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Canadian College Rolling Out Surface Tablets for Career Training

By the end of summer, Canadian career training institution CDI College will provide more than 5,800 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets to students at its 26 campuses.

The college recently completed a pilot program at its Ajax, Ontario, campus and is currently running another pilot program at the Surrey, British Columbia, campus; both efforts are focused on the tablet's role in the educational experience. In each program, the students used the devices to develop skills that will translate to their careers post-graduation. For example:

  • Accessing the college's learning management system, course materials and assignments online;
  • Reading e-books;
  • Communicating with faculty and fellow students through e-mail, chat and Skype;
  • Saving and sharing files with OneDrive cloud storage or with the integrated USB 3.0 port;
  • Using Office 2013 to complete class assignments and activities;
  • Submitting assignments for classes and real-time peer review; and
  • Using additional apps such as Flash Cards and Nurse Tabs.

Other Surface features include multitasking with a split screen function, allowing students to use multiple apps simultaneously (for instance, watch a video and take notes); search functionality across the operating system, Web and cloud; and USB and HD video out ports, allowing students to connect to peripheral devices such as printers and projectors.

"The experience students receive with ... Surface devices and Microsoft productivity tools help us achieve our goal of preparing them with the skills and experiences they need to succeed in their career now and 20 years from now," said Bohdan Bilan, vice president of academics and regulatory affairs at CDI College, in a prepared statement. "We need to provide students with the tools they will use when they graduate and the skills that will translate in the future as technology continues to evolve."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at

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