An Android Tablet Made Just for School

How do you make a tablet useful for educational purposes? Remove anything fun.

KIneo e-reader

The iPad, as you may have heard, is the hottest new back-to-school accessory. But Apple doesn't have a monopoly over the superfluously wired classroom market. Kineo, from Brainchild, is the first Android tablet e-reader designed specifically with students in mind, and in consultation with educators. It's being announced at the Florida Educational Technology Conference today.

How do you make a tablet safe for school? You take out all the fun stuff. The Kineo is stripped of texting capabilities, has no built-in camera, and can only access websites approved by the teacher. "Teachers can be confident that Kineo is a secure and safe handheld instructional device because Kineo removes the temptation for students to text or surf," said Jeff Cameron, president of Brainchild, in today's release. The device is also especially durable, with a heavy-duty touch screen designed to withstand up to 500,000 Cheetos-fingered impressions. Brainchild has been making handhelds for schools for 15 years, so it knows a thing or two about what breaks, and what doesn't.

One of these devices, which are available to order starting today, will set you back $299. Brainchild will ship the first Kineos in 28 days.

[Image: Business Wire]

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4 Comments

  • director

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  • Forrest King

    I like the line about “How do you make a tablet safe for school? You take out all the fun stuff.” - that is solid gold!

    The interface looks eerily like IBM's "SchoolVista" program...

  • Ada Ho

    This looks like a fantastic device for a specific cause. Developing ways to get the newest technology into our school system will only help our children learn at a quicker pace. And having the capability to access so much more information so easily can make the classes that much more enjoyable. However, on a district-wide level, these devices can only be instituted once the capabilities to manage them and keep them safe, if they are lost or stolen, are implemented.

    It’s great to have these devices, but with the way children often handle such technology – especially if the school district is fitting the bill – the hardware needs to be kept safe. It’s unclear at this point how many school districts will look at this device, specifically, but when they do take a look, they can’t forget security. Keeping them secure will assure the kid can use the devices correctly, which means the district will get the most out of the investment.

    Ada, Absolute Software
    http://blog.absolute.com/

  • Daniel Smith

    "Teachers can be confident that Kineo is a secure and safe handheld instructional device because Kineo removes the temptation for students to text or surf."

    No, it doesn't. The temptation is still there albeit bottled up. And kudos for their marketing department. It's easy to get a child to like something when it's the first time they've ever used it. Not to mention how wonderful it is for "teachers". What a wonderful device to support high-stakes testing, as if that was what school should be all about.

    The future is here and we get this? A stripped-down doorstop of a device with lame features deemed safe for students. Safe according to whom? What they should be doing is meeting the diverse needs of the students, not the requirements of the bureaucrats and paper pushers who've forgotten what real learning is like.