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 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, though you should bear in mind 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, but lessons can be adapted to work with a single iPad for the whole class.
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. For higher ability groups who are able to work in small groups, you will need:
- Headphone splitters, if pupils are going to be sharing iPads.
- A speaker
The video at the bottom of this page shows how it all fits together.
In SEN/D contexts we also often use a microphone plugged into the iPad to encourage vocalising.
Various clamp stands for wheelchairs are also available, but we usually find it easier to use the equipment already in the class (including standard wheelchair tables).
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.
Speaker – Minirig – £130 (approx. $179). Loud, high quality sound. Long battery life. We love them.