Educators learned about the latest trends and products on the market at the annual Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC), held in February in Orlando. Just as the Consumer Electronics Show proclaimed 2011 as the "Year of the Tablet PC," FETC indicated that this year will be known for the arrival of tablets designed for education.
Apple's iPad, the trendsetting device of this new tablet era, was the focus of many training sessions and expert panel discussions. But, perhaps most significantly, the conference also included a number of new competing tablet computers, inspired by the iPad but designed for the needs of K12 students.
Brainchild, a fifteen-year-old company known for its hand- held edugaming systems, previewed its forthcoming Kineo, a small tablet with a high-definition display which uses Google's popular Android operating system. RM Education introduced its new RM Slate, an 11-inch Windows 7 tablet with a built-in camera and microphone. Fujitsu showed off several Windows 7 tablets and compact convertible laptop designs, and other exhibiting vendors with similar products included Lenovo, Asus and Samsung. Given that these new releases were all made within just the first month of the year, 2011 looks set for a number of new tablets coming to market.