Tablets vs. laptops: Which is better for the classroom?
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 13:02
The debate still stands on which device is better for students in class, tablets or laptops? Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but the curiosity lies in if either is really helpful toward one’s learning habitat.
At the ASU IT Store, Macs and iPads are in competition for sales. The store consists of tablets such as the original iPad, iPad mini, Android tablets, and Samsung devices that run Windows 8.
According to IT Store sales, students don’t prefer PCs over Macs and iPads. However, in the discussion of whether a laptop or tablet is better, sales clarify that both are equal. But which is best for classroom use?
Andrew Fleeman, a junior marketing major of Manila said, “There are constantly new apps for tablets. Either of them are a good choice for college students, but for more in depth work, laptops are the best option.”
To some professors, laptops are not allowed because it can cause a distraction. It is tempting to check one’s email or surf the Internet rather than listen to a lecture in class; tablets are just as tempting. Fiddling with an iPad or typing on a laptop can take away from the learning experience and storing information, but it can be an aid.
The advantages of a laptop are the hardware, physical keyboard, more storage capacity and larger screen. However, the weight of the laptop can cause problems.
In a classroom, a physical keyboard a person can touch works better because he or she can type faster rather than on a tablet.
A tablet is lighter, so it’s easier to carry around. Plus, it is a hands-on device with a touch screen that can lead to faster results from a speedier Internet access. The disadvantages are the size of the screen and if the screen gets broken, then there isn’t much use for the tablet any longer.
“I prefer my iPad over a laptop because it is more portable,” said Dannie Hill, a sophomore computer science and graphic design major of Hope.
Note-taking with a tablet, for example an iPad, has a word processor for notes to be taken on. It can be saved and directly sent to a Mac computer or any other Apple Inc. device.
For those who prefer laptops, it is easier to type on actual keys rather than a touch screen. Software such as Microsoft Word can be downloaded and used to type assignments, and papers and notes are easily printed off from a laptop.
In fact, technology is taking over the traditional way of taking notes in class: writing with a pen or pencil on a notepad. A 2010 study found that students who used laptops for note-taking in class averaged 11 percent worse on tests than those who took notes by hand.
The real question is, is the old-fashioned way of writing better than both a tablet and laptop for note-taking?
Truth be told, every person has his or her own way of learning, and tablets and laptops average out about the same when it comes to which is the better way for the student to learn.
Ultimately, a pen and a notepad is the way to go for better results for quizzes, tests, etc., and it enhances a student’s way of learning. As far as the technology battle between a tablet and a laptop, both are equally efficient.
Tablets are more portable and that is what works best for a college student, but a majority would rather take notes on a laptop because typing on computer keys is easier.