I am very excited to share the news that the State of Maine has selected the HP ProBook 4440 running Windows 8 as the learning device of choice for all 7th and 8th grade middle school students. This is a watershed moment as Maine has the only statewide-led 1:1 computing program for schools in the United States. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative has been an education benchmark since they began the program in 2001. Ninety-five percent of global businesses use Microsoft Windows for delivering innovation to their customers. We applaud Governor Paul LePage’s determination to ensure Maine’s students are prepared for college and careers and have the relevant technology skills that employers are demanding.
“It is important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is the lowest-priced proposal, and the laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine. These laptops will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their learning and give them experience on the same technology and software they will see in their future careers.”
While the State of Maine has announced HP as the preferred contractor, this is much more than a device contract; it is a classroom computing solution that puts as much emphasis on the quality of professional development and teaching practices as it does on the individual device. Microsoft is providing a substantial investment as part of our Partners in Learning program to provide opportunities for Maine educators to learn from industry and academic leaders in the area of integrating Microsoft technologies into classroom instruction. We will be offering dozens of Microsoft Innovative Educator training programs and Windows in the Classroom events among other assets to help with professional development, as well as assist schools convert data and content.
It’s a very exciting time in education, especially in K-12 as the Common Core State Standards Initiative goes into full implementation to prepare America’s students for college and careers. Windows 8 is helping schools modernize learning by supporting the new education standards, online assessments and the move to digital learning by providing a powerful platform where content can be easily consumed and created, and a connection to the cloud where collaboration opportunities can be reimagined. Microsoft’s share of the tablet market has quadrupled since Windows 8 released, and schools across the US are among the early adopters.
Windows 8 is helping school leaders reimagine and transform learning experiences by providing teachers and students with a beautiful, modern way to consume content, and allows them the freedom to create, collaborate, produce and share across a range of devices, with flexibility for touch, pen, mouse and keyboard inputs. It also saves schools time and money, reducing IT and ongoing maintenance costs and providing enterprise-ready security, reliability and management fundamentals. Computers and tablets running Windows 8 will ensure students taking the new online standardized tests will not be disadvantaged by a device that doesn’t allow them to easily answer essay and long answer questions, and meets assessment consortia requirements of a physical keyboard.
Students need fully functional PCs to perform their best, and Windows is the only “no compromises” technology solution on the market that meets the needs of students and teachers and the IT department. Windows PCs, laptops and tablets are secure, run 4 million powerful software and legacy applications and are compatible with more than 450 million devices, allow multiple user login, long battery life, and work within tight budget requirements for procurement, deployment and management of devices. There are no hidden costs for security, updates and management that come with other competitive offerings like the iPad.
I believe Windows 8 will bring learning to life for the students of Maine and inspire them to realize new opportunities to pursue education, employment and entrepreneurship. With access to industry relevant tools and applications businesses use today, it will make learning immediately engaging and fun.
If you want to learn more about the HP solution Maine is using as a Common Core state, please join our Tech & Learning webinar later today at 4:00 p.m. EST to hear how Windows 8 can help address curriculum and technology needs districts have as they move to online assessments.