Know the 1:1 technology device roll-out for your district.
For example, in the Bethel School District here is their information: http://www.bethelsd.org/Page/2431
Understand their policies such as what your financial cost is due to any lost, damaged, or stolen devices. How much is the insurance? Are you allowed to Opt-Out of using 1:1 device technology? What are your rights and responsibilities? What happens if your teacher refuses to accommodate?
Someone I know spoke to their son and got some feedback regarding rolling out iPads in the schools. He has about 600 iPads in place. Following are more questions than answers but here they are for those who want to dig deeper:
1) What do the iPads come with? Screen protector? Outer case? His dept buys the Zag Rugged Book @ $150 each (discounts available) to protect the units. There are lesser options but they don’t do a good job protecting units.
2) Is there an external keyboard and monitor? The small screen will lead to eye strain so an external monitor is important as is a keyboard to type. Will there be a printer and supplies?
3) Software: Does the SD provide an office suite or word processor? Is the data stored on the device or upload to the cloud? Is the district using mobile tracking software and if so what? Does it allow for the camera and audio to be turned on remotely?
4) Security: What data is stored, where and how well protected and how do you know? Will there be access to browser, social media, twitter and similar? There a hacks that will allow unlocking devices and skip browser and other security. His concern is that a middle school and high school some will crack/break and in so doing may conduct activities which will make news. How does login occur? Later this year the next OS from Apple rolls out which will move from a 4 digit pin to a 6 digit.
5) Updates: How will updates to software, OS, etc., be done? Will they be pushed or will the devices need to be turned in?
6) Support: He projects that the SD will need 2-3 people handling the backend with the need for about 1 FTE per 500 iPads (there will be swings in the ration depending on various factors).
7) School vs. Home: Note that if materials are transferred to and from the school device and home devices that the home devices may be “discoverable” in the event of investigations. Here is a link to a story regarding NorthShore SD in Seattle: http://www.kiro7.com/news/police-investigate-sexting-northshore-school-distr/43297378
Apple iPads are “consumption” devices. They are designed and built to consume – games; movies; social media; etc. Other devices are “production” devices. These would include laptops and hybrids (tablet with detachable keyboard). Production devices are used to create – write documents; create spreadsheets and presentations; etc. Using a “consumption” device instead of a “production” device is fraught with a host of issues.
Security; inappropriate use; students who use vs. those who don’t; legal issues; support; damage/loss…the list of concerns is long.
Then study the following pdf of the SBAC Student Data Mining presentation given in Reno some time ago: https://nebula.wsimg.com/0072e8f24ba9b2b699c71136c24ac08f?AccessKeyId=C3981F8CAAAD55AAC083&disposition=0&alloworigin=1