This year, I had the pleasure of introducing iPads in a childcare center in Glenview and a Amazon Kindle Fire HD to a childcare center in Libertyville. After personally playing with the apps and settings on each device, I’ve made a lists of Pros and Cons using each of these tablets in the early childhood classroom setting. I will admit, I am an Apple Geek. I work on a Macbook Pro, I travel with an iPad 2, and I was one of the first people to get a iPhone 5. I promise to make this a fair and even discussion.
- It’s easier to back up an image of an iPad and copy that image to other iPads via iTunes or an app called “Apple Configurator“
- There is no need for a separate account. Owners and Directors of smaller centers can use a personal account to manage apps and music. It’s easy to designate which apps go to one device or the other.
- iPads have great parental controls built into iOS. Within the settings (Or Apple Configurator” you can block the use of individual applications such as books, apps, and internet browsing.
- iPads have a physical and easily seen button that can be used to escape and close apps.
- You have the option of which apps can automatically download from the cloud. If you designate iPads for adults and certain iPads for kids, it won’t be a problem for the admin of these devices to customize each one to their needs.
- IPads are twice the cost of Kindle Fires. Starting at $399.
- Due to high app development standards, there are fewer app choices and even fewer free apps to download.
- The price of popular children books are high. For example, children picture books can range from $4.99 to $9.99.
Amazon Kindle Fire
- Kindles are half the price of iPads. The price of a Kindle Fire HD costs $199.
- You can buy apps directly from Amazon.com and have them sync up wirelessly.
- Kindles are smaller and easier to store. (That can be chalked up to preference)
- More app choices on Amazon then there on the Apple website. There are many free choices as well.
- If you’re a Amazon Prime member you can have the ability to “borrow” books for free and have accesses to many books online via the store.
- You’ll need to set up a separate account for Kindles for kids. If you do any books you buy in the Amazon market, ANY BOOK, can be easily accessed via the cloud storage on the device.
- There is no physical button on the Kindle. I found it frustrating sometimes, trying to figure out how to exit an app. The exit menu always seemed to pop up in the opposite side where my finger was.
- Blocking Books & Apps are the same item in the Parental Control settings. You can’t block reading books and apps separately like on the iPad.
- If you forget to lock your Kindle in the the settings, kids can have accesses to your credit card and make any purchase they want.
- When you turn on the Kindle from sleep or unlock it, your’e forced to see an Ad.
- I could not figure out a way to duplicate Kindles like I did for the iPad.
In the end it’s up to price point and personal preference. I personally would go with iPads because I think they are more consumer friendly then the competition.