iPad vs. Android
choosing a way to teach
Choosing a device or choosing a way to teach!
Schools are moving towards a new digital era. A personal device for every student who has more opportunities to learn in his own way and in his own time.
Books are digitalized and there are a lot of applications which can be used in or outside the classroom.
The real question is what kind of vision we have about teaching and learning. Which device is the most compatible one for our teaching. What's our goal and what's our vision.
My goal was to test 2 tablets; iPad 2 and Samsung galaxy tab.
21st century teaching
Our education is not changing the way our world is changing. Books and traditional classrooms are the most common ways for teaching. Some, maybe most did well in this system we presume. So why we should change that?
We are not our children, we had education in a different time, we needed something else than our children need now. We should guide them like our teachers guided us and challenged us. The problem is however that education did not notice the change, I think they ignored it. Now the time has come to make a difference. We have the tools to help, stimulate and teach them the way they can understand in a world they know.
What are the rules, the challenges they have to cope with? We teachers need to understand these questions in order to help and teach them.
Rethink lesson structure
If we want to make use of the possibilities of a tablet device we need to reconsider how we teach. Traditional teaching is still possible with a tablet, but I think it is not the right way, because there are more important functionalities. If our teaching will still be the same we do not need a tablet. In that case the only thing that will be different is the amount of books the students need to take with them. That's a good thing but this can not be the only reason for choosing a tablet.
This and more...
With a tablet device it is possible to interact with the world, students can search, learn, discuss , communicate and be creative in and outside the classroom! Their learning experience will be greater than if they only work in their textbooks or workbooks.
I don’t think that a laptop, beamer or interactive whiteboard can accomplish the same experience.
- is smaller than a laptop and therefore handier.
- has different useful apps.
- has an integrated film and photo camera
- sound recording
So, what's more..
The learning apps are increasing every day. There are many good apps you can use in the classroom or for studying. (although there should be more and better ones in Dutch).
The main reason I believe in the tablet is the way you can use the available sources such as YouTube, social media, web2.0 in your lessons, for example you have immediate access to the right sources while you teach. That will make the difference in teaching. A laptop can almost do the same thing but the size, the beautiful apps which are not available for laptop and the better batteries are why I prefer a tablet over a laptop or pc. Although these devices will still be necessary.
note: a tablet can't replace a teacher, the teacher will still be the most important person in education!
iPad vs. Android
We need to make a choice between two operating systems, one is called ' closed'. And the other is 'open'. Some people believe in open systems because everyone can make something for this system. But it's also possible to make junk. The 'closed' system looks like it's not the most friendly but at the moment it is the most reliable and has more stable and better educational apps in my opinion.
After working and testing these devices I noticed this: both (Samsung galaxy tab, iPad 2, and 'the new iPad') have more or less the same functions. Sometimes the Android works best on certain websites and sometimes the iPad. Of course due to the conflict with adobe, flash will never work well on the iPad, there are alternatives if you need flash, but they are slow. In the meantime most of the existing websites are already available on the iPad or websites are planning to redesign there sites to work on the iPad.
I have tested several websites on both devices we use for education and both tablets have their own issues.
So I needed to do some thinking about comparing them but I have to face it. The IPad took me away, there was never a problem, it works simple and intuitive. There are good apps and there will be more apps to come. Pages, Keynote and Numbers are user friendly and beautiful. Educational publishers have apps and are always trying to improve these apps. But the main thing is how it works! Flawless, intuitive, simple and logical.
The Samsung galaxy tab was more difficult, you need to think before you act and in this case it wasn’t good because I had trouble with crashing apps and the overall experience was not comparable with the iPad. The only good thing compared to the iPad 2 was the bright screen. But the new iPad already has a better screen than the Samsung.
Innovation will go further, every year we will face better technologies but we can't wait for those to come. We need to decide based on what we think and know now.
In my opinion we should choose the iPad because of its reliability, great apps, educational books are made/will be made for the iPad and it's fun to work with.