Surface RT for Schools?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by BruceBanner, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. BruceBanner

    BruceBanner New Member

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    Having established the RT does flash pretty well this puts it ahead of the ipad for some educational websites relying still on flash.

    The fact it comes with office is also great, but what about apps? Specifically educational apps for primary aged children, this is where I see the RT fall flat on it's face.

    Discuss...
     
  2. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Hm, you didn't know Surface RT supports Flash yet you "see it falls flat on its face" in educational apps. :p

    First of all, just what apps are you looking for? Examples? Subjects? If you're going by the assumptions and reviews back in 2012 or whatever, that's not a good approach for considering any device for schools: The vast majority of apps in iOS and Android ecosystems are utterly useless or completely redundant. As of today, there are 7391 apps in the "education" section for WinRT/8, but again, a number is meaningless.

    http://www.microsoft.com/education/ww/products/windows-8/Pages/windows-apps.aspx
     
  3. pallentx

    pallentx New Member

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    I think you are right. This is exactly why RT hasn't sold well so far. Keep in mind, RT is not even 1 year old yet. Is it realistic to think that it would have the apps available for the iPad - an ecosystem that has been building since the iPhone started supporting 3rd party apps? The platform has come a long way already - a lot faster than Windows Phone, and WP has had decent, fairly steady growth. The apps are coming. As Windows 8 gets on more and more desktops and laptops, demand for apps will continue to build.
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Apps are a walled garden approach to platforms who have weak browser support, my son uses IE to access all district learning sites and Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint. He is 12 and is into his second year of using his RT in school.

    iPads in school are no more than pacifiers and baby sitters, doing real assignments would prove difficult. With RT the teacher can have a central share for assignments to be turned in or even a common SkyDrive Pro Folder if you are using Office 365 or SharePoint.

    Using OneNote allows for collaborative assignments, teacher shares out a OneNote section and all the students can connect to it and see and make changes, etc.
     
  5. Lolvo

    Lolvo New Member

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    I don't really know what you're getting at, OP - most schoolwork and educational work isn't done through apps (perhaps, at least, my experience).

    I use Office Suite almost daily; however, the majority of my work is handled all by the RT, not using any apps. I use an advanced calculator on my RT when I don't want to pull out my bulky Eng-Calc. My university takes advantage of the collaborative approach, and my device keeps me on the top of using the online, third-party, IE interface. I can download/upload documents of many types right from and to Blackboard (the system we use), and they are all accessible from other devices.

    I use ONE app on a daily basis, MyStudyLife - Keeps track of all my courses per semester, tasks, assignments, exams, reminders, etc. - It syncs in real-time and keeps me updated with notifications. It occasionally crashes, but it is by far the best app I have used for school. I can share much more about the app, and how my RT performs in an advanced educational environment; just let me know what you want to know!

    Here are some shots from the app:
    Screenshot (63).png
    Screenshot (64).png

    Notice how it's showing me what class I'm in, how much time I have left in it, and any pertinent tasks/assignments coming up. You can add any kind of task, and apply a due date - completing the task, slide the completion bar to the appropriate spot; once completed, the task is automatically moved to the "completed" or "submitted" section dependent on the type of task. It is a great app, is extremely helpful, and eliminates the need for a physical planner.

    I also use eTextbooks, a topic which I covered in another thread, here: http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/...t-ipad-vs-lenovo-yoga-commercial-college.html - Again, I'd be happy to add some screenshots which I failed to provide earlier, as well as more in-depth information. The short version, my RT excels in education.
    You might want to check out this post as well: http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/...6-months-later-things-i-notice.html#post36160

    I agree with you on the WS apps, though. We have a major drawback with our apps, but as stated previously, this is improving daily. I hope to see many more [helpful] apps come along soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
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  6. Omni

    Omni Active Member

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    Wow I wish I had a app like that when I was at college. Might have got some stuff done on time! :)
     
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  7. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    He's considering the Surface RT for primary school students, which is ages 5-12. I can see 12-year-olds using the Surface RT properly, but primary school is definitely not the sweet spot when it comes to Surface use cases, unless they expect the kids to "grow into" them. My guess is the whole "apps" thing in this context is more cogent in terms of educational apps for children, hence my link. The fact is that higher education audiences (HS-college+) aren't going to be using apps for productivity except things like calculators (or the study aid like above). MS Office is the killer app on RT--a 2nd-grader is not going to appreciate that.

    Heck, many adults don't appreciate that, which is why WinRT devices aren't for them, who are more concerned with installing over 20 games and the like; I don't see the app store population as a major drawback especially with a functional web browser, as jnjroach noted, even if IE isn't my preferred.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
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  8. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    My son has been required to make PowerPoint Presentations since 1st grade for school :)
     
  9. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Huh.

    Definitely not around here! The U.S. has such a ridiculously wide range of technological usage in schools depending on geography.

    But can he write? :p

    I do know one school district in my state briefly experimented by stopping all spelling, grammar, and handwriting lessons, thinking that "spell check" is the future, and their students do use a lot of technology in the classrooms. Unfortunately, it made an entire year of students look stupid since they couldn't spell (or understand) even simple words and compounds, and the handwriting looked extremely rudimentary. Looking at their papers and even cell texts compared to prior and subsequent classes, that year of students appeared mentally challenged. The school district realised their horrible mistake and quickly reinstated the basic spelling/etc. lessons again, but the damage is done.

    Anyway, back on topic. ;) If OP can't find the proper grade-level apps in the Win store, and it's really a big deal, then I suppose it's time to move on.
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    penmanship hasn't been taught in my son's schools and his writing is definitely very poor, but he types 125 WPM on a normal keyboard and around 80 WPM on the Touch Cover. He does have spelling though :)
     
  11. BruceBanner

    BruceBanner New Member

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    I knew it supported Flash, I was aware of this white/black list thing (before posting), but I also wanted feedback on how well it handled it, if it stutters and falls over during intense flash etc. The general consensus is it does it well (better than android).

    I'm not entirely sure what apps I'm looking for to be honest, this is something I will have to ask the school committee, I'm assuming they have certain apple apps in mind as they seem hell bent on going in that direction <sigh>. I'm not flaming apple, I just think (and always have) that they are so darn expensive, the committee is probably completely unaware other tablets even exist. If I can come back to them prepared, showing them that the surface RT we can get for $220, does flash properly, has office, has these apps etc, that might really help in convincing them..
    I also feel Windows ain't going anywhere, Metro might die, but Office and IE arn't. Perhaps its best (even from a young age) that kids get familiar with a windows environment, even if it is stripped down version.

    Thank you for the link, will look into that.

    I really hope this is the case. I have win 8, I peak into the Metro Store occasionally but I'm not inspired. Where are even the basic apps, IMDB, Facebook etc (not that this is school relevant, just saying). Developing apps started way before the platform was ever released...
    My wife works for the government, certain sections develop apps (both for employees and public), platform? Apple... not even android... despite android being more popular than apple over here...
    When is Metro even going to be considered...

    @Lolvo Impressive! I bet our teachers would appreciate that app! hahaha. But yeh sadly not so relevant to primary aged children. If this was for high schools I can really see the advantage of Surface over ipads..

    What about 'syncing', someone mentioned Intune, wassat? Are we implying that if we grab 20 surface tablets, they can all be set up the same via just optimising one tablet and making the rest copy its design (apps installed etc). Or is it going to be a painful lengthy process etc.

    Basically what I'm saying is this I think is also important, it's ease of control in terms of multiple devices, can the surface trump the ipad in this regard also?

    I'm pretty much leaving Android out of this argument, The cheapest tablet (that's half decent) I can think of is the Nexus 10, and it's still pricey ($400+), I think most when they see that price will think just spend that extra and go to apple. The surface on the other hand is incredibly cheap, $220. Could mean double the amount of units etc. It's a shame the Nexus 10 hasn't had a price fall (like the Nexus 4).
     
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Windows InTune is a cloud based management service based on Microsoft System Center, it can be used to manage Windows RT (my example was integration into an existing SCCM environment but it can also used as a stand alone service).

    Windows Intune - PC and mobile device management in the cloud

    Because RT is a closed OS, you don't need an image like you would use for an x86 computer.
     

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