Teacher helping her students on the computer

3 Things To Consider When Choosing Devices for the Classroom

4 Sep 2014 by Insight Editor

With new technology standards in place at many schools, students may find themselves with new devices in hand as they start the school year. For others, these decisions are still being carefully considered  in order to make a sound investment for the modern classroom, from a crowded back of quality competitors represented by Acer, Dell, Intel offerings, Lenovo, Samsung and quite a few others.

There are a lot of criteria to consider as schools make these device decisions ranging  from Common Core requirements to teacher and parent preferences. If your school is still asking “What’s the best device for classroom learning?” we offer these three considerations to include on the list:

1. Security & Privacy – At the network level and at the device level, schools should take security and privacy very seriously. This includes taking a close look at the availability of apps and settings to control firewalls, content filtering and proxy servers. Native applications and options differ by device, so it’s important to take a close look at what the requirements for your school and district are in order to be compliant, but also adaptable for future security and privacy scenarios.

2. Environment & Attitude – Technology can be an enormous advantage, but it can also be an enormous distraction. Depending on the curriculum structure and teaching styles — i.e. flipped classrooms — a device can really set the mood for how students work with technology. Pure tablets lend themselves to an element of fun, while convertibles and Chromebooks may be viewed as more utilitarian.

3. Tech Literacy Preparedness – Today’s educators have to subscribe to a reality that students need to be armed with the ability to read, write, be well rounded in math and science and be proficient with technology. When it comes to preparing students for the working world, Windows 8 devices offer the same suite of tools that most enterprises have deployed. Android-based tablets may offer students the ability to develop applications and code for themselves, a skill that is in high demand in the workforce.

There are myriad things to study when choosing devices for the classroom, but using these high-level considerations can help narrow the focus so decision-makers can then turn their attention to speeds-and-feeds and more technical information. All these factors, from network integration, based on device specifications to holistic considerations about device use in the classroom, are critical to ensure the success of implementing new devices.