CTL® has been a longtime ally to educators since the introduction of our first line of 2go® Classmate PCs over five years ago. CTL®’s 2go®PC netbooks and convertible tablets were designed specifically for education and are based on an Intel® reference design that incorporates years of ethnographic research into K-12 computer use. As a result, they have a variety of differentiating features such as:
- Rugged Chromebook design with rounded corners, carrying handle and the ability to withstand a 50cm+ drop test
- Spill resistant screen and keyboard
- Anti-microbial keyboard
- Can be pre-loaded with educational software
The new CTL® 2go® Convertible Classmate NL4 PC is a netbook and tablet in one with a screen that swivels to lay flat in tablet mode or opens to be used as a netbook with keyboard. With its ruggedized design, Intel® Celeron Processor and 5-point capacitive touch, this ultra-mobile device is high powered enough for professional use by doctors, nurses, EMT crews, law enforcement and military personnel.
The NL4’s high resolution HD webcam makes it easy to participate in a video conference or connect with students in other parts of the world. The webcam swivels independent of the screen, so whether you’re in front of the computer or across the room, you’re ready to communicate. Built-in WiFi makes getting online hassle-free.
But these great features have already been available in our 2go® Convertible Classmate NL3. What’s really exciting is that the NL4 will have a more powerful Intel® Celeron processor, which can help it get up to 7 hours of battery life (based on manufacturing specs and subject to change based on operating conditions). Designed to work with Windows 8, the NL4 features a newly upgraded 5-point capacitive touch screen. However, it can just as easily support Windows 7.
The release of the NL4 is part of a larger effort for CTL®’s increased involvement in the education community. This year, CTL® was chosen along with Apple and HP as a vendor for the Maine 1:1 MultiState Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) contract. The contract is made up of several states that have decided to implement 1:1 e-Learning solutions in their public schools.
1:1 e-Learning, which implements the use of individual laptops or tablets for students and teachers, has been a growing trend for the K-12 education sector. The State of Maine has pioneered this effort, with the longest-running large-scale 1:1 e-Learning initiative in the U.S. Originally called the Maine Learning Technology Initiative; it was introduced in 2002 by then Governor Angus King. King, along with other proponents of the initiative, sought to equalize learning opportunities for students of varied socioeconomic backgrounds by giving them access to informational technology. The program began by equipping all seventh and eighth grade students with a laptop and in 2009; the state announced it would extend its initiative to make laptops available to some high school students.
This year’s MLTI Request for Proposals was groundbreaking in several areas. Apple Computers had been the sole vendor up until this point, however, this year the State of Maine opened the bidding to other companies. CTL® was chosen along with Apple and HP out of a field of five competing companies. In addition, this is the first year that Maine has joined forces with the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) to enable other states to participate. Because NASPO provides a legal framework for a cooperative purchasing agreement, any of the 50 U.S. states can purchase through the MLTI contract. Currently Hawaii and Vermont have joined on, with several other states including Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma and South Carolina expressing interest to participate in the future.
Hardware is only one component of the 1:1 e-Learning solution offered by CTL®. Professional development is a large part of the support and services to be provided, which will include educational software, client management, support and wireless solutions.
CTL® recently contracted Emily Stukel, an educator and Intel®-Certified trainer as their Education Specialist to provide professional development for Portland area schools. A middle and high school endorsed educator in language arts, social studies, physical education and health education, Emily teaches online through Insight School of Oregon Charter Option part time in addition to contracting with CTL®. Emily is a teacher who also understands the educational applications of computers in the classroom and she’ll be providing free day-long seminars to Portland-area teachers.
The free workshops for teachers will focus on the educational software from Intel® Learning Series and Intel® Teach as well as Microsoft® Partners in Learning and will demonstrate how to personalize this software for each classroom. These hands-on trainings allow educators to explore the software stacks available such as Intel®’s Classroom Management, which provides the teacher tools to organize lessons, administer assessments, and control student activity.
“What’s exciting to me is putting a device in the hands of each and every student,” says Stukel. “When the State of Maine first implemented 1:1 e-learning in their public schools, it was called ‘the great equalizer,’ meaning it can eliminate socio-economic barriers to technology. CTL® is very progressively forward thinking to be doing the work they are with schools.”
There are dozens of educational software titles available through CTL® for the NL4. A few others Stukel is particularly excited about include Office 365’s One Note Digital Notebook and ArtRage. With One Note, the paperwork for the classroom such as homework assignments can be stored in the cloud and have more than one collaborator. In addition, it’s easier for students to continue their work at home and can eliminate any “lost homework” excuses. ArtRage is a painting and drawing program that expands student creativity and is especially easy to use with the NL4’s 5-point capacitive touch screen.
“I see 1:1 e-learning as the trend of the future and a game changer for how our classrooms will function. There are so many benefits to the interactive learning that becomes available when every student has the advantage of their own computing device,” Stukel said.
Click here for more information on CTL®’s 2goPC Convertible Classmate NL4. If you’re an educator interested in free classroom software training from CTL®’s Educational Specialist Emily Stukel, she can be contacted at Estukel@ctl.net.