Samsung announced the general availability of its new Galaxy Tab 4 Education today. The move marks the software and hardware giant's most recent push into the tablet education market. The new 10.1-inch tablet is designed and marketed specifically for K-12 users in order to drive interactive learning in the classroom and give teachers and administrators control over student devices through integration with the Google Play for Education ecosystem. The tablet is the company’s most recent addition to its education lineup, which also includes Google Chromebooks.
“The more that we can provide a full portfolio of products to schools really focusing on making sure that we’ve got the right device going to the right students to drive the right outcomes, that’s really the way to provide a full solution to our K-12 customers,” said Jennifer Langan, Samsung’s director of product marketing for mobile computing in an interview with The VAR Guy.
Samsung is pitching the tablet for the 1:1 education market, which the company defines as one device per student rather than a rolling cart of computers that multiple students must share.
The Galaxy Tab 4 Education is essentially modified version of the existing Galaxy Tab 4 10.1-inch that is currently on the market. The education version of the tablet sports Corning Gorilla Glass and an included silicon case to protect the devices against the inevitable abuse that comes when students drop their tablet or put it in their backpacks. The Galaxy Tab 4 Education comes equipped with a 16GB hard drive with an expandable MicroSD memory slot and will allow students to simultaneously view two apps side by side using Samsung’s MultiWindow feature.
Each Galaxy 4 Education tablet has been designed to be a part of the existing Google Play for Education ecosystem, meaning that students will only be able to utilize educational apps that are specifically curated for learning purposes. Once the devices are set up according to the school administrator’s specific settings, a web-based console can be used to automatically download all content from the teacher’s master device to the student tablets.
The company also plans on adding an update to its Samsung School management solutions program this June to allow teachers to monitor activity on their students’ tablets, remotely turn off devices when needed, and to share student screens on a larger display. The tablets are available now for $369.99 each through Samsung distribution and channel partners, and will not be available outside of the education market.
“One of the most intimating things for a teacher, particularly as they are first bringing technology into the classroom is staring at the back of the tablets and not knowing what is [happening] on the other side,” said Langan. “The teacher is very interested in knowing that the technology is facilitating the learning process and not being a distraction to it.”
With the introduction of its new tablets, Samsung is making a big push to expand the level of interactive learning available to students in the K-12 market. It remains to be seen whether many schools will have the budget to afford purchasing dozens of tablets at a time, but the new device is certainly a step in the right direction as we approach a future in which a majority of learning will inevitably be done through portable devices.