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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Panasonic, Samsung Debut Devices For Connected Classrooms

On Sunday, Panasonic formally launched its "3E" hybrid tablet for education, the next spiritual descendant of the Intel Classmate PC. Samsung also announced updates to Samsung School, its fully integrated one-to-one learning solution.

The announcements were made at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2014 Conference in Atlanta.

Panasonic's vision for the connected classroom is based on its collaborative school products, such as wireless projectors, interactive displays, enhanced classroom audio and the new 3E ("Engage, Empower, Enable") 2-in-1 student device, and is underpinned by education software and a suite of professional development programs fo rteachers.

Panasonic collaborated with Intel and Microsoft to deliver the purpose-built mobile 2-in-1 convertible 3E device, which features a detachable keyboard and is compatible with classroom management software that permits teachers to gather information from students and connect with them individually, in groups and as a whole.

The 10-inch 3E tablet will be priced beginning at $499. It has a camera sensor that can be covered by an attachable magnifying lens, turning it into a microscope of sorts. A temperature sensor is also included.

Intel also showed off a nearly identical hybrid at a recent "future" event, offering a glimpse of future technologies such as its vision of a connected car and its RealSense cameras built into tablets and laptops. And Intel's latest reference design of its education PCs, the Education 2-in-1 looks virtually identical to the 3E tablet.

Behind the 10-inch 1366 x 768 LCD five-point touch display lies an 1.3-GHz Atom AZ3740D quad-core chip from Intel, 2GB of RAM, as well as either 32GB or 64GB of flash storage. The 3E is powered by the Windows 8.1 Pro operating system from Microsoft.

The 3E also offers a Micro HDMI, Micro SD, micro-SIM card, audio/microphone combo jack, USB 3.0 and power ports. It can last a full school day with a tablet battery life of eight hours, plus an optional keyboard with carrying handle that can extend the battery an additional three hours.

At the same event, Samsung announced updates to Samsung School, its integrated one-to-one learning solution, available now for school districts for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Samsung School combines Samsung Galaxy tablets, large-format classroom displays and other technology, melded together with interactive management software to create a student-centric learning environment. The latest version (Samsung School v1.5.6) will be compatible with the new Galaxy Tab 4 Education – Samsung’s first tablet specifically designed to support one-to-one learning and providing support for Google Play for Education.

The new Samsung School allows teachers to create a customized Lesson Toolbar providing the ability to instantly launch an app on all student devices, send a resource or URL, or initiate a group activity. With the newly designed user interface, teachers can also create advanced quizzes that allow students to answer with images, sketches and other multimedia.

Samsung School is available in several packages and configurations. With the latest version of Samsung School, districts can build their system with or without a school server. With "class mode," course material and student information can be managed using a teacher’s PC or tablet within the classroom, while "school mode" uses a central server and can be used to share materials with teachers and students in other classes.

In addition, Samsung today announced plans to make an EDU SDK (Software Developers Kit) available to partners and developers that will enable them to integrate Samsung School’s in-class features and device management capabilities into their own applications for Samsung Galaxy tablets. The Samsung EDU SDK will be available globally this fall.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Education integrates with Google Play for Education to provide access to curated educational content. With a web-based console, IT administrators can manage and update the fleet of devices, freeing up resources for technology training and development.

The Samsung Chromebook 2 offers extensive battery life, bright display and a student-friendly design. It is available in 11.6" and 13.3" models.

Samsung’s interactive whiteboards solution, powered by the MagicIWB 3.0 management software, enable schools to combine multiple displays for collaboration.

CTL and M&A Technology also announced education-specific Chromebooks based on Intel reference designs at the ISTE 2014 conference.

The CTL Education Chromebook and M&A Education Chromebook are lightweight, easy to use, and can withstand daily student use. The both feature a rugged, easy-carry handle; rotatable camera; optional snap-on lens for science exploration; and non-slip texture.

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