Purchasing a new computer is a huge decision; as we all know these devices cost quite a bit of money. In order to help you make the right decision, I have outlined and detailed the best laptop computer and the best tablet for teaching with VIPKID.
Best Laptop for Teaching VIPKID
The Macbook Air is the most commonly used and best laptop for teaching with VIPKID. Talk to 90% of VIPKID teachers and they will tell you that the Macbook Air has it all. Here are a few things you should know about the Macbook Air before you buy:
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1. Long-lasting device – My favorite thing about my Macbook Air is that it is a quality machine. Macbooks are made and proven to last.
2. No need for anti-virus – As with any Mac, buying anti-virus software is unnecessary. This will save you the struggle of finding the best anti-virus software and keeping it up-to-date.
3. Lightweight and travels easily – Whether you’re jetting across the world or moving your laptop from the kitchen table to your living room sofa, the Macbook Air is perfect for travel. The Macbook Air weighs less than 3 pounds, making it one of the lightest laptops available.
Note: I have found that having the Macbook Air is great when I want to move my computer during a VIPKID class. Why would I move my computer, you might ask? Sometimes I like to bring my students around my kitchen or house to show them real-life examples of the concepts we are learning. The kids LOVE it.
4. Great camera – With the Macbook Air laptop, there is no need to go out and purchase an external camera for teaching with VIPKID. The internal camera on the Macbook Air is excellent and will be perfect for your VIPKID classroom.
1. Expensive – There’s no doubt about it; Macbook Airs are expensive. It’s common to pay between $700-1000 for a new Macbook Air.
But don’t be off-put by that price. Macbook Airs are quality laptops and they last for years and years. In my opinion, I would rather spend a little more on a laptop if it’s going to last me a long time than a laptop that will die in a year or two.
2. Can be limited on storage – I ran into this problem with my Macbook Air but only because I wanted to access several large applications on my laptop (Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro Video Editing). Storage space can be limited if you plan to use your laptop for large projects.
Although the Macbook Airs don’t have exceptionally large storage spaces, there are plenty of ways around this issue. I’ve found that buying a memory card (like the ones you buy for a camera) is perfect for storing my photos and other large applications. This frees up so much space on my computer, allowing me to use it for everything!
With all of its amazing qualities, it’s no wonder that the Macbook Air is considered the best laptop for teaching VIPKID. I highly suggest investing in this laptop for all of your online English teaching needs.
I was hesitant to spend so much on a new computer because I was a brand new teacher and hadn’t earned any money from VIPKID yet. With my new computer, I was confident that my technology wouldn’t fail on me during classes.
My Macbook Air quickly paid for itself within a month and a half of teaching with VIPKID. Two years later, it’s still running perfectly.
Best Tablet for Teaching VIPKID
Many teachers prefer to teach with VIPKID using a tablet. They are small, simple and easy to use, plus, many new teachers already have an iPad.
Overall the best tablet for teaching VIPKID is the iPad Pro. I frequently use an iPad Pro to teach my lessons and I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to navigate.
This is what you need to know before buying an iPad Pro:
1. Affordable – One of the most affordable devices to buy for teaching online is the iPad Pro. Coming in at several hundred dollars cheaper than a typical laptop, the iPad Pro is the perfect “computer” for VIPKID if you’re on a budget.
2. Touch screen – Having a touch screen during any online English class is extremely helpful. When I first started my journey with VIPKID, it was difficult for me to get used to using the mouse to interact with the slides.
With a touch screen, you don’t have to worry about any of that; it’s easy as pie! Simply draw on the screen with your finger and you’re good to go.
3. Great camera – The new iPad Pros have excellent cameras and are great for VIPKID classes. Again, no need to purchase an external web camera.
1. No USB port – When I first started switching between my Macbook Air and my iPad Pro for teaching, I noticed that my headphones would not connect to my iPad. Since there isn’t a USB port on the iPad Pro, I had to purchase another pair of headphones that had a normal headphone jack.
If you decide to buy an iPad Pro for teaching with VIPKID, I recommend buying headphones that operate using a headphone jack NOT a USB port.
2. Dual-use is limited – If you plan to use your device for more than one project, you may want to invest in a laptop instead. For example, I am a blogger and I cannot use my iPad to create content and blog posts. This is also true if you’re a gamer, a graphic designer, etc.
The iPad Pro ranks far above other tablets when it comes to teaching with VIPKID. The new camera, affordability, and ease of use make this tablet the best for online teaching.
More Great Computers for VIPKID
Although I highly recommend investing in a Macbook Air, that isn’t the only computer that will do the job well. Below you will find 3 more awesome computers to use for VIPKID.
For nearly 10 years I used a Macbook Pro to do all things school-related. This is an amazing laptop to use for teaching with VIPKID and here’s why:
1. Long-lasting device – As with any Apple laptop, you can expect your Macbook Pro to last for years and years.
2. No need for anti-virus – One of the reasons I love Mac products is because buying anti-virus software is unnecessary. Save yourself money on purchasing anti-virus software and invest in a Macbook Pro.
3. Excellent camera – Similar to the Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro also has an excellent built-in camera. This camera is perfect for VIPKID classes so there’s no need to spend extra money on an external webcam.
4. More storage space than a Macbook Air – The Macbook Pro is perfect for teachers who are looking to use their computer for more than just teaching VIPKID classes.
With more storage space than the Air, the Macbook Pro is great for photo editing, video editing, and more.
Note: You can still use a Macbook Air for photo editing, video editing, and more projects, but storage space is limited. Due to this, you may need to invest in an external memory card or terabyte drive like we did.
1. Bulky – The Macbook Pro is much bigger, bulkier, and heavier than the Macbook Air. Keep this in mind, especially if you plan to travel with your laptop.
2. Expensive – The price point for a Macbook Pro is much higher than that of the Macbook Air or even the Lenovo Yoga, which we will talk about below. If you’re looking for the best computer for VIPKID but you need to stay on a budget, the Macbook Pro might not be your first choice.
Note: Again, Macbooks last a very long time. It’s best to invest in a quality product that will last a long time than to invest in a cheap product that breaks within a few years.
A Macbook Pro is a great piece of equipment and one of the best computers to have for teaching English with VIPKID. Although it’s more expensive than other options, you can expect this laptop to last you nearly a decade.
Not a fan of the iOS (Mac) operating systems? Although I love my Mac and find it extremely easy to use, many people don’t and that’s perfectly fine.
There are many Windows-operating laptops out there that are great for a VIPKID classroom. The Asus Zenbook is one of them.
1. Windows-operating system – As I mentioned, the Asus Zenbook is a Windows laptop. If you’re not keen on learning how Macs work, this is the perfect computer for you.
2. Good speed – Unlike other devices that lag when using many applications at once, the Zenbook is quick and agile. It’s unlikely that you’ll experience a delay or have your Zenbook freeze when it’s being used for more than one task.
3. Small laptop – Pack up your Zenbook and bring it anywhere with you. This small laptop is perfect to travel with.
1. Expensive – For years I thought that Asus was a famous laptop brand because of affordability. Well, let’s just say that the Asus Zenbook is quite spendy. The price of a Zenbook will be similar to that of a Macbook Pro.
2. Trackpad defect – With a price point that high, I’d expect the quality of the machine to be out of this world. Unfortunately, many users have found a problem with the trackpad.
Although pricey, the Asus Zenbook is a great computer for conducting VIPKID classes. The built-in camera means that you won’t have to pay for an external webcam. Not to mention, the Zenbook is a very fast machine and is sure to never let you down while running the VIPKID app.
Another Windows-operating laptop to consider is the Lenovo Yoga. Many teachers choose to teach VIPKID classes using this computer. Here is what you need to know about the Yoga before you purchase:
1. Affordable – You’ll find that the Lenovo Yoga is hundreds of dollars cheaper than several of the other laptop options above. If you’re shopping on a budget, consider this one of the cheapest computers for online teaching.
2. Touch screen – The Lenovo Yoga comes with a touch screen, which makes it easy to interact with the VIPKID slides. When I use my iPad to teach, the touch screen is very helpful; not 100% necessary, but definitely helpful.
3. Windows Operating – This is the best affordable option for Windows users.
1. Many problems with the touch screen – Although the Lenovo Yoga offers a touch screen, there have been many reported problems with it. Many buyers have said that the touch screen has stopped working just a few months after purchasing.
Want an affordable laptop that runs Windows? The Lenovo Yoga might be your answer. Many VIPKID teachers have turned to this laptop for teaching and completing other tasks. Overall, it’s a quality machine that will get the job done.
The Computer You SHOULDN’T Get for VIPKID
Whatever you do, don’t buy a Chromebook if you’re thinking about teaching with VIPKID. I repeat, DON’T BUY A CHROMEBOOK FOR VIPKID.
Starting in mid-2019, VIPKID developed a teaching app and made it impossible to teach from a web browser.
So, in order to teach with VIPKID, you’ll need a device with the capability of downloading apps. Unfortunately, there is no way around it.
Since you cannot download applications on a Chromebook, stay as far away as possible. If you want to use a Chromebook for other endeavors, great! But you cannot use a Chromebook to teach VIPKID classes.
Are Touch Screens Necessary for VIPKID?
Touch screens are completely unnecessary for teaching with VIPKID. Of course, you’ll need to interact with the classroom slides, but you can do this using a mouse or your laptop trackpad.
Although touch screens are unnecessary, they can be very helpful at times. As I mentioned, it took me about a week to become confident with my laptop mouse and trackpad. Adjusting to the slides with a mouse/trackpad was a bit distracting, especially during my first week of teaching.
Many teachers prefer to just use their fingers to interact with the slides. This way they don’t have any adjusting to do.
No Built-In Webcam On Your Computer?
Any computer that has the ability to download an application can be used to teach VIPKID, even computers that don’t come with built-in webcams.
If your computer doesn’t have a built-in webcam, I recommend purchasing the one below:
Not only is this webcam affordable, but it is also excellent quality. Most VIPKID teachers that use an external webcam choose this Logitech webcam.
In my opinion, I trust Logitech and the products they sell. Although I don’t use this specific product, I have many Logitech items that I use while teaching with VIPKID.
The Wrap-Up: The Best Computer for VIPKID
Buying a computer is never easy, especially because it’s such a major purchase. There are many computers that would suffice for online English teaching, but you want to be sure to spend your hard-earned money on a quality device.
I hope the guide above helped you narrow down your options and choose the best computer for teaching VIPKID.
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