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California District Deploys 15,000 Windows Devices To Meet Common Core Assesment Requirements

California's Fresno Unified School District is deploying 15,000 Windows 8.1 devices to students in grades 3-8 and 11, in part to prepare for Common Core assessment requirements set by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Using $7 million provided buy the state, Fresno chose to adopt Asus Transformer T100s to meet those requirements, among other reasons.

"We looked at the Chromebook, Android tablets and the iPad, but ultimately, due to security, management, cost and Common Core requirements, we felt a Windows 8.1 device would better meet our needs across the board," said Kurt Madden, CTO at Fresno USD, according to a Microsoft blog entry.

The school already uses Windows on the backend and provides students with Office 365 Education and up to five copies of OfficePro.

"We manage all devices on our domain with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager. If we went with something like Chromebooks, we could have spent less on the device itself, but would have accrued additional costs and fees for device management that would end up costing us about the same, if not more, than our choice to go with Windows 8.1 devices," added Madden.

Features of the Asus Transformer T100 include:

  • A detachable keyboard, allowing the device to be used as a tablet or laptop;
  • A quad core Intel Atom processor;
  • Two GB of memory; and
  • A 10.1-inch multi-touch HD screen.

With more than 73,000 students, Fresno USD is California's fourth-largest district. More information is available at

About the Author

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