I’ve been playing around with sharing this particular experience for a couple of weeks. I wasn’t quite sure how much of our journey should be shared. But then I realized, that the purpose for sharing is to help others who are about to embark on this same journey.
We had set the date for our rollout event. I knew the iPads were in the building, but I hadn’t even looked at them one time. I was knee deep in looking at User Agreement Contracts, getting students under 12 their Apple ID’s, and helping teachers become familiar with a new learning tool, the iPad. In the news I saw this heading about a school in the city.
For the first time, I considered the possibility of someone considering the iPads at our school as having a street value. Our tech department had shared as early as August that our iPads wouldn’t be of any value to anyone outside of our students. I listened to talk after talk about security profiles, and MDMs , etc. So, I figured, everything was under control. I had faith in the people and the systems they established. Why? They were the experts.
Then then the unthinkable happened. Chute hosted a game on our premises on a Saturday. Some alumni of the school decided to go on a destruction and shopping trip. While probing and ransacking, the ne’er do wellers found an open classroom, and stole one of the teacher assigned iPads and laptop. It was the weekend. School was closed.
By Monday morning, Mr. McHolland had done his due diligence. He had talked with the police, looked over the video footage in the building, and ID’d the culprits. Case closed! Except, the equipment was still missing. We used the find my iPad site. More than 24 hrs later, we all know that’s useless. This is where the unbelievable begins.
The southside community of Evanston has an anchor and it’s our school. Over the past 20 years Chute has tried to establish itself as a safe heaven. Routinely, the support staff and the administrators follow the children home, making sure they home safely. The community is familiar with the Chute Family, and what it represents. So when Mr. McHolland went to the high school, and questioned about the whereabouts of the perpetrators, no one was surprised. It also, wasn’t surprising to find out that Mr. McHolland followed all leads until he retrieved all of the stolen property on his own. Now, Mr. McHolland has a wife and four lovely children. Is this apart of his job? It’s not safe nor is it smart to go looking for equipment when it’s stolen. Is this our plan? Are we going to chase down every lost iPad like this?
We didn’t have an established protocol for this. Where is the plan? Who’s job was it to make up the rules? Did I forget something?
The second missing, stolen, lost iPad happened. One of our students went to the Evanston Public Library after school. There is a section for teens called THE LOFT. Our student plugged his iPad into an outlet out of his line of sight. He thought he camouflaged it by placing the iPad inside of his book bag. Okay, so he didn’t think that the white cord leading from his bag to the electric outlet was a clue. Needless to say, when he returned to get his bag, his iPad was missing. The student promptly contacted Mr. McHolland the next morning at school. Mr. McHolland asked me if we had a record of the students Apple ID. I said no. But we all know, more than 30 minutes to an hour later, the iPad’s sim card was removed and that was that. So unlike our first experience, we now officially have one lost iPad a month and a half into our initiative.
But again, we are left with the idea that we need a plan.