Do I buy my child an iPad for school?

Lots of people ask me this question. This is what I tell them and why:



  • Great battery life – believe it or not, this is the most important thing when a student is taking a ‘device’ to school
  • Form – people love using the iPad. There’s no point in buying something they’ll hate. Education should be enjoyable, not endurable.
  • Apps – they’re awesome. They leave the android apps for dead.


I’m not going to give lots of reasons here. I’m going to tell you the only reason the really matters. And not many people are talking about this one.

  • uploading is messy or difficult. You can’t upload anything through the browser of an iPad.

I’m typing this on my $410 macbook. If I was using an iPad, I could do it with the wordpress app but it’s not ideal – it has a number of limitations. If you’re on Facebook and you want to upload a picture, how do you do it? You have to use the app – you can’t do it through the browser. So far, so good.

But if you’re in moodle, which is what a  lot of teachers use to manage their courses, there is no way to upload. This is the same for all the other LMSs (ultranet, knowledgenet, blackboard, wikispaces…). Moodle now has an app, but it’s very limited and it only uploads images and audio – in a very clumsy way.

So until there are some solid LMS (Learning Management System) apps come together, tablets are out.

What should I buy instead?

Buy a netbook with a ram upgrade. I reckon the one without windows are excellent value. They’ve got ubuntu or chrome installed instead. You can pick them up for about NZ$700.

2 Comments to “Do I buy my child an iPad for school?”

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