Published on August 13th, 2020 📆 | 7728 Views ⚑0
Schools make due as technology on back order
As schools prepare for remote learning, they face a technology crunch.
Districts are waiting on devices to be delivered but are making class work with what they have on hand.
Stacks of laptops lay up against a wall at the Papillion La-Vista technology center.
They’re ready to roll out to students for remote learning.
“We have the number of devices we need right now to meet those needs,” said Lucas Bingham, IT director for Papillion La-Vista schools.
Around 10% of the district’s students opted to do remote learning.
The district ordered around 6,000 iPads and Chromebooks, as part of a regularly scheduled purchase with extra added on, but COVID has made getting them difficult.
“Obviously, there’s a global logistics issue with not only technology, people ordering from Amazon or other vendors,” Bingham said.
With the amount the district has now, each child on a remote learning plan who needs a device will get one, with a hot spot for internet.
Some families are relying on their own devices and internet.
But if the district had to go full-remote, it said it would have to pull devices from schools because of the technology backlog.
“At this point, we’re at the mercy of the global shipping and manufacturing systems, as are most other folks in our shoes,” Bingham said.
Just like Omaha Public Schools, which is fully remote.
The district said in early summer some iPads would arrive after school started.
Some won’t come until late September.
The devices will be equipped with internet, and can serve as a hot spot for other devices, like laptops sent home by the district.
Right now, it has enough iPads for all elementary schoolers, some middle schools and incoming freshman. The district said students should begin receiving them soon.
But a district spokesperson said every student should have some device by the time school starts, whether it be a district-provided device, or one the family owns.
OPS said families should contact their school with any technology needs, or if they’re unsure of their options.
“I don’t think eight months ago anybody envisioned we would be in this boat, but here we are,” Bingham said.
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