Just like the netbook and other products that were first tried out in schools before being introduced commercially, Intel is again plunging headlong into the education space with the upcoming launch in the country of the Intel Education Tablet.
The Android-based device is not sold commercially and will only be available to schools, according to top Intel executives, who added that the deployment tablet will be piloted in the southern city of Davao.
Since it is not aimed at the consumer market, the 10-inch tablet does not carry a brand and is known only as ?Intel Education Tablet?. It is, however, imported and distributed locally by multi-media firm Felta.
Powered by a single-core processor Intel Atom Z2460, the Intel Education Tablet has over 6.5 hours of battery life and weighs less than 1 kg.
While it seems like any ordinary tablet, with only the attached stylus giving it a somewhat unique appearance, the real power of the device lies in its software tools and the local content provided by publishing house Abiva.
The integrated Intel Education Software is primarily designed to make classrooms more engaging as it is equipped with an e-Reader, science exploration and data analysis application, painting tools and accessories, snap-on magnification lens, and plug-in thermal probe.
Ramon Morales, Latin America education regional manager at Intel, said the classroom set-up has not evolved with the times despite massive sea-change sweeping the education sector.
?Children today just go to Google to search for any question that they have. There?s no more critical thinking on their part,? said Morales, who said that the Intel Education Tablet is meant to address the issue by using technology to foster learning and understanding.
Asked if the Department of Education (DepEd) has thrown its support around the initiative, Intel Philippines business development manager Carlo Subido said the government agency is currently backing a different technology set-up. He was apparently referring to the CloudTop e-learning project being rolled out by the DepEd and the Department of Science and Technology.
Key features of the Intel Education Tablet include a ruggedized design, with buffered screens to keep it protected in the event of a fall, and a tethered stylus for easier touch-screen operation, which is tied to the tablet to prevent being misplaced.
Intel Education Solutions have also been built into the tablet to complement the curriculum, such as:
? Foxit Mobile PDF ? Allows students to read online texts and explore rich content. They can bookmark for easy reference and make their own notes to drive learning home.
? Lab Camera — Makes abstract concepts tangible for students through natural science exploration application using built-in camera
? SPARKVue — a software that enhances critical thinking and analysis skills with meaningful and engaging sensor-based data analysis tool, so students can collect, evaluate and analyze data interactively;
? My Notes — a simple, effective note-taking and information organizer for students;
? Media Camera — imaging device to enhance student?s creativity and media literacy skills to communicate more effectively;
? ArtRage – allows students to foster their creative thinking and artistic skills using digital art materials;
? Classroom Management — Enables effective 1:1 eLearning infrastructure, allowing teachers and students to use a range of learning, collaboration, facilitation and management tools in the classroom;
? Theft Deterrent — Enables schools to protect capital and operational investments with a hardware-hardened, robust asset management infrastructure;
? McAfee Antivirus Plus/Mobile Security – Five years of malware protection for schools and students to help ensure a safe and secure digital classroom;
? HDD Protection — Reduces risk of data loss for students and hard drive replacement costs for IT by sensing potential damaging jolts and drops.
Apart from the education applications, Intel Education Solutions have also been pre-installed in each tablet, such as:
? British Council Learn English — This comprises over 400 units of content in various formats including games, videos and mp3s which is pre-installed on devices. The content was developed by English Language Training (ELT) leaders at the British Council;
? Intel skoool Learning & Teaching Technology — These multi-media, interactive resources in mathematics and the sciences can be adapted and localized for teachers and students.