Broken Screens, Lost Class Time, and Cases
As the Tech Specialist for the Academy for GOD I daily run into varied lamentable issues. “Mr. Cameron, my iPad opens apps by itself,” says one student. “I think its been hacked by Russian spies,” says another. Naturally curious I pick up the affected iPad and determine quickly that it's not Russian spies or anything software related. The screen is cracked and the digitizer is exposed as the glass has fallen off that section. I then explain to the student owning the cracked iPad that there’s nothing I can do about the problem except recommend the screen and digitizer get replaced….again.
There are certain students who have cracked their iPads a multitude of times. This can cause technical issues as noted above, safety issues as broken edges of the screen glass are exposed, and class management issues in that the iPad’s performance being limited can negatively affect class activities. Let’s also be honest, the time it takes a third party repair shop to fix a broken iPad is a series of days a student doesn’t have their primary manipulative at the Academy, making their participation as a student suffer and causing a financial strain on the family.
Two days ago my oldest, Daniel, dropped his iPad as he was walking up the steps to our front door. It fell and landed on the corner of the concrete step. This would be screen death to most iPads, but not his. It bounced off the corner and landed in the grass. His Lifeproof case was a little scratched but his iPad remained unscathed and in full working order.
“That’s a $100 case!” you may object. Yes it is, but I know for a fact that it costs at least $75 to get his iPad screen repaired by Patrick (a contact I have referred several of you to for broken iPad repair) and at least $100 to get it fixed at standalone chain stores. I personally feel like I should spend that money up front and not have to worry about him dropping his iPad and breaking it. He will drop it, he’s a child.
I’m not a salesman for Lifeproof. There are several other brands that make tough cases that cover both the back of the iPad and the screen. I recommend parents consider getting one for their kid’s iPad(s). You could also read this blog article for alternatives but I recommend you find a tough case that protects both the back and the screen. This leads me to the second point I want to make in this blog post.
“Flippin” Those iPads
Again as the Tech Specialist I occasionally get tasked with finding apps that meet a real need that can be installed on all kid’s iPads. Recently a request came for a voice recorder since Apple doesn’t supply one stock on iOS for iPad. My first instinct was to take an Apple App (since I know they don’t have ads and are safe) and try to make it work. I downloaded Apple Music Memos on my own device and tested it to see if it would suffice for a voice recorder. Indeed it would. In my excitement I started installing it on some of the kids iPads only to discover that it is only available for devices on iOS 10 or above. “Shoot,” I think, “this won’t work on at least a quarter of student iPads.”
As I mentioned a few months ago Apple dropped support for iOS updates on the iPad 2 and original iPad Mini. That means those devices can’t get that app. Granted in this case I found a work around (an app called Just Press Record), but the reality is app developers aren’t going to keep building backwards compatibility for legacy hardware into apps. Daniel has several apps that keep crashing as a result of him having a legacy device. This will become an issue when school apps become those apps.
Most of us can’t afford to just go out and buy a new iPad that’s up to current standards. Something I've done for years with phones, iPads, and laptops is “flipped" them. If I pay attention to the market for resale I can gauge when it's a good time to snag a new device, sell the old one, and minimize my out of pocket costs.
The caveat here is that devices need to be in optimal condition to get highest resale value. So the case I bought for Daniel's iPad not only circumvents the performance and safety issues caused by broken screens, it also lets me write "Excellent Condition" on the item's description whether I sell it on Craigslist or Facebook. At the writing of this post his iPad could fetch between $150 on the low end and $250 on the high. I could buy him a newer model for anywhere between $250 and $350 or get a brand new Mini 4 from Apple for $399. As you can see, flipping it (selling it and putting the money towards the cost of a new one) significantly lessens what I have to spend.
Let me also say I know for a fact you can get more value for an old iPad selling it yourself instead of trading it in.
I wanted to share this information with you all as I know many of you have multiple children in the Academy and that iPads present a significant cost. I hope this information begins to help you feel empowered to save some cash on upgrading them when necessary and gives you some things to consider in terms of case purchasing. At the Academy we really want to help you navigate the tech world in every way we can. As always feel free to ask questions in the comments or contact me directly at email@example.com. Thanks for reading!