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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Mobile Pilot Study in Technical; Hi All: We are preparing a pilot study in September for mobile devices. We will be giving devices to a ...
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    Mobile Pilot Study

    Hi All:

    We are preparing a pilot study in September for mobile devices. We will be giving devices to a subset of lower 6 students for one year. We are planning to use about 3 different devices for 40 students to test. Some of our considerations are:-

    1. We want devices so students can actually produce work (as opposed to simply viewing) so we think we want something more powerful than an iPad and also we want keyboards
    2. We want active screens so they can be used as tablets when suitable.
    3. To be compatible with our internal network (all Microsoft) we want the devices to run MS office software with the minimum of incompatibility (eg word documents layout display the same on Microsof OS machines as they do on the mobile device).


    Other thoughts
    1. Androids look good, but they seem not to play so well with Microsoft software.
    2. Netbooks seem a little underpowerd and do not have the active screen
    3. Windows 8 might provide a solution, but it could be a bleeding edge scenario until MS gets it refined.


    Examples
    Has anyone done a schoolwide (or year-wide) deployment of mobile devices to students? Any of you in the general Bristol, Oxford, or Tonbridge vicinity? Would I be able to chat with you if you are?


    Thanks for any thoughts or feedback.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Have not had for long enough to do any study but because we have seen W8 on the horizon we are looking at this form factor:
    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    We are just looking at getting some of these: ICONIA TAB W Series | Product Series in. We have one in for testing at the moment.

    It seems to hit the spot as I only saw it breifly before the teachers got a hold of it and it was circulating around the school for the rest of the day. They are really cheap hence the consideration of Acer and will run Windows 8 Pro which will have nice tablet domain support (for x86). The ones comming out at the end of this year are probably going to be a bit better with regards to battery life as they are using the next gen chip which should almost double the battery life.
    @RabbieBurns has had a bunch of the same era Dell ones for a while so might have a more complete view. We are just chumming the waters with these will the next revision Atom CPU powered ones come out and the full W8 rather than just the CTP.

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    Patman (21st June 2012)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    we have 3 classes piloting tablets (slates?) using the Dell Latitude ST running windows 7 enterprise.

    Ive got the results of the trial from the teachers/classroom point of view, Ill post them up here tomorrow if I can get permission. Otherwise ill just quote some snippets.

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    Patman (21st June 2012), SYNACK (21st June 2012)

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    Got permission from one of the teachers involved in this, and these docs were sent out to all staff so I hope its OK to post them here.

    I will preface the comments in the findings by saying that we (IT) were given zero knowledge these tablets were arriving, had to rush out an image for them to get them up and running in time for term starting, had to keep adding software to them as and when the teachers demanded, and also had to add extra wireless capacity to the locations the teachers were using them. Having been provided with ample time to cater for this I hope the technical issues the teachers had wouldn't have happened. However their comments and findings are attached in full . The only modifications i have made are to anonymise names of school and personnel.

    TabletTechnical issues.pdf
    TabletProgress Report Week 3.pdf
    TabletPMI.pdf
    Tablet Pilot Program Feedback.pdf
    Tablet Evaluation of possible educational uses of tablets.pdf
    Tablet Classroom management issues.pdf

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    Steve21 (28th June 2012), SYNACK (29th June 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    However their comments and findings are attached in full .
    Now forgive me if anyone disagrees, but having a quick flick through that I sum it up like this:

    Yeah they're fun to use, but there's no real use in having a tablet over a pc, and every issue that's "a problem" is really caused by it being a tablet in the first place?

    End of day, If as you said you're going to the extent of potentially adding keyboards etc as it's hard to type, that's called a pc Same with software issues, same with processing power etc.

    The only real "advantages" I'm constantly reading in that review aren't tablet based at all... e.g. SkyDrive, which could be used on pc's anyway etc etc

    Maybe I missed something, only had a quick read, but that seems to sum it up?

    Steve

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    RabbieBurns (28th June 2012)

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    I concur Steve.. I'm yet to be convinced of a tablets merit over being a device to *consume* information. I still dont see them being a device for creating content of any great extent. *Edit: But I am not a teacher. I dont spend time in the classrooms so I know what goes on to that extent.

    An interesting article recently of a Bill Gates interview regarding tablets in education

    A Conversation With Bill Gates - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 28th June 2012 at 04:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    I concur Steve.. I'm yet to be convinced of a tablets merit over being a device to *consume* information. I still dont see them being a device for creating content of any great extent. *Edit: But I am not a teacher. I dont spend time in the classrooms so I know what goes on to that extent.
    See I'm in two minds with that. I think if departments were creating their own materials for use on the tablets, and sharing those around tablets would be fine.

    Wouldn't need to buy millions of textbooks, and would have your own books you can create/edit as you please.

    It's the age old, right what we can buy that fits what we want, that gets me

    Steve

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    Doodling in one note, drawing in Photoshop, that's about all a tablet is advantages for IMO. But these types of input devices have been around for computers for years for those purposes.

    Sitting on a bus with a tablet flicking through pages of the Sydney Morning Herald, swiping through your friends flickr album, scrolling down your facebook feed, reading an ebook.. In a classroom reading a textbook, maybe highlighting some relevent text.these are all things i think a tablet is ideal for. (consuming information)

    Add a keyboard to a tablet when you want to input text? How does that differ from buying any one of the laptops that have a swivel screen with a touchscreen.

    I am happy and willing to be proved wrong, and am eagerly waiting to be. I even put Windows 8 Consumer preview onto a few of our tablets in the hope they might turn them into a more productive device. Granted the touch keyboard is 100x better, using them to create content is still no easlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    I am happy and willing to be proved wrong, and am eagerly waiting to be. I even put Windows 8 Consumer preview onto a few of our tablets in the hope they might turn them into a more productive device. Granted the touch keyboard is 100x better, using them to create content is still no easlier.
    Windows 8 makes a huge difference to usability and speed, tried on W7 then W8 and the difference is huge. The metro version of IE is so far ahead for tablet use. Apparently its the directness of the interface and the form factor that makes it better for small groups of small people. Not for content creation unless you count finger painting and camera work but still useable. I'm typing this on a W8 tablet. For higher up the education chain it is totally a companion device without being docked into other devices.

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