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Texas School District Goes 1:1 with Tablet Designed for Education

Midland Independent School District (MISD) has implemented a 1:1 tablet initiative for all 1,600 of the district's sixth grade students and plans to implement more as part of its multi-year 1:1 initiative.

When selecting a tablet, ease of implementation and security were two key criteria for the district. After pilot testing both the iPad and LearnPad, the district selected the LearnPad, a tablet designed specifically for the classroom.

According to Dennis Haynie, director of instructional technology for the district, the capabilities of the LearnPad exceeded the iPad for both of the district's key criteria. "It takes us about an hour to set up five iPads versus 10 minutes to set up five LearnPads," said Haynie in a prepared statement. The district also preferred the security capabilities of the LearnPad. "The iPad is a consumer device and there is nothing a school district can do that prevents a student from removing the security and downloading games," said Haynie. "The LearnPad is a secure tablet that is locked-down and allows teachers to monitor a student's activity."

The LearnPad tablet solution includes a cloud-based management portal and content store. Some teachers in the district are using the LearnPads to implement a flipped classroom environment, where they create lessons that include digital media for the students to watch at home in preparation for class the next day. Since the flipped classroom model requires students to take the devices home, the district preferred the security of the LearnPad, so they know students will be restricted to using the devices for educational purposes.

Another Texas school district has also implemented the LearnPad for its 1:1 initiative. The Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District (NCCISD) bought LearnPads for all 300 students in the district. The district's teachers received several days of training on the devices during the summer, and they're now using Internet content in their classrooms while using the dashboard to monitor student device use in the classroom.

Midland Independent School District in Midland, TX, serves approximately 23,000 students in 36 schools. Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District in Barksdale, TX, serves approximately 300 students in two schools.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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