Other Devices

Netbooks, tablets and i-pads are exciting technological innovations, each with its own particular set of strengths. Screen size, software applications, proper keyboard, battery life, hard-drive capacity etc... All these need to be considered, and any sacrifice in one area has to be balanced by a real advantage in another.

iPads, in particular, have become popular and a number of schools are using these. They are popular because of a number of features such as weight, size and the ability to store and read e-books. The general feeling is that iPads are fabulous for younger children because of the tactile aspect and the multitude of inexpensive applications geared for younger ages. iPads are great for consuming information (reading emails, browsing the Internet and other research). They are less useful when creating content, word processing, generating presentations and working with spreadsheets at a senior school level. There are numerous very useful apps with great educational value, but generally we find that senior school students find it problematic to work solely on iPads. The nature of their work demands more sophisticated software and processing power than available at this stage on the iPad. At this stage, the majority of applications available for certain tablets are unable to replace the full suite of applications available on a PC or laptop or tablet running Windows. The iPad is an extremely useful but additional device. Over the next few years, tablets are expected have their greatest impact so they are certainly a technology to trial and to keep an eye on.

The College has thus decided, at this stage, to continue engaging with laptops and only certain tablets as the preferred one-to-one technology choice, but we are certainly keeping other tablet developments in our sights!