Samsung Smart Schools looks to push tablets into UK classrooms
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 31 Jan 2013 at 09:07
Samsung is hoping to push its tablets into classrooms via its Smart Schools solution.
Shown off for the first time in the UK at BETT in London today, Samsung's Smart Schools system lets the company knit together its devices – such as tablets or smart TVs – into a single solution for educators.
"Samsung is a device centric company," Graham Long, vice president for corporate sales for Samsung UK, admitted at a press event - saying the company was looking to move more into "solutions" than simply selling hardware. "It’s increasingly about solutions, and you’ll see more that from us in all the markets," he noted.
The Smart School system aims to use devices such as tablets to increase personalisation and interactivity in classrooms. The solution is essentially the "glue" holding a school’s education technology together, Samsung explained.
For example, students sitting at their desks could use a tablet to view what's on the teacher’s screen, or to complete group activities or answer quiz questions and instant polls.
Using content streaming, students could share a presentation from their desktop device to the main screen at the front of the room. Teachers could also personalise what work or assessment is sent to each student's device, to give added help to those who are struggling – or give more work to those who need more of a challenge.
Samsung can already offer devices as well as accessories – with ruggedised cases and charging stations key components for schools. For content, Samsung has teamed up with partners including education publisher Houghton Miffin Harcourt, and will open up its Samsung Learning Hub to allow other material to be pulled into the platform.
Initially, Smart Schools will support Android, but Windows 8 is also on the way, a spokesman said. So far, the system appears focused on tablets, but Long noted the success of Samsung’s laptops and Chromebooks in schools.
However, netbooks look unlikely to be resuscitated. "In the UK, the netbook has been phased out, but we’re constantly reevaluating,” Long said, noting the challenge with tablets was ensuring students had access to keyboards when necessary.
A pilot has already run in a Korean school, while two are now running in the UK. Prices weren’t revealed, as the system will be unique for each school. Smart School will start to ship in the UK in the coming months.
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