Dallas ISD prepares to distribute technology kits to elementary students for virtual learning


Dallas ISD plans to distribute 60,000 Chromebooks and iPads to primary school students, as families prepare for virtual learning.
As family’s count down the days to the start of a new school routine in Dallas Independent School District, technology is top of mind for many parents and principals.
“Oh my goodness, students not having the opportunity to connect to learn, it’s a great challenge,” said Chaundra Macklin, principal of J.J. Rhoads Learning Center in south Dallas.
Macklin is among educators who say they understand the looming challenges when students and teachers aren’t connected by technology.
That’s why the Information Technology staff at Dallas ISD is working hard, right now. They are putting together technology kits for 60,000 students.
“On Monday, they should receive their Chromebook device or iPad, whichever device has been identified for that student. Those that have requested a hotspot will have a hotspot in their bag, along with ear buds and chargers,” said Marlon Shears, chief deputy technology officer with Dallas ISD.
The tech kits will be distributed to elementary students across the city. District workers say the goal is equity and ensuring students have one-to-one access to technology for virtual learning.
“Having that connectivity with the hotspots, they can get their work done. They can get online. They can prepare what they need to do, and that’s important,” added Macklin.
Earlier this week, parents in Mansfield ISD experienced frustration while waiting hours in long lines to pick up computers and accessories for remote learning.
Dallas ISD is requiring its parents to register. Each elementary school is working with families on pick-up schedules, hoping to avoid any hiccups like those experienced in the neighboring school district.
“It’s a difficult process. And until you attempt the journey, you don’t know the experience. So, we’re just trying to learn from their experience and just do it a little bit better,” said Shears.
Dallas ISD staff knows virtual learning will be a unique transition for many families. So, tech support is being set up through the schools and the school district’s IT department.