The Limits of the Device

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Someone recently challenged the idea that iPads were better than Chromebooks. An enlightened Google-Certified-Teacher (not me) suggested the following perspective:
Wouldn't laying out the benefits and limitations of each be more productive than determining a "winner"? The best device is subjective and determined by the user and the task.
I am of the belief there is not one perfect tool. We chose to go 1:1 Chromebooks but support hundreds of iPads across our district. Source: Judith Epcke, GCT Email
We have to be careful what technology we champion in's so easy to fall for the magic bullet approach. Of course, the iPad is a magic bullet to many of the problems schools face when they are looking for a device in the classroom. I love my iPad's ability to interact with pictures, videos and combine them into one space (e.g. Keynote), then drop that content into anything else and publish it.

But, I also love the Chromebook my job allows me access to for writing and sharing ideas (BTW, seen Google's revamped EDU site?) In fact, I no longer try to make the iPad into my go-to device 100% of the time for writing and sharing ideas. It mostly sits at home until I need it for a high-end job, like catching up on Netflix, preparing a video presentation, reading my favorite fiction. For the most part, I rely on my Chromebook for the work I'm required to do and that I like to do as a writer.
Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they’re easy for students and teachers to use, they’re easy to share, and they’re easy to manage. That’s critical for schools that often want to give their students the best technology, but don’t have a large IT department to support it. And it’s part of what has made Chromebooks such a hit in schools. In fact, according to IDC’s latest report on tablets and laptops in K-12 education, Chromebooks are the best-selling device in the U.S. this year. (Read More)
Chromebooks, iPads, Androids are easy for folks to use because you agree to live within the limits of the device. This is the perspective I have found most helpful when working with others. I imagine the conversation can work like this:
"Ok, I understand you need to do certain things. Here are the limits of what these devices can do, and, if you change how you do things a little, you can take advantage of this particular device. Will it work for you?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll give it a try. I'm not wedded to one way of doing things."
For those folks that are, or imagine that one device can do everything (yes, I'm guilty as charged), then disappointment is sure to follow. These days, I feel pretty comfortable recommending a classroom have access to certain devices for some tasks, other devices for others...even though you can manage to be productive on either.

A recent diversity study pointed out that People working together can achieve more than they can alone; this is a fundamental principle upon which organizations are founded. 

What if we changed that a bit and said:
Devices working together can achieve more than they can alone; this is a fundamental principle upon which BYOT is founded on.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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