Monday, 11 August 2014

Informal chat with Dean, Cathy from St Andrew’s and Grant from Westlake boys’ and PB Tech

As I already know who I am voting for this election, I chose not to attend the political debate. Instead I thought I would inspect the hardware on show at the PBTech stall. One device caught my eye in particular and that was the Asus 8” tablet with intel atom processor and a stylus.

Since I have been using a tablet this year and it has been an integral part of my teaching, I am keen to see what is out there at an affordable price. While I would not use the Asus table myself, I immediately saw the potential for it as a student device.

Why is it not a teacher device? It is too small. Teachers type a lot and require a large keyboard and screen for things such as reports. The Surface Pro 3 satisfies these requirements and also has an accurate stylus for handwriting.

However, as a student device, perhaps even a secondary student device the Asus is spot on. Its size makes it portable. With an intel processor it is able to run a full desktop version of Windows. And most importantly in my mind it has a pen/paper accurate stylus which allows the user to write with their palm resting on the screen. Combined with Microsoft OneNote, and a price of $520 + GST, this makes for a formidable competitor to any other tablet on the market.

During this time I ran into Dean Mackenzie and Cathy Kennedy from St Andrew’s and Grant Saul from Westlake Boys’. Our chat centred on OneNote and the wider Microsoft ecosystem. Grant demonstrated OneNote toolbox. All I can say is, this, along with each of my students having something equivalent to the Asus tablet would make my class a dream. My students already have convenient access to the notes and examples I do in class through OneNote. OneNote toolbox just lets me have that same access to their OneNotes.

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