iPad vs Chromebook, a battle for the education dollar, not even close.

Brian Foutty, SwiftTeacher.org, on the differences between an iPad and a Chromebook in the classroom:

The iPad’s camera is the BIGGEST curricular differentiator. The ability to use the iPad’s camera to take high quality pictures or video to record evidence for a presentation in Keynote or Explain Everything is invaluable in the classroom.


When I taught math, my students would use the camera to take video to track the trajectory of a football being thrown one day and a pumpkin being dropped from 45 feet the next day. Students would then use the Venier Video Physics app on another day to chart the paths of the football and the pumpkins. The app generates mathematical equations.


Having a small, lightweight, and maneuverable device (think iPad) with a great camera is what made it possible for me to provide my students an interesting, engaging, and memorable educational experience. And this is but one of many examples that my colleagues and I are doing in my district on a weekly basis.

Camera, powerful processor tip the scales to the iPad.

More from Brian:

The iPad’s microphone is also a key asset of the iPad. The microphone allows students to record their thoughts, questions, and observations as part of class notes using Notability or class projects using Explain Everything, a voice recorder app, or a student feedback app such as Recap. Audio gives the students yet another vehicle to express their ideas and their learning in order for teachers to keep them involved and engaged in learning. Combining the microphone, the camera, and iMovie gives teachers a really powerful curricular tool to engage students in a way that allows students to create content both academically and creatively that results in deeper, more meaningful learning experiences for students.


As I previously mentioned, my district did, at one point, decide to purchase Chromebooks, which we still have because of their light use and another reason I will mention later. When my district received our Chromebooks, we unboxed them, deployed them, and that was it. We, as teachers, had to figure it out without any support or help other than internet research. Google’s direct support of Chromebook is non-existent because they did not manufacture the product. Let’s not forget that Google’s top business is Search! They collect data about our use and sell it to advertisers.

And finally, on affordability:

Many Chromebooks are cheap(er). Many of them are plastic and not well made, but that cheapness comes at a cost: durability and residual value. The conventional wisdom (in education) has been that Chromebooks cost schools less money to deploy. I do not believe this conventional wisdom to be actual wisdom or even true. The new iPad definitely renders this argument for choosing Chromebook completely null and void.

This is a great piece, from an educator with real world teaching experience, on the myriad advantages of the iPad. [Via The Overspill]

  • ungeheier

    Just an FYI, an ad popped up underneath this post which contained two videos on it. It scrolled my browser down to that video while I was reading this post and then would not allow me to scroll my browser back up to the rest of the article. This happened twice with two different videos playing in the same spot. I get that ads pay for the site and such, buy forcing my browser to move around and lose my place while reading your site is kinda shitty.

    • Dave Mark

      We have no such ads. We are sensitive to this issue (our ads are very small and placed by a screened service). Something else is going on here with your browser. Try opening the site in a different browser, see if you get the same behavior. My concern would be that you have some kind of ad-serving malware.

      • ungeheier

        Well, i do know that my browser showed something along the lines of ‘do you want to block flash’ and then poof the ad was playing on your page. Havent had this issue anywhere else before.

        Interesting too: The ads were above/below the Disqus chat module earlier. No ads there now.

        • Dave Mark

          I think you were right, but I think the ads were being served by DISQUS, the commenting software. Jim has turned it off. It is never our intention to serve up obnoxious or misleading ads. Sorry this happened, appreciate your bringing it to our attention.

          • ungeheier

            No worries. I was just passing it on because I knew you guys wouldn’t want that sort of BS happening on your site.

    • John Kordyback

      I was getting those for a couple of hours yesterday but they’ve gone away.

  • Mo

    How many school administrators, many of whom have even less experience with teaching than they do with consumer tech, will choose the demonstrably better and longer-lasting option over the demonstrably cheaper option?

  • John Kordyback

    It would interesting to get an actual ownership cost which included initial costs, support costs, replacement lifecycle, etc – especially as this iPad vs Chromebook. IBM has been pretty open about their findings within their company (Macs vs PC) but schools rarely have the time, luxury, or money to examine this closely.


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