Taking Better Care of Our Devices

Laptops and tablets can be a terrific asset in the classroom.

But repairs and maintenance can be expensive.

Every school has those crazy stories about how that one time that one kid did that one thing and you can’t believe what damage it did to their device!

Laptops and TabletsBut in general, in talking with schools across Maine, most of our damage seems to come from one of these four categories:

  • Dropping from Desks
  • Not Closing Cases
  • Traveling and Moving Between Classes, and to and from School
  • Carelessness at Home

There is no doubt that even if your school’s breakage rate is low, you would be happy to lower your maintenance and repair costs.

We have talked to schools across the state about the strategies they have found successful, including several schools who had high breakage rates (30-35%) and by leveraging several approaches were able to achieve much more conservative breakage rates (around 5%). These are the strategies they recommend.
Strategy: Student Ownership
  • What does the school do every day to leave students with the authentic feeling that these are their devices?
  • (Simply telling students that the devices are their responsibility rarely creates a sense of ownership in students)
  • Focused and Purposeful Use of the Device in Class
  • Student Personalization (stickers, etc. – Don’t cover the asset tag)
  • Shared Vision for Learning (What kinds of learning experiences do you want for your students?)
  • Classroom Focus on Engaging Students
Strategy: Establish Routines
  • Work with Leadership to Set Expectations, Policies, & Procedures
  • Instruction at Beginning of Year
  • Lots of Conversations with Students
  • “End of Class” Routine (Put in case; Securely close case)
  • Spot Checks of Damage (biweekly – Advisory or Homeroom)
Strategy: Be Aware
  • Observe
    • How Students Take Devices Through the Hall
    • How Students Come into Class
    • How Students Leave Class
  • Intervene
    • Ask to Follow Procedure
    • Reteach Procedure 
    • Remove Device if not Handled Properly
Strategy: Extra Protection
  • Protection Plan for Students (Make sure it meets MLTI guidelines)
  • Device Cases ($25-$30 per device may still be less expensive than what your school is spending to fix dinged cases…)
Implementing these four strategies should help reduce your school’s breakage rate and how much you spend on replacements and repairs.

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