BECKLEY, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education is switching to a teacher e-mail account system that will speed up iPad app download times, and Apple is taking the online safety of middle school students very seriously.
On their own merits, the two developments are positive, noted Raleigh County Schools Assistant Superintendent Kenny Moles.
But together, they’ve created a technological snafu that has the Raleigh schools technology department working overtime.
The unexpected fusion has also kept iPads out of the hands of elementary and middle school students, Moles said, because security measures are being taken to ensure better teacher control of the devices, and the process is currently slowed by the state’s alias e-mail switch and the parental paperwork required by Apple officials.
Last year, iPads were deployed to all schools in August and September.
“We learned some valuable lessons last year,” said Moles. “We got the devices out in kids’ hands quickly and efficiently.
“We did a good job of putting the device in kids’ hands, but we did not do a very good job of predicting the jobs that would then come after that, such as filtering and what applications need to be on the device, and security protocols for your tech-savvy kids who can get around those security filters.
“We’re deliberately being methodical to make sure we have the necessary security in place before we put the device in the hands of the kids…