At last it seems that we have a cheap and decent tablet that many students, parents and some schools can afford. iPads are great but I’ve only worked in 1 school that used that and it didn’t have 1 for every student or teacher and you also need Apple TV to get the max out of them.
Amazon has created a decent tablet that seems to finally fit the gap for primary, middle and even high schoolers. Universities might even try them out too.
At $50, you could outfit a class of 20 for $1000. Of course, you’d then need ebooks and edocs to go on them but this is a major step forward. I also read that that it is ‘buy 5 get 1 free.’
The logistics seem easier than with a tablet lab. Here is how labs compare, for me.
- Traditional desktop labs can have dated equipment that breaks down. You also need to turn them on 10 minutes before, you can’t see students well due to monitors and some hide and mess about. However, they are generally reliable, handy and never have power issues.
- Laptops need charging out, maintaining and some often have problems or are slower than others. On the plus side, students can move about but that can be dangerous. A better solution is if students bring their own but imagine 20 cables all charging laptops.
- Tablets are great, handy and fun. They let you use apps, record and do almost anything in the tablet/HTML 5 world. The only disadvantages are that the batteries need charging up and you can’t need 10 hour days with them. Also, young learners have been known to hide them. The cheeky monkeys.
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