Winnipeg School Division (WSD) is providing their students with 2,766 computer devices to assist them with their at-home learning.
A total of 2,166 Chromebooks and iPads as well as 600 Wi-Fi enabled iPads are being distributed to families within the division.
Tony Marchione, WSD’s acting Director of Technology, says most of the devices are coming from their existing inventory in their schools. WSD also purchased 600 LTE Cellular enabled Apple iPads with prepaid data plans.
“We are able to lend those to families with internet access in their homes,” Marchione said in a press release on Tuesday, May 5. “The remaining 600 families require both a device and internet access which we can provide through our partnership with Apple and Rogers.”
WSD’s Indigenous Education and Newcomer Services teams assisted with the distribution of the devices. They prioritized distribution in order of graduating students as well as high school and junior high students working on credit attainment, followed by Grades 1 to 3 and then Grades 4 to 8.
“We’re really focused on providing the technology first to where it is most needed,” said Rob Riel, WSD’s Director of Indigenous Education, adding rolling out the technology based on priority doesn’t mean anybody will go without. “We are ensuring special accommodations are made for student populations that are low-income, Indigenous, newcomer or require additional support in literacy and/or numeracy.”
Students will have access to technical support for the devices through the division’s technical department. Online activity is also being filtered and monitored by GoGuardian software, similar to safety net technology used in schools.
WSD says they will begin distributing the technology to previously identified families over the next few days.