Exploring the Microsoft Surface

Today I was presented with a very swish box containing a new Microsoft Surface with Windows RT.  (Yes, I was just a little excited about this!)  I’ve been asked to test it over the next few months in terms of the following:

  • Hardware:  What is the Microsoft Surface like as a device?  Would it be a suitable candidate for our 1:1 student laptop program?
  • Operating System:  Exploring the Windows 8 elements of Windows RT to see how we can make the most of this Operating System in an education environment
  • Windows 8 Apps:  Test ready made Windows 8 Apps available in the Apps Store and explore ways to create our own apps

To date, I’ve had fairly limited experience with the Windows 8 Operating System, having a brief “play” with it on a couple of the devices that we have in our ICT Department.  In terms of tablet technology, our Staff Laptop Program has been providing Tablet PCs for more than seven years.  This year, we also conducted a small trial of Windows Tablets with one of our Junior School groups.  You can click here to learn more about this trial.

We have been exploring tablet devices for the past few years at our school.  Unfortunately, the Apple iPad was problematic, particularly when we tried to connect it to our school network.  Also, we weren’t looking for a device that would only give us access to apps and some websites – we were after the “whole package”.  We needed a device that could offer access to our favourite software and educational apps, a browser to enable us to access any kind of website or web 2.0 tool together with hardware that had different options to cater for today’s digital learner.

I’m really looking forward to documenting my explorations with the Microsoft Surface.  All of the posts can be accessed via the Windows Tablets page on the main menu of this blog.