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What Operating System is Best For Your Child: Chrome vs. Mac vs. Windows vs. Edubuntu

An operating system is the software that supports a computer’s basic functions. The user interface is what you see. As parents, it can be a little difficult to decide which operating system has the best parental controls. Below our team breaks down 4 widely used operating systems and help you to decide which is best for you and your child. Feel free to add comments and questions below.

Chrome OS

What is Chrome OS?

Chrome OS is an operating system designed by Google based on Linux . Its main user interface is the Google Chrome web browser.

What tools are available on Chrome OS?

  1. Google Drive: Allows users to edit and store files from any computer/device. Your child can collaborate on projects with their peers, write essays, and even create budget spreadsheets all with Google Drive.
  2. Google Calendar: A scheduling calendar that your child can use to manage their time. Its users can invite each other to events, create multiple calendars, and share calendars with one another.
  3. Gmail: Users can access their emails on Gmail from any device. Its simple interface makes it easy to use.
  4. Google Play Books: Allows your child to download ebooks and audiobooks and access it anywhere, anytime.

What devices run Chrome OS?

Currently, only the ChromeBook runs on Chrome OS.

What Parental controls are available on Chrome OS?

Parents can make accounts for themselves and their children. Chrome OS allows parent accounts to block or allow the children’s accounts to access certain sites.

Cons:

Chrome OS is web based and has a lack of storage, which limits your offline functionality.

Mac OS & iOS

What is Mac OS & iOS? What is the difference?

Mac OS is a graphical operating system designed by Apple Inc., while iOS is a mobile operating system also designed by Apple Inc.

What tools are available on Mac OS & iOS?

Mac OS:

  1. Spaces: Apple Macs give users the power to create multiple virtual desktops. Your child can have a virtual desktop for each of his/her class. This eliminates the headache one can get from having 10 windows open at once.
  2. iMovie: A video editing tool available on both Mac OS & iOS. Your child can create school videos on this easy to use software.
  3. iTunes: A software used primary to listen to music. Your child can use iTunes to help them concentrate while studying.

iOS:

  1. App Store: Both the Mac OS and iOS gives users access to the app store. Your child can download a range of educational apps through the app store. Some apps can be used with physical tools you buy from Apple. See more HERE. These apps are exclusive to Mac OS/iOS devices.
  2. BrainPOP Featured Movie:  One of the most popular child education apps, is BrainPOP. On BrainPOP, your child can watch educational videos, take interactive quizzes, and play educational games.
  3. Quizlet: With the Quizlet app, your child can create their own flashcard set or look at someone else’s. This is a great tool for your child if they need to study and they do not have their books or physical flashcards with them.

What devices run Mac OS? iOS?

Mac OS: Macbook, iMac, any laptop designed by Apple Inc.

iOS: any version of the iPhone or iPad.

What Parental controls are available on Mac OS? iOS?

As a parent, Mac OS allows you to manage the times you children spend on the Mac and the websites they visit. iOS  allows you to manage the apps your child can use.

Cons: Price

 

Windows OS

What is the Windows OS?

Windows OS is an operating system designed by Microsoft Corporation. It is the most used operating system.

What tools are available on Windows OS?

  1. Microsoft Word: Used to create word documents.
  2. Microsoft Excel: Spreadsheet editor.
  3. Microsoft PowerPoint: Presentation program.
  4. Microsoft OneNote: Note taking program, your child can use it to take notes with a stylus.

What devices run Windows OS?

Most desktop and laptop computers run on Windows OS. If you have a PC it most likely runs on Windows OS.

What Parental controls are available on Windows OS?

As a parent, you can limit the time your child is allowed to be on the computer, control what games your child plays, and manage the programs and websites your child visits.

Cons: Hard to use for kids, unlike Mac OS.

Edubuntu

What is Edubuntu?

Edbuntu is a free open source operating system designed for classrooms.

What tools are available on Edubuntu?

Various open source educational softwares which include space simulations, games directed towards learning, typing improvement software, and more. Edubuntu also allows people to simultaneously use the same computer using Linux Terminal Server Project.

What devices run Edubuntu

PC

What Parental controls are available on Edubuntu?

Epoptes – An open source computer lab management and monitoring tool.

Cons

Difficult installation