BEND, OR -- The Bend-La Pine School District currently manages nearly 14,000 iPads for all students, from third to 12th grade. Skip Offenhauser oversees the program, now in its third year. "I've been told it's the largest deployment [of iPads] in the northwest."
But, managing all those devices in the hands of children can be difficult. Offenhauser tells KBND News there are a couple teachers at each school trained to be able to take care of low-level problems. And tech support is available as needed. "Every school has a district employee assigned to them that is part of our I.T. department; those are our site techs. Site techs might be assigned to two to four schools, depending on the size of the schools. They are the people who go in and fix a lot of the issues, will go in and fix any breaks." Wear and tear of everyday use can take its toll, and the district was forced to hire four more of these techs this year, to keep up with demand.
Offenhauser says the iPads are expected to last about five years and the district's oldest units are now in their third year. "We're hoping, in all likelihood we will not be doing a very large purchase for next year. We'll probably still have to purchase some, just to account for growth because Bend-La Pine Schools is a growing district. But, if you look at the performance of the iPad 2s, these machines are doing pretty darn well."