Technology and Gadgets
A blog looking at the world of technology and gadgets, including the latest computer hardware and smartphones
Tablets in Education - Things Moving Forward with Windows 8 Tablets?in Windows
Some time back, I wrote a piece about tablets in education, and how I thought, as someone who works in a school as an IT Manager, they were the way forward.
There’s nothing new in that thought process. Tablets, specifically IPads, have been used in schools for a while now. The breadth of applications available for all age groups on the IPad is staggering. They enhance educational learning to a degree that mere textbooks cannot.
But now, there is a dilemma approaching schools. Stick with the IPad route, or start to consider whether the new Windows 8 Tablet platform can offer more.
The choices are split into two camps, especially for the IT Managers of schools.
IPads do not integrate well into a Windows based platform. You cannot easily maintain a good configuration on an IPad. Moreover, IPad’s are designed for single users, not for multiple. If Icons are moved around, a younger student may get confused. Also, whilst there are applications that talk to the file shares on a Windows domain to save work, these can sometimes be cumbersome, and confusing to younger users. Additionally, familiar software such as the Microsoft Office Suite are not available, and using products which “replicate” the ability to write documents or create presentations, are still not the same.
However, the Windows 8 Tablet platform can run the Office suite. It’s also a more familiar platform. And as the platform matures, there will undoubtedly be more and more educational based programs and applications capable of running on them.
From an IT Managers perspective, integrating Windows 8 Tablets into the education faculty is much easier, and not just from a configuration point of view. Being able to allow multiple users, with their own logon’s, their own settings, is a winner over the IPad. The ability for a student to work on a desktop PC in the IT Lab, then continue on a Windows Tablet is something the IPad cannot possibly offer without mountains of "work-arounds" or "bodges".
In the next 6-18 months, many IT Departments in School’s in collaboration with ICT teachers, and teachers who need to incorporate a level of IT into their curriculum for non-IT subjects, will need to fully assess the way forward. It may be that the most sensible approach is to jump on-board the Windows 8 Tablet platform now, help it develop, and leave the days of single-user based tablets behind.
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