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Over 2,000 Seton Hall students get Lenovo’s hybrid ThinkPad Helix

by David Needle

August 29 2013

Seton Hall has been a 1 to 1 (computer to student) campus since 1998, notes Associate CIO Paul Fisher.
Seton Hall has been a 1 to 1 (computer to student) campus since 1998, notes Associate CIO Paul Fisher.

Seton Hall University, an early advocate for the use of tablets in the classroom, has issued over 2,000 of Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix to incoming freshman and returning juniors.

The ThinkPad Helix is a hybrid convertible device that can be used as either a Windows 8 PC or tablet.

For taking notes and other content creation needs, the Helix is a fully functioning laptop with a standard keyboard. For content creation, students have the option to “rip and flip” the tablet 180° and snap it back into the base for giving presentations, or they can also fully detach the tablet for use in science labs or field work.

Returning juniors have the option to keep the device when they graduate. 

“Seton Hall has been a 1:1 computing campus since 1998. Our students are vocal about their requirement of Microsoft Office, so we wanted to choose a device for the program this year that would fully capitalize on the benefits of Windows 8,” said Paul Fisher, associate chief information officer at Seton Hall and a member of the TabTimes Think Tank content advisory board.

“The ThinkPad Helix gives our students the flexibility to meet all academic demands on the Windows 8 interface with either the pen or 10-point touch inputs in laptop and tablet form factor.” 

Seton Hall's tablet strategy was also the focus of an earlier TabTimes' Case Study that included comments and a video from a presentation made by FIsher at last year's TabletBiz conference.  (TabletBiz returns to New York on November 13).  

The move to Lenovo’s ThinkPad also marks the first time in eight years that the majority of Seton Hall’s student body will receive the same device, streamlining IT support. The University’s IT department has been supporting Windows for years.

(Stay on top of the latest tablets and education trends by subscribing to the free Tablets for Education newsletter). 

Some faculty part of the deployment

Seton Hall faculty get a refreshed device every three years, and about 150 will receive a ThinkPad Helix this year. Fisher said he anticipates faculty will use the device to write notes on the tablet and project onto a whiteboard during class.

This will allow faculty to face students and remain engaged throughout class, rather than turn their back to write on the board. Faculty can also save the
notes and send to students after class, which means students can spend their time in the classroom actively listening and interacting instead of copying every note on the board.

David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley.
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