Schools across the United States are beginning to give students iPads to use in the classroom and at home in the hopes to improve the educational experience. One school district in New York recently issued iPads to all students, The Ithaca Times reported.
The Trumansburg Community School District first started off by testing Samsung Galaxy tablets in 2011, before switching to the iPads in 2012. After a year or so of testing, the school officials felt like it was time to implement the technology district wide.
“We have been testing iPads since the Spring of 2012. I think our students, parents, and staff are (mostly) ready and willing to make this change,” said TCSD director of technology Mike Pliss. “Many see the change as essential to keep our school relevant and rigorous and to foster global relationships.”
The district still faces some difficulties with the rollout, specifically regarding the schools' ability to integrate the new technologies with the older computers that are still in use.
The students will be responsible for keeping the iPads safe and fully charged, while complying with the school district's user policies.
Oregon school defining metrics for iPad use
Another school district has been letting students use iPads for awhile now. Neil Armstrong Middle School, part of the Forest Grove School District, is looking to evaluate how exactly the program is helping students learn, according to The Oregonian.
Devising ways to define metrics was complicated when the rollout started at the beginning of the school year, as the iPads were unusable for a couple of weeks due to the iOS 7 update, which erased the device profiles that were on them with iOS 6.
“The iOS7 thing really created a nightmare for awhile,” stated Neil Armstrong principal Brandon Hundley. “We're getting back to where we were before we had to take them back.”
Now that is back up and running, the school district has benchmarks that they hope to hit with their iPads regarding student engagement and standardized test scores. For example, at Neil Armstrong, they hope to get 80 percent or more of their students to receive passing scores in all of the state tests. District officials believe that this program will help improve the learning experience for all students.
iResQ has a repair program for schools that have a 1:1 iPad program. They will take care of any iPad repair necessary for schools, such as iPad glass replacement.