While nobody hated the iPad, by any means, the iPad was edged out by some key feedback, said Joel Handler, Hillsborough’s director of technology. Students saw the iPad as a “fun” gaming environment, while the Chromebook was perceived as a place to “get to work.” And as much as students liked to annotate and read on the iPad, the Chromebook’s keyboard was a greater perk – especially since the new Common Core online testing will require a keyboard.
Another important finding came from the technology support department: It was far easier to manage almost 200 Chromebooks than the same number of iPads. Since all the Chromebook files live in an online “cloud,” students could be up and running in seconds on a new device if their machine broke. And apps could be pushed to all of the devices with just a few mouse clicks.
Hillsborough educators also tend to emphasize collaboration, and they found that Google’s Apps for Education suite – which works on either device – was easier to use collaboratively on Chromebooks.
I’m shocked – shocked! – that a device with a keyboard is more useful in educational settings than a tablet.