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EdTech as a Service: A New Vision for Device Deployment in Schools

Michael_Campbell
Employee
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By: Michael Campbell, Global Head of Education for Intel’s Client Computing Group 

Introducing ETaaS       

I am excited to announce Intel’s partnership with Dell Technologies and the Chandler Unified School District to bring Education Technology as a Service (ETaaS) to Chandler High School.  This proof of “capability” (POC) pilot will help us evaluate the feasibility and scalability of a new service-model that addresses the challenges and barriers that K-12 schools face today. The primary goal of this innovative partnership is to create a new blueprint for how devices are deployed into schools and ultimately transform the way K-12 embraces education technology. In this blog, I will share with you the background of this partnership with Chandler and Dell Technologies, our collective strategic intent for this POC, and the details about what was launched on January 26, 2022. 
 
Technical Challenges Schools Face Today 
The many real challenges that schools face today have been well-documented since the start of the pandemic. When it comes to technology, schools are experiencing an unprecedented need for more performant, resilient devices that support anywhere learning, manageability, and connectivity. Unfortunately, however, many existing devices have not met the mark. Consequently, schools have had to spend more time on troubleshooting device issues than more meaningful functions. This reinforces the notion that devices deployed in schools need to deliver an easier, frictionless, more manageable, and equitable learning and teaching experience. The vision of ETaaS is to thoughtfully address these challenges with highly capable learning devices. Finally, another school challenge is ensuring access for all students.  A recent 2021 study by Boston Consulting Group and other non-profits found that between 15M – 16M students in the U.S. did not have connectivity at home during remote learning  – that’s about 30% of K12 public school students. Schools need to ensure they are deploying devices that can provide a consistent and equitable experience for all students. This has been characterized as the digital divide which has been accelerated by the pandemic because many students do not have Wi-Fi at home. 
 
What We Believe: The Benefits of ETaaS 
Intel conducted research to test the market viability and willingness to purchase education technology as a service. We learned that while this model is still nascent, schools – both big and small – are interested in deploying an ETaaS model. We believe this model will support periodic, fixed payments, instead of districts making lump sum procurement decisions; such payments establish predictable budget cycles and maintain cash flow. We also believe the model allows schools to deploy hardware, software, and services in a way that may potentially reduce overall total cost of ownership. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, an ETaaS model with end-to-end management brings school districts closer to industry standards for school districts that commonly have under-resourced IT departments. The POC with Chandler will certainly help us validate our beliefs on the benefits of ETaaS.   
 
Why Chandler Unified School District 
We are fortunate to be partnering with Chandler Unified School District, who aligned with our strategic intent at an early stage. Frank Narducci, the superintendent, is a pioneer and was excited about bringing an innovative model to his school district that would usher in 1:1 learning for all students at a selected high school.  The school district also knew that this was not only about providing a device but integrating technology in a meaningful way that could help prepare students for jobs of the future or industry 4.0.  The school district chose Chandler High School which has been consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in Arizona.  We also wanted to choose a school in need -- Chandler High School checked all the boxes as it was not 1:1 and had challenges with students who may not have connectivity in their home. 
 
Tell Me About this POC 
Through this pilot, Dell Technologies will be deploying 800 “Latitude 5320” and 3,200 “Latitude 3310” notebooks.  The Latitude 5320 – an enterprise class design – features Intel vPro powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors.  This will offer the performance that students will need for multiple applications with intense, powerful learning workloads.  Within the 800 devices, 300 of them will be cellular connected with integrated LTE activated through the Verizon network.  The 3310 based devices will feature Intel’s i5 Core Processor; this is a 2-in-1 education purpose-built convertible design that can be a notebook when needed and a tablet when the student wants it.  The devices will also feature other services provided by Dell Technologies that include etching, asset tagging, connect and configuration, and teacher professional development.  On January 26, we started distributing devices to students on Chandler’s campus with the support of the school district, Dell Technologies, and Intel.  Personally, it was a wonderful experience handing out PCs to students for the first time and an example of our purpose to enrich the lives of students and teachers. 
 
As aligned with Chandler, our vision of this pilot “is to provide crucial tools, skills, and information, empowering all students and teachers to contribute to a global, technology-driven society, and engage as digitally responsible citizens.”  This is what it is all about.  Certainly, I am excited about learning and creating a new blueprint for modern learning today to drive scale with Dell Technologies and Chandler. But the vision of this project is another reason why I am passionate and enthusiastic about the impact this program will have for students.  Thanks to our partnership with Chandler and Dell Technologies, we will be using the power of technology to prepare all students for a better future.   

 

 

2 Comments
KathyB
Employee

This sounds like a great program. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

T_Willes
Employee

I have a son who is a Sophmore at Chandler High.  He and the other students were definitely excited to get new laptops.  They are very nice Dell convertible systems, configured specifically for school use.  He says that he is already using the laptop to do some classwork, and that it is handy to have because he can pull out the laptop and login whenever he has a few minutes available.  I was glad to see that the pilot program includes service and support, because we all know that kids can be tough on technology and that not all of these laptops are going to make it through 4 years of high school.  The teachers were also issued laptops of their own and are participating in the pilot program.  I look forward to seeing what Intel and Dell learn through this effort to bring connectivity and access to technology to everyone.