LearnPad: An escape route from Apple’s walled garden?

We have long been frustrated by all the complications of managing iPads. Anyone who has jumped through the hoops involved in setting up an Apple VPP account to buy apps, or attempted to distribute apps using Apple Configurator, will be all too familiar with the bittersweet claustrophobia of life inside Apple’s walled garden.

Despite the great array of apps available for iPads, we are always looking at alternative devices. We were, therefore, really excited when our BETT award winning LearnPad arrived.

The LeanPad is an android based device. It won’t run all your favourite iOS apps, but will run Flash. Unlike most other tablets, it claims to be designed for the education sector. At the heart of this claim is a supposedly intuitive management tool, which is meant to take the hassle out of looking after a set of tablets .

To test this claim we handed the LearnPad to the CLC’s newest team member, technician Peter Eyres. Peter has writen a detailed report on the LearnPan’s management tool. You can read the whole thing here.

Or, for those who just want a bite sized chunk of his analysis, here is Peter’s summary.

Tablets in general were not, nor ever designed exclusively or even specifically with schools in mind. Everyone now recognises the potential tablets offer in making learning fun, interactive, more mobile and less restrictive than ever. There is a great deal of frustration that Apple and indeed other manufacturers and OS developers, have still yet to fully integrate and optimise tablets for educational usage, despite the vast array of educational apps available on all the major platforms.

LearnPad have come up with a cheap and effective solution. The easy to use online management interface, specifically designed for education, coupled with the pre installed client software, ensures that educators and technicians no longer have to worry about crucial system settings being changed, or students having the ability to stray off task by browsing websites they shouldn’t. LearnPad’s education focused tablet solution is a serious, feature rich, easy to use,  cost-effective and viable option for schools.”

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