In May, the district placed orders for technology devices after a school year that ended with virtual learning. Recently, these orders began to arrive. The first shipment included 6,140 iPads that will be distributed to students who requested a device at the time of registration.
“We ordered 10,000 iPads,” Computer Network Specialist, Jaime Reyes said. “This is the first wave of the original order. The idea was to do packages of fifteen per core class, and that is how we came up with the number of devices to order.”
The district was already planning on purchasing technology prior to COVID-19. However, now that school will be starting remotely during the 4-week transition period as recently announced, these technological resources will be of greater assistance for students who need them to learn from home.
“Part of the registration process this year involved answering questions on whether students had a device and internet connectivity at home,” Reyes said. “That data was compiled by each campus and helped us determine which students needed a device.”
The campuses will begin to distribute devices to those who requested them on August 26.
“We are getting ready to infuse a lot of technology into our teaching and learning environment,” Reyes said. “This is going to give us the opportunity to further close the digital divide. I appreciate everyone who has been working hard to get this done, including our parents.”
An orientation will be required of both students and parents before they are given a device. This is to make sure that they understand how to use the computer or tablet and are aware of the responsibilities that come with borrowing the equipment.
The iPads will begin to be distributed at the elementary level. The school district is still waiting for additional new technology to be delivered. HCISD is also continuing to work on closing the digital divide and providing internet connectivity.
“For every single one of our children that is enrolled in our district, we have to have a plan to ensure that they have the devices that they need, but that we also have a plan for connectivity,” Administrator for Organizational Development, Veronica Kortan said. “I am thankful for the work that our principals have done. They are working on their connectivity plans. It’s about every student getting exactly what they need so that they will always have a high-quality education.”