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# 184091 10-Nov-2015 09:39
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My son's primary school encourages students to bring their own mobile device to school; from year four (which he will be next year) and up they operate on a 1:1 student:device ratio, whereby those who don't/can't bring their own device are provided one by the school. We are currently debating whether to purchase a device for him to use, lease one from the school, or just rely on the school to provide him with one.

I don't want this thread to be about the rights and wrongs of BYOD policies, the value of technology in the primary classroom, or the quality of teachers in NZ, as these topics have been more than covered in other such threads! As a parent and ex-teacher I am satisfied at the school's approach to how the devices are used in the classroom, end of story!

Rather, I was hoping for some practical advice on the options available to us.

The school has an agnostic approach to which devices it allows, but does encourage iPads (please, not that debate either!) as it simplifies their support needs and the model has proven its suitability/robustness in the classroom. The school provides a leasing option where for $40 upfront and $23  a month the kids can get a iPad Mini; the family also has the ability to purchase them outright at the end of the year, with the cost being the purchase cost to the school less the total of lease payments. The school will also cover the cost of any damage while the iPad's leased.

My primary concern with this is they're looking at providing iPad Mini 2s next year, which is now two generations behind the current model; given we're likey to take up the purchase at the end option if we go down this route, we'd like the device to still be useful to the kids in the next three-four years. Will this be the case with the Mini 2?

Other options I've considered are:

* buying a s/h iPad Air 32GB model - these appear to be better value s/h than a similarly aged iPad Mini.
* buying a s;h iPad Mini - but they don't make the more recent models in 32GB, and the s/h price seems to be relatively steep
* buying a new Android tablet - are there any recommendations as to what may be suitable for this purpose? Budget would be ideally no more than $500
* relying on the school to supply a device

(Note: the school doesn't recommend keyboard-based devices such as Chromebooks, as they find these orient the child to a primarily text-based usage of the device; in primary school, the devices aren't used to writing essays etc!)

I'd appreciate any (practical) feedback and ideas, especially from other parents who have faced the same dilemma.

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  # 1424283 10-Nov-2015 12:18
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Is it an option to simply lease and return the device next year hoping that they update to a later version, then start a new lease?

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  # 1424286 10-Nov-2015 12:24
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dickytim: Is it an option to simply lease and return the device next year hoping that they update to a later version, then start a new lease?

Yep, it is indeed an option, and one we've considered, and still may go with. I just like the idea of my money going into something we own at the end of the year.


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  # 1424295 10-Nov-2015 12:38
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dickytim: Is it an option to simply lease and return the device next year hoping that they update to a later version, then start a new lease?

Yep, it is indeed an option, and one we've considered, and still may go with. I just like the idea of my money going into something we own at the end of the year.

Personally, I'd go with a school-provided device. 

It may not be the flashest in class, but at the end of the day if they are providing it for nothing, why should you pay for one yourself? It should also be as up-to-date as they require it to be, as they are providing it and maintaining it. 

Consider the cost of replacement and repair, too...year 4-6 is a difficult time; they think they're old and wise enough to look after stuff but often aren't...things get dropped, lost or stolen. 

Tablets and laoptops are expensive. 

Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  # 1424338 10-Nov-2015 12:59
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Whilst i really dislike apple products i would say just buy an iPad and be done with it. My 10yo does amazing things on her iPad, creates video tutorials with special effects etc, it is consistent and 'just' works as it should, compared to an emotional W10 tablet or a brand new but already out of date Android tablet, IMO having a device that just works is more important then pretty much all else when you are talking primary school group

FWIW, my daughter has an iPad 3 16Gb Wifi and it does everything a 10yo needs, you can pick them up for fairly reasonable prices secondhand (for Apple that is) 

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  # 1424342 10-Nov-2015 13:04
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I thought most schools use Chromebooks? You can pick one up for next to nothing these days.

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  # 1424350 10-Nov-2015 13:13
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michaelmurfy: I thought most schools use Chromebooks? You can pick one up for next to nothing these days.

Not the case at all; I imagine this may be more common in secondary schools, but this is a primary school - and I know of many others where tablets (usually iPads) are the preferred device. As I mentioned, my son's school doesn't encourage devices with keyboards; or, more accurately, they prefer devices with touch screens.

I also know there are secondary schools still using full laptops - the intermediate my son is likely to go to apparently has a policy requiring all to have a Macbook! That makes the cost of an iPad seem insignificant...

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  # 1424403 10-Nov-2015 14:06
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We bought an ipad solely for my kids to use as an education device. I dislike apple devices (ipod touch is the exception), but it's just "easier".


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  # 1424414 10-Nov-2015 14:56
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Maybe of interest; the primary-intermediate school my son goes to switched from iPads to Chromebooks in the last couple of years.  They found them better for creating content (as they have proper keyboards) and integrate better with Google Apps.

In general however I'd stick with whatever most of the children have (or similar, eg. if it's iPad, the exact revision probably doesn't matter too much)

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  # 1424491 10-Nov-2015 16:09
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The Pad Mini 2 will be fine. It will still be plenty fast enough for an 8-10 year old for the next 3 or 4 years. If they keep it that long (ie. don't lose, drop, drown it). It is $200 cheaper then the Mini 4 (Mini 3 has gone).



Id' lease from the school, and make a decision to buy at the end of the year (Would it be $40 down and 10 or 11 x $23 being that school is closed for January?)

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  # 1424514 10-Nov-2015 16:44
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Since they insure the breakage, I'd also go hirepurchase as you lose nothing if they're crediting you everything that you've paid, and you still end up with the same device at the end (so basically a free year insurance and support?)




for primary age the Apple 'just works' idea really rocks, as my 'full' iPad 3 (32) from 3 years ago still attests with my (now) 4 and 7YO using it educationally to this day.




T.B.H. I think Apple AND Google are probably doing great deals for schools, as this then 'breeds' a following where a generation subscribes to a particular eco-sphere and walking away from their growing investment in Apps and Music etc gets prohibitively harder to do.




(FWIW I'm a Primary school teacher and we have used iPads in both the (private) schools I've taught in over the last 10 years)

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  # 1425022 11-Nov-2015 09:52
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Thanks for the feedback, guys - based on this we're more than likely to take up the leasing offer. 

The 'warranty' that the school will cover any damage costs is a big bonus, going by how my son looks after stuff! Guess it'll be a good risk-free trial to get him to improve in this regard.

I'm assuming it'll be 11 payments of $23, so around $293 for the year, and should we elect to purchase at the end a c. $200 final payment to own it. 


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