Ashley k-5 Students Receive iPads; Stapleton K-5 Students Receive Microsoft Surface Pro 3s

microsoft air proIn what school officials are hoping will be a jump start to the turnaround of a Northeast Denver School, all K-5 Ashley Elementary students received iPads. The iPads were part of a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The iPads will help educators pinpoint learning challenges for students and provide them each with the best tools to overcome the challenges. “It’s really an exciting program,” said Ashley parent Jill O’Malley. “It can help the kids with their learning as well as teach them responsibility. It’s great to see that Ashley and the school district are taking an initiative to make this school great.”

Not to be outdone, the Stapleton public elementary schools including Isabella Bird, Westerly Creek, Bill Roberts, and Swigert, decided to provide each student at the respective elementary schools with fully loaded Microsoft Surface Pro 3s. “Someone heard the rumor that Ashley would be doing this, so the PTAs all got together to see what could be done,” said Westerly Creek PTA President Jennifer Christin. “We decided to work together and find a solution to the technology gap we were up against with Ashley. So, we found one of the best laptops on the market, the Surface Pro 3, and just ordered them up.”

The laptops do not come cheap, however. Compared to an estimated $250 cost of an iPad, the Surface Pro 3 retails at about $1300, over five times more expensive than the iPad the students at Ashley received. “We kind of figured Stapleton kids are at least five times more important than other kids,” said Swigert PTA President Rose Mason. “Why not get them the best? Besides, money is really not that big of a factor with what we are raking in each year.”

The Stapleton schools have no set plan as to how they will capitalize on the newly added technology. “It’s great that the kids have this access,” said Swigert Elementary Principal Chris Llewellyn. “But the struggle is that we make our lesson plans based on what we believe we will have coming into the year, and these were not in the plan. Now, in a sense, the PTA and parents have essentially created a whole new process for us. And we have to use them or parents will go nuts. I mean nuts.”

Stapleton’s High Tech Elementary was not included in the Surface Pro purchases as those students already had their own laptops as well as several other yet to be released technology items which are still in beta. “We have a deal with our laptop company,” says High Tech Principal Jim Morningstar. “We trade them in every four months, as they become outdated as to what we are looking for. It’s cute that these other Stapleton elementary schools jumped on the technology train, but we are on a technology rocket ship, leaving everyone behind.” The other Stapleton elementary schools hope to have a strong plan of use for the Surface Pros by winter break. “We should have a good strategy by the second half of the school year,” said Principal Llewellyn. “It will take a lot of extra hours from the teachers and our staff, but the students are worth it.” Yes, five times worth it.

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