The selection of tablets in education has been narrow, especially for teachers that want support after the hardware is on their doorstep. Sony figures that it can widen the field through its K-12 Education Initiative. The effort gives schools a discount on the Xperia Tablet S, but that's just the start: they have access to Education Ambassador, an online resource for incorporating Android tablets into the classroom, as well as 50GB of free Box storage and a year's worth of Kaspersky security services. Sony is already taking orders for schools waiting to hop onboard; if they're willing to try a company that's relatively untested in education, they may get a better deal than they expect.
Sony Electronics Launches K-12 Initiative, a Tablet Education Program
The Initiative Provides Educators with Devices for Purchase, Expert Advice and Help with Classroom Device Management
SAN DIEGO, CA – February 4, 2013 – Sony has announced a new K-12 Education Initiative which focuses on helping schools easily integrate devices into the classroom, allowing teachers and administrators to better harness the power of tablet and mobile technologies for education. The program not only includes access to tablets and other devices at special pricing, but also provides schools with additional services and support needed for long-term success. The 360-degree solution includes support such as a real-time, online community where resources are continuously updated by a network of distinguished educators, software to manage and protect devices and information, user training and tailored programs for districts and schools.
The Sony® Xperia™ Tablet S, the flagship device in the program, is uniquely positioned for the classroom curriculum, with features such as:
· Android™ 4.0 (upgradeable to Android™ 4.1)
· 9.4" high-definition screen
· Compatible with existing PC and software solutions
· Guest Mode allows teachers to restrict or grant access to specific apps
· Full-sized SD card slot for expandable memory or easy file transfer
· Extended service and accidental damage plans available
In addition to access to special tablet pricing, educators can also utilize the Sony Education Ambassador (SEA) community, a free online destination that provides solutions for educators looking to implement technology in the classroom and fosters dialogue about how technology can enhance student learning. A group of distinguished teachers, IT managers and specialists across the U.S. have been tapped to be Sony Education Ambassadors. They have been equipped with Sony devices and have been trained on how to best use these devices in the classroom. Using their expanding online influence, the SEAs will educate and provide resources to other educators using the online community and their social networks. Resources range from instructional videos to lesson plans that align with a wide array of instructions, including Common Core State Standards.
"This program is focused on providing teachers with the right education and resources so they can get the most out of technology in the classroom. All the resources are created for teachers, by teachers," said Jamie Marsh, senior product manager for Sony Tablet. "The online database draws upon the expertise and knowledge of a community to provide ideas and solutions suited to individual teachers' needs."
Additionally, the Sony Education Program offers educators security and content management options. Xperia Tablet S devices include a 1 year subscription to Kaspersky Tablet Security. This software helps protect the devices against viruses, Internet threats, spyware and spam. Kaspersky's anti-theft software also helps users to remotely protect their mobile content should the devices be lost or stolen.
Educators can also centrally manage mobile devices and deploy apps and content that they choose to fit the class curriculum. Additionally, educators using Xperia tablets receive 50 GB of - cloud storage with Box.com.
"As an educator, Sony's K-12 Initiative was particularly compelling to me because it looks beyond just providing schools with devices," said Tim Wilhelmus, a Sony Education Ambassador and an innovation, curriculum and technology specialist at Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. "One of the biggest issues schools face isn't bringing technology into the classroom, it's what to do with that technology once it gets there. The Sony Education Solution addresses that challenge by providing educators with a number of valuable services and support options."
The Sony K-12 Initiative is now accepting inquiries and orders from schools and educators. For more information, to submit inquiries or to access education resources, please visit www.educationambassador.com. Sony will also be at TCEA at booth #2155.