Leaders with Guilford County schools announced today they are suspending a tablet-computer initiative indefinitely. The surprising news came at a hastily called press conference Friday. Guilford County was in the process of implementing the largest tablet program in U.S. History. It is funded by a $30 million federal grant. Since the school system started handing out tablets to teachers in June, and students in August, about 10-percent have been cracked or broken.
“A tablet might be between two books in a book bag. And the student pulls it out and its cracked. High rates of those types of cracks concern us,” said Jake Henry, the director of instructional technology for Guilford County.
Broken tablets are sent back to Amplify, the company Guilford is paying to provide the devices and educational content. A spokesman for Amplify said the company is working to answer questions about the glass. Additional problems include broken inputs and an overheard charger that melted. All of the tablets were collected this morning and the program will stop until further notice. School officials also cannot speak to the Department of Education, until the government shutdown ends.