Stories of Windows 8 early adopters in education

There are plenty of examples of education customers who have made the switch to Windows 8, putting new touch devices into the hands of students to allow them to get the benefit of three different worlds in one device:

  • the ability to run software from previous versions of Windows (so that there’s no need to rewrite curriculum resources or redesign courses for students);
  • the seamless connection to the new cloud services that are being delivered (for example, for the syncing of Office 365 documents across the cloud and back to the device for offline use)
  • the new world of touch apps that can deliver a different curriculum experience for students and teachers alike

It’s described pretty well by this slide below, that one of my colleagues uses. It shows that it’s not about having an ‘either/or’ choice, but the ability to have both sides of the equation.

Windows 8 for students - about not making a compromise

Over the last few months, there have been a number of case studies and stories appearing of educational customers who have made big bets on Windows 8 devices around the world. Some of the examples are:

  • The State of Maine, which is rolling out HP ProBooks running Windows 8 to every Year 7 and 8 child across the state. The Governor of Maine explained why in the announcement:
    "It is important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace. This is the lowest-priced proposal, and the laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine. These laptops will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their learning and give them experience on the same technology and software they will see in their future careers"
  • Seton Hall University, which chose to give all incoming students and returning juniors a Samsung Windows 8 tablet, along with a Nokia Windows Phone. They had piloted iPads and Android devices, but chose Windows 8 for a number of reasons, including students wanting Office, and the need for the IT department to have devices that were manageable and secure.
  • West Suffolk College have rolled out Microsoft Surface tablets to their administration staff, to reduce the amount of paperwork being used, and ensuring that staff could continue to use their existing Word, Excel and OneNote files.
  • South Illinois University are going to hand Dell Windows 8 tablets to their new students as part of a project, called Mobile Dawg, to modernise interactions on and off their campus – from digital textbooks, to student self service systems, and into their Desire2Learn Learning Management System.

Sadly, none of the examples above is from Australia. I know that there are schools who have rolled out Windows 8 touch devices to their students, but at the moment I don’t have their permission to write about them.

So here’s a plea – if you’re in an educational establishment in Australia, and you’d be happy to have a chat with me about your Windows 8 story, then drop me an email and let’s see if we can share your story here too.