Log in

iPad Models - which to choose

  • Public
Started by Charlotte Corfe 19 Mar 2014 1:04pm () Replies (9)

I am being given the option of buying 15 new iPads for our school and are wondering what model to go for.  iPad2s are being phased out, so are these worth it or should I look at iPad Airs?  


Then the second question is whether to go for Minis or full sized iPads.  Any help would be great, thank you


  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 1:38pm ()

    Hi Charlotte,

    a couple of questions that might help you narrow down the choices:

    • What is the vision behind the purchase of the devices? Will they be used in one class or across a school, 1:1 or 1 device to several students, in particular contexts or across the curriculum?
    • What kind of learning do you hope to see happening as a result of bringing the devices in?

    iPad minis work well 1:1 while the larger iPads are often better when you are sharing devices between a number of students. The kind of learning you hope to see happening has an influence on what requirements you need from the device, too: Will you require a lot storage space for videos etc? Will you have them connected to the school wifi (few schools would require 3G)? None of my schools have iPad Air, they have iPad2s so I don't feel qualified to make a recommendation either way.

    I hope this helps a little:)


  • Charlotte Corfe (View all users posts) 20 Mar 2014 11:17am ()

    Thanks Monika.  It helped me get my thinking organised

  • gareth scholes (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 2:24pm ()


    We purchased iPad 2's to be booked for classes and have since purchased 5 iPads Minis per class. When in a class and book the iPad 2's all students prefer these. 

    If you have a facility to share - Projector, Apple TV, LED TV then this is brilliant. Also cost comes in to the equation as you will get more iPad Minis than iPad 3, 4 and Airs. 

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 2:49pm ()

    Hi Charlotte

    Monika is absolutely right in that it links to your vision as to how you see the devices being used. Where you are developing collaborative creative approaches using open ended apps then the additional screen real estate is a real bonus. For example I find the kids using Minis really struggle with Puppet Pals, iMovie etc when sharing the smaller screen. Teachers have done amazing things with Touches though I do feel that there are times when screen size has an impact on learning options IMHO.

    I have a number of 'my' schools have opted for the Air (at the increased price!) and have had favourable comments. They are faster when doing things like graphics processing, the camera is MUCH better (then again so is the Mini) and they have the size to support co-operation and apps, though for some it will be a matter of preference. I think the Air you buy today will still be effective 4-6 years on, don't feel so confident about the 2 - though they will still do lots of cool stuff but may be a bit like the older computers in the corner.

    I do notice that PB technologies dropped the iPad2 price to $430+ an hour ago - this probably signals the end of the line for a workshorse that has lasted really well for 3+ year and will probably keep going fine for another three although more and more newer options will not work on them.

    An example is Air Drop - very useful for sharing files around - available on the Mini and Air but not the 2. I believe there will be more features on the way, extending - Siri, accessibility, wireless and newer apps will use features not available on the 2.

    Storage is less of a problem with the maturing of cloud and local options but does require deliberate planning.

    My thoughts


  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 3:03pm ()

    I saw this on Twitter over lunch time


    I wouldn't buy a 1960's Mini but I am much more likely to buy an iPad Mini.

    Or a lightning fast red hot Ferrari.

  • Aaron Frost (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 3:18pm ()

    If it is about the amount of ipads instead of the money I would go for ipad Air's.

    We have gone with ipad 2's simple because we can get a lot more devices for the money.

    Once we can't get them we would probably go with the ipad air over the mini due to the more collaborative nature with the bigger scree.  The mini's are not that much cheaper anyway.

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 3:34pm ()

    Hold this conversation.

    My comment about PB technologies has proved to be instantly true. Apple have announced a replacement for the iPad 2. Not the Air as most expected but the Retina (let's just call it the iPad 4!!!) which has most of the 2014 features that the iPad2 lacks. It appears it will only be 16 Gb so aimed squarely at the educaiton market and prices at about the iPad2 price.

    Me, being in agreement with the comments about larger screens,  i would hold off purchasing for  a few day.


  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 19 Mar 2014 5:49pm ()

    Hi Charlotte and all -

    Perfect timing to look at iPads, for the price of an iPad2 yesterday, you know get an iPad4! this is the cheapest full sized iPad, and is a pretty good deal.  We have gone for iPadMini devices, mainly because we are moving towards a 1:1 model.  Also, they are really light which counts when you are using them all day. The iPad4 is twice as heavy as an iPadMini.

    As a developer, I'd be wary of investing now in iPad2 devices.  They are legacy products now, and already there are apps and features that iPad2 devices can't run.  Outofschool.net have a great series of podcasts on deployment issues, and this weeks podcast is around selecting a device for your schools needs.  I haven't listened to it yet, but Fraser and Bradley always have sounds, solid advice.

    Hope this helps, 


Join this group to contribute to discussions.