This school was forced to ditch Windows 8 tablets and go back to basics with paper books

by Doug Drinkwater

November 22 2013

Mountrath Community School in County Laois, Ireland probably won’t be extolling the virtues of tablet computing anytime soon. The school has just postponed its Windows 8 tablet deployment with the principal describing the roll out as an ‘unmitigated disaster’.

The Irish Independent reports that the school recently deployed a number of HP ElitePad Windows 8 tablets, with parents of children attending the school asked to pay €550 for each device at the beginning of the school year.

But the establishment quickly ran into problems as many of the devices suffered from “major technical issues”, such as the tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode or failing to switch on altogether. To counter this issue, the school has since ordered new paper books for first year classes.

 “We had a number of issues with the devices,” said principal Martin Gleeson, when speaking to the newspaper. “We met with HP yesterday, not for the first time, and they are doing everything in their power to resolve the problem.

(Worth reading: LA School District runs into new problems with huge iPad deployment & Amplify CEO Joel Klein on how tablets and games will revolutionize education)

“In the meantime, we have replaced all the tablets with books for the students. The parents do not have to pay for these. We’re not blaming anyone, HP have said the issue is a priority for them.”

Gleeson had by this stage already written to parents detailing his concerns, and in his letter he described the deployment as an “unmitigated disaster”. 

(For more insghts on how tablets are used in schools and universities, see TabTimes.com/education)

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