I recently received an email from my principal notifying me that someone broke into my classroom, as well as a colleague’s. This is the second break-in in the same number of months at our school with other schools in our district also falling prey recently. Fortunately, it seems nothing of value was taken from either classroom. During extended breaks, we typically secure anything of value, such as a document camera or LCD projector, inside of a filing cabinet or other lockable edifices. However, thieves only seem interested in iPads or computers, as they leave most everything else behind to include LCD projectors and doc cameras.
While crime does not escape schools, it significantly harms underserved students as they have limited, or no, access to computers, iPads, or other technology outside of school. As blended learning and other student-centered, technology centric methods increase in classrooms across the country, it seems that theft may unfortunately rise as well. Chicago and San Jose recently lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of iPads to theft. Thieves are targeting students with iPads in Las Vegas and Cleveland Heights outside of Cleveland. Over 5% of 1,200 iPads used at one school in Los Angeles Unified’s recent trial are missing.
While I do not yet have the classroom set of equipment I requested last summer in my proposal to my principal for my algebra 1 students, I learned just before break that a Chromebook cart is on campus and slated for delivery shortly after school restarts. Given this recent break-in, I will not store them in my classroom as originally planned, but keep them locked up in our technology room, which is far more secure.
It is a shame I need to worry about crime entering my classroom. More importantly, it is truly unfortunate for underserved students who need access to this technology to help accelerate their learning. Hopefully, for my students’ sake, lightning will not strike my classroom twice.