Technology is very present in the classroom and integral to teaching. We are using smart boards to teach, laptops to plan and organise but students now also need to be equipped to learn to use it. Mobile computing has been hitting the classroom in a big way. The days of taking your class to a computer suite or using just one or two PC’s in the classroom are dying out. Now, when you are looking to lease technology for your school, chances are your bank of devices will be held in a trolley and carted around the school or, you may even have one device per student.
One great benefit of mobile devices, are that they are more readily available for impromptu teaching opportunities. The students technology skills are consistently built up with device integration in to the classroom and lessons. When you are deciding on how to go about this in your school, laptops or tablets is a difficult argument. Here are some of the discussion points for each to help you make your decision.
Laptops have been used in schools and classrooms for decades. They are getting progressively smaller and more mobile. Laptops are also very affordable in comparison to many of the popular tablets on the market.
Benefits of laptops-
- The functionality is the same as a desktop. All aspects of computing that students will need to know for computing and programming.
- Laptops although mobile, cannot be used standing. They need to still be placed at a desk.
- As schools are usually running on Windows, the laptops will integrate in to the previous infrastructure.
- Keyboards. Although you can now buy keyboards for many tablets. They are often an added cost and detachable (therefore easy to lose). Many people prefer the speed and ease of using a keyboard to a touch screen.
- You can lease or purchase a laptop from a very low cost.
- The antivirus you are already using can be utilised with your laptops.
Disadvantages of laptops-
- Laptops need to be logged on and off.
- Laptops are of course larger than tablets and will need storing in larger cabinets.
- Virus’ are easily picked up so your anti virus software needs to be installed and up to date.
- The laptop screen is a physical barrier between the teacher and student. They are not as easily shared and do not encourage collaboration as much.
Tablets have overtaken laptop sales in education since 2013. With the introduction of the iPad, tablets are ever popular in all industries. Our most popular tablet is the iPad and it is the market leader. For this purpose, we will use the iPad as the benchmark.
Benefits of iPads-
- Mobility. They are compact (especially the mini) and easily transported with little hands or in school bags for older ones.
- Collaboration and sharing is easier when you can pass the device around.
- iOS 9 now allows teacher to look at the screen of any iPad in the class.
- Apps are countless, sandboxed and easily available. These include the Microsoft Office suite which allow you to edit and share files which you have worked on with a computer.
- At the moment, virus’ do not present a huge problem.
- Can be locked down, screen shared, and Apps limited using MDM’s and iOS 9.
Disadvantages of iPads-
- Easily dropped, you will need to make sure you have a good case and damage cover.
- They are very costly.
- You will still need a desktop or laptop for ages 8+ to learn programming on.
HardSoft are renowned for our cost effective packages. If you wish to take out an iPad lease with us, you will also receive technical setup, warranty, technical support and accidental damage cover for the duration of your lease. Our helpful educational team are on hand throughout the term of your lease to support and advise on how to get the most from your devices.
If you are looking to update the technology for your school, you can lease an iPad Mini 2 with retina from as little as £5.90 per month or an iPad Air 2 from £9.70 per month. If you are in the market for laptops we have the Toshiba Satellite Pro R50 from £11.45+VAT per month or the HP 250 Intel i3 Laptop from £8.75+VAT per month.
Each of these would be an effective learning tool. Examining the computing needs of your students and these advantages and disadvantages should help in making your tough decision! If you would like to discuss your needs further with one of our helpful sales team, give us a call on 0207 111 1643. As resellers for many companies we can help you with all of your technology needs.