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How to equip students with the tools to succeed

Published: August 3rd, 2017 By: Steve Proctor

Many teams used to spend the entire summer updating student devices. But now the Windows 10 ability to manage the devices without having to do a manual refresh on each one is paying dividends.

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) strives to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Adopting devices that run Windows 10 helps ensure success for every student, thanks to new opportunities that they provide for teaching and learning. Enhanced security features built into Windows 10 also help CBE ensure a safe environment for creative learning.

Eases upgrade process

Upgrading devices running the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems was straightforward. “The process for deploying Windows 7 or 8 or 10 is consistent. This makes the transition for our CTS team really easy as we begin upgrading the approximately 22,000 Windows devices across our district,” says Mike Marr, School Tech Support Analyst, Client Technology Services at the Calgary Board of Education. “And most of our learning applications converted seamlessly to Windows 10. We will be taking advantage of the Windows as a Service update model and are looking forward to an evergreen platform where updates are deployed automatically.”

CBE is using AppLocker to create a highly secure, locked-down environment for students writing exams. In an educational environment where many students share the same device, it was a challenge for IT staff at the school board to authenticate access for students using the same iPad. “A Windows device interacts with Active Directory the same way as a PC, and is bound by the same security authentication protocols,” says Marr. “Windows 10 offers an appropriate balance between security and usability. Overall, it makes an exciting addition to the learning environment at CBE.”

Boosts accessibility, drives confidence

Other features which contribute to student success are the accessibility options that are built into the Windows 10 operating system. These options help to meet the needs of CBE’s diverse student population, including students identified with exceptional needs and English language learners. Comprising nearly half of CBE’s student population, it is important that these students have the tools they need for learning.

“Accessibility is extremely important,” says Pauline Auld, Learning Specialist at the Calgary Board of Education. “Using accessible learning tools may increase student engagement in the learning process, so we are interested in built-in accessibility features to avoid having to purchase extra software to accommodate our learners. Windows 10 has Narrator, which reads text aloud, the on-screen keyboard, and Magnifier—each provides a different learning modality to improve student success, at no extra cost.”

Overall, with the addition of Windows 10, CBE has simplified the work required to deliver the educational tools that teachers and students need to optimize learning—for everyone. Concludes Smith, “Windows 10 is a great product, and in my classroom it helps me and my students to be more engaged and productive.

A crucial part of any successful organization’s digital-first strategy, from higher ed institutions to manufacturing or service industries – is a commitment to new tools and technologies. With Windows for Business, you can embrace and take advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation.


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