Tablets vs. Laptops in K-12 Education
You may already be aware of the in-depth discussion going on inside the Teacher Learning Community on Tablets vs. Laptops for classroom use. If you haven't taken a look at the discussion yet (catch up and join in here), here's a quick recap.
The comment that started it all...
"Would like to get views on whether tablets are better in the classroom rather than laptops/netbooks." - cyberteacher74
"Our elementary schools are gravitating more towards iPads than Laptops. They're lighter, easier to transport, take up less space, boot up quicker, and will do almost anything a laptop can do. There are enough integrated apps to solve some of the early issues we were having. The best part is, we can get 2 iPads for the price of 1 laptop on our state bid list." - ebonhaus
"[The Principals] now want iPads in all of their classrooms. They see it as a device with multiple uses. They can do most everything they can do on a laptop and more with the apps and portability. They even moved iPads above Smartboards on their priority list because with Apps like Splashtop, they can get some of the same functionality. We will still have about 5 student computers in each classroom and someday a mobile lab for each grade level, but for now, they want the iPads first." -dragontech
"I like the tablet in place of laptops. Reasons for are the weight, size and cost.
tablets are much easier to care for, weight less and can be put in a small back pack or in its own carrier. Battery life can be short but for the amount of good it provides I'll stick with it. Cost is far less than some laptops, depending on what you need." - cross-country-ghs
"The iPad will never be a laptop replacement for me and in our district, it costs almost as much as our student laptops. There are limitations with Android and iOS tablets when dealing with large district enterprise systems and the anticipated life of a good laptop/ cheap desktop, will be much longer than these portable devices." - Howard J Martin
"I do not think that a tablet can replace a laptop as they are made now. I work at a 1 to 1 laptop school who is beginning to introduce ipads. I think the ipad is great for app usage especially in science class but as a social studies teacher I am still struggling to find apps that do something to replace our computers. If you had to pick due to budget constraints then you should go with what you can afford. Some awesome tech will be better than none. There is still a lot that can be done on the ipad. I just don't see it replacing the computer any time soon." - Erin
"I have had the opportunity to try both [laptops and tablets] in my third grade classroom. While it is correct that both have advantages and disadvantages, the interactive web activities requiring flash seems to make me lean toward our netbooks more often" -rherbert
Final food for thought
"My thought process is always "let the needs & goals dictate the device, not the other way around". iPads are very cool devices, and I love mine, but my iPad hasn't (and thus far can't) replace many of my laptop/desktop functions. iPads are great for research, collaboration (email, etc), games, art, etc... but may not be the best tool for writing. If writing is your push a laptop might be the better option. I think the best recommendation is to come up with a detailed plan for use, specific goals you'd like to attain, and then search for the device that will be best suited for those needs." - mrcasal
What is your experience level with laptops and/or tablets in the classroom? Where do you stand? Let me know in a comment on this post, or better yet, add to the discussion thread inside the Teacher Learning Community.