Technology is becoming more integrated into the classroom, though often that technology isn’t used in a meaningful way. Throwing lessons into a Powerpoint, reading slide by slide with cheesy animations and clipart, contributes nothing to lesson plans; in fact, all attention is usually lost. Basically, technology has driven those curricula, but it’s better if the curriculum drove the technology. Now, a new Android-powered tablet is on the market from Brainchild, a company that specializes in hand-held learning devices for students.
Educators will be able to provide students a cheap tablet to learn from: the Kineo Tablet. The Kineo is a small 7-inch touchscreen tablet targeted directly for student’s use. The specs aren’t amazing, so don’t expect HD video, but it doesn’t need to be a full-fledged tablet, it only needs to make sense. Some of the key features that make the Kineo special are its reliability, security and connectivity. The security software allows students to access websites that are approved by the teacher — so don’t expect it to do Facebook.
The idea with Kineo is that it tries to capture a student’s attention in the way a computer would. The tablets will connect to Brainchild’s Achiever! web-based assessment and standards-based instruction program.
Achiever! evaluates performance and then delivers tutorials and retests students to determine progress on state standards in mathematics, language arts and science.
After the students use Achiever! all the results get synchronized with GlobalSYNC, making it easy for teachers to manage, all via the web. Future plans include an app store for developers to submit their Android -based code for use on the Kineo. The question will be whether these standard services can actually integrate with existing lesson plans — and of course, whether schools can afford to buy tablets by the hundred.
Price is $299 with shipping in March. Pre-orders start today.
- 7-inch 800 X 480 touchscreen
- 800 MHz dual core processor
- 256 MB memory
- 2GB storage
- 4500mAh battery good for 10-12 hours use
- Android 2.1