Remember school computer labs? Those shared-tech spaces often had the ambiance of a musty library and typically held a collection of also-ran computers that were far from the leading-edge of personal computing.
Today’s kindergarten-through-high school students – the so-called digital natives who know how to use a touchpad before they use a spoon – have radically different touchpoints with their tech.
Still, budget-strapped school districts often find themselves investing in low-end computers that don’t always hold up in classrooms or struggle to support new, digital teaching methods. That’s why HP has built an affordable, durable and fully functional learning PC – the ProBook x360 11 EE, powered by Windows 10.
The device, which was announced today, responds to a shift that is being recognized in classrooms across the country. Classrooms are increasingly transitioning from traditional lecture-based methods to “blended learning” experiences, where technology is at the forefront and small groups of students rotate between different stations on various subjects.
For example, some might be doing projects on the floor with tablets while others huddle around desktop computers or use laptops to collaborate online with students at different schools.
Most teachers say they are using technology in these ways every day with their students, and they expect to step it up in the coming year, according to a survey by Front Row Education.
“The education market is a strategic growth area for HP,” said Gus Schmedlen, vice president, education, at HP. “We pay close attention to the unique needs of students, teachers and schools because they are enabling the next generation of inventors, leaders and future employees to go beyond note memorization and master creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.”
HP is a big player in the education market, having shipped 4.8 million PCs into schools and universities during fiscal year 2016, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker data from the fourth quarter of 2015 through the third quarter of this year.
Built for Schools
Durability was an immediate design priority because, with blended learning, students are constantly transporting computers, increasing the odds of dropped equipment. With that in mind, HP took steps to make the HP ProBook x360 11 EE the world’s thinnest, most rugged convertible PC.It’s encased in hard, industrial rubber and its screen features optional damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. HP engineers put the computer through its rigorous HP Total Test Process, which involved dropping hundreds of computers from an elevation of up to 30 inches (about the same height as an average school desk) to make sure they could take a beating.