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Chromebook v.s. iPad

A few years ago, the idea of a switch to iPads was presented by the Director of Technology, Jeremy Cunningham and the Bryant Schools Apple representative, Mark McDougal at the time, there wasn’t enough funding to make the change, but during February of 2021, when ESSR funds became available to our district, the iPad discussion was revisited. It was a positive and quick decision to spend it on iPads, said Dr. Angie Dischinger, assistant superintendent of secondary education.

Now that it’s been a year with the iPads, there’s been talk of which is better: Chromebooks, or iPads?

Chromebooks have been the main device students used at school for many years. There had been no major or noticeable problems with them, and they were familiar and comfortable for students to use. Chromebooks didn’t get frustrating to use, and were cheaper than the iPads are.

Compared to iPads, Chromebooks were fast. If a Chromebook had issues, it would be sent to the tech department and the student would be able to borrow an extra Chromebook, without having to trade in something valuable. If common sense was used when handling Chromebooks then they would work fine.  A major contrast to the iPads. It’s very easy to break an iPad. Even just having it in backpacks wrong can cause it to crack- we’ve seen it happen before. There aren’t even screen protectors to negate any possible damage. Plus, iPads are very expensive to fix, a price which is normally paid by the student and their parents.

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Since Chromebooks are computers, Google apps, such as Docs and Drive, are much easier to use. The one with the most glaring difference to most people is Slides. On the Chromebook, students are able to do lots of things, like add animations, word art, build themes, and more. On the iPads, it is much more difficult to get around, and most things can’t even be done. On Gmail, images don’t even work most of the time. Images have to be sent to Google Drive to be able to be seen. It’s frustrating to use the Google apps on iPads, and not being able to do most things just adds fuel to the fire.

Chromebooks stayed at the school, meaning students had no responsibility over them at home. Students wouldn’t have to worry about remembering to charge the Chromebooks at home, or remember to put them in backpacks. On the iPads, battery life can deteriorate very quickly. It isn’t an uncommon sight to see other students asking around for a charger for their iPad. Quite different to the Chromebooks, where it’s rare to see them needing charging.

Chromebooks were familiar to use, and most students know the insides-out of how to work them. There’s a Slides presentation in science? Easy! Just go to Drive, make a new Slide, and work on it with little to no frustration. There was a touchpad, so no bumbling fingers would have to fumble on a screen just to change the size of a textbox. With iPads, there’s a learning curve for both students and teachers.

iPads are a fresh start for students at our school. No major complaints have been made about the iPads. iPads are newer and easier to use, so no need to worry about having to get fixed several times. Even if there is a problem, it can easily be taken to get fixed and another iPad or an old Chromebook can be used until the owner’s is fixed, which doesn’t take long at all.

iPads aren’t very hard to take care of considering that they’re small and light weight. All that is needed to do when a student gets home is plug it up to charge. The school also provides a charging station at lunch to charge the iPads and not every class will require iPads use, so it can be charged then. Unlike Chromebooks where people had to wait in a long line with a bunch of tangled wires and trying to figure who’s cord is who’s. The next day, most people come to find out that someone unplugged the wire to someone else’s chromebook, so it’s not charged.

Chromebooks have a slow mouse that gets frustrating after waiting for it to actually work. iPads are touch screens, so we don’t have to wait on the mouse. Although some apps require a stylus, like SketchesSchool and sometimes just to help navigate through the iPad better, styluses aren’t expensive. Stylus don’t have to be the fancy $100 ones, they can be the $5 ones from Walmart. Sometimes, teachers have them in their room for students to use, so this really shouldn’t be the problem with iPads.

It could be argued that apps are harder to use on the iPads, but is that true? A Google classroom notification pops up and it’s another assignment as per usual, but wait it’s a document. This will be difficult to do, iPads make it so much harder. Once you understand how the iPads work it’s much easier to use. All that’s needed to do is instead of clicking the arrow icon, look at the top right corner of the screen, there will be a little box with an arrow pointing upward. That will take the document to Google Docs and make it easier to use. So iPads don’t have to be hard to use, we just need to figure them out more!

It may seem like iPads are easier to break, however, this is not the case. Without actually testing, we wouldn’t be able to find which is easier to break. Kids are reckless so either way, iPads and Chromebooks could both easily be broken.

Both Chromebooks and iPads have many pros and cons each. Chromebooks are more comfortable to use and less expensive. iPads allow for more creativity and flexibility. In the end, there must be one winner, and majority votes for the iPads. The iPads are new and exciting, and allow for many new opportunities for students.

“I believe that providing a device to every secondary student outweighs the extensive learning curve and other difficulties that we have encountered so far. As a team, we are still learning how to best support our teachers and students using iPads.”

Story by Katie Wright and Kaylee Anderson

View Comments (5)
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  • R

    Raiden bowieApr 11, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    I genuinely think that Chromebook’s are better than iPads but after reading this i have learned that so people believe that iPads are better and I think it is very interesting to now also I thought that this was a wonderful story.

    Reply
  • C

    ChristopherMar 26, 2024 at 11:17 am

    As I was reading this debate I learned that some people like the Chromebooks better than the iPads and vice versa as I always thought people thought the iPad was superior. Probably the most interesting part of reading this was learning IPads aren’t actually less durable than the Chromebooks. A question I have that I wish was in the story was what gave Jeremy Cunningham the idea to switch to iPads as Chromebooks were a much cheaper option. A suggestion topic for another article following this same topic is what do the students think are better Chromebooks or iPads.

    Reply
  • L

    LandonMar 7, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    I learned that the ipads are more actually better than the Chromebook’s. The most interesting detail was that the iPads are more durable. A detail left out is chargers are hard to come by if you lose them for the iPads. A suggestion is to include that the Chromebook’s were easier to play games on.

    Reply
  • L

    LaKayleeMar 7, 2024 at 10:08 am

    This is my first year using an iPad and it’s okay. I prefer Chromebooks, because there was more access in using certain apps for class. I didn’t know that Bryant used to have Chromebook’s. One day for an article we could do which is better in student’s opinions.

    Reply
  • A

    AudreyMar 7, 2024 at 9:16 am

    I personally like the chromebooks better, they are more non-breakable, and they work a lot better than a iPad. Half the time you have to update them, or they break and you have to fix them. The Chromebook’s were easier to use and weren’t a bother to carry around all day. Maybe another article on how some students support the iPads more than Chromebook’s.

    Reply