Three years ago FPD implemented the 1-to-1 Initiative with each student in fifth through twelfth grade receiving a school-issued tablet pc on which to complete his or her assignments, take notes, and collaborate on school projects. The initiative is in full stride now with students and teachers engaged with the curriculum in ways that were previously not possible and our alumni are better prepared to enter a digitally-robust society. As we wrap-up the first three-year lease cycle, we are excited to start the next three years with a brand new device, the HP Elite X2 1012, that will help teachers and students work even more productively and efficiently.

“We have been pleased with how well the previous Lenovo devices served us,” comments FPD IT Director David Bass. “However, we also learned a great deal in the first deployment. For round two, we wanted to incorporate some of what we liked about the Lenovo units while adding some of the things they just couldn’t do.”

The marketing tag line for the HP Elite X2 is “Designed for IT. Loved by users.” FPD definitely found that to be the case when testing the device with faculty and students. After researching and testing numerous devices, the HP Elite X2 received the best reviews from the IT department, faculty and students.

“Teachers and students who tested the HP device were very impressed with its capabilities,” comments Bass. “The device is flexible, durable, and is a step up from the Lenovo device in both performance and looks.”

The tablet PCs will each have 8GB RAM, an Intel Core M5 processor, 12-inch touch screen with Gorilla glass, a USB-C port, USB 3.0 port, a Micro-SD slot, and 802.11ac wireless. They can easily be propped up on a desk with a sturdy aluminum alloy kickstand (same alloy used in the new Ford F150 frame) or carried on the arm with a rugged protective case featuring a hand strap  Each device will come with a powerful HP Active Pen. Similar to the Lenovo stylus, the Active Pen writes on the tablet much like pen on paper, giving students excellent control and accuracy.

“The Active Pen is much more than a plain stylus like the kind you’d use on an iPad or the like,” notes Bass, “a typical non-active stylus doesn’t provide the level of pen-like accuracy that the Active Pen does. The Active Pen uses Wacom technology that is actually the preferred choice for digital designers.”

In addition to the new HP tablets, FPD is upgrading technology throughout the school this summer. In the Lower School computer lab, the same HP Elite devices will replace the desktop computers, so students can begin learning on the same touch/stylus interface as 1:1 students use. In the classrooms, FPD will install new projectors as well as tablet docking stations. The docking stations will allow teachers and students to quickly connect to all of the installed classroom technology through a single USB-C connection to the tablet instead of multiple cords. This ease of connectivity will aid in teacher mobility from classroom to classroom and provide an easy way for students to give presentations from their own tablets.

“The new tablet PCs and technology upgrades will be much-appreciated improvements on campus,” notes FPD Headmaster, Gregg Thompson. “They will greatly enhance the experience of our teachers and students and meet our 1-to-1 educational goals so our students and teachers have the tools for engaged 21st Century learning.”