How one school district deployed 10,000 iPads in five weeks

A Texas district has deployed more than 10,000 iPads to high school students and teachers.

Sticking to its resolution to put iPads in students’ and teachers’ hands, the Mansfield Independent School District in Texas deployed 10,600 of Apple’s popular devices in just 5 weeks—no small feat, but worth the effort, district ed-tech staff said.

Describing the initiative as “kind of a monster job,” Kristi Bell, an ed-tech trainer with Mansfield ISD, said the deployment involved students at six high schools, a career-tech school, and educators in those buildings.

Mansfield ISD leaders began the project in February 2012 with a “goal to ensure educational opportunities for all students, delivered through innovative and inspiring teaching methods.” State legislative changes meant the district could use some of its instructional materials/textbook funding allotment for digital resources, which opened the door for the initiative.

The Power Up! Initiative began as a limited pilot after educators secured school board approval in April, in which one teacher in a single high school used iPads with two of her classes. Those students took their iPads home, and the school used AirWatch’s mobile device management software to deploy, monitor, and provide web security for the iPads.

(Next page: Important steps to deployment)

Laura Ascione

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