Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Insuring Devices Becomes a Big Business

Many schools are using precious funding to put the newest technology in the hands of their students. However, with those costs comes concern about protecting the investment, which has led school districts, colleges, and universities to make insuring those devices a big business.

“A lot of districts don’t want to deal with the claims process,” said Quang Ha, sales director of Worth Ave., a company with more than 1,000 clients in the education field, talking to eSchool News. “Can you trust an eight- or nine-year-old to take care of technology? Things are bound to happen. We manage the whole repair process.”

The Farmington, MN, district plans to spend about $3 million over the next four years to put iPads into the hands of students in grades 4-12. The system has developed an 11-page loan agreement that provides insurance at a cost of $28 per year, along with a plan for how the gadget can be used in and outside of school by students to help prevent damage.

Parents can opt out of the contract if they agree to pay for the device if it's damaged, but the district is hoping parents will want to participate and that the detailed plan will provide incentive for students to handle the devices with a bit more care.

“Part of it is the replacement factor and the budget consideration,” said Carl Colmark, finance director of the Farmington school district. “And part of it is I think it will bring a greater level of responsibility for both parents and kids.”

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