TabletPC’s – Still Growing (Thanks Gateway)

Although TabletPC sales appear to be quiet Gateway keeps finding new customers. Lenovo recently released a new TabletPC but other than that things have been pretty quite.
Interestingly, Gateway is successfully pounding away in the education market and getting new customers.
Dakota State University of Madison, S.D. has joined the growing ranks of educational institutions that use Gateway tablet PCs to support innovative curriculum and interactive learning. The University’s recently implemented tablet program will eventually provide 2,400 students and faculty with a Gateway M275 convertible tablet PC. The deal is estimated at close to $4 million.
“Integrating technology into course curriculum is more than just investing in and rolling out the latest and greatest systems. Our tablet program develops teaching and learning strategies that translate into stronger student engagement and performance,” said David Zolnowsky, IT Director at Dakota State University. “After meeting with several vendors, it was clear Gateway’s expertise in this market was unmatched. Not only did we believe their product was the best available, but more importantly, we saw them as a long-term partner that could help us develop, maintain and evolve the program over time. Their understanding of the operational aspects required to institute this type of technology vision was key to our decision.”
Understanding that true technology integration is more than handing students and faculty PCs, Dakota State restructured more than 80 general education courses in Math, English, Science, Art, and Information Systems to be mobile-centric, ensuring the M275’s deep integration into all course curriculums. The school uses a course management system that allows students to download presentation materials, assignments and pre-class quizzes.
School officials have found the handwriting feature of the tablet PC has had the biggest impact on student engagement. “Rather than simply downloading materials and storing them on their tablets, students can take notes in real time directly onto course materials, which has resulted in a much more dynamic and interactive learning session,” said Zolnowsky. In addition, course materials which have been annotated in real time with teacher notes and comments based on classroom discussions can be downloaded after the lecture, providing a more meaningful presentation for students to study and learn from.
The Gateway M275 tablet PC has also changed the way students are submitting and receiving feedback on assignments. Using the Microsoft Office Suite or the Windows Journal, students can handwrite, draw diagrams or sketch out math calculations on the tablet PCs and submit them electronically. Teachers are able to grade assignments, record scores and return homework electronically as well. These electronic transactions have also reduced copying and paper costs and the amount of time spent in classing handing out and gathering assignments.
The versatile Gateway M275 tablet PC includes both a stylus for hand-writing and a full-sized keyboard for typing. Weighing less than five and a half pounds, it is as small as a 100-page spiral-bound notebook and fits easily into any backpack, giving students the lightweight benefits associated with simple paper and pen. Additionally, handwriting technology means teachers can now see and access students’ notes, allowing them to provide real time feedback during the course. The searchable database of handwritten notes in Windows Journal has also been well received by students and faculty alike.
Easy portability combined with wireless capabilities has released Dakota State’s students from wired classrooms, dorm rooms and libraries, allowing them to work and learn virtually anywhere.
“The evaluation period clearly showed student and faculty preference for a convertible style tablet PC. The larger screen size as well as laptop features and feel of the convertible tablet PC made the transition from laptop or desktop computing much easier. The keyboard size was also an important consideration as is the included optical drive which was a big hit, especially with the students,” said Zolnowsky.
“Dakota State University is implementing cutting-edge technology in a manner that positively impacts their students’ educational experiences,” said Jim Kaufold, vice president of education sales for Gateway. “We are proud to partner with an organization that shares our belief that technology used wisely can augment and elevate a quality educational program.”
The Gateway M275 offers traditional notebook features such as a full-sized keyboard, Intel® CentrinoTM technology(1), optional 768MB RAM, 40GB hard drive(2), four hours of battery life(3), CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, and integrated wireless combined with Tablet PC pen input technology that allows users to write directly on the screen the largest in the industry at 14.1 inches, providing a nice, bright viewing area and unparalleled ease-of-use. Leading the industry in providing top value for the money, pricing for the Gateway M275 starts at $1499.99.