Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bloomin Windows

I recently received an HP ElitePad 1000 G2 for review, and decided to put it through its paces as I created a new set of Bloom's-related applications -- Bloomin' Windows.


I had not spent a lot of time with a Windows 8.1 Professional slate tablet. I had fooled around with the Microsoft Surface RT a bit, but I was unhappy with the fact RT did not allow the installation of "regular" programs. In addition, the RT tablets could not authenticate on a school network, and I felt their use in schools would be limited.

The HP ElitePad 1000 is a beautiful tablet! It can run the 64-bit Pro version of Windows 8.1 so it will work well on school networks. Its 10.1" diagonal screen will allow it to be used for the Common Core tests and there is also a bundle available that includes Office Home and Student 2013. (The screen is also more readable outside than any laptop or tablet I have used.) There are a full range of accessories available to meet specific needs. 

I received the HP Expansion Jacket with Battery with the ElitePad 1000. It adds 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, its own SD card reader, access to the microphone/headphone jack and a battery that is rated to allow you to use the tablet's and the case's battery for a total 20 hours! It does add .86 pounds (450g) to the tablet, but, if battery life is something you care about, it is a must-have accessory. The tablet and the Expansion Jacket re-charge at the same time.

There is also a Productivity Jacket available which might be more suited for schools. It includes a keyboard, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card slot. It, too, charges as the device charges. The battery life of the tablet is rated for up to 10 hours, so the HP ElitePad 1000 should get through the school day on its own battery.

There are adapters available for hooking up to projectors if you do not have a WiFi projector in your classroom-- both an HDMI and a dual HDMI/VGA adapter. There is also an Ethernet adapter,, a serial adapter, a Smart AC power adapter, and an external USB port adapter. (As with most other tablets, the adapters take up the charging port on the tablet, so you cannot charge the device and use an adapter at the same time.)

HP ElitePad 1000, Expansion Jacket with battery, and USB adapter
 The specs of the Elite Pad 1000 G2 include:
  • Intel Atom Processor (quad-core Intel Bay Trail Atom)
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 or 128 GB solid state drive
  • Bright and beautiful 10.1" (1900x1200) Gorilla Glass display
  • Dual cameras: 2.1MP HD (front) and 8 MP with flash (rear)
  • HD audio with 2 stereo speakers
  • SDXC card reader
  • USB port (with optional adapter)
  • Microphone/headphone jack 
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • WiFi (a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth (4G is an option)
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.01 x 10.28 x 0.36 in. (178 x 261 x 9.2 mm)


After getting comfortable with using Windows on a slate tablet, I began to think about the creation of another entry for my Bloomin' Apps page. A few weeks ago, I received a note from David Lopez, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow. He had created his own version of a Bloomin' Windows graphic. He prompted me to think about the need for one in the many schools that are using Microsoft Windows. I decided to start my own from scratch so I could spend some time investigating the applications in the Windows store.

My goal was to use applications that come with every Windows machine (or are freely downloadable as extras), including the use of the Office Suite applications, and then adding applications from the Windows Store. 

I spent a lot of time combing the Windows store for apps that were available through that venue. I could not find apps to meet all the spots on the grid, so did resort to a couple of Web 2.0 online tools. I understand I could have populated the entire grid with online tools, like the ones I have on this page, since the ElitePad 1000 can use all of those tools. But that would not have helped me learn about the many applications and apps that are available from both Microsoft and other publishers that are downloadable from the Windows Store and usable on the ElitePad 1000 even when it is not online.

I also decided to become more proficient with ThingLink while I was creating this Bloomin' Windows grid. I identified the apps and applications for each level of Bloom's, created the background image for my ThingLink creation, and then used "hot spots" to link out to the applications, apps, and tools. I embedded the Bloomin' Windows graphic on the Bloomin' Apps page, but you can also view and use it below.

Let me know your thoughts via email. Are you already using the HP ElitePad 1000 in your school? What are some cool ways you use it to support teaching and learning? Do you have other favorite Windows apps that are popular with your students or teachers?