Which Digital Device

Apple, Android, Mircorsoft, Chromebooks, laptops, phablets and tablets – its already got quite confusing! Hopefully we can shed some light on what it all means and help you choose the best digital device for your classroom and for learning.

What are the main operating systems for E-learning devices in schools?

A mobile operating system (OS) is software that allows tablets, laptops and other devices to run applications and programs.

A mobile OS typically starts up when a device powers on, presenting a screen with icons or tiles that present information and provide application access. Mobile operating systems also manage cellular and wireless network connectivity.

There are four key operating systems being used in schools in the UK

iOS –  (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company’s mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Android – is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Windows OS – The most widely used operating system for desktop and laptop computers. Developed by Microsoft, Windows primarily runs on x86-based computers

Chrome – is an operating system designed by Google that is based on the Linux kernel and uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. As a result, Chrome OS primarily supports web applications.

Apple iPad

The iPad, launched in 2010 has been the market favourite for some time now with digital learning in the classroom. Students and Teachers love them, they have a vast amount of educational Apps and is a great platform for e-textbooks. The iPad is great to view content and user friendly for teachers, students and students with disabilities. Light weight at under 0.5KG, it is easily portable with a longer life battery, but also fast and easy to use.

What is a Chromebook for schools?

A Chromebook is a simple to use, fast and low-cost computer solution for schools. They provide connection to the internet and have a wide range of education resources. These computers are not manufactured by Google, but can come with a Google License (Formally known as Google Apps for Education.) This is a suite of free applications which includes: word processing, spreadsheet work, presentation, calendar and G-Mail. These are all designed with school children and the classroom in mind.

The Chromebook is operated by a Chrome operating system developed by Google. Unlike normal laptops, the operating system is not installed on the hard drive, but is accessed by the Google Chrome browser. Google then store all the information on their servers. The great news is that if your device is lost or stolen, all the documents are stored in the cloud and are easy to retrieve.

Main manufactures of Google Chromebooks for schools in the UK

The Chromebook has been designed for education. We believe there are about twelve manufactures, but the main ones are:

Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung & Toshiba. However, let’s not forget CTL, Haier, Nexian and Xolo

A problem with Chromebooks!

This is a problem we have seen at edde, new devices come to the market all the time with old models discontinued. Whilst this is how IT technology works, we have seen first hand a school decide on a device only for it to be obsolete prior to the class scheme going live.

The positive side to Chromebooks

  • Price, they are good value
  • Data safety – documents are saved into the cloud
  • They are quick to start up, sleep mode to live in a second
  • Great battery life
  • The Google operating system is virus-proof

Apple iPad – having serious competition from Google Chromebook or Android Devices

You will read online that Apple used to have a 94% market share of E-learning devices in classrooms. We can back this up, for many years, 95% of the classroom devices we insured and financed were Apple iPads. As of January 2018, this is down to 50%. The Apple iPad is having serious competition from Google Chromebooks and other android devices. They have an excellent suite of Apps and the pricing of Chromebooks is highly competitive compared to the iPad.

The trend is clear. A 90% increase in uptake of Chromebook devices is testimony to their functionality and competitive pricing.

Google has become a fixture in classrooms around the world:

  • 70 million teachers and students use G Suite for education on a daily basis.
  • 20 million Chromebooks are being used in classrooms around the world.
  • The reasons for this are also clear – Google offers a range of tools which are simple to use yet powerful.
  • Furthermore we are seeing more of a shift towards web-based content and learning mechanisms as opposed to app based delivery.

Free downloadable guides for education

Edde have written seven guides to help you through your digital journey. With regards to which digital device should you use, the following three guides may be of use.

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