Samsung is entering the arena of tablets in education with the introduction of its first tablet designed specifically for the classroom, the Galaxy Tab 4 Education, paired with software that promises to make managing a classroom of tablets easier than ever.
Fresh off its success in schools with Chromebooks — having provided the Google notebooks to more than 4,000 schools across the country — Samsung has created a tablet with student performance in mind, says Jennifer Langan, the company’s director of product and marketing for mobile computing.
“If it’s not driving better student achievements and outcomes, then we’ve missed the point,” she says.
One of the tablet’s key features, MultiWindow, gives students the ability to launch two apps on the same screen, side by side, making full use of the device’s 10.1-inch, WXGA display.
The device comes loaded with Google Play for Education, a curated app ecosystem that helps teachers find apps that are right for their classes. The app suite also provides real-time book and software updates across every device in the class.
Another feature sure to please IT staff is the ability through Google Apps for Education to provision multiple devices at once, through near-field communication (NFC) technology built into each tablet.
“This is a huge win for K–12, taking the secret sauce around Chomebooks and leveraging a similar web console scheme with tablets,” says Langan. “We’re seeing classrooms being deployed and provisioned in minutes instead of hours, days or weeks.”
• Quad-core processor
• 1.5GB memory
• Android Kit-Kat preinstalled
• 16GB storage (up to 64GB)
• WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible
• $369.99 (MSRP)
With its rubber case and Gorilla Glass display, the device is sturdy — built to withstand the kind of damage a K–12 student normally dishes out on textbooks.
The full potential of the Galaxy Tab 4 Education will be unlocked through Samsung School, coming in a future update this summer. The interactive classroom management solution is designed to give educators full control over devices in their classroom.
Through Samsung School, teachers can peek at each student’s progress and make on-the-fly adjustments to the lesson if needed, or shut all tablets down when they don’t want any distractions. The technology also allows teachers to show a student’s work on a larger screen through a projector.
The Galaxy Tab 4 Education is powered by a quad-core processor with 1.5 gigabytes of memory, and runs on Kit-Kat, the latest operating system update for Android devices. It promises up to 10 hours of battery life and ships with 16 gigabytes of storage, with the option to expand its capacity up to 64 gigabytes through a MicroSD card slot. The device is available now for school districts planning a 2014–2015 deployment.