Farmington School District’s iPad policy takes shapeWith more than 1,700 students scheduled to get at least part-time access to iPads when school starts Sept. 4, Farmington administrators are putting the finishing touches on the policy that will regulate how students will be expected to use and care for their new tablet computers.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
With more than 1,700 students scheduled to get at least part-time access to iPads when school starts Sept. 4, Farmington administrators are putting the finishing touches on the policy that will regulate how students will be expected to use and care for their new tablet computers.
School board members got an early look at the district’s iPad policy at a workshop meeting Monday. The policy includes instructions on caring for an iPad – everything from cleaning the screen with a soft cloth to not leaning on top of the iPad or bumping it against lockers – as well as what students will be allowed to put on the devices, whether they will be allowed to use their own iPads if they have them and what happens if the devices are lost or stolen.
Students will have the opportunity to use their own iPads rather than receive a district device, but the policy is not clear yet on how the district will get those students the programs they will need, and who will pay for them.
According to the policy, the district is responsible for providing Internet and email access and blocking inappropriate content as much as possible.
The policy asks parents to work with students to set guidelines for appropriate use of the devices outside of school work. School board members have raised concerns that once they have the devices in their hands students will spend all day staring at a screen.
That shouldn’t be a significant problem immediately. Only a handful of the district’s early adopters will be able to take their iPads home. Once the district goes to a wider rollout, students will be able to have the tablets with them at all times.
The school district will offer a $39 protection plan that includes one replacement. Families can also choose to provide their own insurance, or waive insurance altogether, in which case they will be responsible for replacing lost, stolen or broken iPads.
The school board will approve a final iPad policy at its next board meeting.