One of the most ubiquitous back-to-school necessities is the book bag. For years, the typical student book bag has weighed in at about 20 pounds, filled with textbooks that are obsolete as soon as they're published. If you ask many teachers and students today, book bags are getting lighter all the time, thanks to the adoption of online curriculum, education apps, and tablets like the Microsoft Surface.
In preparation for back-to-school this year, many schools — such as University Prep in Washington State — have adopted a bring your own device (BYOD) program to become 1:1 schools and have compiled a list of approved devices list for incoming students.
University Prep requires both laptop and tablet functionality for their students, making the Surface Pro 3 a great 2-in-1 device, and saving parents from having to buy both a laptop and a tablet for their child.
At Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts — home to 80 middle school students and 450 upper school students representing 27 U.S. states and 27 countries — everyone uses a Surface Pro, even the faculty. "Having faculty and students on the same platform is absolutely critical," says Robert Hill, Headmaster at Williston Northampton.
See more on how Williston Northampton is empowering students and educators with 1:1 learning with Microsoft Surface:
"I think one of the great benefits in what we're seeing is not that students are becoming more like teachers, but that teachers are becoming more like students, so that they are being flexible and creative in their thinking. They're willing to take risks," adds Hill.
At St. Mary's College in Northern Ireland, an all-girls specialist school for science and a Microsoft IT Academy, Microsoft Surface was a perfect fit with the school's focus. "The skills the girls were getting in the STEM area complemented the Microsoft IT skill set very nicely," says Marie Lindsay, Principal at St. Mary's College. "The Microsoft Surfaces are showing us as educators what is achievable. I think that they are influencing our pedagogy and our school development planning will change dramatically."
"We have tried and tested different products from different vendors, [but] we settled quite quickly on the Microsoft Surface device," says Paul Wade, ICT Support Manager at St. Mary's College. "The key issues for us were the ease of use, the fact that they are so intuitive, the fact that they are so user friendly and really the fact that the pupils and the staff using them don't need that much support and don't need that much training."
So, instead of trudging to school uphill both ways in the snow with a 20-pound backpack, kids these days are "enlightened students" – reading, writing, and creating all on one innovative, lightweight computing device like Microsoft Surface.