Microsoft Shapes the Future of US Students

Shape the Future Provides US Schools Access to Special Pricing on Windows & Intel-based Devices

Back in November 2013, I came home to find my monthly issue of Wired waiting for me. The cover featured a young girl in a school uniform with “The Next Steve Jobs” in big bold text. The article told an amazing story about a teacher who introduced new classroom methods to his students in an impoverished city in Mexico. Those methods resulted in unprecedented national test scores for the school.

In true Wired fashion, the article covered additional topics including research that questioned current curriculum learning standards in place, and schools/individuals around the world who are conducting research on how children learn, grow, and develop. Of all the topics covered, what I related to the most was the mention of Sugata Mitra’s tests, in which he provided children in India with access to a laptop connected to the Internet and watched as they developed intellectually in a short period of time.

A laptop with Internet access has the power to unleash the potential of individuals young and old. But technology costs money. For some schools, even in first world countries, budgets limit the access to that technology. Thankfully, Microsoft is doing all it can to provide students with the latest Intel-based laptop and desktop devices.

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How Choosing My Own Device Changed the Way I Work (and Play)

How Choosing My Own Device Changed the Way I Work (and Play)

My technology life has gotten pretty cluttered. Two laptops for work due to refresh issues, a tablet and personal PC at home, and an Android smartphone connected to me at all times.  Each has its strengths and drawbacks but none are the perfect fit – the smartphone is probably the closest but still could be better at creating content and using my business related applications.

Faced with this ever growing IT closet worth of devices, I had mixed feelings about being a participant in the Softchoice Choose Your Own Device pilot – did I really have room for more hardware?  Luckily I was given a pretty wide selection of devices from Dell, HP, and Lenovo and it was up to me to pick the one that I would be the most comfortable using.

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4 Steps to Choosing the Right Devices for CYOD

4 Steps to Choosing the Right Devices for CYOD

When we started planning our CYOD pilot, we faced two critical success factors right out of the gate. We needed to ensure participants could pick a device that would excite and inspire them, AND leverage our IT department’s expertise in providing technology that will perform admirably (and reliably) within our environment.

What Softchoice chose for CYOD

“We chose HP, Lenovo and Dell for our CYOD pilot — offering a subset of three to five devices per vendor,” said Ron Haslett, Senior Manager of eCommerce at Softchoice and a participant in the CYOD pilot program. “These vendors have a wide range of offerings with Windows 8, as well as global availability and warranty structures.”

Choosing the right line-up of devices for our CYOD pilot required some input from our own internal experts. Here are 4 considerations we would recommend you have in mind when building out the list of devices included in a CYOD program.

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