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New Member

For any of you 1:1 schools, do you use Chromebooks or iPads?

We are currently BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and are looking to make the switch to a 1:1 school. We are discussing the pros and cons of both Chromebooks and iPads. Do any of you have experience with Chromebooks or iPads and how they work with Canvas? This will be for 9-12 grade students. Any advice is appreciated Smiley Happy 

12 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Greetings! I'm going to share this with the‌ group in the Community to see if they can help.

New Member

I think there are a lot more questions to ask in addition to how well it works with Canvas.   If you are primarily using them for Canvas, Chromebook is fine.  If your going to be creating a ton of content the iPad is the way to go.    The Chromebook is getting better than it used to be but still your limited to web based programs.   Where as the iPad you have more apps to choose from.

Part 2 -- my issue with the iPad is the Canvas app.   While it's getting better we still have problems with it.   The browser is the way to go but on the iPad its not supported. 

Community Team
Community Team

I'd also like to loop in‌! Hopefully we can get a few more people to provide some feedback. Smiley Happy

New Member

I agree with Brandon Belew above about your goals for your 1:1 device.  In Claremont we looked at a range of devices and selected iPads because of the wide range of apps and activities the iPad offered, it's mobility (try taking a Chromebook on a field trip), and it's compatibility with our state test system.  We've had a few problems with the iPad app, but nothing long lasting and Canvas is continually improving the app with updates.  Our biggest ah ha was learning to adjust the way we designed courses to work best in the iPad app environment.  

Using the app, students can easily submit digital work to Canvas from any iPad app and are able to participate in every manner of assignment our teachers have provided.  We're only in our 2nd year of Canvas implementation, but so far so good.

New Member

A detail I failed to mention is that we attempted an open BYOD program before adopting iPads and it failed for various reasons.  First, teachers were limited to planning with the few productivity that worked across all platforms.  Second, the teachers looking for multimedia tools or other dynamic tools to integrate into their instruction spent hours trying to locate similar tools for 4 or more platforms.  Third, the highest percentage of devices were smartphones, which made longer writing assignments difficult.  Also, it was difficult for my team to plan PD experiences for these teachers when we needed to focus so much on dealing with the issue of multiple platforms.  These were the top four reasons, but there were others as well.

Once we decided on the need for a single student device adoption, selected iPads, and were in year two of our implemented vision, we opened up a BYOiPad opportunity for our high school.  This allows teachers to plan for one device, it allows us to train and manage similar devices, and we are able to push paid apps to BYO student devices that are used in the students' classes.  We set a minimum spec requirement for iPads 4 or greater. 

New Member

Great discussion here.  Our district piloted Chromebooks, iPads and laptops.  We have moved to laptops (HP & Lenovo) to address the multiple platform issue.  We also found that the iPads did not always play well with other digital tools.  (Flashplayer was one stumbling block.)  We do have schools (mostly BYOD) that use Chromebooks.  Our 1:1 schools receive laptops.  We use a SSI through Classlink and have multiple digital resources across a large district.  

I wish you well on your selection and that you find the best tools for your students & staff.

Community Member


We are currently 1-1 iPads and reviewing the impact of them with Canvas. Part of looking at different models includes reviewing the Chromebooks although we are in a Windows network environment with PCs in each classroom

Dont share the enthusiasm of many about the Canvas App. We have issues with the Calendar not working for many on Safari and Canvas are not prepared to support browsers with iPads! The iPad app is not being developed at the same pace as the browser and although some improvements have been made there is a lot of frustration with colleagues at the limitations. Most of our students dont use the app but use the web based version. Not helped that we cannot get SSO to work effectively due to a different way we provision this.

I am interested in the Chromebook model. Chromebooks are beginning to catch up in design although disappointed to have to wait till April for the first stylus chromebook with dual camera. The link with Android is still a bit flakey but as this improves, the ability to use Office365 apps will be useful both on and offline. Further positive for Chromebooks is the LTI integration with Google which beats the Office one hands down. We have Office365 and LTI integration and it is painful.

The range of Apps argument for choosing the iPad will disappear as the link with Android develops. We still face a struggle reminding students to convert files from various apps into PDFs so Canvas can read them in assignments. 

The big issue with both iPad and Chromebook is the move to a Cloud based environment and encouraging student (and staff) to be more mobile with their storage..

Happy to talk more on Skype at an time (although we are in the Netherlands)


Community Team
Community Team

We are a 1:1 iPad school of approximately 750 students. We adopted iPads 3 years before we adopted Canvas. When choosing an LMS, one of the biggest factors was compatibility with the iPad. Since we signed with Canvas, the mobile apps have improved, but the items that don't work perfectly on the app are accessible via Safari. The biggest challenge is making sure teachers and students know which items work well in the app and which ones work more dynamically through the browser.

We've considered looking at alternative devices for our 1:1 program, but we have invested so much into various apps and our device management system. The iPad can create some pretty amazing content, but we are not sure if the iPad Air 2s we provide our students offer the best experience, technologically speaking, as other devices (ie: Chromebooks or laptops) could. Again, that would mean a significant investment to make the change...and a lot of training for teachers and students.

While mobile app via iPad isn't perfect, like  @GideonWilliams ‌ explained, I do share  @bdambrosia-donn ‌'s optimism and appreciate how the Canvas Mobile Team is constantly making updates and improvements to their users' experiences.