Making Curriculum Pop

I'm trying to get a hold of which product is best for me...for my students.

I'd love to hear from someone who's using 2 or more of these devices.

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I'm interested as well- our school is  considering going to Chromebooks...

I will say that IPad can't open PDF's at least that's what I think I've been told. I have a Nook and love it. Great Internet access, reading books is good of course, VERY easy set up.


We recently were given some Simple Touch nooks and have found their options to be rather limited - no audio, no apps, and few pictures. (Can't even do simple picture books or graphic novels.) The higher end models can do more, so be sure you know which nook you want!

What I would be interested in is the possibility of free ebooks and apps for each device. Is it more likely to get free stuff for educational use with a Google product than, say nook or apple? Just thinking of the maintenance cost. These tools are only as effective as their ability to stay current.

I will be watching this thread to see what others have to say.


I'm not teaching right now, but I blog about education topics, including iPad app reviews. I currently own an iPad3 and my husband is thinking of buying the iPad mini soon. 

You can open PDFs in iPad. Open in iBooks. Thank goodness, as when I first got the iPad, I really needed a PDF of tips! 

I have found iPad3 good in many respects. I wish it had a usb port, but I am getting used to using DropBox (in the cloud) to upload docs. I bought a case with a keyboard built in, but have found I can type ok on the touch screen for what I want. Books were great when we were travelling as i read a lot and airlines aren't keen on weight - I have downloaded both free and paid ones. 

The iPad mini, from what I've read and seen, has most of the benefits of the iPad3, with the advantage of being more compact and lighter. The wonderful retina screen means it doesn't seem too small. 

There are some great free educational iPad apps, but even the paid ones aren't hugely expensive. Many free ones just give you a limited version to try, then you pay say $2 to unlock more features. The hard part is the time it takes to research apps. I suggest you check out Langwitchesblog, Richard Byrne's iPad blog, Lindsey Fuller's blog - I respect what they have to say about apps and using iPad as a tool rather than a toy. 

I would suggest my own blog, but so far I've only managed to publish 2 reviews! However, i have downloaded lots of apps for primary aged kids - mostly in the areas of literacy and writing and creativity, and am happy to answer questions about them if I can. I do have a Pinterest board where you can see some educational apps I think are worth another look. 

Joan, my son is an Android guy, and my totally un-researched feeling is that it may be cheaper to go Android. There are many sites that let us know when an iPad app goes free - my problem with that, is that i am in Australia, and it is mostly iTunes in USA that has the free app special days.

I hope some of that is helpful. Hope you get some answers from people who are actually using 2 or more devices, the way you want.  

Thanks everyone for your ideas...

Thanks for your insights, Susan!

I was teaching HS French last year with a class set of Chromebooks (we were a Google Apps for Ed district), a class set of iPod touches and 5 iPads (1st gen). In my ideal classroom each student would have a Chromebook and we would have a set of iPads minis to use when needed. I currently work in a school trying to go 1:1 with iPads (2/3). I would not recommend having iPads as the only tool for students. 

For my own personal use, I would buy a Chromebook and an iPad (or mini). They have very different goals in mind and I would love to be able to choose the best tool for what I wanted to do. But that's an ideal world!

That's helpful, Lissa. Thanks for sharing your experience. I can see that the purpose of the task is specific to the tool.

I piloted 1 to 1 with netbooks...I can't remember the device. We went with Chromebooks last year 1 to 1 in a high school environment. The kids like the Chromebooks and a usb port is important but it really does depend on what you're going to do with it. Chromebooks don't work with lots of our science department's probes and other lab related equipment. Neither would an ipad. The biggest drawback to the Chromebook is that it's not at all durable. They're largely plastic and cheaply constructed. This is an important concern and too often overlooked. 



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