Teaching High School and College level CS. Laptop or iPad

My district is considering replacing all laptops for computer science with iPad. I am wondering what the implications are for the computer science classes at my high school.

The iPad is clearly an impressive device. Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the higher level courses, and what limitations my students might run into without the laptop.

Hey @cbixel-

Good question and smart to check before your district spends a lot of money on iPads. For high school level courses and beyond, Code.org recommends either a desktop or laptop computer.

That being said, iPads could work if they fit the requirements listed here- scroll down to ‘Mobile and Tablet Support Details’ for more specific info.

Hope that helps!

There are a lot of online coding resources popping up all the time. With websites like repl.it , gitpod.io, and codeanywhere.com you can code with only a browser.

However, you have mentioned college level courses. Most college level coding is going to need a keyboard. Will your iPads have keyboards? Possibly a mouse too.

Most serious coding is also going to need a larger monitor. Would a laptop give students a larger screen? If you are looking at cheap laptops then maybe not.

Again a trade-off. Many of the online coding tools do charge a fee. Running open source software on a laptop could be cheaper long term.

Many schools are going with Chromebooks. Chrome OS will run Linux development tools if it is enabled and the Chromebook has enough power. Enabling Linux on school Chromebooks is often seen as a security issue.