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Guilford County Schools suspends tablet program

Posted on: 7:17 pm, October 4, 2013, by

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — After only two months since the launch of the Amplify Tablet Program, Guilford County School Superintendent Mo Green has suspended the use of all tablets as a safety precaution.

The announcement was made Thursday morning to students, faculty and staff that all 15,000 tablets across 18 middle schools were recovered and secured.

Since the start of the school year, about 10 percent of the district’s 15,000 devices have been returned to Amplify due to broken screens. Schools also have reported problems with approximately 2,000 Amplify-supplied cases.

“There’s  a certain sort of tougher glass, if you will, a more break resistant glass that should be placed on the tablet and that did not appear on the tablets,” Green said. “Did we expect that would happen some, absolutely. Did we expect to have as many break as we have seen, absolutely not.”

Thursday, Amplify executives informed GCS officials that the screens that were installed were not the more damage-resistant screens that the company thought had been installed, and that GCS had requested.

In addition, the district recently became aware of a potential safety problem with the tablet chargers. On Wednesday, a student turned in a charger that had overheated, causing the charger’s plastic casing to melt.

Green said that he and the support staff are working with Amplify to investigate a potential problem and solution, but does not have an exact time frame as to when students will use the tablets again.

Last year, Guilford County Schools were awarded $35 million dollars by the Federal Government’s  “Race to the Top District ” grant to fund the $200 Amplify tablet purchase as a part of the PACE program personalized learning initiative.

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