Choice of Computers

Hello All,

Our school is looking to purchase one-to-one laptops or tablets for the students. We will be using Exploring Computer Science as a curriculum for our 9th graders this year, but plan to add future Computer Science courses that include the AP courses. Our first choice would be chromebooks but I heard through the grapevine that students cannot code on these. Is this true? What do you guys suggest?

Thank you!

Ashley Purpura
Math and Computer Science Teacher
Girls Academic Leadership Academy

1 Like

My school is chromebook based. All the stuff works fine. I taught CSP on chromebooks last year. This year I am also teaching AP CSA (AP Java) and having chromebooks rather then PCs is a bigger challenge.

If you are not planning on teaching AP-CSA you should be fine on Chromebooks. If you are planning on teaching CS-A let me know and I’ll tell you more about what we are trying this year.

@cmeeks- We are a brand new school, starting with just a 6th and 9th grade. So our schedules won’t include AP-CSA for a few more years. Good to hear that the chromebooks were sufficient. We had a few parents that were concerned about inabilities to “code.” Do you have a more specific understanding of what can and cannot be done on the chromebooks?

thank you again

More and more things are being rewritten in html5 so that they work on chromebooks. Anythign you have to download or is a Java plugin won’t work.

Most of the kids programming environments work on chromebooks these days I feel like.


I am teaching APCS A for the first time this year (starting Spring 2016), and we too are chromebook based. How do you recommend I begin to do that?

Here are the tutorials my TEALS volunteers created:

Will this work on iPads?
My school is going 1:1 ipads next year and we want to implement CS principles course also.

The’s CSP curriculum will work fine on ipads. If you want to include AP CSA in your program, online Java IDEs do have some limitations especially with graphics and file I/O. Since the exam does not cover those topics, it is feasible to go cloud based. I find there are more resources available for cloud based coding now than when I first started teaching CS a few years ago.


I taught this on laptops last year and got chromebooks (and laptops) this year. I have my students use the chromebooks since they are faster than my laptops. It works just fine. I think my only concern is that the screen is a bit small which makes the programming window a bit tiny.

I have a few students who already know a bit of programming and they think it is a joke that we are using the chromebooks since they aren’t “real” computers. I told them to get over it :wink:

I have some other students who say that they want to be on desktops since they are more “ergonomically designed” - I have some pretty needy kids. For the most part, I like being mobile since that makes collaboration easier.


Sorry, I have been informed that CodeStudio is not guaranteed to work on iPads. I apologize for the confusion.


I use my iPad Pro in class to teach and there are some limitations with Code Studio. You will see some of the limitations with the widgets and glaring ones while coding in AppLab. The Safari iPad browser does not expand enough to allow for smooth interactivity.

We tried to use iPads this past year for the course and they worked fine until we got to Unit 3 and started doing block-based programming. The blocks do not work correctly and frequently left my students frustrated, not with content but with the technology.

I do not recommend.