Re-Blogged from Mimanifesto – Jaye’s weblog
the tablet procurement Framework here in Scotland towards the end of last year, mainly about how it has been a positive move but also how we might consider improving it, particularly now that the review date for the contract is approaching. One of the points I raised was the lack of choice of tablets and how, despite a mechanism in the framework governance for responding to market developments, I felt that this had not been addressed by the current contract holder XMA. The pricing structure is not all that competitive either, with better prices available from other sources. Indeed, are schools able to access good independent advice and needs analysis before investing large amounts of money in tablet device purchasing? From individuals, colleagues or consultants who live and work in Scotland and know Scottish education well enough to help schools and LA’s make informed choices and are completely device agnostic as well as knowing where to go for the best prices on the chosen device? I don’t think this is happening enough.
windows 8 training
There is now a further incentive (apart from increased range) for schools to consider widening their horizons and using alternative routes to the Framework when making purchases and it is that Microsoft have just announced a fantastic free training deal – that they will fund one days training for every twenty Windows devices purchased through their resellers, or three days for every fifty devices purchased. This training, delivered exclusively through Tablet Academy Scotland and Tablet Academy UK can be in the form of consultancy or from a selection of six courses tailored to Windows 8 devices in the classroom. For further information on contacting participating Windows Tablet suppliers across the UK, Contact Tablet Academy directly for information on this offer which is valid in all parts of the UK until March 31st 2014.
In Scotland, the hugely well-respected Pam Currie (who runs Tablet Academy Scotland) and her team have the experience and local knowledge to be able to offer this advice – check out this free advice service here.
Of course Apple also offer free training with volume tablet purchases and the APD courses are excellent for schools wishing to use ‘off the shelf’ training for their staff, however it is what you see on the box and these courses (which Tablet Academy also deliver) can only be customised by a maximum of twenty-five percent and must never the less still focus on the ‘core curriculum’ set out in the APD course specification, whereas the Tablet Academy Windows 8 courses can be much more flexible and even bespoke depending upon your own needs or circumstances, including using 3rd party Apps rather than Apple products, for example ‘Pinnacle Studio’ instead of iMovie and the new ‘Create Books’ Windows app (similar to the IOS ‘Book Creator’app) that is currently in beta testing, but was demonstrated in the BETT 2014 Interactive Classroom.
I think that more choice is a good thing. Windows and Android devices have come along way in a relatively short period of time and may now be ready to challenge Apple for market share. Whilst I love my iPad mini, I’ve grown to respect my Android and Windows devices too.
Samsung have just announced a ten year deal with Google. Windows 8 apps are getting better and more education-focussed as the months go by. This year might well be a very significant one for tablet market share shift, with both Windows 8 and Android tablets gaining ground on market leader Apple in both the hardware and apps stakes.
(This blog post should be read with my usual disclaimer in mind, etc etc etc. You’ll find this in the page Tabs above)