Dear Parent,

If you want to run out today and purchase a laptop or tablet... then there may be some things that you may need to consider first. Ultimately, I would suggest you wait. Wait. Wait. The college is in the process of making important decisions and maybe the choices we make will influence what decision you make for home. If you simply cannot wait and need to make a decision today then I have a few ideas. Furthermore, Windows 8 is soon to be released and this may be a game changer.

If the technology that you seek is simply for your children and you are conscience of a budget then perhaps an iPad may be suitable. It may not fully support intensive work and major production, however, for basic word processing, research and web browsing, simple spreadsheets and media presentations then an iPad may just do the trick. There are millions of applications that can be purchased to boost the capabilities of the device. There are Apps for creating movies and publishing content. There are journal applications, mathematics tools, science gadgets, eBooks and even applications that assist with healthy living.

You can get an iPad2 for under $400. You would need to protect your device and purchase a cover and allow money for an iTunes Card. A $50 iTunes Card would be enough to purchase fundamental applications. The iPad2 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. 16GB is suitable for children particularly if they use iTunes, DropBox, Evernote and iCloud effectively.

One should note that various websites do not work on the iPad. Mathletics, Scootle, Reading Eggs and any other websites that depend on Flash do not work. Basically Flash drains battery power and for tablets to last for long periods of time they have given games that require Flash the flick. Even the latest Android tablets do not support Flash and I heard this first hand from Reading Eggs. There are Apps that provide the same educational benefit. Flash is old school and Apps are new technology.
The options for iPad are 3G (or 4G) + Wi-Fi or just Wi-Fi. If you get an iPad with 3G you will have ongoing expenses with data plans and if you go over your data allowance there will be additional costs incurred. This can be a rude shock sometimes!

If you have Wi-Fi connectivity at home then you may only need an iPad with Wi-Fi. The device will have limited abilities when you are away from a Wi-Fi connection. You could use it at McDonalds, Coffee Club, Zarraffas and other such places that have free Wi-Fi. So... an iPad2 with 16GB and Wi-Fi may be the perfect choice. If you haven't got Wi-Fi at home then you will need to get a router and allow anywhere from $100 to purchase the equipment you need.

You can get an iPad3 but it starts at around $500. It has a a few features that are better than the iPad2 such as a superior camera. The iPad3 is slightly thicker and a little heavier. The screen is Retina Display which means it is amazingly good and basically crystal clear.

To print from an iPad you would need to get an Air Print or Wi-Fi enabled printer. Tell the retailer when you make your purchase that you need to be able to print from your iPad.

iPads have the equivalent of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. They are called Pages, Keynote and Numbers. They work almost exactly the same as the Microsoft Office and cost $10.49 each. This may sound expensive but compare this to Microsoft Suite and it may be considerably cheaper. You could purchase additional software for a laptop or desktop PC, however, with tablet technology there may be apps that are more cost effective. The benefits of Apps is that the updates are free.

If you want something like a laptop... $1000 will get you something very decent. You have MacAir, the Samsung Ultrabook and HP Ultrabook. You also have the MacBook Pro option... but this is more expensive again. If you stick with the Samsung Ultrabook or HP Ultrabook, you will be using Windows. Windows 8 is released soon... so my recommendation is to wait. Wait. Wait. Windows 8 will be different from the Windows that you are probably familiar with as it has a metro look and is trying to look a little like Apple. In order to print from your Windows PC you will need to purchase a normal printer, however, double check the cost of the printer cartridges as this may determine which printer you would like to buy. Also, please be conscience of the fact that Windows 8 is going to be released and you may want to wait for this to happen so you know that everything is going to work together.

The amazing thing with Apple is that music and images will sync between all your devices if they are on the same account. This means that if you take a picture with your iPhone, over Wi-Fi the image gets pushed to other iPhones and other Apple devices (including the iPad). This may be an issue if you don't want personal content to be accessed by your children. If this is the case the devices would need to have separate accounts.

I think that the iPad can do almost anything. There are some limitations. The beautiful thing is that Apple updates are free and therefore when iOS6 is released, you simply ‘click’ on the update and it automatically updates your device which means that your technology is brought forward in some respects to the new releases. Some say that Apple Technology doesn't get viruses. There are numerous articles that argue this case.

Ultimately, your choice will be governed by finance. If you want to spend under $500 you should purchase an iPad2 and related accessories. I would never suggest buying a laptop under $500 because you would simply be asking for trouble.

If you want to purchase a laptop... allow from $1000. The best choices are the HP Ultrabook, Samsung Ultrabook and MacAir. They each have different specifications as in weight, screen size and whether they have HDMI, USB ports, CD Rom Drive, etc. If you purchase MacAir... you will need to prepare to do things differently because it’s a unique product and will take some time in getting familiar with. You may want to purchase accessories for the MacAir such as a protective shield (cover) and track pad.

The iPad’s looking like an attractive offer... isn't it?

I have constructed this entire email on my iPad to prove to you its abilities. If you have time to check out my blog you will find extra information on iPads. In fact, 95% of my blog is constructed on my iPad. I am convinced that the iPad can do more than most people initially believe.

What is your choice?
Kind Regards,
Adam C. T. King

Digital Learning Coordinator


Popular posts from this blog

Curriculum Theory By Ralph Tyler and it's implication for 21st Century Learning

Sphero or Ozobot? Ozobot or Sphero?

Drones in Australian Curriculum