Oxford schools switching to iPads for staff, students

Projected $1 million savings over eight years

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. – The Oxford Board of Education unanimously approved the purchase of 124 iPads at a cost of $57,354 During the regular meeting on Jan. 23.
Currently, students in the district use Chromebooks. The iPads are part of a pilot program to see if switching the district over to all iPads is feasible.
“We started this investigation back in September, just to look at the possibility,” said Dr. Gary van Staveren, director of curriculum and instructional technology.
According to van Staveren, the current turn-over rate for Chromebooks for the district is 4-5 years, and the iPads have a similar life-span. The cost for the devices are also similar, but iPads retain more of their value over time. Apple also offers $100 for older iPads to be traded in for the purchase of new iPads, which ultimately brings down the total cost of a new unit.
The current pilot program started in the elementary school and with a few high school courses. That included three grades in three elementary schools, middle school seventh grade science and eighth grade social studies, high school 12th grade statistics and tenth grade ELA, CTE, and OSEC. The pilot for the 23-24 school year will cover 10 teachers and 168 students over six months.
“What we really want to do is expand this,” he said. “Add another class at the high school, make sure all core four subjects are part of the pilot (program).”
The iPads would also come with AppleCare for the first three years on each device, which would free up time for the technology department. The forecasted savings on the project, over eight years, would be over $1 million.
The current Chromebooks would be kept and used within the district for the life of the devices. Students are currently able to take their iPads or Chromebooks home, and the iPads are lighter weight for ease of carrying for the students.
Teachers would also receive iPads to use in the classroom in addition to their desktop computers.

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