Districts Opt for Both Chromebooks and iPads

Districts Opt for Both Chromebooks and iPads

Jun 10, 2013

EVER HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND? Spring Lake Public Schools (Michigan), Sioux Falls School District (South Dakota), Winneconne Community School District (Wisconsin), and Academy for Urban School Leadership (Chicago) won't have to--they've decided that using both Chromebooks and iPads is the right move for their classrooms, reports THE Journal.

More specifically, the schools have found that Chromebooks are great for English classes for older students who need a physical keyboard to type papers and can make the most of the larger screen size for research.

On the other hand, the pricier iPads (an iPad mini costs $329 to Chromebook's $199) are well suited to younger students, who find the Apple tablets to be intuitive. Jennie Margiera, digital learning coordinator at AUSL, explains, "We see our pre-K, K, and grade one kids pick them up and use them immediately without really much support at all." The iTunes App Store also has a head start on programs that are aimed at a younger audience and don't have the same passwords and age restrictions of the Google laptops.

No surprises as to what it takes to get a mixed 1:1 program like this up and running: plenty of teacher training, plenty of bandwidth, and plenty of money.

But the schools feel that they are seeing good returns on their investment. Margiera says the mixed program is preparing students for the future. "I think being device agnostic is actually doing our kids a big favor because we're teaching them to be resilient...They're not just learning the device, they're learning the whole idea of digital learning and breaking down the walls and pushing themselves."

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