We (in my school district) have been struggling with what technology to provide staff. Five years ago, we "refreshed" all the Exceptional Children Staff laptops. That was thanks to the Stimulous Funding, which provided several hundred MacBooks and PCs. We knew that we would have to revisit the issue in 4-5 years, as best practice suggests replacing laptops around that time frame. We knew it would be painful. Now, here we are.
Historically we provide our Elementary and Middle schools with Macs, and the High schools get PCs. Not sure who decided that, but it occurred long before I arrived on the scene. The Macs cost us around $950. The "Business Quality" PCs we purchase cost around $900. Lets guess I replace 250 devices. That is $231,250. Sheesh.
Another option we have looked at is iPads. By themselves, they are not a viable workstation. But, with a bluetooth keyboard, and a Microsoft Office subscription we might make it work. But at the end of the day, we are spending roughly $700 to outfit such a device, which would be about $175,000 for the district. The biggest issue we face in our district is getting them to print effortlessly. Sure I can print, but all of our staff (even the least tech-wavy) need to be able to print effortlessly. So, this won't work either. Not yet.
So, I'm wondering, any great ideas out there? What are other school districts doing? People making iPads or Chromebooks work? I'd love to hear success stories!
I have loved my 'stimulus money laptop'. Thanks! I'm forever in your debt.ReplyDelete
Given the fact that all of our paperwork is now online, and we need to make customized classroom materials, my laptop is my workhorse. An iPad wouldn't cut it. Printing quickly is key too. I'm not sure how others feel, but I couldn't live without something to fit my needs efficiently. If the school district didn't provide it, I'd be forced to purchase out of pocket.
Great feedback! Thanks Ruth. If your not ready for a straight iPad transition, than likely no-one would be!Delete