IT technology has changed the way students learn in and outside the classroom and lecture hall. Educational software, smart apps and online learning resources are part and parcel of a student’s daily life, whether at school, college or university. The hardware used has also changed dramatically over a short space of time: it used to be about the desktop PC, laptop or university computer, but now students are able to learn across multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets and hybrids. At Kensington, we’re always working hard to stay ahead of the curve and provide students with the educational tools they need to succeed. For those eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance, we’re also able to offer a range of computer equipment and accessories compatible with specialist assistive technology.
The move towards thinner, lighter devices has sometimes come at the cost of productivity. The combination of smaller screens, more portable keyboards and touchscreen technology has meant devices are increasingly versatile; a student can use the same device at home, on the way to and during class. At times, however, these devices fall short when it comes to carrying out research or working on intensive word processing or programming tasks. Updated yet familiar input devices, such as switchable wireless keyboards and Bluetooth mice, can help students to strike a balance, working both flexibly and effectively.
Extend your screen
Smaller screens are easier to carry around in a backpack, but they can nevertheless make it hard to see the information you need. A VGA or HDMI video adapter makes it easy to connect to a second, 4K screen via a device’s DisplayPort or USB ports. As well as being able to have more information available at any one time, a second screen also allows students to enlarge and magnify text for easier reading of and interaction with websites, documents and applications. Storing an adapter in each classroom allows for efficient use of BYOD within the education sector and eliminates the need for data transfer.
Connect devices and displays
If working with a tablet or laplet – like the Microsoft Surface Pro – it’s likely that USB ports and connectivity options are going to be scarce. While having fewer ports allows manufacturers to make devices slimmer and more portable, it can create problems when trying to connect additional accessories and hardware to the device. With a USB docking station, it’s easier to connect input devices, additional screens and Ethernet cables to a device.
Protect your devices
As the number of portable devices used on university campuses and in schools continues to increase, security remains one of the biggest concerns and it’s increasingly important to take steps to protect against loss, theft and damage. In one respect, this could simply mean investing in a laptop lock to secure a device in the library or dorm room, but there are additional ways to ensure your device is protected when out and about. Buying a protective case or, if using a smartphone, a Proximo Fob, will make it far more difficult to leave your phone behind in the café or on the bus.
Educational grants and specialist student allowances are more often than not spent on technology that will enhance the working life of the recipient. In the same way that computer accessories will enhance the productivity of those in an office, many compatible with specialist technology will help to enrich the workflow of students and employees in the education sector.
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