If being a school student was like the life of a novelist where students would write for hours and hours each day, then I’d agree that laptops are superior to iPads. But that is so far from the school experience it’s ridiculous to say that students need laptops. Students spend far more of their time reading their text books and taking notes than they ever do actually typing out papers. They are supposed to be learning after all. It’s not like they leave the house every morning to crank out articles for a newspaper.
I purchased my daughter the original 9.7” iPad Pro when she went off to her freshman year in college. I gave her the choice of getting a MacBook Air or the iPad Pro and she chose the iPad. She had never owned a laptop before in her life and didn’t see why anything would be any different going forward. I also purchased her a new backpack because that’s just what you do when your kid goes to college.
When she came back for Thanksgiving, I asked her how she liked her new backpack. She said it was fine, but it was overkill when 90% of the time the only thing in it was her iPad. I was dumbfounded. I had so many memories of my friends and I in college lugging 50-pound backpacks filled with huge text books and spiral notebooks for each class. When I asked her why she wasn’t packing her text books, she replied that they were all ebooks on her iPad. But what about taking notes? Don’t you need notebooks for each class I asked, to which she replied that she used the GoodNotes app and had separate notebooks for each subject on her iPad and by extension even her iPhone. The college backpack has also now become obsolete.
All students, from the college level on down to grade school, spend a huge amount of time reading books and absorbing data. Even the most ardent laptop enthusiasts will grudgingly admit that reading books for a long period of time is superior on a tablet over a laptop. There’s something about holding your tablet like a book and flipping the pages with your finger that feels more comfortable than reading a book on a laptop screen.
And writing notes on an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is sublime. It’s way better than paper in that you can undo strokes, move your text, or change colors on the fly. Also, being able to search your notes for key words or mirror everything to your iPhone is a lifesaver. I’ll never go back to writing notes on paper again. And it seems that I remember things better when I write things out by hand as opposed to typing them. An iPad is superior to a laptop when it comes to writing notes. Of course, a student could have a notebook next to their laptop to write out their notes, but then they have to use more desk space and they lose the search ability and cloud backups.
So back to keyboards. There’s no way to get around needing them to write papers. But that’s the beauty of the iPad. You can add a keyboard when you need one and remove it when you don’t. You can choose a keyboard that suits your needs. Do you want a numeric keypad? No problem. Want a narrow keyboard with a small footprint, even better. And spilling your drink in your cheap keyboard won’t ruin your expensive iPad. The critics will say that it’s a hassle to have to keep track of another item. However, kids using laptops already have to keep track of even more. They have to juggle their laptop, text books, and notebooks. Sometimes on their desk simultaneously. That’s an even worse situation.
And I haven’t even got to the creative advantages of an iPad over a laptop when it comes to shooting pictures, video or utilizing augmented reality. The bottom line is that laptops are a pain in the butt when you walk around with them. The keyboard is in the way.
So, if iPads are superior for reading books and taking notes and allow students to lighten their load, what’s the problem? The tablet wins in two out of three categories. Tablets are better for students and yet schools pick laptops because they are better for…administration.
Now available in iBooks —> The Tesla Bubble