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132 posts

Master Geek


#90349 20-Sep-2011 11:46
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Hi all knowledgeable people, I need advise on what to do for my son he is just 8 and has dyslexia and processing issues.  He is great on the computer and loves working with technology.  He is so much more confident on the computer!
Long term he will probably end up doing all his school work on a computer or the like.  At the moment he has cd rom activities to help him with his issues.
Last minute decision for his birthday (his birthday was sat) we decided we will get him some type of computing device but what?? He is waiting very patiently while we decide!

We have a laptop & hp touchpad (which dad and him fight over) at home (both technically my work toys). We are getting a desktop from my dad as he has updated his office computer.

So our options to consider -
He's still only young so do I get him some kind of tablet (another hp touchpad?) until he is a little older and he can use the laptop or desk top for his cd roms.
Or do we get him a notebook etc.  Then what kind? We use windows but some schools use macs???

It's all too hard!
Being that his is only 8 and we don't want to break the bank - so ideally under $1000 preferably under $800.

Please help
thanks in advance
Sonya

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  #523465 20-Sep-2011 11:57
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Gotta say, I've seen kids with learning difficulties using iPads and they thrive on them. Lots of free/cheap Apps and pretty bulletproof.

My Mother is a primary school teacher and she thinks tablets are they way to go.

$799 for a 16GbWiFi model...

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  #523467 20-Sep-2011 12:03
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Hi, I would still stick with a notebook it is by far much more flexible and can play his CD's. Whilst macs are popular in schools, PCs are still by far most common and most schools have a mix. Many schools are also moving toward cloud services so the machine or OS is less important.

Last week my bro was after a laptop and had a $800 budget, ended up going with a 14" Toshiba, DSE have a deal on with Toshiba at the moment and throw a extra 2GByte ram in for nix. There are two models that fit your price bracket the C640 with a T6200 CPU for $600 and the C660 with a i3 CPU at $795, both are good value in my view, obviously the i3 is a better performer, but unless gaming hardly an issue.

Cyril

 
 
 
 




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  #523468 20-Sep-2011 12:04
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damn it I saw the deals come thru on grab one last week maybe I should have got one! Typical - thanks heaps that's great food for thought!

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  #523471 20-Sep-2011 12:08
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I'd get a mini Windows laptop, install Windows Live Family Safety on a non-Admin account for him (http://explore.live.com/windows-live-family-safety).





 

 

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  #523473 20-Sep-2011 12:09
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Keeping the dyslexia / processing issues at the fore of my mind, I could only ever suggest an iPad for your son. Don't worry about it being a 3G enabled device, the 32GB iPad 2 would be ideal IMHO. Make sure you grab a great protective case / screen too, as, well, kids will be kids - and you want it to last!



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  #523474 20-Sep-2011 12:10
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cyril7: Hi, I would still stick with a notebook it is by far much more flexible and can play his CD's. Whilst macs are popular in schools, PCs are still by far most common and most schools have a mix. Many schools are also moving toward cloud services so the machine or OS is less important.

Last week my bro was after a laptop and had a $800 budget, ended up going with a 14" Toshiba, DSE have a deal on with Toshiba at the moment and throw a extra 2GByte ram in for nix. There are two models that fit your price bracket the C640 with a T6200 CPU for $600 and the C660 with a i3 CPU at $795, both are good value in my view, obviously the i3 is a better performer, but unless gaming hardly an issue.

Cyril

Hi Cyril thanks - I knew I was asking the right people! Very valid points thanks so much!



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Master Geek


  #523477 20-Sep-2011 12:15
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freitasm: I'd get a mini Windows laptop, install Windows Live Family Safety on a non-Admin account for him (http://explore.live.com/windows-live-family-safety).

Awesome I hadn't thought of that thanks

 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  #523479 20-Sep-2011 12:20
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Dunnersfella: Keeping the dyslexia / processing issues at the fore of my mind, I could only ever suggest an iPad for your son. Don't worry about it being a 3G enabled device, the 32GB iPad 2 would be ideal IMHO. Make sure you grab a great protective case / screen too, as, well, kids will be kids - and you want it to last!
You bring up a great point - i remember the song and dance about an ipad being on the stationary list for a school up north.
His verbal communications skills are in the 85th percentile but his ability to write/process it is in the 20th percentile so it's quite frustrating for him. He can say big words but not write them. So they have recommended he record his stories then type them up on a computer with our help.  thks

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  #523486 20-Sep-2011 12:42
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The iPad will have voice recorder capability built in and I've been buying interactive kids books on mine (Hairy McClary may be a bit young for him but The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore is awesome)...

the best of both worlds (being a tablet or a netbook) would seem to be an iPad with a Zagg keyboard case (www.zagg.com) which adds US$99 to the price but is worth it as it gives you a keyboard PLUS a hard shell case for the screen without adding much weight. I've ditched my laptop for work and replaced it with this combo and I'm more mobile and more productive while mobile than ever before.

Do let us know how you get on. I'd love to hear what you end up with. I'm on the board of a primary school and we're considering which way to go cost vs cool, robust keyboard vs gorgeous screen etc...

Paul



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  #523501 20-Sep-2011 13:18
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PaulBrislen: The iPad will have voice recorder capability built in and I've been buying interactive kids books on mine (Hairy McClary may be a bit young for him but The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore is awesome)...

the best of both worlds (being a tablet or a netbook) would seem to be an iPad with a Zagg keyboard case (www.zagg.com) which adds US$99 to the price but is worth it as it gives you a keyboard PLUS a hard shell case for the screen without adding much weight. I've ditched my laptop for work and replaced it with this combo and I'm more mobile and more productive while mobile than ever before.

Do let us know how you get on. I'd love to hear what you end up with. I'm on the board of a primary school and we're considering which way to go cost vs cool, robust keyboard vs gorgeous screen etc...

Paul
Thanks Paul really appreciate it. Gee I certainly asked the right place loads of great advice and food for thought.

Thanks will let you know how I get on.

I love these forums!
I am very comfortable with technology & computers - I run two website businesses (one co-incidentally an educational toy website lol) but the high tech stuff is a little foreign so I want to learn more and there is such am incredible wealth of knowledge here!
So thanks everyone I am hugely grateful you have taken the time to respond!

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  #523528 20-Sep-2011 14:05
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I think a lot of it also depends on your sons experience and maturity with computers. Tablets are great because you can put apps onto them and play and they are very tactile and so I think they promote learning for kids and are fun. They also are not able to be modified to a point which is very handy.
I work with special needs kids and the amount of times they have deleted critical files off a computer is ridiculous! XP is just not locked down enough. Not sure how windows 7 is on a limited account.

On the other hand, this can be frustrating for kids too. I have a friend who has a son with Autism. The ipad is great for him as he cant break it easily and the apps really appeal to him, but at the same time, he loves making videos, creating files and downloading pictures, none of which he can do on an ipad. This gets him really frustrated. The other problem is he doesn't know what he is doing really and has broken a couple of windows laptops by playing with things he wasn't meant to. 

I really think it comes down to how mature your son is with computers. If he has certain windows programs he needs, then a netbook or fusion powered 12 inch laptop will probably be better. If he needs a more tactile learning type system, I think an ipad 2 is great for the app variety and the way it is locked down more so it is not easily brickable. Otherwise an Asus Transformer with or without a keyboard dock could be just as good as long as the apps he needs are available. The text to speech and speech to text functionality on android is good in my experience.




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Master Geek


  #523863 21-Sep-2011 08:46
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paulmilbank: I think a lot of it also depends on your sons experience and maturity with computers. Tablets are great because you can put apps onto them and play and they are very tactile and so I think they promote learning for kids and are fun. They also are not able to be modified to a point which is very handy.
I work with special needs kids and the amount of times they have deleted critical files off a computer is ridiculous! XP is just not locked down enough. Not sure how windows 7 is on a limited account.

On the other hand, this can be frustrating for kids too. I have a friend who has a son with Autism. The ipad is great for him as he cant break it easily and the apps really appeal to him, but at the same time, he loves making videos, creating files and downloading pictures, none of which he can do on an ipad. This gets him really frustrated. The other problem is he doesn't know what he is doing really and has broken a couple of windows laptops by playing with things he wasn't meant to. 

I really think it comes down to how mature your son is with computers. If he has certain windows programs he needs, then a netbook or fusion powered 12 inch laptop will probably be better. If he needs a more tactile learning type system, I think an ipad 2 is great for the app variety and the way it is locked down more so it is not easily brickable. Otherwise an Asus Transformer with or without a keyboard dock could be just as good as long as the apps he needs are available. The text to speech and speech to text functionality on android is good in my experience.


Excellent more extremely valid points.  I must say the accidently deleting thing is certainly a worry! He is pretty sensible/mature for his age but there is always a risk he could accidently delete something - let's face it my Mum has lol!
He thrives on technology - it's a superb way to get him to learn and him not even realise he is learning! He has always been crazy over my brothers ipod touch.
Gee I have a lot of info to process thru in the deliberating process now.  thanks again hugely appreciative!

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