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2014 Device Buyer's Guide

Quick Link to Guide: 2014 Educational Device Buyer’s Guide

With Thanksgiving sales coming up and Christmas just around the corner, we know that some parents are wondering about buying a new tablet or laptop for their children. Maybe a parent of a 5th grader wants to buy a device to use here next year or a parent of a student who has had the same device for several years and has decided it’s time to upgrade.

We have students with over 40 different kinds of devices, and we’ve learned a little about what works and what students prefer. Lincoln Lutheran Junior, Corbyn Trumbley summed things up nicely, “Get an iPad unless you have a good reason to get something different.” iPads are also the device that our teachers are most familiar with. You can read all of the results in our Student Device Satisfaction Survey.

Based on what we learned in that survey and from teacher feedback we’ve tweaked the requirements for new 1:1 devices:

  • Battery Life: The minimum battery life requirement remains the same at 7 hours. You might consider a device with a longer battery life if you will want your student to use their device after school as well as during school.
  • Screen Size: 9 inches. Last year we said that the screen size should be at least 7 inches. Students tended to have more problems with smaller screened devices and students with larger tablets report that they are happier with their devices.
  • Tablet Memory: The minimum memory requirement remains the same at 16MB. Please note however that this is the amount of space that we recommend for school use. If a student will have their personal games, music, photos and videos on a device then you should look for a device with more memory or expandable memory.
  • Tablet Type: Students have had more problems with certain types of tablets than others. While these devices might work fine for some applications, they don’t work well for school work. We don’t think you should buy tablets that use non-standard versions of Android (for example Nooks & Kindles), that use older versions of Android (older than 4.3), that use the discontinued version of Microsoft Windows (Windows RT) or that use hardware that is more than 3 years old (iPad 2)

You can compare most of the tablets, laptops & chromebooks that meet these requirements in our 2014 Educational Device Buyer’s Guide.

We also have an email list that we use periodically when we see good deals on devices that meet our 1:1 requirements and that students indicate work well at school. Feel free to subscribe to the Lincoln Lutheran Device Deals Email List. (note that we also lease iPads to students for $23 per month --less if you qualify for financial aid).

Finally, you can find all of these links and more on our Lincoln Lutheran’s 1:1 Learning Initiative page.

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