Schools don’t have enough money?
. . . About 250 new iPad minis were given to children starting the new year at Te Akau ki Papamoa, a decile 4 school in Bay of Plenty, yesterday.
A further 45 tablets have been ordered for late enrollers.
So far the school has invested about $50,000 to ensure all its senior students have their own device. They retail for about $450 each.
Hundreds of schools around the country have implemented “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, where students are either told or allowed to bring electronic devices such as iPads or laptops to assist their learning.
Principal Bruce Jepsen told the Herald that concerns about such policies creating a “haves” and “have-nots” situation meant his board of trustees chose a different approach.
He said another problem with students bringing their own devices was the variety, which could hinder teachers trying to corral a classroom full of different technology.
The school already had about five iPads in every classroom – around 150 across its 500 students.
Every student in Years 4 to 6 received an iPad yesterday. The plan is to extend the programme to the junior school eventually.
While many schools would balk at the cost, Mr Jepsen said it had been possible with careful budgeting and some fundraising.
A Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust subsidy will pay 50 per cent of the initial $101,000 cost. But Mr Jepsen insisted the school was committed to the initiative with or without assistance, with another $60,000 budgeted for that purpose.
“[The grant] means we are able to progress the second phase of rolling out to the junior school a lot quicker.” . . .
Accepting that decile rankings are blunt instruments, decile four reflects a community that isn’t wealthy but careful budgeting and some fundraising has given this school choices.
That’s what happens when you allow them to make their own decisions on how to spend their money in the best interests of their pupils.