----There are no name brand Android devices that can only be used with a Wi-Fi connection. *
----While the app market is getting stronger, education apps are far behind when compared to Apple. *
*there are exceptions
There are many types of technology devices that our used within our schools. There are three main ways that teachers and students connect to the internet.
- Mobile Network
Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the two most common ways to connect to the internet, but when it comes to mobile devices Wi-Fi is the number one choice for schools. I do use my Android phone in the classroom for many reasons and these are listed in my other posts, but I am not very comfortable handing MY phone over to a 6th grader. (Don’t get me wrong, I have some very trustworthy students…it just isn’t the best solution)
There are some districts that have allowed phones into the classroom, but they are much smaller in numbers when compared to Wi-Fi. School districts are hurting so bad financially that I do not see a big jump to phones in the classroom. Monthly fees and massive budget cuts do not help. Why can’t the kids just bring their own phones to school? Most districts, that I know, want to have control of the devices. (What they do and where they go) There are also many safety concerns with a gadget that has freewill. So what is the problem? Google and the electronics manufacturers do not have a name brand Wi-Fi only device at this point in time. (September 6, 2010)
I am looking for this device.
So………Apple has the iPod Touch and the iPad. Google has the Archos. Of course all of us know Archos??? You can find an Archos device at Best Buy, Radio Shack, and online at Newegg, but I am not comfortable with buying an off-brand device. Dell has the “Streak,” but I can’t find one that is Wi-Fi only. I have seen some people buy an Android phone on eBay. They don’t activate the phone and they just use the Wi-Fi. All of this seems too complicated for the education world to commit to. The future looks bright for Google if they can produce a nice tablet that fits the needs of most schools.
Can you see it? A tablet that works seamlessly with Google docs, plays flash video, and has all the educations apps just like Appl…….cough…cough. Wait a minute.
Google has a lot of apps. Don’t they have wonderful education apps like Apple? The short and simple answer is NO. Android’s marketplace doesn’t have a category dedicated to education like Apple does. There are app review sites for Android, which help in finding some good apps. (There are some reviews on IEAR too and I hope this will grow soon) The biggest problem for Android education apps is that there is no device that is well suited for the classroom. Apple has devices in the classroom and developers create for that market. Small numbers of Android devices in the classroom equals small number of apps in the Android marketplace. It seems like elementary math to me and as many number crunchers Google has, you would think someone at Google could calculate this. I am just a lowly 6th grade teacher and I was able to make this calculation!
To answer a Scott Meech question from the IEAR Podcast #3. Is there a return policy on Android Apps? Here it is from Google-
You have 24 hours from the time of purchase (not download) to return an application purchased through Android Market for a full refund. You may only return a given application once; if you subsequently purchase the same app again, you may not return it a second time.
As always…if you have any questions you can contact me.
also posted at- www.normaledtech.com