Which tablets are in which classrooms?

We recently wrote a blog post about the BYOD trend, that is hitting schools all over the globe, with governments and local authorities noting its benefits. Rather than tablets being locked away at home, students are being encouraged to bring their own device into the classroom. For publishers, this means publishing textbooks onto a number of platforms – which is one of the main benefits of using YUDU Education. If schools in your country are going down the BYOD route, or even if governments are issuing class sets, an understanding of how each tablet is entering the education market is key.

Apple’s iPad

Apple kicked off last term by offering students money off apps, in return for purchasing Macs and iPads. The development of iBooks Author is an affirmation of their investment in the education space, with key features of the software working specifically on creating interactive textbooks. The interactive books are stunning and provide something that printed books just can’t compete with.

Not forgetting the new iPad Mini, which is now a cheaper alternative for the classroom and Apple executives were keen to focus on this benefit, at the launch event last month.

Android tablets (including Google’s Nexus 7)

The main advantage here is price. You can purchase a 10-inch Android tablet for under £200, plus the Google Play Store offers a good selection of educational apps. Schools can also create their own apps for Android and these can be integrated into the rest of the school system, much more easily than could be achieved with an iPad.

Amazon’s Kindle

Amazon have been selling Kindle devices into schools in the U.S at bulk discounts. Trials have been running in over 100 schools in Florida and Texas and this is due to expand into other states and countries shortly.

The main game changer has been the introduction of Whispercast, which allows schools to buy and distribute their textbooks, to Kindles over a wireless internet connection. It also allows them to block certain Kindles from accessing the Web and can prevent certain students from making purchases – an ideal solution for the classroom.

Microsoft Surface

It’s too early to really assess the advantages of the newest release from Microsoft. However, our initial impression is that it’s highlights include:

  • Support for Microsoft Office (standard in most schools and familiar to students)
  • Enterprise management solutions which offer security for schools
  • Detachable keyboard for development of keyboarding skills

We would be really interested to know of your experience of working with schools in your country. What devices are being used? How do you deal with publishing to new devices?

If you are interested to know more about the YUDU Education product, there is a two minute video here.

Alternatively, you can email education@yudu.com for further details.

2 replies

  1. I don’t think it’s too early to assess the advantages of Microsoft’s Windows 8 at all. It’s not really a tablet OS. It’s Windows. This means it provides many, many benefits over Android or iOS (plus a few drawbacks), including being backwards-compatible with all the millions of Windows titles out there, as well as forwards-looking to touch-based tablet applications.

    iBooks Author is a good concept, in theory. In practice, there are major problems with it — not the least of which is Apple’s draconian EULA, which essentially states that anything you make on iBooks Author becomes the property of Apple. As a content producer, I’m not okay with that — and I don’t know many people who are. I could see using it as a tool for kids to create their own books, but why would I invest a lot of my time and energy just to be tied to Apple’s monopolistic model and never be allowed to distribute MY work through other channels?

    This, and many more problems (including price — yes, iPad Mini is cheaper, but not as low as Nexus or Kindle Fire, so what’s the point? I would advocate for the full-size tablets, anyway. You can get a full-sized 10.1″ HD Android for the cost of an iPad Mini) lead me to urge people to “Just Say NO to iPads for Education” in my blogs and videos at EdTechExpert.com (and on YouTube)

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