A new low-cost netbook whose screen can be rotated so students can read electronic texts as if they were holding a traditional book, and a 3-D capable, short-throw projector that can turn any smooth surface into an interactive learning space, are among the new education technologies introduced by Dell Inc. on May 11 as part of its Connected Classroom suite of products.
The enhancements to Dell’s Connected Classroom aim to help teachers transform the traditional classroom into an environment where students can be prepared for life and work in the digital age.
“We’re taking a student-centered focus on using technology in the classroom,” said Mark Horan, Dell’s global vice president and general manager of K-12 education. He said the developers at Dell have tried to create products that address teachers’ needs, such as engaging the digital generation, differentiating instruction, teaching 21st-century skills, and improving the learning experience for students.
One of these is the Dell Latitude 2110, a next-generation netbook for students that features a rubberized coating on the chassis and a battery life of up to 10 hours with an optional 6-cell battery.
A solid state drive (SSD) provides storage of up to 64 gigabytes, and an optional anti-microbial keyboard includes a “tamper-resistant” design to help prevent the loss of key caps, Dell said. Available in red, black, and blue models, the Latitude 2110 starts at $389.
Dell also announced a mobile computing cart that stores and charges up to 24 netbooks. Available May 17, the Dell Mobile Computing Station includes a wireless access point and a wake-on LAN feature. This enables school IT staff to deliver updates via the school’s network, greatly simplifying management, Dell said.
The additions to Dell’s Connected Classroom also include a new 3-D capable interactive short-throw projector, the Dell S300wi, which combines the capabilities of an interactive whiteboard with a multi-purpose projector, allowing teachers to make any smooth surface an interactive learning surface, Dell said. eInstruction’s Interwrite Workspace software is included with every S300wi projector at no cost, forming the platform that allows teachers to build interactive lessons.
Schools also can choose from three new multi-function printers that come bundled with Dell Classroom Station software, which can transform manual paper-based processes into easy and efficient digital workflows, Dell said. The software includes education-specific applications that provide print-on-demand bubble sheet tests, as well as instant grading and reporting capabilities. (Schools will need a Windows server and additional software to take advantage of these latter features.)
Additionally, Dell offers Professional Learning Services—professional development to help teachers integrate digital content into their instruction—that Horan said play a vital role in ensuring that educators of all backgrounds and disciplines have the necessary skills and confidence to best use the Connected Classroom solutions.
“This way, teachers know how to use [the tools] effectively,” he said.
Note to readers:
Don’t forget to visit the Securing Student Laptops for Safe Learning resource center. Technology is an essential part of a 21st-century education for both teachers and students, and district 1-to-1 computing initiatives and laptop lending programs are on the rise. Most of the focus falls on how these mobile computers and handheld devices will help enhance teaching and learning. However, how a district manages its technology can have a significant impact on its budget. Go to:
Securing Student Laptops for Safe Learning