What kind of learner are we creating in our schools today? Is it a learner who can memorize facts and do well on tests? If so, your choice of technology device would definitely be a Chromebook.
If the learner is someone who is creative, wanting to become a creator rather than a consumer, then Apple iPad is the way to go.
It really comes down to the philosophy of education you have as a parent or educator. Creative learning, or in the words of Alberta Education, development of competencies, invites us to reexamine just how effective technology is and if it meets the needs of the learner today.
“Apple has always targeted the type of customer that is looking to invest in creative technologies for learning while Chromebook have prioritized providing an affordable solution to bring digital productivity into classrooms and support online testing,” said Futuresource’s Ben Davis. “Our market data suggests that the U.S. market to date has prioritized digital productivity and testing rather than creativity. ” (https://www.futuresource-consulting.com)
My passion has always been creativity. Each learner learns in a unique way. Gone are the days of ‘same soup’ for every child. We are now completely immersed in the inclusive community learner world and must seek tools and supports to provide the most effective differentiation possible. Yes, there are clear linear learners. We must also support those who learn through a creative response.
I struggle with educators/schools who see technology as merely a fancy word processor in the hands of students. Yes, word processing does help us to put in writing what we are thinking as students and learners. What happens when you have pictures in your mind needing to be meshed together in an iMovie with a storyline you have created which not only uses words but sound and feeling only a movie clip can do? You have still created the words, collected the data and ‘pictured’ in your mind how it should look. Once you have created this singular product, you are now able to demonstrate to others the learning taking place. Plus, it will be memorable due to the engagement and passion you experience during the creating stage.
The old adage – it’s not ‘what’ you taught students but ‘how you made them feel’ is what students remember. Lets help students to feel like creators. I believe the iPad is a leader over all other devices in this regard.