What you should consider when choosing an iPad

With a few different models of iPad available, it can be difficult to know which you should be going for. So I’ve answered some of the most common questions I get asked about the device by teachers – from storage requirements to battery life.

Do my pupils need an iPad 2 or iPad with Retina display?

While there’s no doubt it’s always nice to have the latest model, for many schools considering iPad deployments, cost is a big factor. Bluntly, you can get five iPad 2 devices for the same price as four of the iPad with Retina display and, when it comes to the budget, you’re going to have to justify the extra spend. At the minute, I’m finding that many schools are opting for iPad 2. The feature-set on this model is more than adequate for the type of work you’ll mostly be doing. The only real exception to this is if you need to display incredibly high resolution imagery on the device; the iPad with Retina display has 3.1 million pixels, making it a solid choice for art lessons. Alternatively, the iPad with Retina display also has a dictation tool that is invaluable for SEN pupils.

Verdict: iPad 2 is going to be more than sufficient for most pupils, unless they need to work with HD imagery, or diction.

What size should I go for?

Generally speaking, you’ll be safe with the 16GB option. I would say it’s worth getting in touch with us to discuss your exact requirements, though. If you’re worried you’ll need access to large numbers of storage-intensive apps, or want to store a lot of media (HD video, for example, will soon start to take up space) then it may be the case that 32GB is more appropriate.

Verdict: Go for the 16GB model unless you need to store lots of apps or media on the device.

How good is the battery?

According to Apple, iPad has a 10 hour battery life when using the internet on WiFi, watching video or listening to music. While that’s a best case scenario, I’ve never worked with a school who’s had a problem, and a single charge will most likely last the full school day. Obviously, if you’re working in a really demanding app like GarageBand, it’s more likely to run out quickly.

Verdict: Not an exact science, but generally it will last the whole school day – definitely longer than a laptop.

How do we download apps and content?

There are thousands of education-specific apps out there to choose from the App Store and iTunes – you can search by genre or what’s new, then simply tap to download using an Apple ID. But it can be hard to keep track of what staff are downloading and billing to your iTunes account. As an iTunes value added reseller, we can provide you with a fully managed service including a credit account, pre-agreed approvals, monthly billings and inventory.

Verdict: Make it easier to manage and authorise App Store and iTunes downloads with a customised managed service from Jigsaw24.

What’s the difference between the WiFi and 3G/cellular models?

The 3G/cellular model is the more expensive option because it allows you to connect both via your school’s WiFi network and also wirelessly using data on a SIM card in the same way as you do with a smartphone. The WiFi model does what it says on the tin, and you’ll need to be in range of a WiFi network to be able to access the internet. As a guide, there’s about £80-£100 difference between the two models, plus the additional cost of a data plan or pre-paid SIM, which are usually £10 per month and upwards.

Verdict: WiFi is likely to be more than sufficient, unless you want to get one 3G model with a SIM card to use when out and about on school trips.

How do we buy and distribute multiple apps?

Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) cuts out all the admin stress of having to buy the same app for a whole class, letting you (the Program Facilitator) distribute it to whoever needs it using a unique redemption code. Buying in bulk also means you get some fantastic discounts, with 50% off some apps when you buy more than 20 copies – we’ve marked a few out in this catalogue with a special symbol. For even less admin, the other option is to get your own Managed App Services from us, as we’re the first iTunes Value Added Reseller to be able to manage your Apple accounts for you.

Verdict: VPP’s one of the best ways to distribute multiple apps, but if you really want to take out the stress of app deployment, give us a call for our Managed App Services.

Need to know anything else about iPad? Get in touch on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com.

Call us: 03332 409 306