The Japanese electronics manufacturer says that every student in grades six through to 12 will be using the Windows 7 tablet for accessing digital textbooks and even videoconferencing.
"We scanned the ocean of options — iPad, Droid, HP, Windows, Apple, even thin client," said Dean Jadlowski, director of technology at Charlottesville City Schools. "Initially we were excited by the iPad, but the integrity of the glass and limited ability to manage security were an issue. The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 tablet has the durability required to survive in a backpack, offers a fully functioning Windows operating system essential for state standardized online testing, and allows us to use enterprise tools to maintain security and permissions."
Charlottesville City Schools – which controls six elementary schools, one upper elementary school, a middle school and a high school in the region – was impressed with the eight-hour battery life offered by the Q550, as well as its MIL-STD-810G rating, which means that it meets military standards for tough environment conditions. This standard essentially states that the tablet will be able to work in high temperatures, cope with light dust and function even if the tablet has been accidentally dropped.
Jadlowski said that students and teachers were excited about the possibility of using both the stylus and their fingers to control the Fujitsu tablet, and added that even with an optional third-party keyboard, provided by the school, the tablet is still easy to pack away into a child's backpack.
The deployment has been made possible by Charlottesville City School’s BLAST (Blended Learning to Advance Student Thinking) initiative, with the ultimate goal of this campaign to mix traditional face-to-face teaching with new software and web tools, thereby preparing students for careers in tomorrow's complex and interconnected world.
Fujitsu is currently in the process of testing Windows 8 on the Stylistic Q550 with the hope of upgrading the tablet when the new operating system launches later this year.