POTTSTOWN PA – When Pottsgrove School District buildings re-open in late August some students will return to find sparkling new computers and tablets awaiting them, as the result of a four-year, $336,645 hardware lease budgeted and authorized late last month by the Board of School Directors.
Director of Technology and Communications Michael Wagman said the agreement covers 270 MacBook Air personal computers and 130 iPad2 tablets. They replace other devices that either no longer work well or at all, and have reached the end of their leases. Swapping out old for new computers on an yearly schedule is a policy the district adopted in 2008.
Pottsgrove will pay for the lease in annual increments of $84,161.
Some of the devices to be used at its high school represent a broader vision of “one-to-one technology” – equipping each student with his or her own computer – articulated several months ago by Wagman during public budget discussions with the board. At the time he suggested Pottsgrove’s proposed technology spending plan for 2014-2015 might present an opportunity to turn the vision into reality.
Directors questioned future costs and other aspects of one-to-one technology, but encouraged Wagman to return with more information. One of the answers they sought: what hardware platform would the district choose?
Although last month’s lease consisted of only Apple-brand products, Wagman said he was “not committing yet to Apple” for the one-to-one proposal. “That decision will be made at a later date.” He added, however, that “the Mac platform has worked well for us, and that some applications we use regularly in the classroom are made only for it.”
Related to area schools’ one-to-one technology:
Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 28 meeting):
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