Double AA Your Learning – Empowering #BYOD with #iPad and #Android Tablets

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The old, slouching toward “mootness” debate continues, Is the iPad a content consumption device or a creation device? It’s funny to even ask that question now, knowing all the awesome apps available to iPad users for creating content. But, as I stare lovingly at the screen of a Google Nexus 7 (sorry, it belongs to someone else which makes me wish I’d win a Powerball lottery or something), I can’t help but ask, Which device is more about content consumption rather than creation?

The real question for educators is, Should we consider the Android tablet (Nexus quality with capacitive screens, not that dinky Android tablet of yesteryear with resistive screens) at the same level as the iPad? It’s a conversation folks are wondering about and it’s come up for discussion among technology directors:

I just registered for TCEA last week and noticed an option to also get an iPad.  I was just curious why there was not an option for a Nexus, Surface, etc.  It appears from the registration that TCEA is recommending Apple over other vendors.  I thought TCEA tried to remain vendor neutral. 

The official response was:

Wonderful question. Lots of devices were discussed. TCEA can’t offer all of them, but we did want to have some of the most popular available including the Kindle, Kuno, and Nexus. When we took all things into consideration, it just wasn’t possible. There was an overwhelming amount of sessions and workshops submitted by presenters on iOS and it was decided that offering this device would best meet the needs of audience at large.

As we move towards BYOT/BYOD, it’s clear that various devices will find their way into schools…supporting any one device above another is yesterday’s approach to dealing with technology. Today, tomorrow, you just deal with the tech that’s in the backpack, in the hand. My response to the conversation above was this:

One way out of this would be to share that Android-based tablets lack the classroom management tools that iOS devices enjoy, and lack the widespread adoption (you can’t argue with the infographics to that point). As such, THIS year, the focus is on iOS. Then setup a survey to collect data advocating for a push for Android focus for the 2014 Conference.

You could also schedule a 1-day–if it’s not too late–Android strand, not unlike the Moodle Academy. Call it the AA Strand…Android Academy, of course. Or, setup an Android vs iOS in the classroom Smackdown. Or maybe, call it a “SmackUp” and focus on what you can do with the tech to enhance instruction rather than a duel.

It’s too simple a response to just ask, So what apps are available for Android that enable your creativity, that enhance instruction? It’s not a really good starting point…I should start with instruction, learning, etc and work from there but I’m just playing with the apps available, extending my learning from what I know to what I hope to know better.

I know that when I asked that question–what android apps are available that power one’s creativity–I  didn’t know what level of creativity I was capable of…my interaction with the technology helped me be more creative.

Will Android enable the same creativity? I would hope so, although I imagine the workflows for getting things done will be different. One thing Android probably won’t do–allow Pearson-based tests to run on it, like Apple has plans to do (check item #6).

Source: Tweet

Here are my favorite iPad creativity apps; the list isn’t unique and I’m sure you’ll say, “Miguel, your short list leaves a lot of great ones off.” Undoubtedly that’s true.


  1. Audio Podcasting Apps-
    1. Hokusa
    2. MultiTrack DAW
  2. Vidcasting and/or Digital Storytelling Apps – 
    1. Pinnacle Studio
    2. Sonic Pics
  3. Image Editing/Creation/Animation
    1. PicCollage
    2. PicStitch
    3. PuppetPals HD
    4. Popplet Lite
    5. Mad Lips
    6. PhotoCard
    7. ScribblePress
  4. Desktop Publishing
    1. Pages

Now, I’m sure we could go on with an incredibly long list of apps. But these are a few that I use periodically. The question is, What would be the Android equivalent to these?

The reason I ask this is simple. We’re going to have a lot of Android tablets finding their way into schools–especially, given how inexpensive the Google Nexus 7 and 10 are compared to iPads and how nice they are (really!). What apps allow us to create content on Android like the iPads?

  1. Image Editing/Creation/Animation
    1. Picasso – Draw, Paint, Doodle
    2. Fresco Lite 
    3. Adobe Photoshop Touch
    4. Sketcher Lite
    5. Doodle Toy
    6. Doodle Text
    7. Art of Glow
    8. Camera Fun Free
    9. Paper Camera
    10. Lightbox Photos
    11. Image Faker
    12. Faces
  2. Video Podcasting
    1. Android’s Movie Studio – Requires Android 3.0/Honeycomb or higher  
  3. Audio Podcasting Apps
    1. Audio Evolution Mobile ($6.99) nice overview article
    2. Sound Recorder
    3. Slidemaker Slideshow Creator

Anyone have some better starting points that what I have listed above?

Finally, in regards to the TCEA discussion, I found myself agreeing with this perspective one poster expressed:

If you start thinking about mobile devices as a method of connectivity to information and ideas, and less about what apps are available for that particular platform, in my mind, Android starts to come down as the clear winner. I don’t particularly care that some cool animation/storytelling app is not available on Android. However, if our students can use a device to find, decode, evaluate, and organize information into personal learning networks, then we don’t really care which device they choose to use to do it. That is why our school district chooses to buy Android tablets, but if we aren’t footing the bill (i.e., PTA, grant, etc.) then we don’t have a problem with adding iOS devices to our learning environment.



  1. Android Authority’s articles:
    1. unleashing creativity with Android apps
    2. Fun Photo Apps
  2. Android Movie Studio
    1. Perpetual Geek Machine’s article
    2. TechRepublic’s article

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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One thought on “Double AA Your Learning – Empowering #BYOD with #iPad and #Android Tablets

  1. pshircliff November 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm Reply

    i bought a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 to try out with my students, to try the 7" & to try Android. I did not get the Nexus because of its lack of rear camera (students video tutorials or labs). So far so good, on both points. Though I am still searching for a good music maker (like GarageBand) and a whiteboarding app (like ExplainEverything or Educreations). One problem I do have with a "classroom device" used by all students is there is no easy "log out" "log in" for the Google Drive app or Blogger app. I would rather not have to enter all 100-150 users into the device. More discussions later

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