I am going to be honest...I have absolutely loved teaching with Apple iOS devices. iPads transformed my teaching and took my classroom learning to new heights! I taught at an independent school in Hawaii that has a lot of funding and resources so I was able to pilot and implement a 2:1 iPad program as well as a 1:1 iPad program. I became an Apple Distinguished Educator which connected me to so many amazing educators who were also were transforming the learning process with Apple technology.
However, I recently moved my family to Oregon and I have observed that many of the schools and districts here are implementing and touting 1:1 Chromebook classrooms. I am familiar with the Google Suite of apps and know it's power for collaborating and sharing work. However, I am not too familiar with the creative possibilities these devices hold. I am completely open to learning the creative opportunities, especially with younger/primary level children. So I did some research on the iPad vs. Chromebook....
With anything, there seems be a big debate. I found an article on EdSurge by Joshua Kim that argues Chromebooks over iPads. You can find the article here.
The author use to be an Apple advocate for 1:1 iOS programs, but seems to have recently switched and outlines 3 reasons why. Reason 1 was that Chromebooks were for creating and iPads were for consuming. Ok, so he lost me there! It seems like quite the opposite to me. iPads have so many different creation and creativity based apps. The iPad has 2 cameras and is mobile! Elementary aged students can create and share so easily. I say this as someone who taught in an Apple classroom and can provide you tons of examples of kids creating and consuming. I do have an Apple bias. However, if the writer comes right out of the gate and suggests that iPads are only for consuming, then I just have to disagree and shake my head. The writers suggests that Chromebooks do not keep kids only in apps and let's them connect and find information from the web. This is a fair point, but I come at this from the lens of a primary level teacher where I prefer my kids in grades K-5 to be in apps rather than exploring the entire web. The final reason is the access to Google Suite of apps. The author acts as thought this final most powerful point. However, iPads have a Google Chrome app as well as all the Google Suite apps. So I am evolving my thought and creative process to include Chromebooks, but I am going to need a more convincing argument then they one Mr. Kim puts forth.
He references and I read another article that is pro-iPad for 1:1 programs by Tim Holt. You can find that article here.
The premise of his article is that there is no real debate between iPads and Chromebooks because they are different. The iPad is a mobile device and the Chromebook a laptop. He says it comes down to cost which I completely agree with and understand. Cost is a huge factor when selecting technology tools! Tim Holt outlines all the amazing possibilities hold and end the article with this point:
"If you listen to folks talk about Chromebooks, it is almost never in terms of what students can do with the device. Instead, it's almost always about how the devices can be managed (old school IT department thinking) and how low the cost is (finance department academic decision-making), or how it integrates with Google Docs which is code for, “It can do almost everything Microsoft Office does.” That conversation has to change--especially if the “bring-your-own-device” mentality takes off in school districts.
I am really open to learning more about Chromebooks seeing as I will most likely land in a district next year that is using them. So I am going to end this post with a poll. What type of technology does your school and district implement? Please answer and leave any thoughts about this debate in the comments below.
Check out these amazing teaching and learning blogs
Michael Fricano's Blog
2 Guys and Some iPads
Kristin Ziemke's Page
Don Goble's Blog
Mrs. Wideen's Blog