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Public sector

College uses Windows 8 tablets

In February 2013, Liverpool Community College (LCC) was one of the first UK educational institutions to start using Lenovo Windows 8 tablets since the launch of the new operating system in 2012. It is now reporting some of the positive results it is experiencing through using the tablets.

LCC bought 600 Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet2 Windows 8 tablets for distribution to teaching staff. A recent Microsoft blog post revealed how John Bainbridge of the college’s business department explained how the college wanted to radically change the way it assessed students and needed some method of recording the assessments. “We initially thought about obtaining some recorders and then a light came on that we could use the tablet,” Bainbridge said.

Bainbridge has worked with LCC’s IT support to use the tablets to record professional discussions and presentations and tools on offer through Windows 8 has meant that sound recordings and videos can also be used.

We realised we could use the tablets to record video and audio of students talking about their work. Now, they have to know the material, but they don’t have to write it down

John Bainbridge, Liverpool Community College
According to Bainbridge, through the use of the Lenovo tablets, the college has revolutionised its assessment methods and enabled it to achieve better results, inspiring students, improving grades, improving the success of its courses and reducing staff workload.

“Before the holiday we’d been talking to Edexcel about innovative methods of assessment,” said Bainbridge. “And when we came back from the break we realised we could use the tablets to record video and audio of students talking about their work. Now, they have to know the material, but they don’t have to write it down. Recording gives us hard evidence that’s available if assessments have to be verified.”

Freeing students from written assessment means that grades now more fairly reflect a student’s achievement. “We’re starting on our ‘Lunchbyte’ training sessions, covering how to use the tablets to improve teaching and learning – exactly the kind of thing that John’s doing,” said. Ken Ryan, the college’s head of information technology. “We’re also looking at how we can use the tablets to save the money we were spending on separate video cameras.”

Also, in what Ryan calls a piece of ‘out of the box thinking’, he and the team are looking at using the Windows 8 tablets to replace desktop computers as they come up for replacement. “The idea is to take the desktop computer away and replace it with a docking cradle for the tablet,” he said in the blog post. “They already have the monitor, keyboard and mouse, and the there are no issues with performance and memory. We can just squirt a desktop image to the tablet.”

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