Earlier this week we held our first Informed Customer Event with The Tablet Academy here at Wymondham. This was an opportunity for schools who are thinking about the Mobile Device Arena to come and gain some hands on experience on both IOS, Windows and Android tablets. Effectively its the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ event – hence the Informed Customer!
The day costs £99.00 but its the best £99.00 as a school you will can spend before buying devices. Quite simply the day is divided into three, looking at devices, the apps that are available, and allowing some important incite from experts around the table.
This week we had Steve Warburton @stevewn who brought to the table his invaluable knowledge of a 2000 seat rollout of iPads. Steve let delegates know the highs and lows of such a rollout and gave out sound pointers to anyone looking at mobile devices.
We then looked at the Apple iPad, (the uber-tablet) and looked at some of the most powerful apps that are available for both primary and secondary. This was led by Tablet Academy trainer David Fuller, David again an ex teacher brings the teaching aspect to the table rather than just the technology side. I was most impressed with “The Pyramids” – though a paid app, I wish I had the ability to fly around and into the Pyramids of Egypt when I was at school. You can see where tablet learning does connect with children and empower them to become enquiry based learners for the future.
Next up was Kim from Samsung showing us the range of Android devices. Not being a
‘droid’ guy I was ultimately impressed with the build and quality of the devices. I was very impressed on how the demo of S-Note went, where we could see on our display what Kim was showing on hers. I could see lots of uses for that in a primary & secondary school.
Kim explained the difference between the Note range and the Tab range that I now understand. I could really see that.
“if there is an App on IOS, I can find it on Android – and it may cost me less!”
Finally after a superb lunch we looked at the Windows Tablet in the form of the Toshiba WT8. £199 worth of Windows 8.1 tablet from Toshiba, neatly bundled in a silver aluminium case. For the existing network manager these offer the path of least resistance, in the way they can be plugged into an existing network and managed. They will work with existing software, and give you all the other benefits of the tablet computing in school.
Though not having the same number of apps available as the competition, there are some distinct advantages. The app store offers a ‘try before you buy’ for paid apps unlike the others, this can be really handy to have a full 30 day version before committing to purchase. All Windows tablets have some sort of USB connection either full or mini – handy to plug into a printer or use the USB key that travels with you. Connectivity with Office 365 is ideal for school and synchronising your desktop and app all comes as standard on the Windows device.
My conclusion – well I think we all drew our own conclusions from the day sitting around the table. I think that hits the nail on the head!, its not one tablet does it all anymore.
Potentially every schools rollout of mobile devices could be different, and the market now supports that choice for the future. Both Windows and Android match what goes on in IOS – but don’t take may word book yourself on a Tablet Academy Informed Customer Event.
Tablet Academy’s website is found at http://tablet-academy.com more importantly get the latest impartial advice from David and his colleagues by following @TabletAcademyUK