I’ve got one son heading off to Wayland Middle School, the other starting Cambridge School of Weston. Both boys are tech savvy, so what are the right devices to support their educational experience?
Wayland High School is giving every kid a Macbook Air. My high schooler, thinks that’s a great idea. But recently he was interacting with his school portal and everything posted there was an Excel file. He’s also into having “different” stuff than everyone else. Could it be that a Microsoft Surface RT tablet makes sense for High School?
The middle schooler just want’s a Nexus 7 tablet so he can read and play tablet games. So that one is easy. Nexus 7’s are about the most reasonably priced devices on the market.
You might be thinking that these tablet devices are not powerful enough for real gaming (and that’s what kids really want computers for these days). Right-O. They’ve both already got PCs loaded with games and other distractions. The idea of a device for school is something that can do email, writing, basic web searches, play music, and not much else.
I’ve been using a Macbook Air from 2012 for the last year and love it in general. Our Wayland High School is “loaning” them to every high school student as part of a 1-1 program. It is a sweet machine, but I’m learning it does have it’s limits.
The big limitation I’ve hit with my Air is fan noise when doing anything with video or screensharing. GotoMeeting, WebEx, Skype, all of these get the CPU fan spinning to maximum. While this isn’t technically a problem, it is lowering my satisfaction with my Air being my only computer. And for reference, I’ve got the Core i7 version w/ 8gb RAM.
I’m hoping the next generation of Macbook Pros with Haswell internals will be powerful and have great battery life. I’ll probably upgrade and pawn off my Air on one of my kids. Don’t tell them I said that.