Seven iPad alternatives for schools

Tablets are key to broader vision of the ‘Samsung classroom’

Not content with the success of its Galaxy tablets in classrooms, Samsung has sought to develop a complete line of classroom technologies that meet schools’ needs.

“As a company, we try to address [challenges] from a solutions perspective and not … just a product perspective. So we seek to develop an entire ecosystem, and not just individual products,” said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung.

He said Samsung aims to develop a fully interactive classroom centered on tablets. For example, a teacher could send questions or assignments to students through her tablet, and then a TV or digital whiteboard could display work directly off of the students’ tablets.

The full solution, currently in the pilot process and set to launch for the 2013 education buying season, would combine hardware, learning management software, and specialized curricula. As for the tablets themselves, Samsung Galaxy tablets—which run on the Android OS—are available in both 7-inch (starting at $199) and 10.1-inch (starting at $399) versions.

At New Media Middle School in Ohio, which launched a pilot program with 35 Galaxy 10.1-inch tablets, teachers have found the tablets useful as lightweight, easily portable tools on field trips. Apps such as presentation maker Prezi and survey resource Edmodo have helped teachers make lessons more collaborative and exciting, said Principal Erik Cohen.

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