Microsoft: 100,000 Windows 8 devices to be used by Miami's public school system

Microsoft has signed up a huge new education-based customer that plans to order and use a ton of Windows 8 devices. In a post on the company's official blog, Microsoft announced that Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest public school system in the US, will offer 100,000 Windows 8 devices to students and staff members by August 2015.

The blog states that the roll out will begin this spring when 13,000 of the school systems elementary school students will get laptops, and 15,000 7th grade civics students and 9th grade world history students will be able to use Windows 8 devices. The blog did not state the specific hardware products the students will be using.

Margo Day, the vice president for Microsoft's U.S. Education division, stated:

We believe that choice in devices is critical and we support the variety of our hardware partners with their diverse Windows 8 offerings. It may be that 4th graders will benefit from a more ruggedized laptop, whereas Middle- and High schoolers need the flexibility of tablet devices. Yet even with a diversity of devices, all students will have the consistent, secure, privacy-respecting experience of one platform.

The announcement comes just a few days after Microsoft said it will join with President Barack Obama's ConnectED program, which aims to offer 99 percent of U.S. students access to broadband Internet within the next four years. Microsoft said it will offer Windows 8 devices from a variety of OEMs to schools at much lower prices as part of its ConnectED participation, along with 12 million free copies of Office for students.

Source : Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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What because they are given the most capable device that could educate them and set them up to find employment after school?

Why are you glad? I'm fine with your overall happiness but is it just the fact they choose Microsoft over Apple or Google? I don't understand people who have brand loyalty. Like you owe something to Microsoft. There's good tech coming from Apple, Google and Microsoft. Enjoy all three.

Maybe because they will be given computer on which they can do proper work. Office for Word and Excel which are industry standards and could help them find employment. Visual Studio to learn how to program. Photoshop & the other standard desktop applications used in many industries that are invaluable skills to have to find work after school. Etc, etc. As opposed to giving them a Android tablet or iPad on which they could watch some movies and play games....

jusD said,
Glad they chose Windows over iPad and/or Chromebook !

Guess you've already forgotten about that DISASTER rollout of Windows 8 HP tablets to schools in Ireland that the director later turned around and admitted was a mistake and that they should've gone with iPad's...

I know the comment wasn't aimed at me, but I'd never heard about that. Google'd it and it's true. But sounds like it was a problem with the HP Elitebook, not Windows 8. Probably by now HP have resolved the issues that faced a small number of machines. Nobody ever said they should have gone with iPads instead, because they wanted those machines to both replace books and to use for working on. Indeed if they were just wanting them to replace books they should have saved hundreds and gotten Kindles; or at worst cheap Android tablets. I think any school that forces it's students to buy iPad's is highly irresponsible. They are great devices, but they are not the most cost effective solution for education in most cases.

"The blog states that the roll out will begin this spring when 13,000 of the school systems elementary school students will get laptops"

Let's hope IT does their job to secure these laptops. First thing these students will do is download a start menu program from any and everywhere.

JHBrown said,
"The blog states that the roll out will begin this spring when 13,000 of the school systems elementary school students will get laptops"

Let's hope IT does their job to secure these laptops. First thing these students will do is download a start menu program from any and everywhere.

.

Right...

Children don't have x decades worth of experience using the Desktop, they're far more likely to embrace the Start Screen/Windows Store apps, especially so if these devices have touch screens.

virtorio said,
Children don't have x decades worth of experience using the Desktop, they're far more likely to embrace the Start Screen/Windows Store apps, especially so if these devices have touch screens.
Funny you mentioned that. My main system runs Windows 7. My 6 year old daughter has a 13 inch Dell Laptop with Windows 8, touch screen. She asked me over her Christmas break if I could make her laptop like mine, "without the squares". LOL! Kids are quite honest and they know what they want. I upgraded her laptop to 8.1 a couple weeks ago and I enabled the option to boot to desktop. She hasn't bugged me since. There is nothing in the Microsoft Store that appeals to her except the paint program. For Apps she uses my old iPhone 4S or her iPad.

Since we're mentioning anecdotes... The kids here simply love the iPad and have similarly taken to the Surface's touch screen and large tiles like fish to water. They seem to be especially fascinated with the horizontal scrolling and love the animated tiles whizzing by with a flick. Kids. They get really disappointed now when they touch the screens of our old school laptops and desktops and nothing happens. I think by the time they grow up most interfaces will be touch or gesture based and traditional typing and clicking will be needed only on rare occasions by average users.

Romero said,
Since we're mentioning anecdotes... The kids here simply love the iPad and have similarly taken to the Surface's touch screen and large tiles like fish to water. They seem to be especially fascinated with the horizontal scrolling and love the animated tiles whizzing by with a flick. Kids. They get really disappointed now when they touch the screens of our old school laptops and desktops and nothing happens. I think by the time they grow up most interfaces will be touch or gesture based and traditional typing and clicking will be needed only on rare occasions by average users.

But, but, think of the Photoshops.

/s

virtorio said,
Children don't have x decades worth of experience using the Desktop, they're far more likely to embrace the Start Screen/Windows Store apps, especially so if these devices have touch screens.

Head's up, no they don't... There's a reason why at most university's you see FAR more OS X and iOS devices these days...

Dot Matrix said,

But, but, think of the Photoshops.

/s

Heh, but that's why I used the word "average" deliberately. Also, while many make impassioned claims about how nothing can ever supplant typing and clicking, let's not forget what a huge revolution the mouse was and how it changed the face of computing. Who's to say that in future many things we assume now can only be achieved with the KB and mouse will instead be done much more efficiently in other ways? For all we know the Jetsons will point to our quaint input devices and UI paradigms in museums and laugh at them.

Romero said,
Heh, but that's why I used the word "average" deliberately. Also, while many make impassioned claims about how nothing can ever supplant typing and clicking, let's not forget what a huge revolution the mouse was and how it changed the face of computing. Who's to say that in future many things we assume now can only be achieved with the KB and mouse will instead be done much more efficiently in other ways? For all we know the Jetsons will point to our quaint input devices and UI paradigms in museums and laugh at them.

Personally, people yell at this as "dumbing down" of computing, but I believe that this is where computing is going, and it's much needed. Things will be simpler, only because complexity causes problems. Nobody wants that. The rule of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) will be a bigger player as time moves on.

Metro is a very big part of that philosophy.

Dot Matrix said,
Metro is a very big part of that philosophy.
It's a start, sure, but not the final word and I'm positive HCI researchers elsewhere (and even within MS) are working on other possibly better ways. But I agree, it is absolutely needed. A lot of us who are tech experts have a blind spot and fail to recognize how complicated so many find technology to be, no matter how ubiquitous it is and how obvious it seems to us. Sure, people get used to things over time and even become reasonably competent, but there's a whole world of opportunity for those looking to simplify things. Also simplification doesn't automatically mean dumbing down. If you can do the exact same work in an easier and quicker manner, how can the new process be called dumbed down and why wouldn't you prefer it? Who among us doesn't want more free time to spend with our families or on our hobbies or out in the world instead of being tied to a keyboard all the time?

TsarNikky said,
Windows-8 is still focusing on content consumption.

There's more to Windows 8 than just the new start screen environment. Hell, I'm an engineer and I have 8 on my work computer. I get a lot of stuff done and 8 does not slow me down at all.

VictorWho said,
I got news for all those who live in Miami!

YOU'RE TAXES JUST WENT UP!

If the taxes go toward education. that'll be excellent. I hope the next generation can tell the difference between "you're" (you are) and "your".

VictorWho said,
I got news for all those who live in Miami!

YOU'RE TAXES JUST WENT UP!

They already are high, thanks....

First we do Not have STATE Taxes. Second our Local Taxes are designed to effect you TOURIST.

I have a Meeting on this next Friday. For Starters they are giving me 200 RTs Devices. I was the first school in our area to implement Windows 8.

The Kids love it, the Teachers love it. Have 20 of our 120 teacher already purchasing Surface Pros for their homes.

Complain all you want about Windows 8, this that have really used it, Love it.

For your information I have lived in Florida since 1994... and I am wondering how the, raising, taxes I pay on my house are related to tourists.
As for your anecdotal references about W8... well they are exactly that.
As for Florida schools I hope that they reintroduce teaching handwriting to children, when my daughter was in first and second grade it was not and I had to do it.

I pay less Taxes here then when I lived in, CA, CO, and WI.

As for Handwriting WHY? a 1st grader today will have almost no need.

anecdotal? Nope, I am giving Fact from My Experiences.

Be Nice if parents reintroduced teaching their children something. The difference between the successful schools and those that are not is.... Parent involvement. No seriously that's a Fact.

MikadoWu said,
I pay less Taxes here then when I lived in, CA, CO, and WI.

As for Handwriting WHY? a 1st grader today will have almost no need.

anecdotal? Nope, I am giving Fact from My Experiences.

Be Nice if parents reintroduced teaching their children something. The difference between the successful schools and those that are not is.... Parent involvement. No seriously that's a Fact.

And I pay less taxes in Fl than I paid in Manhattan, still since 1994 my taxes have significantly increased without any direct benefit.

I use handwriting all the time, actually since I bought my first Tablet, in 2002, I use it even more because my devices recognize it and, if needed, turn it into block letters.

Why teaching it? Among other reasons because it tremendously help brain and cognitive development.

Dot Matrix said,

It is a mixed picture: after playing with my Tablet, I have a Convertible one, my daughter, 11 years old, decided to replace her iPad, I am not BG and she can use whatever she likes :-), with a Slate Tablet.
I bought her a Surface Pro and she likes very much the Start Screen. Interestingly though she mainly use the desktop version of OneNote and only occasionally the Metro one.

We Teach our student OneNote use the Metro version first. It is easier to learn. After that, We introduce the Desktop version. The Desktop version is SO much more powerful. Handwriting recognition, printing, PDF Import and so much more.