Which iPad?

iPads come in three sizes – iPad minis, standard iPads (sometimes called ‘iPad Airs’) and iPad Pros. Apple bring out a new model every year or two, and after several years the older iPads no longer support newer apps. We are big fans of the iPad minis. They do everything an standard iPad can do, but are smaller, lighter and marginally cheaper. We don’t find the smaller screen has any practical drawbacks, though this is to an extent a matter of taste. The latest iPad mini at the time of writing (2018) is the iPad mini 4, but the iPad mini 2 is perfectly adequate for the work we are doing. You should bear in mind, however, that they are harder and harder to source and will become obsolete in perhaps three or four years.

The ideal ratio of iPads is one between two pupils, so 10-15 for a classroom set, but lessons can be adapted to work with a single iPad for the whole class if it is projected onto the whiteboard.

Other Important Equipment

The exact equipment you need depends on how many iPads you have access to, and what you plan to do with them. The minimum you will need is:

  1. Headphones
  2. Headphone splitters, if pupils are going to be sharing iPads.
  3. A speaker

In addition, the best way of getting the iPad screen onto your whiteboard or classroom TV is by using a lightning to VGA splitter.

Have a look at this video to see how it all fits together.

Equipment Links

Two options for iPad Cases:

Griffin Survivor – Top quality. £50 (approx. $69). Be sure to get the appropriate case for your model of iPad.

Pepkoo Case – Very similar design to the Griffin. Offers a  lower level of protection and general build quality but is fit for purpose and much cheaper – around £15 (approx. $21). Be sure to get the appropriate case for your model of iPad.

Foldable headphones – £10 (approx. $14) a pair.

3.5mm Mini Jack leads – 2 metres long, £4 (approx. $5) each.

3.5mm Mini Jack 6-way splitters – £2.50 (approx. $3). Belkin do a version that some say can cope better with multiple inputs but we have found these to be fine.

Speaker – Minirig – £130 (approx. $179). Loud, high quality sound. Long battery life. We love them.