New mobile devices for schools shown at ISTE

New devices from Samsung, Panasonic, CDI, and HP were among those on display at the nation’s largest ed-tech trade show

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 for Education is compatible with the Samsung School service, which enables teachers to manage the devices from their classroom.

School leaders now have more choices than ever when rolling out mobile devices for learning, and several of the latest devices for schools were on display at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference earlier this month.

Apple’s iPad already has a significant presence in schools, and Google Chromebooks are on the rise as well. At ISTE 2014, many companies demonstrated new devices running on Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro.

For instance, Samsung showed its Galaxy Tab 4 for Education, a 10-inch Android tablet designed specifically for schools.

The Galaxy Tab 4 comes with a “backpack-ready” protective case, and its screen is made of scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, said Jen Langhan, director of mobility product marketing for Samsung Education.

What’s more, users can have two application windows open at once—but maybe the Galaxy Tab 4’s biggest selling point is that it’s compatible with the Samsung School initiative, which includes software that allows teachers to manage Samsung mobile devices in their classrooms.

With Samsung School, teachers can share their screen with the class, monitor students’ screens, and freeze or control students’ devices. They can also create a customized Lesson Toolbar for instantly launching an app on all student devices, sending a resource or URL, or initiating a group activity.

Group collaboration features within Samsung School enable students to contribute simultaneously on a shared screen, or merge individual assignments into one to submit seamless group projects.

The Galaxy Tab 4 retails for $369, with volume discounts available. It ships as a “blank slate” for schools to fill with apps from the Google Play for Education store, Langhan said—but other tablet makers have opted for a different approach, creating devices that come bundled with educational software for added value.

(Next page: A new ed-tech device from Panasonic; low-cost devices from CDI; and more)

Dennis Pierce

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