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RSS one-to-one program launches for third year

The first week of school means new teachers, new school supplies, new lessons and a readjustment to early mornings — but in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, it also means something else: technology. This week, each student between third and 12th grade will be reissued a laptop or iPad. Over the summer, each device was wiped clean, restored to factory settings and updated.

Director of Digital Innovation Andrew Smith said that Apple has launched an operating system geared specifically for educators. This summer, tech teams installed the system on approximately 22,000 devices. Now, student devices lack access to Apple’s application store as well as iMessenger, a device-to-device messaging service.

“Kids no longer have access to download any app they want,” Smith said.

Teachers will be able to request specific apps and automatically drop them onto their student’s devices. And each device now features a lock-system function that requires the assigned student’s ID and password to use — rendering it useless to anyone else. The district also has a new management system that allows it to monitor and pinpoint the location of the devices should they become lost or stolen.

Students receive the same device that they had the previous year, and Smith estimates that about 12,000 iPads were deployed this week. Devices are available to kindergarten through second-grade students during the school day, but they are not allowed to take them home.

In order to receive their laptop or iPad, students had to make a rental payment, sign a responsibility agreement and watch a video. For families who have not completed device requirements, that information can be found at www.rss.k12.nc.us/news/one-one-parent-night-training.

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