Jericho District Embraces the iPad
By EMMA GAN
In the summer of 2014, the Jericho School District spent almost $250,000 in the first large purchase of iPads in its history.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs Mr. Victor Manuel and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Mrs. Bauer explained that there were various factors that went into making the decision. Purchasing new forms of technology had been discussed three years ago, but iPads were chosen last year. “In terms of apps, the iPad had the most available,” Mrs. Bauer said.
Before the order was placed, there were a couple of iPads circulating between departments. “We’ve had a few donations over the years, 10 iPads here, 10 iPads there,” Mr. Manuel explained. “Departments would also individually buy iPads based on need.”
The verdict to go ahead with the purchase was made early in the school year of 2013-2014 when it was decided to buy 450 iPads and distribute them among all the schools. In the middle school and high school, carts holding up to 30 iPads had to be purchased for each department.
The carts were a wise investment. “[They] have become pretty flexible,” said Ms. Alesi, Director of Technology. The carts allow for easy sharing of the iPads among different classes and even buildings. “The carts can also be exchanged within the connected schools without a problem, ” Alesi said.
As for three elementary schools, there were only 5 iPads distributed to each classroom, making the carts unnecessary. “Rather than buy a cart,” Ms. Alesi explained, “the teachers keep the iPads in a basket and they charge it from there.”
The reception among both staff and students in regard to the new purchase was overwhelmingly positive. Some staff members were already comfortable with iPads and were willing to share their knowledge with teachers who weren’t as familiar. “Because of the way we rolled them out, teachers can access them as they become familiar with things that will work best in their department,” said Mrs. Bauer.
In addition, Ms. Alesi was extremely pleased with the students’ reactions. “Since September to now, we haven’t had breakage,” she said. In fact, the reaction has been so positive that the Jericho District is planning on buying more.