Issues with the Digital Devices Handed Out to Students in Guilford County

Association of Educators
October 16, 2013 — 743 views  

All the students who have been enjoying learning with the help of their digital devices may have to wait a little more to continue using them. As an effort to make learning easy and interesting for students, Amplify Tablets were given to them. But this initiative will be paused for a while as several problems have come up related to it.

Officials of the school system of Guilford County, N.C which has around 75,000 students, made an announcement earlier this month stating that the use of tablets as well as other digital devices given out by Amplify have been suspended. Amplify is one of the subsidiaries of News Corp, which is a global media conglomerate.

Problems with the Devices

A new release given out by the district revealed that around 10 percent of the 15,000 Amplify devices that were being used in the schools of the district had already been returned to the company as the screens of the devices had been broken. Apart from the broken screens, there were some other issues that were reported about the devices, one of them being overheating of the battery chargers.

On the other hand, Fort Bend school district in Texas also scrapped its 19 month old program that offered interactive science curriculum to students with the help of iPads. This program was called off as it failed to deliver its mission due to insufficient planning, poor contact-management practices, unrealistic goals, inefficient project management and lack of consistency of the program with the existing curriculum – development standards of FBISD.

Chief Executive Officer of One-to-One Institute based in Mason, Leslie Wilson, said that she was disappointed to hear about the problems with the devices. Her institute is a non-profits organization which supports implementation of one-to one computing programs.

Citing a research on the One-to-One programs in around 2,000 schools in the county, she further added that these situations were completely avoidable. She mentioned that school leaders are required to build a strong foundation and due to their due diligence before investing into such programs.

Looking into the Problems

A spokesperson for Amplify, Justin Hamilton, mentioned in an email that the company wants to work closely with Guilford to understand the issue and act upon it. Superintendent of Guilford County, Maurice O. Green, said that though the program has been suspended on a temporary basis due to the safety concerns and hardware problems students have been allowed to take home their devices.

Association of Educators