O'Dea High School

Surface Tablet Program

Beginning with the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, O’Dea is implementing a one-to-one single device program featuring the Microsoft Surface Tablet which will require all students to bring a Surface Tablet to school.

The Surface Tablet program will advance O’Dea’s educational mission by enhancing our students’ experience of discovery, connection, and collaboration in new and exciting ways. The students will benefit from a curriculum designed to effectively use technology and transform student learning. Also, the program will include instructional guidance designed to foster digital citizenship supporting electronic standards of conduct related to the appropriate use of technology.

As we move toward implementation of our Surface Tablet program for the 2017-18 school year, we invite you to read the following information about the program.  We will be updating this document throughout the year.

Why is O'Dea implementing a single device program?

Among the many reasons to have a single device program we look forward to the following:

  • Enhancing student engagement and learning in the classroom through curriculum designed to use technology
  • Increasing the student experience of discovery, connection, and collaboration in new and exciting ways
  • Fostering digital citizenship related to the appropriate use of technology
  • Embracing our digital learners
  • Improved preparation for student success in college and careers
  • Ensuring a consistent learning experience
  • Offering a program that lets us choose the best device based on educational research 

Why the Microsoft Surface Tablet?

After researching various devices, we believe the Microsoft Surface Tablet has important capabilities that will enhance our student’s education.  They include:

  • Digital inking and handwriting recognition for writing, highlighting and annotating
  • Ability to work with MS Office 365 to support student learning
  • Flexibility to be a tablet and a computer, which gives it more capabilities in one product

Which Surface Tablet models are acceptable and how can I get one?

Acceptable Surface Tablet models for the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 include the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.  These models all offer the functionality needed for use at O’Dea.  The Class of 2018 will also have the option of purchasing a Surface 3.  The Surface Laptop does not meet our educational needs and is not an approved Surface device.  All devices should have a protective case and an accidental warranty that extends throughout the student’s high school career.


How will students use the Surface Tablet?

  • Presentations
  • Communications
  • Research
  • Note-taking
  • Classroom interaction
  • E-textbooks where appropriately available

Which Surface Tablet models are acceptable and how do I get one?

We have disabled the SHI site as they are no longer able to guarantee delivery before the beginning of school.  For families who have yet to purchase a device we recommend purchasing from The Microsoft Store.  There are locations at Pacific Place, University Village, Southcenter Mall, and Bellevue Square, please be sure to ask for the Education Bundle when purchasing and request a protective case that can have the pen tethered to it.

What software should I install on my Surface Tablet?

The following software should be installed on each student’s Surface Tablet:

  • Office 2016  (Microsoft 365 Account)
  • Pearson eText for Schools (Microsoft App Store)

Please note that the list of required software will grow as we identify more programs. Installation instructions will be available through this YouTube channel.

How can I prepare for the Surface Tablet Program?

Students and families can prepare by becoming familiar with OneNote, OneDrive, and the Microsoft Office Suite.  We will also add videos to this YouTube channel to help you prepare for next year.

Is there financial aid available to help with this program?

Members of the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 who qualify for financial aid may be eligible to receive additional financial assistance to purchase a Microsoft Surface. Please contact Linda Thornton for more details.
Members of the Class of 2018 who qualify for financial aid may receive, for a nominal charge, a Surface 3 previously used at O’Dea High School. This device will offer the functionality needed during the student’s senior year.

How will families receive updates regarding the Surface Tablet Program?

As we continue to roll out our program, we will answer more questions through this FAQ page and the Family Bulletin.  You may also email David Olinger, Director of Educational Technology.