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Hardware Thread, Tablets in Schools? in Technical; Hi folks, Has anyone come across a tablet that's ideally suited for school use? i.e. can be secured in such ...
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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question Tablets in Schools?

    Hi folks,

    Has anyone come across a tablet that's ideally suited for school use? i.e. can be secured in such a way that it can't be (easily) sabotaged by students.

    We've settled on a Motorola Xoom 2 (Android) for a current requirement, but have only bought one so far for testing. It's bog standard Android, and feels a little fragile, so is hardly ideal. But for the moment the priority is getting something to use.

    The only thing I've seen that comes close to an actual secured "ruggedised" tablet is this, but it's clearly targeted at younger kids and for home use.

    To expand the topic out further, is anyone actually using tablets in schools? Has it worked?

    TIA

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    when you say secured are you talking about being damaged or locked down from a software settings view point as you mention both in your post.

    You can control some security function if you have a Google Apps for ed account. Things like encryption, what apps can be added are all controlled with this.

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    Not yet but we are in the process of getting wireless quotes and I'm not sure what devices we will end up with. The whole management and Esafety side of non-windows devices concerns me.

    We use policy central for ESafety which we wouldnt be able to install unless we stick with windows. It has also taken me years to get away from having unmanaged PCs / laptops. Everything is currently on the network and updates / applications get pushed out from the servers. Some of these devices seem a step backwards in so many ways when you need to manage them centrally.

    Ideally we need W8 sooner rather than later but then the devices will be more expensive which is why windows tablets never took off before in education.

    sorry to sound negative but its a problem I expect to be facing shortly...

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    i havent tried it but centrify do software thats supposed to allow you to add/manage i-shiny thing and androids to ad and manage them to a degree
    Mobile Security Management

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    when you say secured are you talking about being damaged or locked down from a software settings view point as you mention both in your post.
    Ideally both i.e. a physically rugged tablet that can also be locked down in terms of the OS/software.

    The one I've linked to seems to cover both bases (albeit the ruggedness only comes from a case), but I guess the proof would be in usage.

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    There are some apps out there which enable you to set passwords on apps, so you could only open Market if you knew the password - that stops people adding or removing apps, but there is of course still the potential to play with the settings of apps. Google Apps also offers some centralised control of Android devices, and if you have a Mac server you can centrally manage things on iDevices too.

    There is plenty of talk around tablets in education, and quite a few schools rolling things out or getting a few to trial - a good starting point is to ask what are you going to do with the tablets, why tablets and not laptops/PCs, and are the limitations/inconveniences worth the investment? Access to network resources is, I think, the biggest hurdle to clear - how do you access resources currently held in shared network folders? How do you print? How do you filter/monitor Internet access?

    None of these are insurmountable problems, but I do think that you need to work out what you want to do and make that happen, rather than do stuff in a different way just because you can. Like all technology, what you buy should be driven by your intended usage, not the other way around.

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    I saw a demo today about LearnPad (software)

    LearnPad overview, a school ready tablet computer

    It looks like a powerful way of locking androids down. It is essentially an app that runs over android that locks certain features. It's controlled via a centralised server. I'm not too sure how this will work with multiple uses but I'm getting a demo (via a toshiba rep) and will post back.

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    Centrify have release software so that you can manage Ios and Android devices from active directory. No idea on costs as I only know about it from @TheScarfedOne's twitter!

    Active Directory-based auditing, access control, and identity management for your UNIX, Linux, Mac OS, Java and web platforms from Centrify

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    Yeeeeeessss! Someone called? There are a few Centrify resellers in the UK - if anyone is interested, PM me and I will put you in touch with them. Ive used Centrify before for just MACs and its very handy indeed. Will be getting it again later this year too...

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    For a physically rugged tablet I was impressed by the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet after an on-site demo at our school.

    Tablet PC ThinkPad with Android 4.0 OS from Lenovo (GB)

    I was lead to believe that education prices would start from ~£350.00, and they can customise the o/s, apps for you etc.
    Last edited by MYK-IT; 28th February 2012 at 09:39 PM.

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    And I know it doesn't really belong here - but there is also a Free "Express" version for MAC/Linux etc too Free Active Directory Authentication for UNIX, Linux & Mac

    I hadn't spotted that...ideal for getting started

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    The only thing I've seen that comes close to an actual secured "ruggedised" tablet is this, but it's clearly targeted at younger kids and for home use.
    Panasonic make tough tablets. Probably quite pricey though?


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    HTC Flyer? I have one and I have been using it everyday. The HTC Sense on top of android 3.0 works well and supports Proxy settings

    HTC Flyer (16GB, Wi-Fi only) Deals, #99HMK053-00 - Expansys.com UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheScarfedOne View Post
    Yeeeeeessss! Someone called? There are a few Centrify resellers in the UK - if anyone is interested, PM me and I will put you in touch with them. Ive used Centrify before for just MACs and its very handy indeed. Will be getting it again later this year too...
    Have you used it with tablets out of interest?

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