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Foundation Stage: What tablet eco-system to buy into? (Win10, Apple, Amazon or Android)

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ERU, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. ERU

    ERU New commenter

    Hello all,

    I’m the computer coordinator in a small primary school, who is trying to ‘think’ of a new hardware solution for our Foundation Stage classroom. Money is tight and the following will be funded by our PTA. I run the school server and associated hardware.

    So far my thoughts are:-

    Windows Desktop or Laptop: (£200-300) Too big and clunky. As our server rolls out Win 7 only – we can’t access Win10 touchscreen apps here…

    Apple: (£400) Too expensive! Good App store.

    Android: (£100ish) Cheaper, but worried about (Win7) transition to netbook/laptops in yr1 onwards.

    Amazon: £50 for the new Fire, but pretty worried about being locked into a poor App store/eco-system. Seems great if you have a Prime membership and terrible without. More a media consumption device?

    I think … I’ve decided to buy Linx 10” tablets (with detachable keyboard) running Windows 10. Before I commit, I need to know if the App Store, in Win10, is suitable for Foundation? I’m a year 6 teacher – so have limited knowledge of what people use. I know Android/Apple stores are well established, but are there MS Apps to use in Win10 available? Would I immediately hit a roadblock if we went with windows 10?

    I’m also unsure how schools setup their tablets? Do you run all the tablets under ‘one’ email address/registration? For example: If I buy an App once, can it be used on ALL devices? Or do I need to buy an App multiple times to use it?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    You are looking at this the wrong way round.

    What do you want to achieve?
    What is the best way of achieving this? Might be a software solution.

    What platform will run this software?

    Which hardware will run this platform?
    colpee likes this.
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Try joining Edugeek - loads of expertise there. Wanet is right about the approach, of course.
  4. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Absolutely -iron out the requirement first before the buying choices
  5. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

  6. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    I would worry about anyone who uses 'ecosystem' and 'solution' in a post. It tells me that you are not confident you know what you are doing, but rely on sales materials to make decisions. So, forget the hardware and decide (in English) what you want to do with them first. Try to imagine them being in your school after a year. What would you want students and teachers to have done with them? What training will the staff need? What infrastructure do you need e.g. can the internet connection cope? What printing are you likely to want to do? Costs of installation, maintenance and replacement? Now you start thinking about the software to do it, and finally the hardware. Have you visited other schools to see what they have done and how it went for them?
  7. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    I assume you're not a computer specialist, but rather a primary teacher assigned the role.

    I have yet to come across a situation where tablet computers are beneficial in a school environment. You'll basically be jumping on to a bandwagon which has been running out of steam for a while now.

    One thing that worries me is that you seem to be concerned that you wouldn't be able to run Windows 10 apps on a Windows 7 desktop/laptop and yet have no issue with suggesting the Amazon Kindle as an alternative. I have no idea how you envisage teachers using tablets to enhance their lessons. You seem obsessed with the idea of the 'app store'. Do you actually have specific apps that you want children to use or do you just assume that it will be packed full of excellent educational apps which will leap right out at you.

    It may sound harsh, but I don't think you have enough of an understanding of any of what you are doing to make a sound decision on this. I mean, you even use the term 'eco-system'
  8. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The big shop window http://www.bettshow.com/ is open soon, but as I think everyone here has said, you need to start with teaching and learning, and work towards the technology from there. If you can find neighbouring schools who are well established users of technology, half a day spent in one or two will be very rewarding. I have learned so much from just such visits....
  9. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    The O/P is not clued up enough to make these decisions. They shouldn't proceed further until they have visited three schools and enlisted the help of people who know what they are doing. They are in danger of wasting a lot of good money and looking like a right plonker. One of the critical skills when managing technology is to know your limits and to be able to recognise when to seek the help of experts.
  10. MikeTheKnight1

    MikeTheKnight1 New commenter

    OP has been taken to task it seems!

    Some words from my own experiences at Primary:

    We have a small set of iPad Minis for use in Reception, experiences have been positive from most, some citing a lack of training with specific apps and general iPad functionality. In a perfect world there'd be more time available for training.

    I use a Mac Mini with a cheap monitor to configure the iPads and lock them down to some extent. Our photocopier/printer is AirPrint compatible so no issues with printing from iPad. There are easy solutions to move content between iPad and Windows, most are free.

    The iPad minis ultimately fulfilled my criteria of being able to create and consume in equal measure, were compatible with our current setup, printers, projectors etc and could be stored and charged with a small physical footprint. As for the App Store, it's possible to register dozens of iPads under one Apple ID and pay for an app once to share out amongst the iPads. It's certainly more manageable than a Volume Purchasing arrangement. It is however certainly against their terms and conditions.
  11. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    "As for the App Store, it's possible to register dozens of iPads under one Apple ID and pay for an app once to share out amongst the iPads. It's certainly more manageable than a Volume Purchasing arrangement. It is however certainly against their terms and conditions."

    Yes, it's called 'theft' and is putting your school at risk of legal and reputational consequences.

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