The Kent School District is taking steps to do just this with its ‘One Student-One Device’ program. In an effort to give students access to advanced technology and devices, they became an early adopter of Windows 10, piloting the new operating system in four of its K-12 schools over this past school year. The pilot recently ended and the district has already started distributing Windows 10 PCs to all of its elementary-school libraries. It expects to install Windows 10 on all 24,000 devices in the school district by the start of the 2016/2017 school year.
By upgrading to Windows 10, Kent replaced its previous process of manually refreshing each device, simplifying the demands on its IT department. They’ve also taken advantage of the free online services and productivity tools for teachers and students with Office 365 Education, which has lowered total cost of ownership. “Upgrading to Windows 10 has actually been a way to get extra life out of our devices,” said Stosh Morency, interim CIO, Kent School District. “It’s not intuitive to think you can put a newer operating system on an older computer and it will actually run better. Because of some of these benefits, we’ve extended our four-year refresh cycle to five years for some of the devices.” When we asked Stosh and his team how much savings they think they’ve seen, Morency added, “If you purchase a couple million dollars of computers in a year, and you skip a year of doing that, it adds up quickly.”
The teachers and students who have been using the Windows 10 devices at the four pilot schools have found new ways to work and learn, based on their personal working styles. The Surface devices in particular have been game-changing based on functionality like pen and inking that other devices don’t offer. Some students use the Surface Pro 3 like a laptop, while others prefer the touchscreen in tablet mode. Kindergarteners use the Surface Pen and touchscreen to learn how to write letters.
You can learn more about the new innovations for the classroom with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update here and check out this Windows Experience Blog post for additional information on education institutions around the world that are choosing to adopt Windows 10.