If anyone was previously unaware of the ingenuity, passion and dedication that exists in Australia’s schools, 2020 has left no room for doubt. School principals, teachers, cleaners, administrators, and IT staff have gone to extraordinary lengths to create a safe, hybrid and remote learning environment in a matter of weeks.
Technology has played a key role in facilitating this sudden change. Remote learning platforms aren’t the only items that have come under scrutiny; decisions about the types and range of devices used by students are more important than ever.
Up to 60% of families at independent schools are currently requesting fee relief1. The financial impacts of the pandemic are widespread, and the education sector is not immune: it is critical that the digital learning experience provides parents the confidence that their children are getting value from a private education- even when delivered remotely.
The right device enables an exciting new world of learning, while poorly chosen machines can result in a less engaging experience and lost classroom time. In an era of uncertainty, it is vital to balance education-ready features with durability and performance, so that devices keep up with the changing student needs over the next few years, and survives a few knocks in the process.
How do schools and parents choose from the many options available? We have put together a list of five durable devices that can help bring digital learning to life.
This smaller device is designed for smaller hands. Weighing in at under 1.6 kg, its size is manageable for young-to-middle school students. A big plus is the durability of this convertible notebook; it comes with a Gorilla Glass screen, and a hardened chassis option is available so that whether it is used in tablet mode or laptop mode, it can withstand field trips or classroom mishaps.
Included with the device, the HP Pen is a further bonus, allowing for more rewarding use across a wealth of learning applications. HP has also packed in several key security features that help protect students from numerous malware and cyberthreats. With a long history and pedigree of success, The HP ProBook 11 EE continues to be refined as an affordable classroom champ.
Microsoft describes this device as ‘the perfectly portable 2–in-1′, and that’s just what they deliver. Powered by the latest generation of Intel processor, the Surface may be light in weight, but it’s no slouch when it comes to performance. Based on research that note-taking with a pen enables the brain to process learning more effectively2, Microsoft has harnessed the power of the pen, creating a premium pen experience for the Surface Go 2 that is beautifully designed for smaller hands.
The Surface Go 2 has an outward-facing camera that makes it easy to take pictures for class assignments or excursions. It can also charge from 0-80% in an hour, making it the perfect device for on-the-go learning. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 gives a superior primary and middle school classroom experience, whether learning remotely or on campus.
This ultra-thin 2-in-1 carries all the benefits of the Surface Go 2 in a larger, more powerful device, making it a popular choice for teachers and for students with more demanding workloads. The power of the pen continues here, with a tilt for shading and a sensitive touch. With virtually no lag, the pen will please budding artists and doodlers alike, and is particularly useful in drawing graphs and making quick classroom notations.
Windows 10 is optimised for these devices, and vice versa, which means that accessibility features work especially well, giving all students the chance to enjoy a rich learning experience.
The Surface Pro 7 has a choice of i5 and i7 processors according to need. Additionally, Microsoft’s replacement exchange process allows for provision of a number of hot-swap units to be held at the school: in the event of that issues occur, students never have to be without a device for long.
Microsoft includes strong, well-integrated security apps that protect the student and the school at device level. A great choice for senior students, teachers, and anyone with accessibility needs.
HP’s newest convertible laptop, the HP ProBook x360 435 takes advantage of aggressive AMD pricing to offer a high-performance machine that’s purpose-built for education. The world facing camera offers important functionality, while the physical shutter webcam enables identity protection.
With a spike in cybersecurity incidents in the education sector since the start of COVID-193, it’s reassuring to know that with this device, students have HP’s world-class security stack working overtime on their behalf.
As we’ve come to expect from HP, the device is a rugged, durable option that features Gorilla Glass screen and a sturdy chassis, without sacrificing HP’s strength in user experience. Unlike competitors, whose hardware flaws have hit headlines, HP includes the proven hinge design from its premium 800 series to ensure a smooth experience over the lifetime of the device.
HP’s warranty protection is strong, too, with service provided in metro areas by HP employees, instead of third parties. The ProBook 435 offers middle school-aged students to seniors an impressive amount of performance in a machine that will last the distance, at a very competitive price point.
As the Intel-based ‘big brother’ of the HP ProBook x360 435, this premium, lightweight device is all about an outstanding user experience, backed by the best possible security inclusions. The HP EliteBook x360 830 uses AI-based deep learning to protect users against advanced malware: as senior students explore further into the online world, they stay safe.
Among the security features is HP’s patented Sure Start: every time the PC powers on, Sure Start automatically validates the integrity of the BIOS code to safeguard the machine from malicious attacks. Once operational, runtime intrusion detection constantly monitors memory. In the case of an attack, the PC can self-heal using an isolated “golden copy” of the BIOS in less than a minute, preventing ransomware from locking the system.
Students are also protected when they click an unsafe link in an email, so that when they look out into the online world, the world can’t come looking back. The EliteBook x360 830 is packed with security and user experience advantages, making it an ever-strong contender for senior students and staff.
It’s also designed to survive the school day, with 10 hours of battery life, and over 115,00 hours of durability testing. Whilst we can’t promise you can use it as a skateboard, we can show you a video of just how much testing HP’s devices go through.
As technology devices are frequent touchpoints for students and teachers, download these handy how-to guides to help you include technology in your COVID-safe plan.
When the world is unpredictable, stability matters. Data#3’s 40-year history of IT experience means we know education technology, and we are invested in your future.
As Microsoft’s largest Australian partner and a Gold Surface Education Reseller, and a HP partner for over 25 years, earning us platinum partner status, our education team can help you to design the right mix of devices for your school community. Chat with our experienced specialists about your device challenges today.
1. Baker. 2020. Private schools give fee rebates to parents asking for COVID-19 relief. [Online] Available at https://www.smh.com.au/national/private-schools-give-fee-rebates-to-parents-asking-for-covid-19-relief-20200424-p54n3x.html
2. Microsoft. 2016. The pen is mightier than the keyboard. [Online] Available at https://news.microsoft.com/europe/features/new-research-underlines-the-power-of-the-pen-in-learning/
3. School News Australia. 2020. Keeping schools and learning safe online during Covid-19. [Online] Available at https://www.school-news.com.au/news/keeping-schools-and-learning-safe-online-during-covid-19/