Microsoft announced on Wednesday that the Surface Pro 3 will be available to schools and universities at a 10 percent discount through its Microsoft in Education program.

The goal of the price cut is to enable schools to better achieve a 1:1 ratio of devices to students, a goal that is driving up the budgets of many school districts. Having one device for each student is seen by many as essential for our technology-driven society. While the optimum age at which children should be exposed to technology is an ongoing debate, a general consensus had emerged that individual handheld devices in the classroom offer myriad options for engaging students and furthering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

An article published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals in 2012 suggested that netbooks and handheld devices can be worthy substitutes for desktop and laptop computers in the classroom.

“Combine that with the bounty of free educational web 2.0 sites and apps, as well as an increasing number of websites with fees that offer free access to educators and students, and it becomes much easier to provide classrooms with rich technological resources,” author Nancye Blair wrote.

The education discount offers the Surface Pro 3 and Type Cover as a bundle. The Surface Pro 3 64GB/Intel i3 is priced at $839, down from the MSRP of $929. The 256GB/Intel i5 will cost $1,289 with the education discount, down from $1,429.

The discount is available to educational institutions, which Microsoft defines as “an accredited institute organized and operated exclusively for the purpose of teaching its enrolled students.”

The discount came into effect on Oct. 1 and is available in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.



Thumbnail Photo: Surface, image courtesy Microsoft