during class trips. It could also encourage better engagement levels with teachers, due to better eye contact and not being able to hide behind monitors.
The faster loading times is an obvious advantage. Without the need to log in to a computer network, dependence on IT technicians to keep the lessons flowing will be reduced.
The app factor
There are more than 300,000 apps which have been designed specifically for iPad and the amount of free apps created for educational purposes is overwhelming.
The rate at which useful apps are being created appears to be accelerating as more and more schools adopt the iPad as an educational tool too. These apps are extremely easy to install and use. The fact that many of them are absolutely free to use is a godsend for schools with tight budgets too. The range of educational uses that teachers and pupils have found for the iPad is beyond astonishing. As the Apple marketing makes clear; if you can imagine it there’s probably an app for it.
Leasing vs. buying
Councillors and taxpayers might be amongst the most worried about the impact of iPads on the educational budget. Yet, for those who aren’t afforded the capital to buy a set of iPads, there is always the option to approach an equipment leasing company instead.
It is possible to lease an IPad for less than £5 a week if you shop around. Although this costs more in the long run, it will allow schools to upgrade to the latest model which will inevitably be released by the time their lease runs out. Alternatively, there are plenty of leasing companies which will allow customers to buy office equipment at a knock down rate once the lease ends. Either of these advantages could make leasing a more attractive option for schools than laying down a flat lump sum.
It could be a while before a personal iPad becomes a mainstream investment amongst educational bodies, but the fact that this technology is available should be something that is celebrated. Schools looking to forge ahead and provide the best education they can to their children should certainly consider an investment like this.
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Written by Hardsoft Computers www.hardsoftcomputers.co.uk. We are authorised suppliers for Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP, Fujitsu and Sony. We install hardware and support businesses with our own team of on the road engineers.