As school districts migrate to 21st century learning environments, they must equip instructors and students alike with the right portable devices customized for education. Teachers have different workflow requirements than students, and so their devices should enable them to maximize instruction time, be rugged and long-lasting enough to minimize downtime, and possess enough storage capacity for all education resources. Additionally, to protect user identities and information access from modern attacks, teacher devices must be equipped with robust security features.
Specifying the features for teacher devices can involve all kinds of choices – form factor, processor, OS, specialized software, and so forth. In the case of storage media, when deciding between traditional spinning hard drives and flash-memory solid-state drives (SSDs), it’s important to consider other factors than X-number of gigabit capacity.
Initially, budget-minded districts might be drawn to hard drives for their slightly lower price point. But, UDT believes that educators are better served by today’s solid-state drives for their clear advantages when it comes to speed, durability and long-lasting performance. Collectively, those advantages mean a higher-quality education experience: less time waiting, and more time for teaching and learning.
Four ways SSDs improve education
Teaching and learning start much more quickly – SSDs start and load applications up to five times faster than conventional disk drives. In contrast, HDDs can take as much as two minutes to get going, and that means time taken away from teaching. Learn more in this solution brief.
Teaching continues uninterrupted – SSDs are much less prone to downtime from mechanical failure. That’s because hard drives consist of platters, spindles, read/write arms, actuators and other moving parts. Those parts are vulnerable to the severe bumps, drops and shaking that go with day-to-day handling of portable devices, especially in a school environment. In contrast, SSDs are solid-state, meaning they have no moving parts to break or wear out.
Another way that SSDs enable uninterrupted teaching: they use less power, which conserves battery life and allows more time between charges for instruction, reviewing student work, lesson planning and other productive activities. As an added bonus, the lack of moving parts means SSDs can run quieter and cooler than conventional disk drives.
Data is more secure – SSDs support hardware-based encryption so that student data stays private.
Teachers can store all the resources they need – The storage capacity of SSDs is quickly catching up to traditional hard drives: for example, the Intel® Solid State Drive Pro 5400s Series provides 180 GB of instantly accessed storage. This is a tremendous amount of space for specialized education applications, multimedia instruction, records and more.
To understand the real-world advantages of solid-state drives, look no further than Lake County Schools in Tavares, Fla., a UDT customer that specified Intel® SSDs for its new teacher laptops. Performance was the determining factor: “We issued HP laptops (with Intel® Core™ i5 processors) with SSDs to both our teachers and administrators,” said Creed Wheeler, Ph.D., Lake County’s Executive Director of Information and Instructional Technology. “It is important to make sure that our teachers and our administrators have the best tools we can provide for them as they make significant contributions to our most valuable resource we have, which is our children.”
Learn more about UDT’s approach to education technology in this earlier blog post. And, contact UDT for a closer look at the advantages of Intel SSDs in teachers’ laptops to accelerate learning, extend instruction time, and keep student data private.