One-to-one device initiatives are rife with challenges. From selecting, sourcing and securing devices to providing ongoing PD and support for instructors. Educating families and students on the appropriate use and care of devices is no small part of the task.
To limit liability, districts often turn to legal counsel to assist in developing comprehensive expectations. This is where things can get sticky. While important, relying solely on dense legal documents to guide families and students can end up impeding compliance, as key concepts get lost in the legalese. Want to maximize the impact of your Chromebook or other device care communications? Think beyond the legal aspects of your message.
1. Determine key message points.
What are the messages you really want to hit home? Chances are they fall under some common umbrellas: Using your device. Repair and replacement responsibilities. Digital Citizenship. And, of course, caring for your device. To reach more families and students with core messages, consider creating a user-friendly document around each topic.
2. Develop user-friendly documents. (And make them easy to find.)
Make your message easy to read and you very well may see compliance soar. Try infographics (opens in new tab), simple FAQs and well-designed web pages (opens in new tab). Another valuable tool for reaching students: video (opens in new tab).
For most topics, a pledge with clear, limited bullet points and signature lines works well. Your device care pledge, for example, can ask students to state that they will:
- Never lift my Chromebook by its screen
- Never throw or slide my Chromebook
- Make sure my Chromebook is securely closed before carrying
- Avoid placing pressure or weight on my Chromebook
- Always use the provided protective case; or
- Purchase and use a protective case
Whichever format(s) you choose, create documents that are short, simple, visually clean and easy to read – and make them easy for families to find on your district and school websites.
3. Provide resources to decrease damage.
Issuing a protective case along with student devices can help cut costs and save staff time. Looking for a less-costly option? MAXCases EdgeProtect (opens in new tab) cases – new for the 2019-2020 school year – are a great way to add protection that’s thinner, lighter and less expensive than older types of cases. Other options include work-in cases (opens in new tab), which provide “always on” protection, or protective sleeves (opens in new tab) that slide easily into backpacks and safeguard devices among books and binders. Request a free sample (opens in new tab) to find a great fit for your devices.
4. Consider recommending that families purchase a protective case.
Not every district is fortunate enough to have the funds to provide protective cases. If this is your situation, it may seem unfair to suggest that families purchase them. To the contrary, you could very well be doing them a tremendous favor. Making families aware that there are protective cases available at great values can help save them the time, stress and costs that come with a damaged device. MAXCases can help, with a wide range of options available for fast and easy (opens in new tab)purchase on amazon (opens in new tab).
5. Reinforce key messages.
When it comes to communication, one-and-done rarely works. Repetition makes messages stick. Once you’ve created your user-friendly documents, make them work for you all year long. Provide them to your PTO, superintendent and principals to include in their emails. Send them as reminders to teachers and staff. If you’re concerned about overkill, create a messaging calendar to track your outreach efforts. You very well may see compliance increase and repairs decline.
Brought to you by MAXCases, a U.S.-based company dedicated to serving the education market with protective cases and accessories for iPads, Chromebooks, laptops, tablets, and other popular mobile devices. Combining extensive testing and customer feedback, MAXCases offers superior performance and style, U.S.-based customer service, and customization options to accommodate special requests. For more information, visit www.maxcases.com (opens in new tab) .