Reviewer: Dave Ehlers
Position: Director of Technology
District/School: Weston County School District #1, Newcastle, Wyoming
Number of Students in District/School: 790
Products: Fujitsu LIFEBOOK T730 tablet PC, SMART Boards, Cisco Access Points/Controller, and Microsoft Windows Virtual Server Solutions
We are moving into our 4th year with our 1:1 initiative in our grades 9-12. During an extensive process of comparing several types of laptops/tablets/slates for our students, it was determined that the Fujitsu LIFEBOOK T730 tablet PC was the best fit for our needs.
We included staff members, administration, students, parents and board members as part of the tech-choice process. We felt that even though the Slate/Ipad technology has some advantages (costs, ease of use, lower profile) it also has, in our opinion, significant disadvantages. It was pointed out that most of the features on the Slate/Ipad are applications that a consumer would use. We felt it important that we strive to mold solid student producers of materials/programs/and even Apps that others can use. Overall the product we chose received solid reviews from all our testers/evaluators. The LIFEBOOK T730 tablet PC featured solid construction, high display resolution, hard drive disk suspension, and optical drive flexibility for additional battery.
Since this is our second generation of tablets in our school district the Learning Curve is mush less than our initial deployment. Professional Development was offered and supplied by Fujitsu at no additional cost to our district. A 3-year accidental protection plan was purchased with the units, and qualified Fujitsu-trained technicians handle all support in-house. Fujitsu has offered to train additional technicians as needed.
How We Use It:
The Fujitsu LIFEBOOK T730 tablet is just a part of our overall technology deployment, for our students’ educational experience. Other devices include SMART Boards in every classroom, Cisco wireless access points with controller, and a Windows Virtual Server Solution that ensures a solid infrastructure. We pride ourselves on providing our students and staff with a consistent and reliable technology presence in each classroom. With full-time Help Desk technicians, classroom integrationist, and a focus on strong implementation we’ve created an environment for success in Weston County.
Deployment has begun. Our staff received their LIFEBOOK T730 tablet PC prior to leaving for the summer months to become comfortable with the new unit, and students will receive theirs in the fall. There will be Staff Professional Development follow-ups this fall as part of our district's Welcome Back to School Professional Development Days. The development topics will include hardware and software updates, classroom management software, as well as Internet and Network Securities.