iPads have been recognised as a valuable learning aid to increase digital literacy, and educators are integrating them into their toolset to teach learners how to process, access, and create information.
Apple recognises this and has focused on making the iPad compatible with a classroom and education environment with services such as Apple Mobile Device Management (MDM) and its Device Enrolment Program (DEP).
Integration of parental controls and Screen Time gives parents and teachers a way to monitor device usage for peace of mind when leaving minors unsupervised with devices.
iPads are great devices for an education use case, but with varying feature sets and price points, it can be tricky to identify which model is best for your needs. Here are our recommendations for the top iPad for every different education level.
Key considerations: For many primary school students, using an iPad for school will be their first experience with having a personal device, so it’ll need to be sturdy and able to deal with a bit of rough handling. It also needs to be on the affordable end of the scale, packed with enough power to run education apps smoothly without needing to have top-range processing power and graphics that will go to waste.
Why this iPad: The 10.2-inch iPad uses an A10 Fusion chip, one of Apple’s older chips, but still packs enough of a punch to handle multiple tasks at the same time and is more than enough processing power for students at the primary school level. It’s one of the most affordable models in the market, making its price point suitable for schools to buy in bulk for large BYOD deployments. As an added bonus, it’s compatible with the Apple Smart Keyboard and the first generation Apple Pencil, which can increase the number of ways learners can use applications on the iPad.
Key considerations: Secondary students start getting into more complex and layered analysis of what they’re learning, and the applications they need to run can get more numerous and processor-heavy, calling for a better chip. They start experimenting more with different media formats, taking more photos and videos. They’re more responsible with their devices and can be trusted to handle them with more care.
Why this iPad: The iPad Air 3 is the next step up, fitting for students who are starting to use the device as an extension of how they explore the world around them. It boasts a faster A12 Bionic chip with Neural engine, giving secondary students the ability to do more and launch heavier apps. The storage options on the iPad Air go up to 256GB for media storage and editing, complimented by a display with a higher resolution compared to the 10.2-inch iPad. It’s also compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
Key considerations: Tertiary students are at a stage where they can approach device purchases as a personal investment. The device should be chosen with longevity in mind so it can last through an entire university course, both in terms of quality of build and having enough processing power. Their chosen device needs to be long-lasting with all-day battery, light so they can carry it around with them from lectures to tutorials, and reliable to enough to complete assignments with.
Why this iPad: The iPad Pro 11-inch (second generation) brings out all the big guns, with a larger Liquid Retina display that makes university readings crisp and clear, while being easy to annotate with the Apple Pencil. The 11-inch model is right in the screen real estate vs weight sweet spot between the smaller 9.7-inch model and bigger 12.9-inch model. The A12X Bionic chip delivers blistering performance, and students can get models with up to 1TB of storage – enough to store all the reference materials needed for an entire course. The iPad Pro also has USB-C connectivity for when students need to do presentations, a key part of most university courses.
Wondering how iPads could fit in your organisation's learning environment?
Talk to our education specialists today about how to manage, secure, and deploy Apple devices in your education environment.