What is the Best Tablet Besides iPad for the Classroom

Teachers and school board administrators know that digital classrooms are not so futuristic as indicated by numerous schools that are implementing tablets for their students. Tablets allow students to have research tools at their fingertips while at school and home. These devices help teachers as well with class planning, interaction activities, collecting homework assignments and sending digital progress reports to a parent's email.

However, the majority of portable electronic hype is with Apple products. The iPad controls the majority of the tablet market as well as the laptop and smartphone fields. While many administrators might think it's easy enough to just pick iPads for a new digital learning program, they should do some investigative research first.

Some of the biggest problems that surround tablets for the school setting are the devices are not easy to use and require training for teachers and students. Additionally, some of the devices allow age-inappropriate material or websites to appear. Some of these supervision problems are what concern teachers and parents, but there are solutions available.

Here are three tablets beside iPads that work for the classroom:

1. LearnPad
The LearnPad has one goal in mind: to be a tablet used specifically for education and learning. Teachers can enjoy the LearnPad right off the bat because it has easy administrative functions to control the information being sent to the devices.

The teacher can easily upload and deliver classroom materials to students and build lesson plans that are not complicated or inefficient. According to Education Week, in North Carolina, about 10 percent of the 15,000 tablet devices used for 1-to-1 computing programs have been returned. However, Educational Resources explained 99.82 percent of LearnPad XD and SD tablets sent to schools are working properly and effectively.

LearnPads also allow teachers to message students independently, which helps educators reach out to those who might be struggling or dealing with other issues at home. Teachers also have a function that allows them to pause all student tablets so distractions and non-classroom related material aren't a problem.

2. Amazon Kindle Fire
If educators are looking for a tablet that can give students access to thousands of reading materials, the Amazon Kindle Fire might be the best solution. According to Laptop Magazine, the Kindle offers free books to students through the Kindle Owner Lending Library system on the device.

Schools also have the option to invest in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which is only $2.99 a month for Amazon Prime members, and it allows students to access numerous kid-approved educational apps, material and books, the source reported. The Kindle also has simple settings to add parental controls to block inappropriate sites, books and magazines.

The device has a bright high-definition screen and great speakers that might make this a more fitting device for middle-school-aged students or those entering high school.

3. Curriculum Loft KUNO 3
The company behind the new KUNO 3 is an educational technology-based developer that builds tablets with school needs as its main focus. According to eSchool News, digital safety is one of Curriculum Loft's main objectives, and it's apparent with the KUNO 3 device.

"Even with a hard reset of the device, [students] shouldn't be able to break through the [Web] filter," said Alicia Peters, marketing coordinator for Curriculum Loft. "The filters are in place whether [you're] in school or not. If the student takes it on vacation to Hawaii, [content] is still going to be filtered just like in school."

The devices can be managed through one administrative interface that makes it easier to sync the classroom and keep students from using the devices during specific times.

No matter what the device, when tablets are implemented, schools need to invest in personal insurance to protect these devices.