My review on the iPad Vs. Kindle Fire in the Early Childhood Classroom

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.

Apple iPads

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

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