Whether it's public or private, more schools are handing out iPads and other mobile tablet devices to their students and faculty for academic use. Additionally, the students using these costly mobile devices are getting younger, which increases the chances of broken or damaged tablets.
In Corvallis, Oregon, the city's school district issued iPads to its students a year ago, but school board members were unsure what the damage rate and repair costs would be, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. The city received good news through its first-year run with the devices and was able to reduce the optional iPad insurance costs for the student iPad program while enhancing the benefits of the policy as well.
"This was our first year out of the box with this, and we didn't know what the damage rate would be as well as the type of damage," said Steve Nielsen, the business manager for the Corvallis School District, according to the source. "We could only go off of estimates and research. Overall, the damage rate was less than anticipated."
The district figures show the optional Corvallis Assurance program had almost $41,000 in revenue through the first year, the source reported. The district has only spent $6,850 on repairs, but there are still 40 damaged iPads that need to be fixed. The school also saw less than 10 devices stolen or lost in the year. The school will also continue to offer reduced insurance rates for students on lowered-price or free lunches in the 2014-2015 school year.
Security a major concern for school districts
Some of the schools' biggest worries come with software malfunctions or viruses from downloads. According to Business Week, in southwestern Los Angeles, Westchester High School students were issued iPads with restrictive filters on them to block Internet access to social media sites and other distracting websites. However, a few days after receiving the tablets, students had already figured out how to get around the filtering software.
"It was predictable that people were going to find a way," said Dominique Daniels, a 16-year-old student at Westchester, according to the source. "It wasn't that hard."
With security, a major issue, risk of device damage and the easiness of bypassing filters, iPad insurance is growing among educational settings. However, instituting the right insurance plan could let school districts rest easy knowing their devices are protected.