What is it? Here’s a tablet designed specifically for early elementary-aged students.
How does it work? The LeapPad2 is built on specs that mimic those found on adult tablets such as the iPad and the Surface. The device boasts a full touch screen display and both a front and rear-facing camera. It comes with 4gb of on-board storage and runs a suite of apps or games via removable cartridges.
How hard is it to use? This device was made for younger minds, so the learning curve is small. That’s one reason the LeapPad2 is a good fit in early elementary classrooms. It serves as a much less expensive “entry” tablet on which younger students can learn. Since many of the operations on the LeapPad2 are the same as, or similar to, those on “adult” tablets, students can master these techniques on a relatively cheap device.
How well does it work? While its $100 price tag is well below that of the $399 iPad Mini, the LeapPad2 is still a purchase that educators should not take lightly. With that said, the device is well-built. Its molded plastic chassis is durable and likely to survive repeated falls from a desk or table. The screen responds to touch via finger, but there is also an included stylus tethered to its side. The stylus comes in handy when students play any of the writing-based games.
All of the native software is easy to follow and centered around one of LeapFrog’s primary characters, Scout the puppy. Students are led through various apps both visually and vocally, making the acclimation process an easy one.
How do I use it in the classroom? The LeapPad2’s positive impact on students is only limited by their guided exposure to the tablet. Apps run about $5 and cartridges cost $25, so for the price of a single iPad devoid of any content, a teacher could have a series of nicely equipped LeapPad2s.
Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.
Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.