Guilford schools pull tablets from use
The Guilford County Schools has suspended the use of Amplify tablets, cases, keyboards and chargers, effective immediately, the school system announced in a letter to parents late this week.
The school system made the decision due to ongoing concerns regarding the quality and safety of the products provided to the district by Amplify, Superintendent Mo Green said in the letter. Guilford County Schools didn't specify when new tablets might be availble to replace the ones being pulled from classrooms.
"Since the start of the school year, about 10 percent of the district’s 15,000 devices have been returned to Amplify due to broken screens. Schools also have reported problems with approximately 2,000 Amplify-supplied cases," according to the letter.
Earlier this week, Amplify executives told the school system that the screens that were installed were not the more damage-resistant screens that Amplify thought had been installed, and that school officials had requested.
In addition, the school system recently became aware of a potential safety problem with the tablet chargers. On Wednesday, a student turned in a charger that had overheated, causing the charger’s plastic casing to melt, according to school officials.
"On Thursday, I decided that the district should stop using the devices, particularly the charger, as a safety precaution. Amplify agreed with this decision," Green says. "While a certain amount of technology issues are expected during major roll-outs, I felt the safety concern required immediate attention. Suspending the use of the devices and chargers will give Amplify and its suppliers an opportunity to properly investigate and work on the issues."
Green acknowledged that suspending the program on short notice will disrupt students, staff and parents. "However, I’d rather act with an abundance of caution and err on the side of safety," the superitendent says.