Langdon Area School technology program receives grant

The Langdon Area School (LAS) Technology Coordinator, Jayla Askvig, successfully applied for grant funding sponsored by the North Dakota Educational Technology Council making LAS one of 73 schools to be selected to receive a Build Grant.

School cart

Posted on 1/30/16

By Melissa Anderson

“This grant is available to North Dakota public schools only to build capacity for technology supported teaching and learning,” Askvig said.

The North Dakota Educational Technology Council (ND ETC) is the state board responsible for developing technology systems and coordinating their use to enhance and support educational opportunities for elementary and secondary education. NDETC gave a total of $1.3 million in grant awards this year. The maximum that each school can get is based on per pupil.

“We can get $15 per pupil. There is a chart showing the max amount each eligible school is able to get,” Askvig explained.

Askvig, who works in both the high school and elementary school saw, the need for more technology in the high school. Finding a way to fund the new technology was the next task and when an email arrived about the Build Grant opportunity Askvig knew she had found a possible funding source.

“This was a great way to get more devices at the high school level,” Askvig stated.

One aspect of the Build Grant was that there had to be a matching amount for whatever was given. Askvig approached the Langdon Area School District Foundation who agreed to not only match the grant but even gave additional funds.

The grant and matching funds procured 20 iPads and a LockNcharge iPad cart to house the iPads. It can house up to 40 iPads which will give the school room to grow.

“Right now, for the cart and the iPads, we will be spending around $7,300,” Askvig said, “but they have also offered to purchase the cases with the keyboards on them which we will not order until we have the iPad cart. The total cost for everything is $12,679.95.”

Once in place at the high school, the cart will allow more than one classroom to utilize the new source of learning. The cart has carrying buckets in it that allows a teacher to take five iPads at a time making it more readily available to multiple classrooms at a time.

“Having these gives the students access to the  internet and apps that the classroom teachers can use in their classrooms,” Askvig explained.

Teachers will have the option of wheeling the entire cart and cargo into a classroom or taking buckets of five. Askvig explained that with this technology within easy reach, the teachers can use the iPads for apps, research, or using word or Power Point to create projects.

But with the new iPads comes the concern of making sure the students use the iPads appropriately. For this reason, Askvig will be applying a program called Mobile Device Management (MDM).

“An MDM is way to keep our devices secure and make sure they are being used for their intended purposes,” Askvig explained,” It is also great to have an MDM when it comes to updating the devices and putting new applications on them.”

Askvig would like to use an MDM that can all be done on one computer without touching the device. Currently, the MDM that Askvig is most interested in applying to the new LAS tech would cost $2,500.
“We were looking into one that would be for 125 devices for a three year span that would cost the school $2,500,” Askvig said.

There was some discussion on a new Apple update coming out that will have MDM capabilities. While there wouldn’t be a charge for this update, there is also no scheduled release date for the update. Askvig is not aware if the update would be  sufficient MDM for the purposes that she requires but feels that waiting to view the update is worth it and necessary to explore all her options.

“Right now I am not going to move forward with a MDM until that comes out,” Askvig said.

With the new technology on the way and spring just around the corner, Askvig would like to begin seeing the iPads used by March.