Enterprise giants swoon over education: Who will revamp the classroom?

School's out, which means the courtship of educational institutions is in. Tech giants — Samsung, Microsoft, Dell, HP and others — are all chasing deals to transform education.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor
edu chase
Enterprise giants have begun the annual chase for education dollars. Credit: Samsung

School is out and that means that announcing information technology deals with educational institutions is in for the year ahead.

With the International Society for Technology in Education Conference kicking off in Atlanta, enterprise players were busy announcing contracts won. Some of the big themes were Chromebooks, integrated hardware stacks and tablets.

Among the moving parts:

  • Microsoft touted a Windows 8 win with the Pasadena Independent School District (ISD) in Texas to deploy 12,900 Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablets with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft used the win to tout how Windows 8 was helping transform education. Microsoft also had wins in Baltimore County Public School, Cincinnati, Chester County, SC, West Virginia and other locals.
  • Hewlett-Packard touted wins in Baltimore County Public Schools to deploy 120,000 PCs to students and teachers. The PCs were Windows-based.
  • But the wins weren't all Windows. Chromebooks made headway as Dell said it will deploy 32,000 Chromebook 11 laptops to Chesterfield County Public Schools among other wins. Dell said it is going after "curriculum as a service" to share, collaborate and leverage lesson plans.
  • Samsung touted its latest version of Samsung School, which integrates the platform with Galaxy Tab, Google Play for Education and the company's larger screens ranging from Chromebooks to interactive whiteboards to printers and wireless products. Samsung is going after an integrated stack that allows for easier management.
  • Panasonic also outlined its own stack, which includes projectors, interactive displays, audio and a new 2-in-1 student device dubbed 3E with educational software bundled.
  • Intel launched a series of reference designs and Chromebook wins. The Panasonic 3E tablet, which was previously mentioned, is the first Intel reference design in the education market.
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt outlined the HMH Player, which is an app that delivers content to teachers and students via iPads and Google Chrome.
  • Speaking of iPads, Apple also updated iTunes U to allow for editing and creation of courses on the iPad. Collaboration tools for discussion and questions from the iPad were also added. The iPad has more than 75,000 educational apps as well as 7,500 public and private courses available.

Add it up and it's clear that education funding may be flattish to up a bit, but still represents a big chunk of sales opportunities for IT giants.

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