Summer is in full swing, which means my life is crazy busy at work. So busy that I haven’t written an update in a while. A lot has happened since I last wrote about choosing between iPad and Chromebook for our students and teachers.
The final decision was made to go iPad not too long after my last post, but a lot more decisions needed to be made before everything was set it stone. This post will detail where we ended up. I have to say I’m really excited about where we’re headed.
iPad and iPad Pro
Apple recently released a new iPad that can take advantage of the Apple Pencil while staying at the education price of $299 (or $294 if you buy in packs of ten). We’ve decided this will be our iPad of choice for our middle school (grades 6 through 8). It should last them three years and be able to do everything they will need to do during that time. They’ll also be using the new Logitech Crayon rather than the Apple Pencil, which should be a little more durable for their age group as well as save us $40 per student.
As for high school (grades 9 through 12), we’ll be going with the 10.5” iPad Pro. We’re hoping this one will last four years, although Apple really tried to convince us to recycle both models every two to three. Since this is a brand new program, we’ll have to see how they hold up. I think the slightly bigger screen and faster processor will be a benefit for the high schoolers, as well as feel like an upgrade over the iPad they will have had in middle school.
The updated technology in the classrooms is something else I’m excited about. We’re replacing projectors that are embarrassingly old with 65 inch TVs that will have an Apple TV connected. Teacher will be able to use AirPlay to show any content on their iPad or the student iPads. Currently their Windows laptops connect via a VGA connection in the wall to project onto a Smart board that is equally as old as the projectors. Being able to show what they want from anywhere in the room is going to be a game changer.
Another benefit is going to be the app Apple has released called Classroom, which lets teachers manage all of the student iPads in their classroom. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s amazing.
This is a huge project for us. We’ve been behind in technology for a while now, so it’s thrilling to be jumping so far ahead. But jumping ahead means a lot to plan and prepare. Here’s hoping for an exciting school year that builds a technology program that we can be proud of for years to come.