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July 6th, 2012
Seven iPad alternatives for schools
These tablets give school leaders other options to consider besides Apple’s ubiquitous device
Ed-tech developer Curriculum Loft created its third-generation KUNO tablet with a major school need specifically in mind—digital safety.
“Even with a hard reset of the device, [students] shouldn’t be able to break through the [web] filter,” said marketing coordinator Alicia Peters. “The filters are in place whether [you’re] in school or not. If the student takes it on vacation to Hawaii, [content] is still going to be filtered just like in school.”
The KUNO 3, which runs on Android version 4.03 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), reflects some upgrades from predecessors in its line: The 10.1-inch ruggedized screen is thicker, and the tablet comes with a case that can swivel and stand vertically or horizontally.
The KUNO 3 also is designed to be fully compatible with Curriculum Loft’s Explore 1-1 software, a mobile operating interface (MOI). Explore 1-1 allows districts to centrally manage mobile devices through a single administrative interface.
For example, a district could download and sync the Evernote app to all seventh-graders’ tablets through a single, centrally automated process. When the students no longer need that app, the district could delete the app from their tablets the same way.
Explore 1-1 “saves the money and time it takes to manage” tablets, said Dottie Coven, chief strategy officer and national sales director at Curriculum Loft distributor Tech Innovation.
Coven said the Explore 1-1 software is especially useful for instructional programs such as special education, which might take place “in multiple classrooms, even multiple buildings.”
“The bigger the rollout, the more impact it has,” she said.
Schools using the KUNO 3 also can add Curriculum Loft Cloud software, which stores content on a web-based platform and enables a teacher to “push” resources down from her tablet to her students’ devices. A separate program, Curriculum Loft Analyze, is an assessment tool that allows students to take quizzes on their tablets and then send the results to their teacher.
In short, the KUNO 3 combines a learning management solution and a mobile device management solution along with the device itself.
“Instead of going to a different vendor for each, we have all the pieces,” Coven said.