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iPad vs Chromebook Showdown
@KeithTIS @MrPiercey

I was asked to go head to head with  a well-known Google Certified Trainer, Donnie Piercey (@MrPiercey) at a training yesterday. Our topic? Chromebook vs iPad.

Although we’ve talked smack the past few months, when it comes down to it, my personal opinion is that both have the power to transform the teaching and learning in a classroom. Also, one is a mobile device for creation and the other is a laptop with the power of Google; therefore, it’s really like comparing apples to oranges. Both have positives and negatives. Make no mistake, I was asked to represent the iPad, so I did my best to highlight the attractive features of the iPad (and show Donnie up). Donnie and I go back five years, so the competition was fierce, but playful.

The problem with this conversation is that it’s typically held in an IT office, not in a classroom with educators weighing in. I have 6 questions to guide the device selection conversation:

    1. What are your Assessment Goals? (Provide instant feedback? Frequent formative checks? Summative Comprehension?)
    2. How can the device increase student to student and student to teacher communication and collaboration?
    3. How will your students demonstrate their learning? How will you foster an environment of student innovation and creation?
    4. How do you individualize instruction? Does the device allow you to meet the needs of various learning styles?
    5. How does the device improve questioning? Do you know where your students are? Do they?
    6. How does the device help you meet the needs of each student? 

We decided yesterday to make the conversation completely centered on the classroom. I come from a 1 to 1 iPad classroom, and Donnie from a 1 to 1 Chromebook classroom, so we both know our devices very well. We had six rounds, speaking for 5 minutes each per round.

Below are the highlights from each round. Click here to download my iPad Handout.

Round One: Assessment

Chromebook iPad
Google Forms + Flubaroo Grader Google Apps Script Nearpod interactive features
Google Classroom Socrative verbal questioning, polls, and quizzes
Pick Me formative assessments
Audioboo recording
Google Forms exit ticket

Round Two: Collaboration

Chromebook iPad
Working on Docs together in Drive*Make sure students have a list of class Google Accounts shared with them Notability
Hangouts/Hangouts on Air Google Drive
Students working together in Google Maps Engine. Evernote
Docs Demo: Masters Edition Padlet/ Lino
Build with Chrome Today’s Meet
BaiBoard/ Whiteboard Lite
Explain Everything/ Educreations
StoryLines for Schools

Round Three: Projects/Video Creation

Chromebook iPad #1 App: The Camera!
Scratch 2.0 How-To Snapguides
Hangouts on Air 30 Hands storytelling
Build with Chrome Interactive ThingLink posters
WeVideo Explanations or intros with Tellagami
Photo Editing Through Google + Popplet for webs, timelines, process explanations
#AutoAwesome Photos Visualize learning with Pic Collage
Peanut Gallery Illustrate in Paper53
DocsStory Builder Podcast with Audioboo
The Secret Door Video editing with iMovie

Round Four: Instruction

Chromebook iPad
Share presentations with students, have them follow along and “comment” with questions Anytime learning with iTunesU
Chrome Extensions in the Chrome Webstore Multimedia ThingLink posters
Google Hangouts: Instruct your students virtually. ScreenChomp videos
Backchanneling through Google Add-ons Nearpod with formative assessment
Notability collaboration
Haiku Deck presentations
Field experts on Twitter
Khan Academy videos
Today’s Meet notes

Round Five: Questioning 

Chromebook iPad
Using Google forms to let shyer students ask questions about things they don’t understand Pick Sticks with leveled questioning
Let your students create their own assessments using Forms; share it with class. Multiple question types on
Commenting on Google Docs/Spreadsheets Engage with Plickers
Facilitate and discuss with Kahoot
Track over time with Google Forms
Quick formative assessment with Whiteboard

Round Six: Differentiation 

Chromebook iPad
Different ability levels = different assignments shared with students in Drive. Differentiate w/ QR Creator or Aurasma
Different Google Forms emailed to different students 24/7 access to content on iTunesU
Level writing with Write About This
Screen Chomp Instructional videos
Break down a process with Popplet
Teach organization with Notability
Deliver content via a LMS or Google Drive

My personal opinion is nothing beats an iPad when it comes to student creation and demonstration of learning. The iPad in the hands of a student fosters an environment of innovation with an authentic purpose and audience. Learning can’t be stopped.

Donnie is an amazing teacher and provides these same experiences for his students. A good teacher is a good teacher, and giving their students a device will only ignite the flame.


About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Instructional Media and Design at Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.