COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Best laptop for online learning and teaching

  • 1.  Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-09-2020 23:09
    Hi there,

    I have a 5-year-old mac book that has taken a beating through many political campaigns, graduate school, and working in nonprofits in addition to teaching at community college. Since classes were moved ti online I am looking for a new laptop that supports online teaching in addition to learning because I begin my Ed.D online next month. Any suggestions? I am open but would prefer to stay under $1,000. thank you.

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    Alicia Briancon
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  • 2.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    PLN Leader
    Posted 04-10-2020 11:54
    Alicia,
    I teach online fulltime and do everything from my Pixelbook (Google Chromebook). There is very little that I can't do with it. I have a colleague who also uses his Pixelbook for everything. Just a consideration when you're going to school online. Our university is primarily Microsoft. We have a Google Domain and I use GSuite tools to teach. Almost 100% of what is sent through Outlook, OneNote, etc. can be used on my Pixelbook.


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    [Suzanne] [Becking] [Associate Professor]
    [Fort Hays State University][skbecking@mail.fhsu.edu]
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  • 3.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-14-2020 00:44
    Thank you, Suzanne.

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    Alicia Briancon
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  • 4.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-13-2020 12:22
    I have a Dell Inspiron that runs Windows 10 and it has worked great for me.  The computer has a touch screen and allows you to flip the screen over.  This lets the computer be a normal laptop or a tablet.  A pretty cool feature, at least to me.  The computer has plenty of power and has worked great so far.  The only small issue I have had is there is no disk drive.  But that is so common in laptops today, I'm not sure it even matters.

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    Emily Donner
    Teacher
    Middletown City Schools
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  • 5.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-14-2020 00:44
    Thank you, Emily.

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    Alicia Briancon
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  • 6.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-15-2020 12:21
    Maybe another MacBook? If you want new, Apple just released new MacBook Air models. They start at $899 on the education pricelist. If you trade in your old one Apple, they will credit you something toward the purchase of the new one. They works with a 3rd party company that will wipe your laptop clean (ie your data will definitely be gone) and refurbish it for resale into a secondary market somewhere outside the US. Or, clean it up yourself, and you can likely get more money for it on eBay, but you have to the work yourself to clean it and wipe your data.

    Apple also sells "Factory refurbished" laptops. Visit their site and scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the link "Refurbished and Clearance" link (or just click this!). If you are more adventurous and comfortable with buying used, there are always a lot of used MacBooks on eBay too.

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    Jeff Mao | jeff@edmoxie.com | @jmao121
    CEO and Founder | Edmoxie LLC | edmoxie.com

    Education Technology Consulting services for schools and developers.

    Implementation is as important as vision. Innovation does not have to be complicated, just different.
    ------------------------------

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  • 7.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-15-2020 22:45
    Thank you, Jeff!

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    Alicia Briancon
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  • 8.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-16-2020 11:19
    A few years ago, when my iMac was dying, I debating between a new Mac or a Microsoft Surface and went with the Surface. First deal breaker was no touchscreen on Macs. The manager at the Microsoft Store helped me find a free app to take care of the last hurdle, the GPS photo mapping feature for my pictures.

    My Dell from 2003 still runs. My Surface Pro from 2014 is still going strong. I've heard good things about Lenovos. From personal experience assisting teachers, I'd say avoid laptops from HP, Sony, and Acer.

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    -Karyn (@Filibuster3)
    Technology Training Specialist
    MIEExpert, MIETrainer, Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator-Level 2, National Geographic Certified Educator
    https://gktechies.wordpress.com/ (blog)
    https://delivr.com/27zf2 (Accessibility collection)
    http://bit.ly/gktechies YouTube Channel
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  • 9.  RE: Best laptop for online learning and teaching

    Posted 04-23-2020 08:22
    I personally love our macbooks because they last forever and don't get the traditional host of viruses and slow downs of a regular PC.  Knowing that we are in a scenario of online learning and may be more frequent in the future, I would suggest at least a laptop that has touch screen capabilities to be able to write on a digital whiteboard for screencasts.  I'm not sure that for a college professor, a chromebook is enough.  Not all colleges use tools that are google or web based (I know the one I am an adjunct for uses Microsoft which is fine since you can access it via the cloud now) so having a machine that can actually download software would be helpful just in case.  For example, our LMS has its own video platform that is only accessed via software install on your computer.

    My son has an Asus 2 in 1 laptop and it seems to work quite well for him.  It was under $1000 and we bought one that has a great processor and lots of memory since he is taking high school engineering classes.

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    Jennifer Cauthers
    teacher/district technology leader
    Mahopac Central Schools
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