An #EdTech Question: Windows 8 or Apple Tablets?

Hi everyone,

I am appealing to all EdTech people on this one!

I was chatting with a university friend on Saturday about becoming a 1:1 tablet school, providing a networked system of tablets for the majority of students to use.

She is lucky enough to have the dilemma between installing a Windows 8 network of tablets vs. the iOS on Apple iPad. We spent a while weighing up the obvious pros and cons between the two, and I agreed that I’d put it to my PLN for some further ideas and discussion to help direct her school’s final decision.

Here are some of the main points of our discussion:

  • Apple is already immersed in our staff/students’ lives via iPhones/personal iPads etc.
  • The iPad is very flexible in terms of charging and syncing.
  • School networks seem to have more flexibility with Windows OS.
  • It is a huge investment to go 1:1 tablet/student ratio. Will tablets replace netbooks? Have they already done so?
  • What is the lifespan of the current tablet computers. Is it a worthwhile investment?

Please help out by adding any comments/suggestions/links below to help get this discussion started. It is a discussion that is very likely to take place in many schools as we see Windows (perhaps?) begin to close the gap on Apple’s dominant market share in education and elsewhere.

I look forward to reading and sharing your comments!



Which system do you use in your school?

What do you see as any obvious pros/cons of choosing either system for a school network set-up?

Have you seen this discussion taking place elsewhere? Or even had it at your school? Please share your ideas in the comments space below.


6 Comments on “An #EdTech Question: Windows 8 or Apple Tablets?”

  1. Cait says:

    Our school just bought a massive amount of iPads: the man reasons behind this were that the student already use Apple devices, their battery life, and to assist students to be able to use both iOS and Windows on future devices (before this, we were very much a PC school: I think there were 2 MacBooks in the school..).

    I would have liked to see other tablet devices incorporated as well, but I get the impression that it would have been too difficult to get all of our teachers to learn multiple new devices. I think the kids adapt to whatever they have, and so far, they love the iPads.

    I’m a little concerned however, like you mentioned above, about the expected lifespan of them. That said, the net books that most schools use are really probably not much better.

    • teddymercer says:

      Thank you so much for your comments, Cait. The more people we can add to this discussion, the better, and you’re the first one to share! Good luck with your shiny new iPads!


  2. Rich Lambert says:

    Remember that a tablet is only as good as its software. iOS has hundreds of thousands of educational apps, there is such an embarrassment of riches for any teacher searching through the App Store. The closest rival would be Android. Windows I wouldn’t even consider.

    What people seem to be drawn to is the idea of returning to the safety of Microsoft Office. And a traditional computer filing system. I’m assuming that, because its the only thing I can think of that a Windows tablet could possibly offer that iOS doesn’t have. And that is a tragedy really, because the world has moved on. Sign your school up to a Google Apps account and get your students using Google Drive and other cloud based software that is free, easy to use, and fantastic for teaching proper 21st century IT skills such as sharing, contributing, collaborating, remixing, commenting etc. Microsoft Office gets me angry because its old world technology used by old people (like us!) that really shouldn’t be forced upon the next generation in the post-PC, cloud based age.

    Anyway, that’s my rant. The future is in cloud based software run on personalized mobile devices owned and run by the students. So even better: don’t make their mind up for them, don’t sterilize each machine with a locked down school image and boring one size fits all office software, run a BYOD program instead!

    • teddymercer says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and expertise, Rich. Some excellent points to take on board.

      I love the idea of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, it takes some setting up but I have heard it is well worth it.

      Thanks again,


  3. mburns7 says:

    I love using iPads with my students – check out my blog using iPads in the classroom:

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