Technology thus far has been theft-proof, schools say
By Nick Longworth
With this school year’s “1 to 1” initiative being fully implemented in the area districts of Nevis, Menahga and Park Rapids, nearly every student at each district has been given their very own district-issued iPad or Microsoft tablet.
With a wealth of electronics flooding each school’s hallways, it would be reasonable to expect a few to go missing either through theft or accidental misplacement.
However, so far this school year, none of the districts have had problems keeping track of their student’s iPad’s or tablets.
“We have not had any iPads stolen in the high school (this year). We recorded all serial numbers to help with iPad identification and management of them so we have the capability to track them to an extent, but we have not had to use that yet,” said Dan Stifter, Menahga High School Principal.
“Not this year, but last year we had two that were misplaced and were found using a locator app that we have on the iPads that the 6th and 7th graders take home. We also have a locator for the (Microsoft) Surface tablets, but have not needed to use yet this year,” said Steve Rassier, superintendent for Nevis school district.
To keep overall numbers of iPads and tablets going missing down, districts have tried to educate their students on proper precaution and safety measures.
“Students and parents have been informed that they are responsible for their iPads. If they are stolen, they must report the theft to the police and the school immediately. Kids use a pass code to get into their iPads and if someone logs in with the wrong code a certain number of times, then the iPad becomes disabled and we have to reset it to activate it. Like anything else, we encourage and tell students to make sure they have their lockers locked and that they make sure they know where their iPad is all of the time; they are not supposed to loan or borrow them to anyone else,” Stifter said.
“The agreement that the parents and students sign contains information in regards to protecting their tablets. Students are required to keep these protective cases installed. Staff also reminds students of the need to keep these tablets safe and protected,” Rassier said.
Park Rapids school officials were not available for direct quote, although expressing that no iPads have been stolen in the district yet.
“Students have been allowed to personalize their iPads and this has created a feeling of ownership and responsibility. Most students have devices of their own already and they have been taught how to maintain and protect them. I suppose it helps that all students’ grades 7-12 have access to an iPad; the incentive to steal or take another person’s iPad is minimized because of that,” Stifter said.
All three districts expressed pleasure in the few amount of thefts so far and interest in keeping the amount low still in the coming months and years.