USM Brings Tablets To Classroom - HotHardware
USM Brings Tablets To Classroom

USM Brings Tablets To Classroom

We've heard many people talk about the educational value of a tablet, but the majority of schools still aren't using tablets in the classroom. The University of Southern Mississippi believes tablets can be a useful asset in education and is working with Samsung Mobile to prove it. This fall, students who participate in an Honors College pilot program will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the university. These tablets will come preloaded with Blackboard Mobile Learn.

University of Southern Mississippi to Provide Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 Tablets to Students

Samsung Mobile and Blackboard team up to bring a revolutionary learning experience to the classroom

DALLAS, August 1, 2011 – Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.[1], today announced that the University of Southern Mississippi will offer Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 mobile tablets to students participating in an Honors College pilot program this fall.

The University of Southern Mississippi is piloting up to 1,000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices to be distributed to selected Honors College, McNair Scholars, Southern Style and Gulf Coast students. The goal of this mobile initiative is to provide students with privately funded tablets focused on enhancing access to education. These tablets, loaded with Blackboard Mobile™ Learn, will fundamentally change the educational experience by giving students and educators mobile access to their courses, syllabi, content, e-textbooks, grades, schedules, emergency notifications and much more.

“Today’s announcement illustrates a growing demand from higher education institutions seeking to implement Samsung Mobile technology and content solutions in the classroom,” said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Mobile. “The Galaxy Tab portfolio is an attractive option for schools looking for devices armed with strong feature sets and access to a comprehensive selection of applications built to enhance the learning process.”

The Samsung tablets will transform the educational space as students and professors share the same hardware and software, enabling them to experience and share audio, video, and other learning materials to accomplish classroom goals. The devices will also aid to reduce the amount of paper used in the classroom and provide students with easy access to e-books and other interactive learning materials.

“Tablets are like the Swiss Army Knife to academic excellence. By leveraging this new technology, we are committed to transforming the way students interact, engage and learn in the classrooms,” said Homer Coffman, Chief Information officer for The University of Southern Mississippi. “The iTech department at Southern Miss is continually challenging itself to support emerging technology and find new ways to put information into the students’ hands.” 

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet that measures at just 8.6 millimeters slim, making it the thinnest large screen tablet currently available in the world. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is powered by the Android™ 3.1 (Honeycomb) platform and features a brilliant 10-inch touchscreen and access to an array of applications through the Android Market™.  

“Samsung Mobile is focused on enhancing enterprise solutions for the Samsung Galaxy portfolio in order to make Samsung the first choice for a variety of enterprise verticals including education, healthcare and others,” said Tim Wagner, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Sales for Samsung Mobile. “We are dedicated to enabling educational institutions like the University of Southern Mississippi to provide their students with access to premium technology that enhances the learning experience.” 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi edition is currently available nationwide. Visit www.samsung.com for additional details.

1 Number one mobile phone provider in the U.S claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics, Q1 2011 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Reports.

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Tablets are awesome for education though I would think the biggest problem at least with K-12 programs is going to be breakage. I run a school that uses 800 netbook computers and the breakage level is extremely high. Plus on a tablet it is not as easy to simply swap out a broken LCD screen or dented plastics. The other question is going to be how to control them so the OS does not get screwed up and internet filtering will need to be adapted to them as well.

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My big problem with tablets is the size. I have tried using the 10 inch tablets and my fingers are too big and the screen is just too small to read PDF books. Hopefully someone starts making 12 to 14 inch tablets or Ereaders. As far as breakage - Gorilla glass is the way to go. However, the ultimate solution is when they will make the screens out of plastic rather than glass.

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