For this week’s MIEE TV themed post, we’ve got something a little special lined up… You’ll no doubt be aware that at the end of March the Surface 3 was unveiled. In the last few weeks there has been a lot of buzz around the impact such a powerful, lightweight and comparatively affordable device will have within education. Today, we’re pleased to share the news of the education specific discounts available, as well as give you some feedback from our MIEE community members who have already put the device through its paces.
Wymondham High Academy in Norfolk is one of our Microsoft Showcase Schools here in the UK, with its Head of IT Strategy, Kevin Sait, also being a Microsoft Expert Educator and hopefully a name familiar to regular readers of this blog. Prior to the public announcement of the Surface 3, we visited Wymondham High Academy to look at how the device would sit within existing technology arrangements in schools, and to document the effects of such a device on the day to day endeavours of a student. Harry Traynor was the one lucky enough to have the film crews following him around, with his thoughts on the Surface 3 and his experiences with it contained in the video below.
For now, we’re going to relay the announcements from the main Surface Blog all about the education discounts, and the early adopter programme, so please see below for the latest update from the Surface team, and the videos that give real life context to the impact of the Surface 3 in education.
Announcing early adopters and a 10% discount on Surface 3 for Education
We all know education is changing. More and more, desks in today’s classrooms are grouped together in clusters for better collaboration and project-based learning. Tablets, phones and laptops are becoming fixtures on student desks – replacing many of the ‘analog’ teaching and learning tools of the past including textbooks, notebooks, paper handouts and tabbed folders to carry and organize everything.
For most schools, the vision of a completely Digital Classroom is still just a vision. But with the 1:1 computing trend growing in schools (FutureSource estimates half of all K-12 students will have access to a 1:1 device by next academic year), more and more classrooms will be going paperless.
In order to make a full transformation to a digital classroom, a tablet needs to support not only reading and typing input, but also writing which is a critical part of the learning experience.
There have been multiple research studies published on the importance of handwriting to education. We all recognize intuitively that the act of writing helps us process ideas and information in a way that typing on a keyboard cannot. Think about a student labeling a diagram of the human body; sketching the effect of magnets on each other; doing side calculations to solve a math problem; or simply creating art. These are just a few examples that help to illustrate how Surface can make a lot of sense for schools.
In fact, response from customers like Cincinnati Country Day School, Cicero School District, and others have been very positive around Surface Pro 3 as an educational device. And we’ve also heard from some schools that they would be interested in a more affordable choice that would allow them to take advantage of all the flexibility that Surface Pro 3 offers. With Surface 3, we now have that option — an outstanding tablet for education that offers a premium touch and inking experience, along with great portability and great battery life, at a more affordable price.
10% Discount for Education on Surface 3, Type Cover and Surface Pen
Surface 3 brings all the benefits of the Surface Pro 3 – best-in-class digital inking, touch-screen tablet, and fully productive laptop running full Windows 8.1 – at a more affordable price point. We have already been offering a 10% discount to educational institutions purchasing Surface Pro 3. Now, to make Surface even more affordable for schools as a 1:1 device, we are extending a 10% discount to educational institutions purchasing Surface 3, Type Cover and Surface Pen. This discount is available from our commercial resellers and Microsoft Store. In addition, we are offering a unique Surface 3 configuration exclusively for educational institutions with 32GB storage capacity and 2GB memory.
Schools are committing to Surface 3 even before availability
We are excited to announce that schools such as Broadclyst Primary School and Shireland Collegiate Academy in the UK, the ROC of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Education Luxembourg, Hillcrest Christian College in Australia as well as University of Phoenix and Chino Valley Unified School District in the U.S. have already committed to buying and deploying Surface 3.
The examples below include a bit more detail about why schools are excited about Surface 3 and how they expect the device to have a real impact on how they teach and the ways students learn.
Wymondham High Academy in the UK is deploying Surface 3 for its student and faculty devices, “With the superior inking capabilities and the use of OneNote in the Classroom, Surface 3 will truly begin to empower teachers to integrate the use of technology in the classroom across the curriculum.” – Kevin Sait, Head of IT Strategy
Sarasota County School District has been a long-time fan of Surface – having deployed Surface RT, and Surface 2 throughout schools in the district. Now, they are adopting Surface 3 for their freshman and sophomore class at Suncoast Polytechnic High School – as shown in the video below– and in other schools across the district.
Accessories complete the solution for Surface 3 in schools
We have worked with leading accessory manufacturers to create solutions that help protect Surface tablets against accidental damage and help to keep Type Covers and Surface Pens readily accessible for student use. We have a full range of accessories that are proving popular with schools that have selected Surface as their student and faculty device – including rugged and protective cases from Incipio, M-edge, STM and UAG; charging/securing/storing carts from Anthro, and pen storage solutions from Cleanstylus.
Surface driving positive transformation in schools
While some of us may reminisce about the smell of mimeograph machines, the fear of never filling in the bubbles completely on scan-tron forms, or the happy excuse of the dog eating homework, the classrooms of today are an amazing place where students and teachers are using technology to explore ideas, challenge themselves through personalized learning paths, and collaborate and express themselves in ways we never thought possible.
With Surface 3, we’re excited to be a part of helping more schools take advantage of precise digital inking capabilities and providing a rich experience that really delivers on the idea of preparing students with 21st Century skills, catering to any learning style and activity, and helping teachers and administrators drive positive transformation of learning in classrooms around the world.
For more details about Surface in education, please go to: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-gb/why-surface/at-school