By now there are probably hundreds of thousands of us who, regardless of our love for Android, just finished Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. If you just finished it than you are well aware that Jobs sees a vision for education, even at the high school age level, where traditional text books are replaced with tablets.
With tablets vs textbooks, students would get access to more current, relevant information quicker. Students would also get feedback quicker, especially those attending college classes online. Grades would be easier to track. Areas where students needed help would be easier to spot. Although Jobs probably saw this vision at a high school level with iPads, a high school in New Jersey is doing it with Android.
More after the break
Verizon Wireless was chosen to partner with East Orange Campus High School in East Orange New Jersey to pilot a program using tablets for education. All 480 students will receive a 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab that will operate on a private network, also implemented by Verizon Wireless.
“This is a logical next step for school systems; delivering information in a way that our students are accustomed to consuming it,” said Makeba McCray, Technology Coordinator for East Orange Campus High School. “With the increasing cost of paper and the popularity of digital devices, this was also a natural cost-saving step that we hope everyone will benefit from and enjoy. To complement our plans, we needed a carrier with a reliable network at a great value. We’re excited to work with Verizon Wireless, who gave us exactly what we hoped for.”
All of the students textbooks, in digital form, have been preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy Tabs. In addition the tablets for this program include; Thinkfree Office, File Expert, Khan Mobile, Dictionary, Thesaurus Free, Note Everything, Evernote, Algeo Scientific Calculator, Citations2go, i-cite APA, United States Constitution, WikiMobile, SAT Vocabulary, Law Guide, Newsweek, and USA Today.
The Schoology application, which is the backbone to this program, allows students to collaborate with each other and their teachers. Schoology also keeps up with assignments and access their curriculum and supplemental content anytime.
Jobs also said in Isaacson’s book that he couldn’t believe students had to carry such heavy backpacks around all day long. Verizon Wireless President for the New York Metro Area, Pat Devlin agreed saying
“Introducing tablets in our local schools is a great initiative. It is a fun and engaging way for the students to learn and interact with their classmates. It is also a lot more convenient since there will be no need to carry a heavy backpack every day.”