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Tablets are fast becoming a common tool in education. If you’re looking to kit your child out for the coming school year, these are some of the better choices out there.

Pocket-friendly: Vodacom Smart Tab 3G 

Runs... Android 4.4 KitKat
It's great for kids because... with its very reasonable price tag, it offers a 7-inch display, 2MP rear-facing camera and 0.3MP front-facing camera, built-in 3G and strong enough performance for web browsing and movie watching. 
Added bonus... Designed with South Africans in mind, it even includes isiZulu language support. Also in the Vodacom range is the Smart Kicka, a good-value option if you're in the market for a smartphone for your child. 

Light and fun: Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7   

Runs... Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
It’s great for kids because... it’s super light at just 285g and has colourful skin options. It’ll fit nicely into a school bag and its solid performance and robust design, combined with a reasonable price tag, make it a great choice for first-time tablet owners.
Added bonus... It’s powered by a 1.3GHz Cortex A7dual-core processor, making it a faster and more efficient multitasker than Mom on lift club day.

Family-friendly: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4   

Runs... Android 4.4 KitKat
It’s great for kids because... it has everything that a proper, grown-up tablet should have but also offers Kids Mode which allows parents to set limits that restrict the apps and other media the child can access. It also manages the amount of time they can spend on it, while making it more fun for the kids to use. It even has a kids' app store which offers hundreds of kid-friendly apps, divided into age-appropriate categories. With Multi User Mode, each member of the family can create their own customised profiles. 
Added bonus... The lasting power of the 6 800 mAh battery is also pretty impressive, perfect for long family drives.

Top dog: iPad Air  

Runs... iOS8
It’s great for kids because... 'I can do whatever I want with it,' according to one boy in the recent SmartyPants Top 50 Kids Brands market research, in which the iPad ranked above many other popular brands including Disney, Lego and Oreo. It's got everything that opens and shuts on a tablet as well as access to a host of amazing educational apps – but of course it has the hefty price tag to go with it. The iPad Mini is slightly more budget and backpack-friendly. And watch out for the iPad Air 2 coming soon.
Added bonus... The App Store is known for keeping its apps ‘clean’ and family-friendly. Visit iparent.co.za to learn about additional tuition benefits.

Online education

Now you have a tablet, there are some great resources online to help your child learn. 

Every new Vodacom contract and upgrade comes with free Top Dog vouchers. Tog Dog gives you access to content for grades 4-12. It includes animated lectures, online tests that are automatically marked, tutorials, mock exams, and even live chats with educators. 

Learners in grades 10-12 should also check out Vodacom e-school, Vodacom's free educational tool. It's zero-rated for Vodacom customers, which means it won't even consume data. 

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