Digital Devices

Digital Devices Defined A digital device is an electronic device that can receive, store, process or send digital information.
Why did I create this list? As an educator or consumer, you are undoubtedly aware of most all of the devices listed below. However, with a growing list of products being used in K-12 education it sometimes is nice to refer to; much as we align learning tasks to content standards, we need to similarly align specific digital devices to specific learning tasks.

Mobile Devices: Handheld electronic devices

  • Audience Response Systems (called Student Response Systems in education) are hand-held wireless control devices (often called 'clickers') and used by students to electronically respond to a teacher's questions. The students' responses are then received to the teacher's computer and displayed through a video projector system. New systems through software applications can include, cell phones, smartphones and laptop computers as the response device.

  • Digital Still Cameras are cameras that encode digital single images and moving video and stores them digitally. These cameras are stand-alone handheld devices and now, most commonly used and integrated into every smartphone. In fact, smartphones have virtually whipped out the low-end market and will primarily be a higher-end product used for more serious photography.

  • Digital Video Cameras are cameras that encode digital moving video and stores these images digitally. These cameras are stand-alone devices (often called camcorders) and now, most commonly used and integrated into every smartphone. As stated above, the low-end market for these stand-alone devices has been replaced by smartphones and now are primarily a higher-end product used for more serious video production.

  • Graphing Calculators are handheld calculators that are capable of plotting graphs, solving simultaneous equations, and performing other tasks with variables.

  • Portable Digital Audio Recorders are handheld devices used for recording voice or music content. MP3 is the common audio format.

  • Probeware are handheld scientific equipment and sensor hardware interfaced with software and computer systems for the purpose of collecting, interpreting, and analyzing data. 

  • Smartphones  are mobile phones having a computer operating system with touchscreen and/or stylus input. Smartphones are Internet capable and use webs apps and services and include still camera and video capabilities.

  • Tablet Computers are one-piece mobile computers having a touch-screen display with finger and/or stylus input used instead of a traditional laptop keyboard and mouse. Tablets come equipped with built-in speaker, ports and function buttons and have a camera and video recording capabilities. Tablets are larger than smartphones.
    • Slate Tablets are tablet computers without a dedicated keyboard. 
      • E-readers or e-books are slate tablet computers designed for better readability of their screens, especially in bright sunlight, and longer battery life.
      • Gaming Tablets are slate tablet computers designed with better graphics, resolution and processing power than a typical tablet device. This category is expanding from just entertainment content to learning and creative content.
    • Laplets are tablet computers with two distinct parts- a tablet touch-screen display that can be separated from typically a membrane-type keyboard as in the Microsoft Surface.

  • Virtual Reality Headset is a head-mounted device that provides virtual reality for the wearer. VR headsets are widely used with computer games but they are also used in other applications, including simulators and trainers. Wikipedia

Laptops:

  • Chromebooks are laptop computers with Google Chrome OS having a solid state drive designed to work online in the cloud.

  • HP Stream - Are inexpensive laptop computers with Windows OS having a solid state drive designed to work online in the cloud but also can use Windows software. 

  • Convertible laptops have a flip, twist or split base body with an attached (moving parts) keyboard. These laptops can converted into four different modes: traditional laptop, tent, stand and tablet as in the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga.

  • Mini, Sub or Ultra "notebook" laptops are thinner, lighter and usually with 12" and smaller screen size.

  • Rugged (or ruggedized) laptops are specifically designed to operate reliably in harsh usage environments and conditions built with a tougher external housing and internal components.

Desktop Computers:

  • Traditional Desktop Computers have a separate case housing containing the computer processing unit (CPU), power supply, memory and graphic chips, ports and fan. A separate monitor, keyboard and mouse are also part of the system.

  • All-in-One Desktop Computers integrate the system's internal components into the same case as the screen display, eliminating some connecting cables and allowing for a smaller footprint. A separate keyboard and mouse are still needed.
    • Touchscreen All-in-One desktops control the computer through multi-touch gestures with fingers and/or a stylus pen. These desktop computers also include a separate keyboard and mouse and for the education market provide a multi-mode computer for a variety of users.

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