Tablet Computers

Teachers and students say the new case (similar to an OtterBox) is part of the reason fewer tablets are breaking.
Jeff Tiberii

Students in Guilford County have tablet computers...again. The federally funded initiative first began in August of 2013, but school officials suspended the program weeks later after more than 10-percent of the devices broke. Now, middle school students have tablets from a different manufacturer.

At Jamestown Middle School several students surround a table in the media center. Their necks careen downward and their fingers move comfortably across glass screens. These tablets have games in math, social studies and science.

More than 2,000 tablets broke and about a dozen chargers partially melted earlier this school year.
Jeff Tiberii

Middle school students in Guilford County will face new punishments for broken tablet computers this fall.

Guilford County Schools rolled out a federally funded tablet program last August. But by October more than 15 percent of the devices had broken and a few chargers melted. The district stopped the program and found a new manufacturer.

After public feedback some new rules are in-place for the re-launch this fall:

More than 2,000 tablets broke and about a dozen chargers partially melted earlier this school year.
Jeff Tiberii

Guilford County school officials and the manufacturer of tablet computers once used in district classrooms disagree on why thousands of devices broke. Asus, the company that built the more than 15,000 tablet computers used for a time in Guilford County classrooms, is not taking blame for melted chargers. In a statement Asus says is has run tests on its products and found no problems.  The tablet program was paused in October after thousands of devices broke and nearly a dozen chargers partially melted. School officials believe the devices were defective. Meanwhile students are without tablets and the school system is working with Amplify, a for-profit education company to find another manufacturer and try to re-start the program.

“This doesn’t really change out view of what happened and our view of what’s needed to move forward, which is still to make sure that we get the products and services at the expected quality,” said Nora Carr, Chief of Staff for Guilford County Schools.

Math teacher Melissa Tatum is one of 900 educators who has been trained on the tablet computers. She plans to use Brain Pop in her classroom this fall.
Jeff Tiberii

Guilford County Schools will get another set of tablet computers after thousands of devices broke.

The company Guilford hired to outfit the devices has agreed to pay for and replace 15,000 tablets.  Guilford issued the tablets to middle school students, staff and faculty earlier this year. But more than 2-thousand broke and there were also a small number of chargers that overheated and partially melted. Earlier this month school officials recalled all of the devices and the program was put on hold.  

Math teacher Melissa Tatum is one of 900 educators who has been trained on the tablet computers. She plans to use Brain Pop in her classroom this fall.
Jeff Tiberii

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.