Decatur Co. schools get tablets with ESPLOST

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Decatur County School System and Federalgraphics, a business solutions company, have teamed together to bring 1,200 TabPilot computer tablets to classrooms in all eight Decatur County schools.
The tablets feature a management system designed to give teachers complete control of a classroom’s entire set of tablets. Thousands of Android apps are available for teachers to download and use for student learning. Students can only see apps configured by their teachers, eliminating any distractions that would otherwise come from a tablet not desgined for learning.
“Until now, the use of tablets in classrooms often created problems,” said Ron Sparkman, president of Federalgraphics, in a recent press release. “Students were distracted by other apps or games, were able to change system setting, access the camera, and even access other apps during testing. The TabPilot enables teachers to ‘lock down’ tablet access.”
Using cloud-based app technology, the Decatur County School System’s network will be able to push material out to all TabPilot computers at once, keeping the network from slowing down from too much traffic.
“This mobile technology, which can be moved from classroom to classroom, allows our students to stay on track with the right material and no distractions,” said Dr. Fred Rayfield, superintendent, Decatur County Schools, in a recent press release. “The Decatur County Board of Education is pleased to make this initial investment in tablet technology for our students and teachers. This technology brings us one step closer to providing personalized digital learning environments for all of our students.”
A total of 960 of the TabPilot computers were funded by SPLOST, an optional one percent sales tax charged by any Georgia county to fund the building of schools, parks or roads. Decatur County School System put the money towards better learning technology in county classrooms.
“We are excited to provide our students and teachers with the latest technology to be used in the instructional classroom,” said Dr. April Aldridge, assistant superintendent, Decatur County Schools, in a recent press release.
Each tablet cost $440, which includes a carrying case for travel use. SPLOST funds paid a total of $422,400 for TabPilots, with the other 240 tablets costing $105,600 and paid for by other technology funds within the board.
With offices in Birmingham, Ala., Macon and Columbus, Federalgraphics is a business solutions company dedicated to serving the growing and thriving businesses of the Southeast.

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