Tablets such as the Apple iPad have become increasingly popular in our Schools in recent years, but are they the right tool for the job?
Working with many Primary Schools across Cumbria, we have found that one of the main disadvantages that we come across is that the iPad is designed as a personal device and doesn’t work very well as a bookable asset designed to be booked out and used by different pupils. For schools running a 1:1 program, where each pupil has their own device, this may not be an issue, but it does introduce other issues when it comes to managing a large number of these devices.
Managing apps on multiple devices usually means connecting each device to a computer which runs the iPhone Configuration Utility. Charge and Sync trolleys are available to simplify this process, allowing you to configure multiple devices simultaneously (usually around 20 at a time) but this can still be a lot of work if you have 200 or more iPads to manage.
We believe the new “Classmate 4” is a much better solution. The Classmate 4 is a 2-in-1 (Touch screen tablet with a detachable keyboard). Running a full Windows 10 Pro Operating System it can connect to a Windows Server in the same way as any other PC on the school network, so settings and applications can be controlled via policies configured on the server. These settings are then sent to the device via the wireless network negating the need to have to plug them in and sync them.
Group Policy Objects can also be used to set individual settings on a per user basis, so when a pupil or year group logs into a device they will receive the settings that are applicable to them, meaning they will be only have access to what they have been allowed by the policy, such as their personal storage space on the server.
The Classmate 4 has been drop tested from 70cm (worktop heights for Keystage 1 and 2 are between 50-65cm) and is IP 51 rated which means it is spill resistant. Because the Classmate 4 also comes with a detachable keyboard, it is much easier to work with on a day to day basis as you don’t lose half of the screen to an on-screen keyboard when you need to type.
For more information on the Classmate 4 Click Here