Hard choice to make here. I don’t know which corner to go to. I have an iPad and I have a ChromeBook. I enjoy both of them for my personal use, but I don’t think I could make a decision for a school deployment. I just read posts about IPad administration in the Has Your District Gone to the Cloud thread. I appeciate that Chromebooks are easy to administer...“Administrators can configure and manage Chromebooks and user accounts centrally through the web. Seamless updates directly from Google keep the operating system and software fresh, eliminating the need to manually patch systems. And since only minimal data is stored on the device, you don’t need to do tedious backups or migrate data when changing hardware.” You can also control how and when the devices connect to the web. Pretty cool!
Here's a follow-up /rebutal to the powerpoint presentation posted above...
Response submitted on google listserv from Tom D.
I'm going to start by apologizing to John, because I myself hate when I offer something to a group only to have it picked apart, but there are some inaccuracies and incomplete information in the slides that I want to clear up before someone takes them at face value:
Slide 5: Leasing and Discounts: Working with an Apple rep, it is possible to arrange for leasing (handled by a third party), same as with any major purchase. Granted, Apple doesn't advertise that the same way Google does, but it IS possible. Nor is it accurate to say there are no discounts. When purchased in 10-packs, you save $20 off each one. Not a huge discount, but also not zero--enough to cover the cost of an inexpensive case or a handful of apps. Also, with a large enough purchase, there are deals to be had by working with an Apple rep, which is what any institution should be doing anyway.
Slide 7: Support & Warranty: It is simply not true that there is no tech support for an iPad. As a customer, you can call Apple, or you can even walk into an Apple Store and talk to someone there. Also, each Apple education sales rep partners with an engineer whose job it is to help with the technical side of purchase and deployment. I have someone I can call with technical questions any time. That said, there is a large community of school IT folks who, as with many things, are often a much better resource for deployment help than any vendor, Apple or otherwise. If this list is any indication, I suspect the same is true for Chromebook users.
Regarding the warranty, it is true that the standard warranty is 1 year, although that can be extended for a price. As for using the term "limited", I suspect the Chromebook warranties are "limited" in the same way, namely that they only cover certain kinds of problems. That's pretty standard.
Slide 14: Enterprise Management: It is correct to identify that the iPad is a consumer device designed to be used by a single person and not shared. In fact, I would argue that realizing this is a key to success with iPads. But saying that enterprise management is "very difficult" and then later (slide 17) "terrible" is a subjective evaluation. There are definitely parts of the deployment process that can be frustrating, but if one has realistic expectations of what can be handled centrally, then management can be pretty easy. The more one attempts to control an iPad the way we (in IT) are used to controlling computers, the harder it will be.
We have ~600 iPads deployed in our district and we have very few problems of any kind with them. I attribute this to two things: First, our philosophy all along has been to push control of the devices as far away from IT as possible and only walk back from that where absolutely necessary. By giving teachers control over the devices in their classrooms, they (and their students) have a level of ownership unlike with other technology. Second, there are simply fewer things to go wrong that would require a call to us. I would venture to say that in this regard, an iPad and a Chromebook are more similar to each other than the latter is to conventional computer because both benefit from the limitations inherent in their designs (not the least of which is that neither runs a full, traditional OS).
All this is not to say that the iPad is better than a Chromebook (or anything else). Context matters. Experience matters. My advice to Scott (the original poster) is to NOT try to compare an iPad to a laptop at all. Start with the learning tasks you want to be able to support, and then evaluate all the possible tools based on that point of view, letting each option rise or fall on its own merits, rather than by doing feature-by-feature comparisons. There are plenty of valid reasons not to choose iPads, but anyone who rejects them for less-than-valid reasons could be missing out on some powerful opportunities for kids unlike anything I have seen before.
I am in agreement with the rebuttal to the slideshow. The last paragraph summarizes my feelings exactly. I'd like to have the best of both worlds and have access to iPads and chromebooks.
A note about the slideshow: I take issue with the scorecard, esp. the "users" score. That was a very small sample and, in many ways, they are comparing apples and oranges (or google color wheels).
I'd be glad to test out one or more chromebooks in my classroom alongside our iPads if anyone would like to donate some. Then I'll give my full review.
Vanessa, thanks for this thread. Very interesting. Over the past several months, a major school district here in Arizona was able to use 900 Chromebooks and they loved them enough to purchase them at the end of the testing. One of the major selling points is the ability of the Chromebook to run flash, where the iPad doesn't . With html5 on the horizon as the industry standard (maybe???), that may become a moot point. Also, it is my understanding that Google is paying app writers 30 cents on the dollar as opposed to 10 cents on the dollar that Apple pays. That is a big incentive for more people to start writing apps for the Chromebook.
I still haven't decided what to do yet. It's still a case by case decision that districts and individuals need to make. It's kind of like the Chevy vs Ford argument. LOL
It is really all about the job you want the device to do and who is going to use it and in what situation. We have found that many parents are jumping on the bandwagon and asking teachers to write a rationale about why their child (generally autistic children) should have an ipad for the school to purchase but when asked why they want it for their child the reasoning is generally not education based. The ipad, like the chromebook, are great tools but it depends on who is using it and for what purpose. I agree with Tom that the management of it is a control issue and giving control over to the teacher is not something that is easy for a school district to do but they are going to have to deal with some of these issues if they are going to BYOD.
This is taking the discussion in a different direction, but here's a spreadsheet of iPad apps and resources for people with autism.
You might find it useful for some of the parents who are asking... It's a GoogleDoc, so it's easy for anyone to access.
This is a great piece of work: well written, concise, and thorough....Is there a chance you can make this available for download or maybe share it so it can be downloaded? I would like to share it with some local special education folks whom I believe will see it as a major resource for their iPad program. Thanks either way.
I've been researching and trying to find examples of how districts are using both the iPad and the Chromebook or other tablets for instruction. So far the iPads are winning. There are several stories about how the iPad is being used in different ways in the classroom, See article about iPads and the Flipped Classroom. I have found very few related stories for the Chromebook or tablet. In my district we have both the iPad and tablet, so it would be helpful to see the examples of how tablets are being utilized in the classroom also.
Please share any stories, articles or resources about the Chromebook or tablet.
My district is in the process of comparing the ipad to the chromebook for student use. Next week, our District Leadership Team will have their first encounter with the chromebook at a meeting. Many of them already use ipads (either the schools or their own) so I'm hoping to get some "fresh" thoughts on the two. Like many have previously said, it all depends upon what you are going to do with them. I'll keep you posted on what we decide.
Here is a comparison chart my director put together which may be helpful to others.
- 11.6 inch
- 9.7 inch
Mic/headphone, USB, HDMI, SD Card Reader
Single Camera - Front
2 Cameras -Front/Back
Easy Web-based management
Manually manage through a server
Doable, but requires internet access
Easy video creation
It is important to determine how technology will be used. Some teachers I know are frustrated that the iPad does not have a physical keyboard. My science classroom would struggle with using either an iPad or a Chromebook. Software to run our science probes is not available for either platform. It is not practical to take students to a computer lab setting to use probes in an experiment (something about using acids, water, and chemicals in the computer lab - I don't get it.) If these tools are to have students creating content - either is an excellent choice. If they are for drill and practice - either is an acceptable choice. As usual, your mileage may vary.
Are there other teachers or subjects that cannot use either a Chromebook or and iPad to accomplish everything they normally do in the classroom?
Wow! This debate has become a "hot topic" as of late. We have been having teachers "play" with both and think about how they would use each in their classrooms. Both have their purpose. Most students don't "create" everyday. However, they do research, collect data, type papers. That's a great purpose for the Chromebook. However, when it comes time to present that research, or data, the iPad seems to be the tool to use. Chromebook is getting more and more apps each day. Unfortunately, they are playing catch up to Apple.
Thoughts in our district have been to issue Chromebooks to Middle School and High School students for the "everyday" then have iPad carts available for check-out for the "creative" times. We will see. I'm sure this debate is only just getting started.
I look forward to hearing how your implementation works out. I like the thinking behind using the Chromebooks based on how they would be used. My district has several schools that began using iPads. These schools have determined it is difficult to do research and input large amounts of data or writing. There are now requests to get bluetooth keyboards to go along with the iPads. IMHO this does not make the iPad much different from a Chromebook. What do you think about this technology combination?
I've got a Chromebook that is usually used by our science aide. I have tested it out and found it works very well for many online activities. I have found fewer apps for the Chromebook than the iPad. Most apps I've played with seem better designed for the iOS system. One HUGE advantage of the Chromebook is its ability to run Flash applications. A challenge we currently face is the lack of printing from both the iPad and Chromebook. My district has locked down ALL options for both devices. Our Language Arts teachers are very frustrated.
I've tried to problem solve and would appreciate comments on the following:
- Are other teachers accepting of "electronic submissions" such as a shared Google doc?
- What experience have others had in solving the printing challenge (when it is locked down?)