Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Applecare+....no thanks

Just a heads up on some numbers I was running today from Apple.

Our associate gave us a quote for 30 iPad2 at the new retail price of $399 and included the Applecare+ program with it- which costs $79 per device and covers up to 2 cases of accidental damage.  For each time the device needs replaced/repaired, there is a $49 deductible.  Applecare+ covers the device for 2 years.

So here are the numbers I ran for a cart of 30 (which is how they're packaged for schools):
30 x $79 = $2,370

Let's assume the pretty much worst case scenario- 5 broken ipads over the course of 2 years (a high number, especially if they're well protected...which we'll get to in a second).  Now, this would be 16.7% of the ipads breaking, or 1 in 6.  As a smaller-scale reference point, our school has had 350 ipod touch devices for over three years and in that time we have had a total of 8 ipods with cracked screens from accidental damage (2 of those were teachers/admin, by the way!).  Now, that's a bummer, but the reality is that these things don't break very easily because they're very good products (and even with the cracked screen they still function just the same, by the way...).

So, let's go with the high number here- 5.  That would be another 5 x $49 deductible = additional $245.  For a total of $2,615 out of pocket...

Now, what I'd do with the money instead- buy 5 additional ipad2's at the retail price of $399 (could be even cheaper for edu, but haven't checked prices lately there) for a total of $1,995.  Then take the additional $375 (or $620 if you count the money you save from the deductibles) and put it toward good cases that will stop them from being broken when dropped in the 1st place.

This gives you 5 backups/replacements up front that you would never have to worry about filling out a work order form, shipping things back/forth, going to the Apple store, etc., plus provides your ipads with the protection they need so they won't break in the first place.

The bottom line on this is that Applecare might be a good idea for a very small number of devices, but on a large scale (anything 30 and above) I would not recommend it at all.

I know where my money would go if I were making the purchase!


I just tweeted back and forth with Tim Gwynn (tgwynn) and he reminded me of another good point- the cost to completely replace an IOS device without Applecare is half the retail price of the device (plus tax).  For the iPad2, this works out to be around $215 now that the retail price has dropped.  So to get to that $2,370 mark for 30 ipads, you'd have to bust 11 ipads!  Unless your students are using them as frisbees (which would actually be kind've cool...hmm could take video and study motion that way..hmmm but I digress), then you should be much  better off when buying in bulk to skip Applecare and save your $$!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our BYOD Policy and Process

Our school is in the midst of piloting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with students.  I like the way we've done the pilot- we basically opened it up for students before creating an official policy.  By doing this, we were able to see problems or issues come up naturally.  Instead of trying to guess and overthink all the potential dangers, we just dove in and dealt with reality.  If your school is moving in the BYOD direction, I highly recommend doing it this way.

So our process has looked like this:
  1. Start school, give students the password to the wireless and allow them to access the network with their devices.  Allowing this was completely at the discretion of each individual teacher.  Some teachers did not want to deal with it and some (many) went whole hog.  I think the variety was good to get different perspectives throughout the pilot
  2. Teachers experienced and dealt with issues that might come up (minor bullying issues, losing their stuff, items not charged, taking pictures without permission).
  3. Halfway through the year, we brought it up as a discussion point in our leadership team meeting- teachers/staff/parents voiced their concerns, issues, and solutions.  We are a school that already is progressive with things like grading policies (going for mastery, allowing multiple attempts, no zeroes, no grading on behaviors, but other more natural consequences).  Team decided to create a draft policy for next meeting.
  4. I researched other BYOD policies out there that addressed some of the same concerns we had.  I incorporated their ideas into our draft:  Links:  http://the21stcenturyprincipal.blogspot.com/2012/02/5-areas-of-consideration-for-developing.html  ,  http://www.corcoranunified.com/?s=Acceptable+Use+Policy  (great ideas here!!)
  5. I brought the draft to our leadership team and we went through and made some significant changes that reflected our unique needs and perspectives.  
  6. This policy will become part of our official school policy that we work under moving forward.

So here is what we came up with- hopefully the process we went through and the policy itself can help steer you in your own directions with BYOD- feel free to use any ideas herein (and definitely check out the policies and ideas above):


JN Fries Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Policy

Technology plays a large role in our students’ lives.  Personal devices can enhance and enrich learning opportunities both at home and at school.  JN Fries is committed to allowing responsible, learning-centered use of personal devices at school so as to provide as many pathways to understanding as possible for our students.

General Info
Access to the JN Fries wireless network, whether with school-provided or personal devices, is filtered in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  However, access from personal devices is limited to Internet use only.  Students will not have access to any documents  that reside on the school network from their personal devices.

Access to the JN Fries wireless network is a privilege, not a right.  Any use of the wireless network entails personal responsibility and compliance with all school rules.  The use of the Cabarrus County Schools’ network also allows IT staff to conduct investigations regarding inappropriate Internet use at any time, by administrator request.

Guidelines for use
·         Use of personal devices during the school day is at the discretion of teachers and staff.  Students must use devices as directed by their teacher.
·         The primary purpose of the use of personal devices at school is educational.  Personal use for personal reasons is secondary.
·         The use of a personal device is not to be a distraction in any way to teachers or students.  Personal devices must not disrupt class in any way.
·         The use of personal devices falls under Cabarrus County Schools’ Acceptable Use Policy, found in the student handbook
·         Students will refrain from using personal devices outside of their classroom unless otherwise directed by their teacher
·         Students shall make no attempts to circumvent the school’s network security and/or filtering policies.  This includes setting up proxies and downloading programs to bypass security.
·         Students shall not distribute pictures or video of students or staff without their permission (distribution can be as small as emailing/texting to one other person or as large as posting image or video online)

Consequences for Misuse/Disruption
(one or more may apply):

·         Device taken away for the period
·         Device taken away and kept in the front office until parent picks it up
·         Student is not allowed to use personal devices at school
·         Disciplinary Referral resulting in ISS or OSS

School Liability Statement
Students bring their devices to use at JN Fries at their own risk.  It is their duty to be responsible in the upkeep and protection of their devices.

JN Fries Magnet School is in no way responsible for:
·         Personal devices that are broken while at school or during school-sponsored activities
·         Personal devices that are lost or stolen at school or during school-sponsored activities
·         Maintenance or upkeep of any device (keeping it charged, installing updates or upgrades, fixing any software or hardware issues)