Why do schools use Chromebooks instead of iPads?

As I travel around the world, something has become very apparent to me. Schools that have Chromebooks WITH access to iPads – via a cart or check out system, or a few for each class – are able to create savvier and digitally fluent learning environments that can be missing from the Chromebook or iPad ONLY classrooms.

Chromebook vs iPad: Which is best for your school?

There are couple features and differences to evaluate when comparing Chromebook vs iPad in the classroom.

Most immediately, these are two different types of devices. The iPad is a tablet, and the Chromebook is a laptop (with certain models that can convert to a tablet).

Why Apple is Losing the Battle

Apple has been a player in the education sector for 40 years. Introducing Macintosh computers into schools was quite an upgrade for some classrooms. However, in 2013, they teamed up with Pearson and Los Angeles Unified School District to supply 640,000 iPads to the students in the district, in a project valued at over $1.3 billion. Within 2 years, Apple was paying the district back for losses and Apple’s reputation in the education sector deteriorated. The schools in the district did not know how to integrate the devices into the classes, and the iPads were easily breaking. After this, many schools feared the same fate. “No one wants to be the next LA Unified,” said the executive director of the education program at the Clay Christensen Institute, Michael Horn, while describing the incredible loss the district faced.

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On the flip side, a year before LA Unified started their project, California’s Milpitas Unified School District started designing how to introduce technology into their curricula. Before purchasing any devices, Cary Matsuoka, the superintendent of the district, asked principals and teachers how they would include technology in the curriculum and how it would benefit the students. Matsuoka also asked how many they thought they needed for their school. He wanted to come up with a model for the schools in the district to follow as opposed to mandating change. Therefore, he explained, “We want to say: ‘Here’s the model. Come up with your version of it and go test it. ” They started with 2000 Chromebooks and built up their repertoire to 6000 Chromebooks, for 10,000 students. Milpitas Unified School District is certainly a role model for introducing technology into classrooms.

For Teachers

Whether you’re assigning work or coordinating schedules for students, you have the power. With apps like Cell and Structure, DragonBox Algebra, and WWF Together, you can customize assignments and make more engaging lessons with the iPad’s touch screen or even with the Apple Pencil. When using the iPad with the Apple TV or the Clear Touch® interactive panel, you can instantly mirror your screen on the board. You can even control connected student devices and highlight the work of another student, elevating them, and encouraging other students to participate. And since the iPad is a handheld device, you have the freedom to step away from your desk or podium and move about the classroom.

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The new Schoolwork app allows teachers to send assignments, collect them, check student progress, and work with students one-on-one at any time. For students, the app organizes their class schedule, assignments, and due dates in real-time, giving them a full planner that updates automatically.

Touchscreen Chromebooks may well become iPad killers in schools.

Several things make me think this:

1. They’re made for using G Suite. — The sharing and creation power of Google apps in G Suite have been enough to transform classrooms around the world. Chrome OS is made to run Google products on the web. If you’re invested heavily in Google in education (and I hope you are), these devices are made for you.

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