Study shows advantages of devices that can help students through school and beyond

At the BETT 2014 show in London, Microsoft is showing a wide range of devices – from PCs to tablets to all-in-ones – and demonstrating how they can help enhance methods of learning, as well as engage, motivate and excite students and faculty.

As Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft, writes on the Microsoft in Education blog, “Microsoft helps school leaders meet the evolving needs of education by offering cost-effective devices and technologies that help secure and manage the business of education. Microsoft devices, whether they are tablets, laptops or desktop PCs, are designed to meet every need and to integrate with existing classroom technology. And to protect this critical investment, Microsoft devices are easy-to-implement workhorses with guaranteed reliability.”

In his blog post, Salcito zeros in on a study focused on schools’ technology investments. Microsoft partnered with IDC Government Insights on this study, “Demonstrating the Value of PCs in the Education Industry,” which looked at 11 schools and focused specifically on PCs — desktops, laptops and “hybrid” tablet PCs (such as the Surface, which functions as a notebook system when the keyboard is connected, and as a tablet when the screen is detached). The study also looked at “media” tablets, defined as devices primarily designed and marketed to access a wide range of digital content and services, including media and communications.

“The results support our belief that what matters most is a device that is full featured enough to allow students to consume information, collaborate with their peers and teachers and create great content,” Salcito writes. Some findings from the study include:

  • The schools favored PCs over media tablets primarily for their ability to generate content — especially in the higher grades.
  • Although PC devices cost more than media tablets, the costs of the additional technology required for tablets to meet the needs of education — including management and security software, maintenance and warranty packages, and additional bandwidth — close the gap considerably.
  • The schools in this study felt that the PC’s usability and fit with their educational goals more than outweighed the initial cost advantage of media tablet devices.

Read more about the study and Salcito’s perspective on the Microsoft in Education blog.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff