But there are a handful of platforms that allow you to teach on your phone using a mobile operating system. Two popular options being Palfish and Cambly. While a lot of teachers love the flexibility of being able to teach on a phone, it is much more convenient to use a tablet as an alternative.
A tablet has numerous advantages over a smart phone
Since both a phone and a tablet use the same operating system (Android or iOS) it only makes sense to purchase a tablet. Not only can a table double as an electronic notebook and multi-media device, you also get a few key advantages as an online teacher.
A tablet can range from a mini tablet that has a 7 inch screen all the way up to a large, 12 inch screen marketed at professionals. Regardless, a tablet has a much larger screen which makes class easier and more enjoyable for all involved.
By having more viewing space, it makes the actual class easier to complete because tablets have a touch screen like a phone, but also can come with a stylus typically.
Better battery life
A full charged tablet lasts a lot longer than a phone does. Because tablets are larger devices they have bigger built in batteries.
This make a fully charged tablet a fun and easy device to teach online with as you don’t have to worry about the battery dying, or worse, have some complicated setup where your phone is plugged in and charging while you have headphones plugged in and are teaching at the same time.
Light weight and mobile
Tablets are fun, light weight mobile devices. You can pair them with an external keyboard if you like for increased functionality or you can just pack it into any backpack with ease. Tablet’s are thin, light and don’t take up that much space.
6 Best Tablets for Online Teachers
When looking for a tablet to buy a tablet there are just a few things to take into consideration. First is the operating system. Apps only work with Android or IOS. You’ll need a tablet running one of these two operating systems.
Next, you need to take note on the front facing camera. Most tablets have an excellent picture taking camera and a mediocre front facing camera. As long as the front facing camera is 2 MP or better you’re good to go. Here are the tablets we suggest for online teaching with Palfish and other apps:
- Apple iPad Air
- Microsoft Surface
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
- Apple iPad Pro
- Galaxy Tab 8″
- Galaxy Tab 10.1″
Apple iPad Air – The best tablet overall
Apple continues to produce and update their tablet line while other companies have moved on from creating tablets. The iPad Air is from our usage the best overall tablet for teachers. Not only can you use it for online teaching as this tablet has excellent compatibility with various apps and software, it also performs well when recording screen captures and videos due to the hardware.
The iPad Air will quickly become your favorite device. Light weight, fast and it comes with a good front facing camera. If you’ve never experience an iPad Air you’re missing out. Apart from Samsung, Apple is one of the only companies that is producing high quality tablets for work and play.
The iPad Air is an ideal tablet for teaching English online with Palfish or any other app based company because it’s got the three essentials. Fast processor, excellent touch screen and good forward facing camera.
- Excellent size for a tablet. More square in shape that the Tab A and a bit smaller.
- Lightweight. You’ll forget you threw this into your tote bag or backpack!
- You have access to the Apple Store
- Apple products are obviously more expensive but you get quality for the price.
- Has a 1.2 MP front facing camera. A bit of a deal breaker.
- No multi-tasking. The camera turns off if you switch away from an app.
Microsoft Surface 12.3 – The hybrid choice
The Microsoft Surface 12.3 can double as a tablet or a laptop and has the power to handle pretty much anything you throw at it. With a good integrated webcam, pen and decent audio, if you need something that is a step up from a basic tablet and has all the power of a laptop then this hybrid Surface tablet is amazing.
Please note that the keyboard is not included with this. It’s something we consider essential to getting the full use out of this hybrid setup. In addition, there are a handful of online teaching platforms that are not compatible with Android OS (though less of an issue now). With the Surface you get access to Windows 10 which is compatible with any software.
- The form factor of a tablet with the power of a laptop.
- Full Windows 10 instead of the Android operating system.
- Can function like a tablet with touch screen.
- Accessories are expensive and not included. Namely the keyboard and stylus.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 – A big gorgeous screen
Samsung is a well known name brand and the primary alternative to an iPad. We love the Galaxy Tab A8 for numerous reasons. First is it comes with a 10.5 inch screen which we find to be the perfect size for a tablet. Bigger than your phone, not as big as a laptop and every bit as portable.
Next is the gorgeous touch screen on this device. Colors are bright and vibrant. It’s also using the latest and most up to date version of Android. Last, this table has a fantastic and affordable price point.
- 8 mp front facing camera which is perfect for online teaching.
- Excellent battery life.
- Beautiful 10 inch screen for online teaching and learning.
- It comes pre-loaded with a lot of bloat ware.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ – Best Professional Tablet
The iPad pro is a professional level tablet aimed at being using for creative work. It’s excessive for most people but if you want to get the most premium tablet on the market, this is it.
First feature we like is the excellent front facing camera, coming in at 7 MP. This is more than acceptable for teaching online. It also have the largest screen and the best processor on the list.
This tablet is quick, responsive and it can handle multiple applications at the same time. As it’s marketed and designed for professional use, you can technically use this device as you would a laptop.
- Powerful processor that can handle more advanced applications like video editing.
- Thin and lightweight.
- Excellent front facing camera, essential for teaching.
- Sleek, sexy design.
- Comes with a stylus.
- No headphone jack. You need use your Airpods.
- The stylus attaches magnetically.
- No multi-tasking when you switch away from an app. This is an annoyance not found on Android devices.
Galaxy Tab A 8 Inch – Excellent Small Tablet For Teaching
The Galaxy Tab A 8″ is the smaller model of the Tab A 10.1″ and it tops the list for one main reasons. It meets all the requirements you need for teaching English online for any platform that uses a mobile app.
An awesome 5 MP front facing camera, bright and colorful touch screen, lot’s of internal storage, long battery life and it’s small and light weight.
It has all the features of the 10.1 inch model but it simply comes in a smaller package and less weight. While we personally love the iPad Mini, the Tab A 8 inch is a good, entry level tablet.
- Wonderful touch screen that is both colorful and vibrant.
- Long battery life.
- Multi-purpose. You can teach, read and use this work work related purposes
- Lot’s of internal storage built in.
- Good front facing camera coming at 5 MP.
- No stylus.
- Headphones that come with this device are mediocre.
Galaxy Tab A7 – Great budget friendly tablet (8.7 inch)
The Galaxy Tab A is a 10.1 inch tablet that is wonderful for online teaching with Palfish. It comes with a beautiful touch screen, a lot of internal storage, a handy stylus and it has some weight to it so it feels like a book.
This tablet comes with it’s own case that is designed to prop up the tablet at different angles and is multi purpose. Because the screen is 10.1, videos can be watched in full HD. It’s also a comfortable device to use as a reading device.
- Excellent touch screen that is colorful and vibrant.
- Comes with a stylus, quite useful once you start using one.
- Long battery life. Takes a long time to charge but lasts a long time once fully charged.
- Multi-purpose. Teach, watch videos, read. This things is a digital notebook.
- Perfect size. A 10.1 is the ideal size for a tablet. Not too big, not too small.
- Front facing camera is 2 MP, which is good but could be better.
- The headphones what come with the tablet are average.
- It’s not light weight.
Fire Tablet – Avoid for online teaching
One thing we want to quickly mention is the Fire Tablet from Amazon. It’s an excellent device for what it is, but we’ve noticed this device being recommended for online teaching and learning on Facebook and other websites and our readers asking why it’s not on the list.
This tablet does not use IOS or Andriod. As such, you don’t get access to the Play Store for Android or the App Store on IOS. With teaching apps like Palfish, you won’t be able to download and install such apps.
Get a Fire Tablet if all you’re looking to do is read books, watch videos and listen to music.
Best Consumer Tablets For Online Teaching – Conclusion
So there you have it, Teach and GO’s list of the best tablets for online teaching for apps. Overall if you’re teaching online and want to use a tablet over a laptop, our favorite is the classic iPad mini.
If however you’re looking for a dedicated writing tablet with a pen however we have a separate guide on that you can check out.
Editorial StaffThe editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.
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