One of the largest areas of growth we've seen for Surface over the past year has come from schools & universities purchasing Surface for their faculty, staff and students. And particularly, with Surface Pro 3, schools are finding the benefits of a highly mobile and intuitive touch tablet, combined with the power and productivity of a Windows laptop to be the ideal teaching device. Digital inking capabilities are also emerging as a critical component of any educational device replacing paper worksheets and textbooks. In fact, Robert Baker from Cincinnati Country Day School is one of the nation's foremost experts on digital inking in education, and he explains that a big reason why he chose the Surface Pro 3 for his school was because it was the first no-compromise device that had the best reading and writing experience, supported the creative learning process, and was versatile enough to get out of the way and let teachers teach they way they wanted.
As a result of the tremendous momentum we've seen in Education over the last year, we wanted to make Surface even more applicable as a 1:1 education device by providing a discount for education customers, embracing common core standards, designing the best hardware experience for Microsoft OneNote and supporting a great array of accessories required for the classroom:
10% Discount on Surface Pro 3 and Keyboard for Education
Today, the Surface Team is pleased to announce the Surface for Education Program which establishes special education pricing for Surface Pro 3 and Type Cover (keyboard) bundle. We are lauching the Surface for Education program starting today, October 1st in the US, Canada and the UK. This program includes the following products sold through our Authorized Device Resellers at a 10% discount for qualified Educational Institutions:
An "Educational Institution" is defined as an accredited institute organized and operated exclusively for the purpose of teaching its enrolled students. There is a minimum order quantity of 5, and please check with your local reseller for exact pricing.
Teaching and Testing: Surface Pro 3 is Common Core Compliant
One of the best parts of my job is hearing from teachers, and seeing how a piece of electronic hardware can actually open up whole new worlds of learning possibilities and inspire students to want to learn more, and inspire teachers to dream up fresh new innovative lessons and projects.
Nicole Sassaman, who has been teaching middle school for 14 years told me about balancing the need for Common Core type Education standards with the desire to engage students with creative curriculum, "We want everybody to know certain information by the time they're out of high school. And at the same time, we want them to be free thinkers. In a classroom with one-on-one Surfaces, you have a means for students to go out and explore their own information and create their own products – it just opens that door so much more to allow for personalization in the kids' education. You can still standardize the information and say this is what I need you to know, but how they get there is completely up to them."
And, we are very happy to say that Surface Pro 3 is also a Common Core compliant device, which means that schools in the United States can use Surface Pro 3 to administer PARCC and Smarter Balanced state assessments. AssistX, one of best Surface app providers, has also released TestPolicy, an app that helps simplify online testing. AssistX is providing all U.S. education institutions with a free subscription of TestPolicy for the 2014-2015 school year.
Surface ♥ OneNote in Classrooms
Speaking with Kelly Tomon who is a High School Physics Teacher, she mentioned how the pen and 2-in-1 laptop/tablet form factor of the Surface has helped modernize her teaching, "Prior to having a Surface Pro 3, I would have to work problems out on paper or the board during each class since traditional laptops could not accommodate the handwriting necessary in physics problems. Now during class, I can write on the Surface Pro 3, and OneNote allows me to show the students all of the steps involved in solving problems which my students can review from home as well. I have incorporated the Surface Pro, OneNote and OneDrive for Business into my teaching so much now that I simply cannot imagine teaching without these tools anymore!"
Teachers love OneNote for it's easy organization and ability to include a breadth of media and content, and students can use OneNote to easily take notes, draw or annotate with the Surface Pen, and also convert their handwriting to text or math equations.
Surface Pro 3 Accessories
As part of our commitment to education, we've been working with our Designed for Surface accessory partners to release new products that help protect, secure and store Surface Pro 3 in the classroom – such as Anthro's new charging cart, Urban Armor Gear's ruggedized case, and Incipio's modern take on the Trapper Keeper for Surface.
Surface is the latest Microsoft product family member to join the overall Microsoft in Education ranks of products which have special Education versions, pricing, or are free for schools including Windows, Office, Bing, Skype, Visual Studio, and IT Academy.
At Microsoft, we have long had a deep-seated commitment to Education instilled into the culture of the company starting with our founder, Bill Gates, who recognized that investment in improving Education and building skills of the next generation just makes good business sense: "Your leading indicator of where you're going to be 20 years from now is how well you're doing in your education system."