Samsung gives Galaxy Note 8 tablets to SA students

2013-11-26 12:20
Samsung has announced that it will supply students with a Galaxy Note 8 tablet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Samsung has announced that it will supply students with a Galaxy Note 8 tablet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24) (Duncan Alfreds)

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Cape Town - Samsung has collaborated with a South African educational institution to provide students with a tablet to facilitate e-learning.

On Tuesday, the South Korean giant announced that it had partnered with Pearson to provide students with a Galaxy Note 8 tablet as the institution moved toward e-learning.

Students at the Pearson CTI and Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI) will each receive a Galaxy Note 8 tablet pre-loaded with educational materials, including e-textbooks.

"As well as the convenience of fewer textbooks the students benefit from always having their content with them. The tablets allow for easy and convenient sharing and facilitate engagement in a more collaborative way which enriches learning," said Darren Fox, joint CEO of Pearson CTI and MGI.

He added that the pivot to an e-learning strategy had long-term benefits for the educational process.

"Lectures benefit from digital capturing of information which simplifies course administration and most importantly, allows for individual learner tracking and monitoring of performance to tailor their approach to specific student needs."

Tablet advantage

Tablets have emerged as a replacement for textbooks because of their ability to display rich media content like video in addition to text.

This also gives tablets the edge over traditional e-readers which, though they have a much better battery life, are limited in the content that can be displayed.

Tablets also have the edge over PCs as they weigh less and are easier to manage on cramped environments.

According to Gartner, the global market for PCs declined by 8.4% in 2013, but the tablet market is showing robust growth, expected to increase by 53.4% this year.

The advantage of tablets could be critical once such a programme is expanded at school level as it has the potential to engage learners in traditionally difficult subjects like mathematics and physical science.

In 2009, 133 505 learners passed maths out of 290 407 who wrote, but that declined to 121 970 passes in 2012, according to the department of basic education's National Senior Certificate Examination School Subject Report 2012.

Samsung partnered with Pinnacle Africa to deliver 10 000 tablets to the students who will begin the academic year at the institutions in 2014.

Data cost

Data cost is a significant challenge with an e-learning platform and Samsung said that it had anticipated a possible solution to the problem.

"The Samsung e-learning ecosystem extends to include value-added services that can be offered to educational institutions. This includes providing students with 1GB of free monthly internet access at Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, as a result of a joint venture with AlwaysOn," said Paulo Ferreira, head of Enterprise Mobility at Samsung Electronics South Africa.

Samsung has made no announcement on whether it will expand the programme to include publically-funded universities in the tablet rollout.

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