The Google Nexus 7 tablet is the Android tablet that schools have been waiting for. Plain and simple.
I like the Nexus 10 tablets for their screen real estate and larger hard drive for media storage, but the Nexus 7’s are, hands down, what make the most sense for use in an elementary school library. So just like in my Nexus 10 review, here are my top 5 reasons why you should ditch your library catalog computers and get Nexus 7 tablets instead.
Disclaimer: I did not make any money from this review, and I received no compensation for writing it. There are also no affiliate links in this post. See Disclosures & Disclaimers for more information.
- Many library services are web-based. – Until this year, we had 4 dedicated desktop computers just for searching the catalog. This was an incredible waste of tech resources, because all they were used for is web access. For the same price as one of those catalog desktops, you can get 2 or 3 tablets, AND students can carry them around as they search (read: No more call number slips! Hooray!)
- Syncing mobile bookmarks for LibGuides, World Book Online, and other digital resources! – As I mentioned in my Nexus 10 review blurb, the beauty of Android’s Chrome is that anything you bookmark on one tablet can be instantly synced!
- Reasonable price – Of course, the price tag is probably the most convincing argument in this age of slashed budgets. For $229 (and during Cyber Week 2013, you get a $25 Play Credit too), you get a sweet, awesome tablet that in my opinion works just as well as the education-favored iPad or iPad mini.
- Handheld size is just right for small-ish elementary hands. – Carrying around the 10″ tablets looks a bit bulky as I watch students using them in the library. A 7″ tablet is easier to carry and handle for searching for materials, researching information online, and general information literacy coolness.
- Updates pushed out immediately – Since the Nexus tablets are made by Google, they get updates to the operating system immediately. Our 12 Nexus tablets just got the Android 4.4 KitKat (formerly called Key Lime Pie) update, and it’s beautiful! We even got a free app out of it, QuickOffice, though I have no idea if it’s any good. When my only-a-year-old HTC smartphone is still stuck with 2 versions ago, “Ice Cream Sandwich,” I appreciate the update speed of a Google-native device.
So all in all, I think Android is ready for mass school implementation, and either the Nexus 7’s or 10’s (especially with a rumored new 10″ tablet coming soon) would meet students’ educational needs quite well. Schools looking to implement a 1:1 initiative for their students would be wise to consider the Nexus tablets, and I highly recommend the Nexus 7 specifically for elementary school libraries.
Need some app ideas? Check out my Pinterest board of Android Apps for Elementary School Libraries.