The complete guide to picking the right device for every grade level

I also believe students of all ages need access to a full-featured computer. Stand-alone software, especially at the secondary level, provides students with the full-featured tools they need to create. For instance, Adobe Clip is a powerful iPad app that easily allows a student to create a video. But, for students that have the passion for movie-making, they need  to have access to the full version of Adobe Premiere.  In addition, access to a scanner, MIDI keyboard, powerful CAD and game-making software, a 3D printer, and any other computer-based hardware and software need to be available at point of need.

I am often asked about recommendations for devices at the various grade levels of PreK-12. Here are my current thoughts and rationale for my choices.

PreK-Grade 1

With the huge number of content-based iPad apps that can support the early learner, the iPad is the best choice for this grade level. There are also easy-to-use creation apps for this age group that can be used to showcase acquisition of content. A full-size iPad (with at least 64GB of RAM) cart in each classroom, with an AppleTV and a large wall-mounted TV or monitor would be my recommendation.

Grades 2-4

For these grades, full-size, 64GB iPad Mini carts for each classroom, with the addition of keyboards, would be my recommendation. The smaller iPad Minis fit nicely in a student’s work area and when collaborating in a group with others. Again, an AppleTV and large wall-mounted monitor should be included in the classroom.

Grades 5-8

For the middle school student, I recommend a one-to-one Chromebook initiative, with the devices going between home and school if possible. With the off-line availability of Google Drive, these students can put their time on the team bus or at the dentist to good use. I would also recommend a cart of 64GB full-size iPads for every two to three classrooms to allow these grade levels to use the iPads for the creation of projects and products as assessments. In the classroom, Reflector 2 software (airsquirrels.com) running on the teacher’s Mac or Windows computer would be a good solution for mirroring student iPads to the desktop and viewable via the projector.

Grades 9-12

I would love to see all high schools investing in a one-to-one laptop initiative. However, I know this option is not within the reach of every district’s budget. So, my recommendation would be the same as for grades five to eight– a Chromebook for each student and and multiple full-size 64GB iPad carts in each department, In addition, having an iPad cart in the library, so students can work on creative projects there, as well as having “blinged-out” computer stations available with the more robust software and hardware, can also help meet the needs of students. Again, the addition of Reflector 2 software on the teacher’s Windows or Mac desktop should be considered for mirroring the iPads.

My resources to support mixed-platform schools

iPad information: ipads4teaching.net

Chromebooks in schools: www.schrockguide.net/chromebooks.html

Online tools: www.schrockguide.net/online-tools.html

Kathy Schrock is an online adjunct professor, an independent education technologist, and a nationally-known workshop and conference presenter. Find her online at online at Kathyshrock.net.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.

Comments are closed.


We’re Celebrating 25 Years with 25 Giveaways!

Enter Each Day to Win the Daily Gift Card Giveaway

and the Grand Prize drawing for an

Apple iPad!

Visit eSchool News each day through April 1, 2023 to enter the daily $25 Gift Card drawing.
Each daily entry counts as one entry for the grand prize drawing. See details and rules.
Giveaway is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and Canada who are employed full- or part-time in K-12 education.