I’ve always been displeased with the uprise of Apple iPads in schools across British Columbia. For their high cost, iPads provide less flexibility than cheaper laptops when typing is a necessity in school projects and provide less features and lower productivity than Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 10.1 and other competitors. High costs in technology means there’s usually less to go around for students than with alternative, less costly options – which can create challenges, especially in an era where many schools face budget shortages and do not come close to being able to afford giving every clasroom technology for every student.
When I heard about this pilot program, it occured to me that the school where this program was put into a place is one where a good friend of mine I used to go to school with now goes to, so I contacted her immediately about it. She told me that while she wasn’t part of the class taking part in this program, she did know about it, and did manage to meet the president of Samsung Canada when he had visited the school.
If I had the same opprtunity to meet the president of Samsung Canada, I would have given him quite a handshake. I couldn’t be happier in knowing that the introduction of a program in a North American schools involving Samsung tablets is happening in my province, and in my metropolitan area. The per-unit cost of a Samsung Galaxy Note is less than an iPad, despite better specifications and better features that are suited to students like the S-Pen for writing and S-Note, Android 4.1 features like Google Now and split-screen multitasking. That means that more units can be purchased by a school for more students, and each unit can do far more than a usual iPad, improving educational output.
The below article on MobileSyrup (link) says that Riverview Secondary is currently the only North American school to be going through this pilot program, but I hope other schools follow suit soon. There is a video in this that contains a lot of positive comments from teachers, students and parents about the program.