When purchasing iPod’s or iPad’s for the classroom, one must consider the accessories that will need to be purchased in order to exploit the power of the devices. Screen protectors, covers, cases, stands, styluses, keyboards, headphones, adaptors, and connection cables should all be considered as necessary additions when purchasing these devices for the classroom. Be sure to budget in these items when determining your needs for the classroom when planning to purchase.
Screen Protectors & Covers/Cases
Screen Protectors are a clear film that is stuck to the front and/or back screen of the device. This helps to protect the screen from scratches and can even help to protect the screen if the device is dropped. I have used InvisibleSHIELD from Zaag on both my iPhone and my iPad. This protective cover has proven very useful in small drops, prevented my screen from shattering on a large drop, and also prevents smudges and scratches. Another great quality of this protector is that it has a lifetime warranty. This is great for school use because of the amount of time the devices will be used and it is replaced for free.
In addition to a screen protector, you should also buy a cover or a case. This provides more protection for the device. Covers can include rubber or plastic that only protects the backing of the device or one for the front of the case as well.
For example, the Griffin Reveal is a slim-line protector case that slides over the back of the device (iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad 2). The advantage to this cover is that it doesn’t add bulk to the device, has rubber sides that make it easy to hold, and that it is made out of one piece of polycarbonate which is a strong material that can hold up to frequent use.
The iPad Smart Cover is nice, but doesn’t seem like it will hold up to use by students. It turns off the iPad automatically when shut and is magnetically attached to the side. It flips over to become a stand, but it isn’t very sturdy and I can see this breaking easily. I think it is too early to tell which case will be the best for students that will provide protection along with providing the option to turn it into a stand. Buying a case for protection and a separate stand is the better option for the classroom.
Stands are a definite extra that should considered when buying these types of devices. This is especially useful in the special education classroom. While buying a separate stand for home use may seem unnecessary, it is very useful in the classroom. Stands hold the device in a leaning position so that students could use a stylus, read from it, or use in a more ergonomic fashion. Xtand has some of the top-rated stands for both the iPod Touch and the iPad 2. These stands are durable and more stable than the stands that fold up or are built into a case. The one down side is that it is not easily transported as it doesn’t fold up.
The remaining accessories will be included in another post next week. Accessories are an important component that should definitely be thought out and planned for when building a mobile lab.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By Yutaka Tsutano