Intel has recently developed a small tablet called the StudyBook that aims to contribute towards the transformation that is taking place in the way in which tablets are utilised by teachers and students in the class room.
While computers and other technologies have been used in many classrooms for decades now and continue to be developed, there seems to be a new enthusiasm for the possibilities represented by tablets and they way that they can change the technology landscape in educational institutions.
The Studybook is a portable device powered by an Intel Atom (Oak Trail) processor with a 7-inch touchscreen that is encased in an especially rugged plastic for increased durability and protection. The device also claims to be both water and dust resistant. The Studybook also comes with all the necessary software for teachers to manage and create content. The device is also Intel’s first to support Google’s Android OS with Microsoft Windows also remaining an option.
As with its prior entries in education, Intel designed the device but expects it to be branded, customized and sold by hardware companies to reach students in emerging and industrialized countries. While pricing is expected to be determined by those partners and will depend on any software or hardware add-ons, Kapil Wadhera, general manager of Intel’s education market platforms group says that the tablet should start at less than $200 each.
If intended for distribution in underdeveloped countries – in addition to developed countries – it is essential that the price hits well below the iPad with a starting price of $499. Affordability is obviously a major goal for efforts to supply technologies to children including the non-profit One Laptop Per Child that was formed around the idea of a $100 laptop.
Size and durability are also essential in order to help schools extend the learning process beyond the classroom and making it more feasible for students to take the devices home to do homework or catch up on any studies.
However, Wadhera says that custom-designed educational software is just as important as its hardware. “They want it in their local language and with their local content,” he says.
So Intel has been working for years with educational institutions and specialized software suppliers, Wadhera adds. Some of the latest offerings are tailored for the specific hardware of the Studybook.
Intel has previously developed education-oriented portable PCs that include models in a traditional clamshell design, as well as a model that converts to a tablet design. However, they are bigger and more expensive and run either Windows or Linux.
Source: The Wall Street Journal