Most folks are probably already aware that CSD is preparing to make Ipads available for check out to all in-district high school students who feel a device like this would be a valuable aid in their school work. I’ve been visiting with groups of students in English and History classes over the past few days to describe how this process will work, and so some of the information has probably made it home. Here’s what I’ve been saying:
1 – In-district students – and that includes students that are enrolled through an inter-district transfer process or through the lottery last spring – are eligible to check out an ipad. The ipads are intended for use as an educational tool, so those students who feel they could make good use of and ipad are encouraged to consider checking one out.
2 – When the ipads are ready for check out, a formal agreement between CSD and the student’s family will be signed outlining the terms of the check out. Specifically, the student agrees to return the ipad in good working condition or to pay the replacement cost. It’s important to note that ipads are expensive – about $380. In the interest of good stewardship of public funds, CSD will need to be pretty agressive about collections in the event of non-payment.
3 – Students will return the ipad in early June for a few days while we check out the machines and make sure they’re all in good working condition. Those students who have a legitimate educational need over the summer and who will be attending CHS the following fall can check the same ipad back out again in June. Otherwise, returning students can re-check out their same ipad in the fall. This means that a student who is a freshman today could have the same ipad to use for four years.
4 – A pay-up-front insurance option will be offered. That means that families will have the option to pay an annual fee up front which will cover instances of accidental damage. However, it would not cover lost or theft so if the ipad is just simply gone for whatever reason, then the insurance would not apply and the student would be responsible for covering the cost of replacement. The decision to purchase or not purchase the insurance would need to be made up front and couldn’t be undone later. This is because when we purchase the ipads we either have to purchase them with or without insurance and we can’t go back and change our minds. The exact cost of the insurance has not been worked out, but it will be in the neighborhood of $75 to $100 per year.
5 – A clipboard is in the office this week for students to express their interest in checking out an ipad. This is not a sheet to check out an ipad. It doesn’t commit a student or a student’s family to checking out an ipad. It just helps us to get an initial count on the number of ipads – insured and uninsured – that we’ll be looking at purchasing.
6 – When students get their ipad, we’re going to ask them to spend on hour or so in small groups working through an ipad tutorial. This is so that students can make the best use possible of this new tool.
7 – An ipad is expensive. It represents a large investment of public funds into the education of each student who checks one out. This is fantastic, but I did encourage students to think carefully about whether or not an ipad would really be helpful. If the answer is “yes”, then by all means take advantage of the opportunity, but do this with a sense of responsibility to your own education.
I’m excited about where this new piece of technology might lead us. Thanks ahead of time for your patience and flexibility while we work out this new program.