Sorry, but the type of device still matters.

comments Commentstotal2
Several years ago, a seasoned 1:1 educator declared "the OS wars are over...and nobody won." What he meant was that despite the great debate between Windows and Mac OS in schools, when you boiled it down to accomplish the work of teaching and learning it really didn't matter. Obviously, he was a strong proponent of manufacture agnostic administration and BYOD, but I think he had a point.

The latest "war" is being waged between laptops and tablets (and smartphones to a degree) and I have several other seasoned 1:1 colleagues who again are declaring the war over. They say that any device can be used by students to the same effect.

However, this is untrue. There are still creative functions that cannot be accomplished by tablets (or smartphones) that limit the productivity, efficiency, and experiential learning potential for students. Keyboards, data management, and depth and complexity of software titles make laptops the device of need for true creation. Now, many people disagree with me and have shown me numerous counterexamples, but working in a classroom and putting a student's hands on a tablet to type is a barrier to developing student work digitally.

There is a flip side as well. The portability of tablets and the focused nature of apps on these devices are unparalleled on laptops. Laptop design, but nature, will never be as mobile friendly as something that can be easily pulled out of a handbag for true anytime-anywhere learning. Further, the complexity of a standard Windows or Mac operating system will always provide unneeded complexity or distraction to digital content, whereas an app on tablet can drill to heart of a learning activity with a simple tap.

With this said, it is still a critical discussion for school to engage in around the pedagogic implications of students carrying a laptop or a tablet (or both.)

Comments (2)

Sign in to view or post comments
Why do I need to sign in? Microsoft respects your privacy. A global community, the Microsoft Educator Network asks you to sign in to participate in discussions, access free technology tools, download thousands of learning activities, take online learning or connect with colleagues.