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Making the Grade: How do you choose between iPad, Chromebook, and laptop?

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

During the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at overhauling a K–12 network, and all that goes into that. While we’ve not covered everything, we have included some essential items like a firewall and Wi-Fi. This week, we will move on to discussing device selection. A lot of your software decisions will be based on your device, so it’s essential to pick the right one. Let’s dive into K-12 device selection. About Making The Grade: Every other Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students. A common mistake with K-12 device selection is picking something without making sure it aligns with your school’s goals. There are three main types of devices to consider. Once you choose a device, you’ll have to decide on the various hardware types on top of accessories, but one thing at a time. iPad The iPad has been a staple of many K–12 schools since it was unveiled back in 2010. Even at its original $499 price point, it was a lot less expensive than a Mac but still was comparable to many lower-cost PCs. Over the years, Apple has made iOS (now iPadOS) on the iPad a lot more powerful. The devices have certainly grown more powerful over the years. Even the $329 iPad ($299 for schools) is plenty powerful for most use cases in K–12. Overall, the iPad hardware is extremely dependable. I am just finishing up a four-year lease of the iPad Air 2, and the only thing we are struggling with in the final months is the lack of ARKit 2 support. The software on the iPad is where it might fall apart for some schools. Despite recent enhancements, iPadOS is still a struggle in certain use cases. I personally find it faster to work with a trackpad/mouse, so forcing touch-only on the iPad does slow me down a bit (schools aren’t likely to deploy trackpads for all of their iPads). On the other hand, there are countless use cases where it’s easier to use the iPad over a laptop. This article isn’t meant to dive into all the benefits/weaknesses of the iPad, but it’s something to consider as you make your decision. You’ll want to consider what tasks your students will be doing and if the iPad is well suited for it. One area that the iPad continues to excel is manageability. In the early days of iPad management, a lot of tasks were still manual. In 2020, Apple’s mobile device management APIs have continued to get better year after year. Chromebook The Chromebook has become quite popular in K–12 over the past few years. With a wide variety of device options, the Chromebook does have some
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Hands-on with the Hyper GaN Stackable USB-C charger [Video]

Last year Hyper launched the world’s smallest 100W USB-C charger thanks to its implementation of GaN technology. Now the company is back with an even more compact and functional way to power up your devices with the HyperJuice GaN Stackable Charger. Follow along for a hands-on look as well as how to get 50% off…

Elon Musk and SpaceX launch Starlink satellite broadband amid pandemic

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