Apple isn’t the only company with its sights on the schoolroom; just as the company revealed iBooks 2 with new interactive textbook functionality, Motorola has been talking about its own pilot scheme putting Android tablets into students’ and teachers’ hands. The project began in November last year, using Motorola’s XOOM at a San Diego high school in math and science classes, delivering digital textbooks and notetaking, recording multimedia and other content, accessing online learning resources and submitting assignments through Google Docs.
While Honeycomb and the XOOM may not be the most prevalent tablet OS or hardware, the school district points to integration with Google Apps as a significant motivator. Apparently the district is a “Google District” and is “moving to Android” as well as Google Docs, so the XOOM made for a more sensible option than, say, Apple’s iPad.
“Motorola XOOM tablets were the most logical choice not only due to their highly usable design, but also due to the tight integration of the hardware with the Honeycomb OS; our district is moving to Android and applications such as Google Docs, so the Motorola XOOM was an ideal platform to be able to share capabilities across all devices for teachers and students alike” Bruce Cochrane, Executive Director of Pupil Services, San Dieguito Union High School District
It’s unclear whether Motorola donated the XOOM units to the school, or if the district actually bought them itself, though either way it seems the kids like it. Price is always going to be a big issue for bringing any IT equipment into the classroom, and neither Motorola nor Apple has addressed how limited school budgets will fund the “21st Century Classroom.”