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Online tools have incredible learning potential: kids are used to spending time online, so Web-based learning materials can make learning more engaging and fun. The benefits become suddenly less exciting, however, when students have to use a device that doesn’t work with all of the learning content teachers assign or he or she is interested in. Whether the content comes from a publisher and goes with normal classwork, or it’s supplementary content that a teacher could offer for extra credit or added practice, it’s critical that the student’s device offers a complete learning experience.
Among the three devices we tested, the Windows 8.1-based HP 210 G1 Notebook PC powered by an Intel processor had the fewest issues. The other devices had significantly more problems, ranging from issues with Flash and Java to requirements for workaround apps and more. Teachers need an option that will help their students learn, not distract them from their tasks. Schoolwork can be hard enough without having to fight with a device to access learning materials—students need a device that provides a full experience without frustration. Of the devices we tested, the Windows-based HP 210 G1 Notebook PC experienced the fewest problems on the kinds of online learning resources that students use today.