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6 Districts Go Public with Windows 8 Deployments

Six school districts have recently gone public with their adoption of Microsoft's Windows 8.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS), with 48,000 students, will make the OS available through 25,000 virtual desktops. Using a student digital portfolio learning application designed in-house and SharePoint, students will be able to access their remote desktops, Office 365 for Education, and Office Web Apps from any device.

"We want our students to use the same tools that professionals do on a daily basis," said Dave Williamson, chief information officer at APS, in a prepared statement. "With this anytime, anywhere access to Windows 8 and Office 365 Education, we know that when they go to enter college or the job market they will be ahead of the curve with this knowledge of the latest technology available."

The Fresno Unified School District, California's fourth largest, has decided to standardize on Windows 8 in an effort to prepare for Common Core alignment for curriculum and assessments. With 10,000 faculty and staff members and more than 73,000 students, the district will also leverage Windows 8 tablets and an Office 365 for Education deployment to improve collaboration as it moves toward one-to-one computing.

In an effort "to encourage reading engagement among students and increase the availability of curriculum resources," the San Antonio Independent School District will provide access to 22,000 Windows 8 tablets across 33 libraries, according to a Microsoft news release.

At North Dakota's Fargo Public Schools (FPS), a one-to-one computing initiative will put Windows 8-powered Dell Latitude 10 tablets into the hands of more than 3,000 students.

"Windows 8 provides the 'no compromises' experience everyone has been looking for," said FPS IT Director Bill Westrick, in a prepared statemnt. "It doesn't force us to choose between a device that you can only read from and that doesn't connect to a keyboard, or a device geared toward creating documents, presentations, and other projects. It's the best of both worlds: Teachers and students will be able to leverage existing curriculum and resources already used in the classroom."

In New York, the Tuckahoe Common School District, serving students in grades K-8, has deployed Surface Pro tablets, Windows 8, and Office 365 for Education in an effort to meet state requirements and prepare for PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments.

In an effort to cut costs, Tennessee's Jackson-Madison County School System will serve up to four students with a single Windows 8 desktop via Windows Multipoint Server. The district, which serves 13,000 students with 2,000 staff members, will also launch a one-to-one program this fall.

"We chose Windows 8 because we need much more than a consumption-only device for online assessments to help prepare students for success," said Chuck Jones, chief of technology at Jackson-Madison County School System, in a prepared statement. "On another operating system, the IT and app management of 1,200 separate devices for teachers would have been too overwhelming." 

Microsoft is holding 700 Windows in the Classroom seminars in the U.S. this school year. To register for a seminar, visit mie.ncce.org.

More information about Windows 8 is available at windows.microsoft.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].