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Mobile Computing | News

Rural Arizona District Goes 1-to-1 with Android Tablets

A rural school district in the middle of the Arizona desert has just deployed a 1-to-1 program in 15 classrooms. Eloy Elementary School District pursued federal school improvement grant money to purchase the professional development and hardware and software it would need to expose its middle-school students to digital classroom activities.

After evaluating three different sets of classroom programs, the district chose Samsung School from Samsung Electronics America. On the device side, this suite of products includes a Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets, interactive whiteboards, and wireless printers, tied together with classroom management software. The Galaxy runs Google Android and features Samsung's S Pen technology, which allows the student to write on the tablet like a pad of paper.

According to Superintendent Ruby James, the school faced problems in two areas: student engagement and school attendance. "Access to this caliber of classroom technology is life changing for our students and faculty. Following the implementation of Samsung School at the beginning of the 2013/14 school year, both student attendance and engagement have skyrocketed with teaching staff seeing nearly 100 percent student attendance and a new eagerness to learn," she said. "It's opening new opportunities for learning for these students and helping give them the 21st century skills to compete at college and in the workforce."

Michelle Covarrubias, curriculum director for the district, said it was "imperative" to get the technology grant. "We're on the cusp of change in terms of education," she noted.

Teacher Irene Avila at Eloy Intermediate School added that she appreciates the Samsung management tool. "As a teacher...you're able to manage what your students are doing, where they're going, what sites your students are looking at."

As part of the engagement, which Samsung said was the first school-wide deployment of Samsung School, the company also provided professional development and technical support for implementing the initiative.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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