Monday, May 16, 2016

Bigger, Better, Faster: New iPads Coming for Year Six in Minnetonka's 1:1 Program; First Devices Cost $0.38/school day

Over the course of this summer, iPad2s will be replaced for next year’s students entering grades 5, 6, 11 and 12. This is half of the 6,250 students in our 1:1 program for grades 5-12. We were pleased to get additional years of use out of these older iPads, some now five years old. (See A Big Bang for Your Buck: The iPad for $0.44/day: Less than a Chromebook)Old student iPads will be sold in June with the revenue placed back into the purchase of new student iPads. With this revenue due to the residual value in our old iPad2s, the total cost of our five year old iPad2s ended up to be $0.38/day! This cost is even lower if you factor in the use of iPads over the summer. Staff who teach in grades 5-12 who currently have an iPad2 will also have their iPad updated and old iPad sold. 

These students and staff will receive the iPad Air 2 64GB model. The iPad Air 2 is bigger, better, and faster. It brings marked increased processor speed, download speeds and a powerful split-view picture-in-picture multitasking function. Plus it will have a bigger storage capacity with four times as much as the iPad2s being replaced:

This year’s sixth through ninth grade students will hang onto their iPads over the summer. Last summer the iPad at home experience was a success. Students had support over the summer for any iPad issues that occurred and had the ability to use this tool beyond the traditional school year. (More about this School's (Almost) Out, So Keep Your iPad for the Summer). Students who are receiving new iPads will pick them up later this summer and get them all setup and ready to go well before school begins in September. 

In addition to this hardware upgrade, our bandwidth utilization continues to grow. This is evidence that our web-based instructional platform is being fully utilized by students and staff. We currently subscribe to 1 GB/second service and will be increasing that to 4 GB/second this summer. We invested in new wireless infrastructure last summer at our high school and will be updating wireless infrastructure at both middle schools this summer. With over the air (OTA) management of iPads, most of these new iPads will never be touched by our IT staff, which is another efficiency and cost savings.

The Minnetonka Teaching & Learning Instructional Framework
Now in its sixth year, the Minnetonka 1:1 iPad Program has quickly moved beyond adoption of the device to deeper implementation with more meaningful integration of the available tools. Professional development for staff focuses on much higher levels of integration. Not only is Minnetonka’s 1:1 effort featured as one of the eight dimensions in the Teaching and Learning Instructional Framework, but there is general agreement that all dimensions of learning are enhanced when the instruction leverages technology in the classroom.  Essentially, our students are creating, collaborating, critically thinking, and communicating in more personalized, authentic situations based largely on the integration of the iPad into our classrooms. (See Minnetonka Top 100+ Ideas for 1:1 Integration in 5th grade, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and World Language.) We are excited to bring this hardware and features to our staff and students and see how they leverage this new technology for their learning!

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