Apple Laptop Proposed For Every Salisbury Student
Plan introduced to school board could save the district $60,000, director of technology says.
How does a school district save money, but allow its students to have the latest in technology?
Salisbury Township School District's technology director thinks he has a plan that could do just that.
Randy Ziegenfuss, director of technology, presented a plan to the school board's operations committee on Monday, June 6, that would loan an Apple laptop loaded with the latest software to every student in the district in grades six through 12.
Instead of buying and replacing the computers the district has now for $300,000, Ziegenfuss said the district could save $60,000 by leasing more Apple computers for $239,000.
Elementary students would not get laptops, but additional computers would be available for use in their classrooms, he said.
“If we want to truly implement the district vision and mission by 2014, as outlined in the strategic plan, providing the greatest opportunity for students to meet competencies, we recognize the need to increase access to learning without increasing costs,” Ziegenfuss said.
The money for the technology plan has been included in the proposed 2011-12 budget, which the school board will vote on June 15.
The perks include free professional development for teachers, extended licensing which includes free upgrades to Mac OS, iWorks and iLife for one year.
“[This plan] opens the door for Salisbury to address current and future financial challenges posed by cyber [or] charter schools, credit recovery, summer school and the development of a Salisbury Virtual Academy,” Ziegenfuss told the board.
“The board and district are progressive, but if we do nothing we regress,” Ziegenfuss said.
Board members agreed that the plan seemed to be in the best interest of the district, but said there are many issues that need to be worked out.
Superintendent Robert Gross said some of the biggest challenges Ziegenfuss and administrators need to address include distributing and insuring the computers and teaching parents and students on how to care for the computers.