We decided to invest in iPads about two years ago. Has this been a good decision? Having been through the implementation of tablet computing in a primary school, I’d say that things have gone smoothly on the whole. The advantage of going with iPad was that most staff members are very familiar with the operating system – owning iPhones! This means that little time has been designated to training for the staff or pupils – bonus! There are a wide variety of good quality apps and a volume licensing system which can mean significant savings on multiple app purchasing. The quality of the devices is good and they have survived two years worth of use with few problems.
The key feature of the successful implementation is to build up an ecosystem around the devices. We initially purchased 30 iPads and decent protective cases. We invested in a MacBook to act as a server to sync the iPads and a charging trolley. We enrolled on the Volume Purchasing Programme and selected a range of apps after some detailed research. The inclusion of an Airprint printer and ‘Airserver’ installed on our classroom PCs allowed for an output from the devices – hard copies or presented work on the class IWBs.
Most of this could be achieved using other types of tablets and I believe that it doesn’t really matter which device you select. However, the devices are only as good as the wireless network they are using!