As Chromebooks have been slowly taking over the education market in the US last year, it seems that Microsoft may still have some work to do to convince school admins that Windows 10 PCs with Office 365 are a more versatile combo. This week though, the company published a new customer testimonial explaining why a school district chose to leverage Microsoft's education offerings to make its classrooms more connected.
As explained in the blog post, the River Dell Regional School District in New Jersey recently had to renew the computer equiment of its 1,700 students and 131 educators. Marianthe Williams, director of technology for the district, explained that the process led to the creation of a teacher and student committee, which helped to test different devices and form factors including Chromebooks and tablets. Ultimately, the committee settled for touch-enabled Windows 10 devices for both students and teachers to be used with Office 365 and OneNote.
Teachers and staff were given Surface Pro 3 hybrid tablets while students were issued HP laptops with touchscreens, with full support for digital inking. “We were pleasantly surprised to find the HP devices offered the touchscreen features our students craved at a price point the district could afford,” explained Williams. While the director of technology praised the ability to take note by hand in certain subjects such as math and science, she also highlighted how OneNote Class Notebooks encouraged students to allowed students to work together on the same documents at the same time:
We’re all-in with Surface, HP, Microsoft Office 365 and OneNote. It’s exciting to see how our teachers and students have taken OneNote Class Notebook to be their digital curriculum. The technology helps us to extend learning beyond the instructional period. Our students are finding new ways to collaborate and developing skills that will serve them well throughout their lives and careers.
While Microsoft's education solutions remain highly competitive today, the company made two important announcements earlier this week: first of all, the company has partnered with third-party manufacturers to release new cheap Windows 10 PCs for the education market, with prices starting at $189. Lastly, the technology giant introduced Intune for Education, a could-based app that will help schools set up and manage classroom devices. Sound off in the comments if you think this will be enough to drive adoption of Windows 10 PCs in the education sector this year.