Educators have been looking for new digital tools that can expand their teaching ability and enhance students’ learning experience. As usual, laptops and tablets are the choices. But speaking of computers, they are also on the verge of deciding which between a tablet and a laptop should teachers use in the classroom?
Both tools are useful so we need to differentiate to know the difference.
Laptop vs Tablet – Which Should Teachers Go?
The answer is contingent on a few factors, particularly where the device would be mostly used.
A laptop or tablet both carry the combination of screen capability, topic presentations, including recording notes much faster than writing by hand. These tools also help students research and keep track of their assignments as well as communicate with their teachers.
What we need to check is how accessible each device is when it comes to lecturing, project making, local telecommunications, portability, and accessibility.
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Tablets are smaller and handier so they are most ideal for casual activities such as browsing the web, researching, watching videos, or playing mobile games. Tablet computers are known by their shortened nickname, Tablet PCs, or Tablets, which are thin and flat mobile computers that are extremely popular due to their versatility, portability, and applications that perform all kinds of tasks.
Since teachers are on-the-go professionals, lugging around heavy devices can possibly lead to a potential decrease in productivity. In this case, a lightweight computer is portable. Imagine how you can easily fit a tablet into any sling bag or backpack.
Using a tablet computer is a great way to start enhancing those who are beginning to master computer skills. Not to mention how convenient it is to use when making presentations from room to room and building to building.
Tablets are wireless devices. You can connect to the internet and access a Wi-Fi signal without the need for a cord or wire. As long as your battery is full and working, you can work at your convenience all the time.
Teachers make a ton of presentations. A tablet is super easy to use and you can share a presentation in projection screens inside the classroom or meeting rooms. One bonus! Navigating the tablet is done with just a few swipes, a thing that is hard to do with a laptop.
Most tablets have a user-friendly interface and a wide variety of creative and educational applications. This is where teachers can utilize different applications for a more interactive classroom. Not only that, most tablets have the upper hand in terms of cellular data connectivity features (which laptops typically do not have). As a bonus, a tablet is significantly cheaper than a laptop, not to mention a really good deal of specs.
When buying a tablet, look for the right Display. Note that the “display panel” is the interface to give you images and text. You definitely want to have a quality interface for all your viewing angles. Also consider the size, resolution, brightness, and coating.
Tablets that come with touchscreen keyboards are way inferior to external keyboards. Touchscreens are convenient in a lot of sense, but they may not be the best option for heavy-duty tasks. Also, are you comfortable enough to work on a screen that’s about 10 inches? You may need a larger with a versatile keyboard.
Some online learning apps may not be applicable on some tablets. You have to understand tablet operating systems to be able to get the right device for your virtual purpose. Chances are you would need a more expensive model that can provide speaker quality and stellar displays, or that with features closer to a desktop.
Go for a tablet if:
You simply want a companion device to bring everywhere. Basically, a tablet can provide your basic digital needs: checking email, sending messages, or posting to social networks. It’s the perfect device to use when looking for entertainment. Do you like TV, watch movies, listen to music, shop for something, or look for eBooks. In short, this device is not only light to carry but simple and easy to use.
Laptops are larger but are more efficient in terms of productivity.
They are best for real work such as creating Office documents. Because it offers great compatibility, it allows you to work with images, music, video, and more. Laptop computers are popular due to their powerful features and far more software available, multiple external devices, and larger internal storage. It’s all about the specs and high-performance motherboards, and speed that are not available on tablets.
The laptop may not be as portable as a tablet, but it is pretty handy and convenient to boot. It uses the kinds of applications and software required for documenting, editing, and spreadsheet-making, which teachers can do on a daily basis. It has the benefits of a desktop that one could not find on any tablet. It has a keyboard and ports that are really useful in all types of schoolwork.
Battery life is another vital feature. Note that charging stations are not available everywhere. So if you go from one room to another, attend club meetings in a café, long battery life is important.
For the online teacher, part of the delight of using a laptop is the freedom to work anywhere around the house or workplace. You can get some fresh air in the afternoon, or catch the sunset on your balcony. What about a change of atmosphere in a quirky coffee shop near your place?
When it comes to portability, a laptop’s compact size is designed to be carried from one place to another. So it can be carried in a laptop case or backpack. This is one feature that makes a laptop ideal for classroom use.
Along with all the mentioned features is the advantage of their processing prowess. Laptops have the ability to regulate their performance with less battery power while still running at their optimum level. This is a huge deal in deciding which device is better, from teaching students to multitasking.
To find the best computer, a teacher must be able to know which specifications she or he needs in order to maximize the device’s potential in the classroom.
Laptop batteries use more powerful hardware but they don’t run as long as tablets. The average laptop normally runs up to four to eight hours compared to a tablet’s 10-hour usage. Portability-wise, laptops are bigger and heavier so may pose risk for accidental hand-slips. They also have shorter battery life.
Go for a laptop if:
You want to invest in a primary computer that you need for work, school, business, creating documents, writing content, designing, or any other task that requires high performance.
Now, Which Between a Tablet and a Laptop Should Teachers Use in the Classroom?
No matter the demographic, students and teachers have been accustomed to using electronic devices for school, work, or leisure. For teachers, the right kind of device, helps tremendously, in making all tasks as smooth sailing as possible.
Laptops remain powerful in terms of mobile computing. They may not compete in terms of lightness, running times, or convenience, but they offer more functionality and flexibility for a teacher’s job.
The decision in choosing which between a tablet or a laptop makes a better teaching tool is entirely up to the teacher. A lightweight and user-friendly device may sound appealing to one teacher, but may not sound great for some who would rather use a heavy-duty computer. Ultimately, it all comes down to preference and individual convenience.
I hope these guidelines help you solve your tablet vs. laptop search. Do you have something to share? It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments.