So the planning for this episode went something like this…
Hey Tim, we’re having Alice Keeler on the show!
Cool. What are we going to discuss?
We’re going to try something new. We are going to have a debate. Chromebook vs. iPad.
Oh, that sounds fun. Who’s she debating?
You. You’re taking the iPad side.
And then came the show…where I made a complete fool of myself. But Alice is super fun and knows her tech like a champ. Get ready for the most entertaining Bedley Bros EdChat yet. And the winner is…
Alice Keeler on Twitter
Alice Keeler’s Website
Summary: iPad is still the king of creation tools. Chromebooks are great replacements for laptops due to cloud computing.
I just bought a Chromebook this week so I would know if it was a viable alternative for the iPad in my BYOD classroom. Here are my initial thoughts.
- Light weight: Weighs less than my Griffin encased iPad.
- Inexpensive: I paid $199 at Wal-Mart. iPad minis run $329 at time of posting.
- Simple to use: Open it up, connect to a wireless, sign in to your Google Account, and your off and running. No Windows OS to make things complicated. Nothing to set up.
- Quick on: open it up and it’s on!
- Keyboard: feels right.
- Track pad: two finger scrolling, decent size
- No case needed: I may change my mind on this, but doesn’t seem as fragile as the iPad.
- External ports: 3 USB, Ethernet, and VGA for external monitor or projector. iPad has that dongle thing for connecting to projectors but it pops out super easily.
- Can create/edit using Google Apps. You may only work on Docs and Spreadsheets when using an iPad.
- A ton of free apps available through the Chrome Store.
- Can play Flash.
- WAY more educational apps: Games, student response apps, utilities, etc.
- Two Cameras: Front facing and back side. Chromebook only has the front facing.
- Creativity: Video, photography, stop motion, etc. The only way I can see to do this on Chromebook is to use the front facing camera, which would be super tricky.
- Drawing: Use a stylus and draw on the screen, or even use your finger. Chromebooks are track pad or mouse controlled, not touch screen. Drawing would be very hard.
- Digital portfolios: I use Three Ring a lot. iPads are perfect for capturing student work samples using the camera and mic.
- Stronger speakers: As weak as the speaker is on an iPad, it’s better than a Chromebook. I can barely hear the speakers on the Chromebook.
- Display: Greater visibility.
- Parental Control: Parents can control a lot through the restriction settings. I don’t see a way to do this with the Chromebook.
I will be recommending devices to families in my BYOD class this next year in the following order of preference:
- Latest full-size iPad
- Latest mini iPad
- Android tablet
If families can only afford a Chromebook, then it is definitely better than nothing. I do NOT see a Chromebook as a replacement for an iPad, but I do think it’s a great replacement for a laptop. I am using my Chromebook right now to write this post. It’s so simple for getting online and keyboard input. It’s not something I see as a creative tool for student projects, other than the fact that students can work on Google Presentations using a Chromebook. I love the fact that the computer is just ON right away, and for those who understand cloud computing, there’s really no reason these days to buy a full-blown computer with a large hard drive. I value your input so please leave a comment.