Last night on the local news there was a brief blurb about a few Minnesota school districts that have looked into insuring their devices (like iPads). Today, I came across the topic again via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. According to the article, Farmington and South St. Paul are just two of a growing number of school districts that are pursuing insurance for their devices.
It works like this… “Parents of Farmington students taking iPads home, typically fourth- through 12th-graders, can buy a $28-a-year insurance policy through the district to cover damage. The insurance fee is capped at two devices per household. If families decide to opt out, they must agree to pay for the devices if they are damaged. The district will pay roughly $50,000 to insure iPads for students who qualify for free and reduced-price school meals, a federal indicator of poverty” (Magan, 12/9/12).
Officials at Farmington explain that putting expensive devices into the hands of their students has many positive outcomes, but that kids have a greater potential of accidently damaging or breaking the device. Insurance is a protective measure to either pay for fixing a device or to go towards purchasing a new device.
Farmington’s insurance plan is provided by a company called Worth Avenue Group. Currently, this is one of the largest insurers of devices for schools – with a total of 1,000 current clients in the education field. This number is only expected to increase over time as more schools invest in one-to-one initiatives.
If your school has a one-to-one initiative, or is thinking about a one-to-one initiative, have you discussed the possibility of insurance for the devices? What is your school’s approach to the very real potential of broken or damaged devices? This is a new frontier… we need to share and learn with one another whenever possible!