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Teachers appreciate Apple's push for more iPads at school



This week, Apple hosted an educational event introducing a new iPad with stylus support for teachers and students, with the goal of increasing the popularity of Chromebooks in the classroom in recent years. Since 2017, Apple ranks third behind Google and Microsoft in terms of laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices delivered to schools. Sales with schools have been steadily declining since 2013.

To combat this decline, Apple showed an "affordable" iPad this week at an event at Lane Tech College Prep, a public high school in Chicago. "We praise things as low as we can," said Apple Chef Tim Cook Recode Kara Swisher in a post-event interview. "We took an iPad, built in iPad Pro features and charged $ 299, and the software is all for free and the cloud storage is free."



Image: IDC

But even with the new discount, Apple's Tablets are still more expensive than most Chromebooks, especially considering the extra cost of a pencil and a removable keyboard. With the larger price Apple markets the iPad as a platform for the creation of media. But what do teachers value more in a classroom environment: inspirational creative projects or schoolwork?

Matt Wdowiarz, a fifth-grade teacher in Winfield, Ill., Says an iPad helps him save time by sorting notes, returning papers, and printing newspapers. Nevertheless, the school uses Google Classroom as management software and iPads for hardware. When the Winfield Central School, where Wdowiarz teaches, used iPads, it enabled him to quickly show his students excerpts from a British history book while teaching the American Revolution. The British textbook attributed part of the American Revolution to the British, who were fed up with fighting the French during the French and Indian wars, a treat that no American textbook had explored

"It is one for the fifth graders Flashlight Your face is a huge topic of conversation, "says Wdowiarz," forcing my American history curriculum to have more worldview. "

Wdowiarz also praised AirPlay on the iPad as a more optimized process to share the textbook in his class. Using Chromebooks had meant "pressing seven to eight buttons as opposed to two," he says. "One of my concerns is that my students are coming out because they are grounded and iPads have allowed me to hit harder, it's the same time we spend, but a deeper reflection."

iPads were also useful for special education teachers working with children who may need more accommodation. Lauren Holloway, an elementary school teacher at Elementary Elementary in Elmira, NY, says, "The iPad is wearable, durable, and encourages activities that use only an index finger." She adds, "The inherent interactive features of an iPad It's far more likely to appeal to both students who have a dislike of traditional teaching methods and those with attention problems." The backlit screen also allows visually impaired students to better see lesson materials.

But Holloway says she could use her iPad in the classroom to students to deal with material they would not otherwise. If you watch enough, it can be a double-edged sword. "Once familiar with the iPad, the excitement of 2D and even manipulative materials fades in comparison, and it's harder to engage them in activities that do not contain a digital component," she says.


  Apple Hosts Educational Event in Chicago High School

Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images

Just like the typical tech debate between two gadgets, teachers can not agree on that Best computing device for classrooms. What a teacher considers as the main advantage of an iPad can be overshadowed by a looming error for another teacher. Alice Chen, an eighth-grade math teacher in California, says she can see how the lack of a keyboard, an additional cost to schools, could be a deal-breaker. "In every literacy classroom where a keyboard is important, a Chromebook wins in that sense, because a Chromebook is an all-in-one package," Chen says.

Chen also works as a technology coach for other teachers in their district who have different skills and classroom technology experience. In this role, Chen noted that teachers were more familiar with Chromebooks than iPads, "because they still resemble a laptop" and are therefore adopted more quickly in the classroom.

Although Chen has access to Chromebooks and iPads In her class at Suzanne Middle School, she tends to focus more on Chromebooks that are more compatible with Google Suite tools. "Once I place an order, I have immediate access to their work, and it's very seamless," she says of Google Classroom, a school administration software. "I've found in the past that collecting work on an iPad takes a few more steps than on a Chromebook." Apple has announced a competitor named Schoolwork, scheduled for release in June, to Google Classroom this week.

Other teachers shared similar opinions to Chens. Audrey Angelo, technology teacher at Bakken Elementary in Williston, North Dakota, says that the benefits of Chromebooks' size, durability, low cost, Google Single Sign-On options, easy access to Google Apps (handy if you're a Google school), a full keyboard and mouse. "For cons, she calls a single:" Web-based only. "

iPads, on the other hand, does not have many advantages for Angelo." Touchscreen, many apps, "she lists, but adds some disadvantages:" No keyboard and mouse – even if external ones are bought, it is one Pain. [It’s] expensive, not as durable as some other options. I've broken many more screens than PCs or Chromebooks. "She says the HP Chromebooks that bought her school were extremely sturdy, and Luna Ramirez, who directs a web design academy at a Long Island, New York high school, agrees she has one in her classroom "For desktop design purposes, the desktop is a better platform," she says.

Technology remains at the end of the day a tool in the classroom, not the tip of an ongoing debate Many school districts, including the one where Apple took place this week, are facing a deficit and can not afford tablets or devices, let alone new iPads and stylus pens Agree that computing devices are useful but not vital and believe they are complementary tools.

Teachers like Chen believe n not that the focus should be on the competition between iPads and Chromebooks Which shiny new device should a school buy? "For a teacher, the question should not be, which device, what learning we should use?" She says. "I do not think we can say clearly that one device can be better than the other."


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