Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:29
Officials are hoping for $48,000 refund or credit on replacement devices
One year ago, LearnPads were all the rage in the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District.
The district initially purchased 30 of the devices at $399 each and implemented use of an earlier version of the devices in fifth grade science classes the year before.
Supt. Jeanne Courneene said at the time the implementation went “extremely well.”
“The students overwhelmingly responded positively as evidenced by their enthusiasm and high level of engagement during daily learning activities,” Courneene said last year.
All those successes came with LearnPad’s XD model, which has since been discontinued.
Since switching to a new model, issues like “multiple defective screens, cracked casings, incomplete portal systems, missed timelines for delivery and support, failure to provide one-week development assistance as promised and beta testing at the expense of the consumer” have plagued the district, Courneene said in her July board report.
In her report, Courneene said the district is pursuing a $48,630 refund or device credit for 110 Quarto tablets it owns.
The 9.7-inch Quarto tablets retail for $329.95 on LearnPad’s web site.
Courneene said she hopes to meet with Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah Supt. Ann Buechel Haack, shared network architect Anthony Summers and Jim Tierney, president and CEO of Tierney Bros., a Minneapolis-based company that sold the district the devices and covers the warranty.
“The original LearnPad has been a great technology tool for our grade five staff and students upon implementing two years ago,” Courneene said. “Since the XD model, there were changes resulting in inadequate performance by the devices that replaced the XD model.”
At the July 8 board meeting, Courneene said there was “some tension between the vendor and manufacturer” and “we’re trying to stay out of that.”
She said the district is in the process of “exploring all options that represent sound instructional and financial outcomes as well as options that align to our district technology plan.”
Courneene added she has future conference calls and meetings scheduled to “uncover more details to the issues and resolution options.”