• This topic has 23 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 6 days ago by hugo.
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  • iPad for schoolwork?
  • Premier Icon prezet
    Free Member

    Hi. I have two daughters in school, 9 and 7 – considering buying them iPads for their school work (home learning). They now have school MS Teams accounts with email and chat/video – so was thinking it’d be ideal for this.

    How does an iPad fair for the other things they need to do at school?

    The eldest currently has a Chromebook and it seems average at best – Googles Family Link app is a bit crappy.

    Premier Icon i_like_food
    Full Member

    I think there’s two things here:

    First – how much Year 4-6 primary students need that degree of tech for schoolwork at home. I’d doubt they will be allowed to (need to) take them to school to work with and, from the amount and type of homework my 10 yr old gets, he doesn’t need a dedicated iPad of his own.

    Second, it then might depend on how linked into MS Office 365 the primary school is. I work in a sixth form college and we’re only now really getting on board with the integration between Teams and Onenote (obvs accelerated massively due to CV-19). Those students in my classes who have iPads with pens do have an advantage just in the simplicity of accessing the work, taking notes on ‘handouts’ and generally taking advantage of the benefits of O365.

    Personally I don’t think I would. I’m not looking at getting an iPad for my son until secondary school and unlikely then (as his prospective secondary seems a bit ‘rural’ when it comes to IT integration).

    Hope that helps.

    Premier Icon cyclistm
    Full Member

    I went with Chromebook for my 12yo. I felt the normal keyboard was important for typing etc.

    I foolishly got one without touchscreen, which I would make sure I got if I bought again.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t get an iPad unless I had a stupid amount of disposable income. Something that won’t make you cry when it gets dropped and broken would be a better option.

    Eldest got through GCSEs on just a second hand laptop, switched to Apple for A levels as they are better for his music course. I can’t see a primary school kid needing more than a basic machine. HMRC (just about) manages to function on shitty old Surface Pros.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    I’d go Chromebook or Microsoft tablet/laptop thing.

    We have iPads and they’re not great everything ia Microsoft and iPads are fine but don’t do it very well.

    Premier Icon bensales
    Free Member

    I’m going with “No, get a cheap laptop”. We’re an Apple house through and through and both kids (7 & 11) have iPads. The eldest gets home issued through Team and has to do electronic submission of it. Using Office on the iPad is doable, but it’s just a pain in the arse. Our teachers don’t seem to haven’t clue how to use Office correctly so often stuff in some random PowerPoint with a link to a flash movie or something equally silly. We found the easiest way of working is to use Teams on a proper computer, with a full install of Office. It’s free as the kids get a student account, although I’d have it anyway.

    I’m happy to use Office on my own iPad, but for the kids it just needs to be loads easier.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    An iPad is a toy it’s a very poor production device. I can think of nothing worse than trying to any form of work on an iPad unless it’s simply responding to an odd email. Trying to do any kind of office/school task would be hellish (iPad owner)
    Sure it can be forced to do it in much the same way I could drive to Dover in my land rover.

    I’d rather crawl over hot coals than do that.

    Not the tool for the job unless the schools engrained in the apple architecture Nd issues the homework in an appropriate format and if that was the case you’d be told to provide one .

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    I’ll add I’m a teacher and what bensales says is spot on.

    Premier Icon bensales
    Free Member

    bensales has just read his post back and found the spelling and grammar to be shocking.

    iPads are no good for STW either!

    Premier Icon chipsngravy
    Free Member

    For the iPad to work as a productivity device it’s better with a keyboard and maybe a mouse and Apple Pencil. When you add up all that cost you’re in laptop territory.

    Maybe take a look at the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go at £550.

    Looks like a great little device for kids and students.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/surface-laptop-go/94fc0bdgq7wv?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

    Quick add, Teams and the other M365 apps run really well on an iPad with IOS 14. (Massively helped by the Apple Magic Keyboard)

    Premier Icon simonchan
    Full Member

    Funny how my world’s collide sometimes – I work as a product manager for Microsoft. That being said, I personally use a mix of Apple, Google and Microsoft at home.

    If you have the money, an iPad is a great option (I use an iPad Air + Magic keyboard as my personal computer-but always have access to my work laptop and wife’s Mac), but like others have said it depends on how much written school work they’re doing on it and what your budget is. For all the iPad variations, if the kids are writing up reports, you’ll want to add a keyboard. Any Bluetooth mouse/keyboard will work but if they’re using it between the classroom and home, a case-style keyboard one works best. For the entry-level iPad, Apple have their own (pricey) and Logitech folio is another solid option (less pricey). There are also some other Bluetooth versions but they can be a bit buggy. I’ll also add that the cheapest base iPad only has 32GB of storage. Once you add the operating system (iPadOS) with a few apps and games, you’ll easily hit capacity. I’d recommend going with the more expensive 128GB option.

    So a larger capacity iPad + keyboard folio case puts you at the price of a pretty decent Chromebook or Windows laptop (~£550). Both of which will have larger screens and are a bit more flexible in terms of supporting proper multiple app windows, but of course aren’t as good for things like inking (add £90 for an Apple Pencil) and don’t have access to the plethora of apps for iPad.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    It might just be me but cut/copy n paste and drag and drop is a pita on an iPad.

    Premier Icon Kelliesheros
    Free Member

    Both of my daughters use iPads for their school work.

    Eldest daughters school requires all students to have a tablet (no laptops allowed) with them at school. We tried a couple of android tablets, but they didn’t really work consistently with the software the school used. Bought her an iPad. All good.

    COVID lockdowns occurred. Both schools went to teams and office. Got my youngest an iPad and two Bluetooth keyboards. Again all good.

    My take away is it depends massively on how the school set up their work. What are other students using?

    That said any device should run teams and office. I would be wary of going to cheap, especially if teams video is a thing. My work laptop spins it fans up on a teams meeting and god help me if I want to present a spreadsheet at the same time.

    Premier Icon ceepers
    Full Member

    My daughter has a Microsoft surface go which is what her school reccomends. They were pretty sophisticated as far as their “blended” learning over lockdown went.

    She was about 14 when we got it though.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Maybe take a look at the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go at £550.

    Ages 7 & 9 – a £550 laptop surely doesn’t make sense. Can’t you get a Chromebook these days that will do everything a primary school kid could possibly need?

    *I have no kids so have no idea but the thought of sending your kids to school with over a grands worth of tech (maybe pushing £2k depending on their phones) seem crazy!

    Premier Icon chipsngravy
    Free Member

    the thought of sending your kids to school with over a grands worth of tech (maybe pushing £2k depending on their phones) seem crazy!

    Completely agree. But having having the right digital tools has become an essential part of a child’s education, more so since Covid. It they don’t have the tools they will fall behind in their education, possibly even be excluded from getting an education. Very sadly, kids that don’t have access to an internet connection and PC / tablet will loose out now and in the long term.

    As a parent buy the best you can afford. As a society we have a responsibility to help those that can’t afford a ‘basic’ PC.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    An iPad will do the job just fine for sure, and a laptop or other device can be just as easy dropped or broken as an iPad in the hands of a kid and iPads are just as cheap as a pretty crappy laptop these days. I’d buy a device that they want to use for other things too and not just school lessons.

    Not sure about other schools policies, but the school my kids go to don’t allow any tech at all so no chance bringing an iPad or laptop to school even if they wanted to. The school has the resources the kids need when they’re in school. Even personal mobiles are not allowed in class. They’re only using their own tech for lockdown lessons, which can be done on any device, and homework.

    I bought £350 laptops for my kids when they started high school but they’re crap and cemented my opinion that unless you’re spending decent Mac level money on a laptop you’re not going to get anything half decent that will last more than about 2 or 3 years and require constant maintenance. They just about do what they need from them, but are just so slow and clunky. They’ve been saving up the last couple of years of birthday and Christmas money and I’m going to go halves with them on MacBook Air’s for Christmas as I know a £1000 MacBook Air will last more than 3 times longer than a £350 windows laptop and will hopefully see them through their GCSE’s, A-levels and onto Uni if they choose that route.

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    Maybe take a look at the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go at £550.

    Ages 7 & 9 – a £550 laptop surely doesn’t make sense.

    Hey the DFE handed out MS Go’s to nursery children during the 1st lock down (as it had touch screen).
    You’ll get an Ryzen 3 with a 128ssd for £350, t’is where I’d spend the money.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    If you go iPad and keyboard stay away from the Logitech keyboard. It’s cheap for a reason, not robust. Mrs S killed hers in around 6 months. The Logitech Crayon works well as an Apple Pencil substitute.

    Premier Icon mjsmke
    Free Member

    Another teacher here (though post 16). I’d go with a laptop. Far more productive than an iPad. We get quite a few students bring in tablets that they want to use instead of computers and fall behind very quickly as they cant run or open the same applications. I love Apple computers but their iPad is dreadfully restrictive with file transfer, and too dependant on wifi. Might as well use a large smart phone.

    I believe it’s also good practice to teach kids the difference between work devices and play devices.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    I’m going to go halves with them on MacBook Air’s

    Unless you’re a fanboi the Air really isn’t that good for the money.
    Dell XPS is same construction, faster, lighter, bigger/better screen, more ports and better battery life.

    Three daughters (all.iphone users) at Uni all doing business, first one has a MacBook Pro that she admits is no advantage for what she’s doing, second has a Google Pixelbook which she says is great and the third just got an XPS instead of an Air and loves it.

    To the OP: I got my eldest an iPad for use at secondary school during GCSE years…. She never used it and wanted a laptop instead.

    Premier Icon tails
    Free Member

    I think you can do plenty on an iPad in terms of document creation the pencil only adds to it. Guess you’ve got to answer whether they will be used in the work place in the future. Can’t see myself doing number crunching excel on them, but I’m sure someone out there is. In terms of longevity my iPads have been bette4 than my macs to the point I’ll now buy windows laptops.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    the thought of sending your kids to school with over a grands worth of tech (maybe pushing £2k depending on their phones) seem crazy!

    I ended up buying my youngest daughter a refurb MacBook Air earlier this year – it was clear a lot of her work was going to be online, and the crappy ancient laptop she had wasn’t really up to it. I’m not an Apple fan but I have to admit it’s a nicely put together piece of kit, and it should last her for the rest of her A-levels and onto university.

    But yeah – add the price of the laptop + her iPhone, and it’s well over a grand’s worth of kit. I could have bought a new bike with that money 🙁

    Premier Icon hugo
    Free Member

    I work as a Year 4 teacher in a private school where all the kids have iPads for use in lessons and at home.

    They are OK but I’d use Chromebooks with a touchscreen if it were my choice. Our computing teacher uses exactly those for teaching coding and office type applications. They’re just far more “academic” if you know what I mean. Bombproof and you get all the Microsoft Office stuff free with an education license.

    We use Seesaw for online learning which can be accessed by any device. Even though they all have iPads, they often use a parent’s laptop with a mouse and keyboard to complete their work.

    School are wedded to apple for some reason. Going to phase them out for Google classrooms in the next year I believe.

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