The board of the Hillsborough school district looks set to approve a plan to lease more than 700 Windows tablets to local teachers.
The adoption of these devices would see tablets become commonplace across the district, which believes that the main functions of the tablets will be for the teacher to wirelessly call-up videos or audio clips, and have these projected onto the wall. Teachers will also be encouraged to use the tablets for chores like grading coursework and registering attendance.
The district has apparently been trialling tablets since last March, and had – at one stage – planned to buy the tablets outright over a four-year scheme. However, reports now suggest the district prefers the idea of leasing these tablets over a four-year cycle, mainly down to the fact that it will avoid accusations of teacher preference, all while introducing the tablets in one go.
It is not yet known if the tablets will run Windows 7 or Windows 8. Should it be the former, the decision would certainly raise some eyebrows in and outside of education, with Windows 7 often panned for poor touchscreen control.
That said, Mr Joel Handler, said to be the chief of technology for the district, has defended the choice of Windows saying that the iPad has ‘limited’ functionality, while adding that the new Windows models will offer hybrid netbook and tablet functionality. It appears that these Windows tablets are likely to be coming from Chinese vendor Lenovo.
A decision on whether the district goes ahead with the tablet lease is due shortly. Should the decision go ahead, the first phase of the roll-out will see the tablets come to around 60 teachers at two of six undetermined K-4 schools in the spring of this year.