We distribute iPhones, iPads or laptops to various employees at Episcopal and now we are considering giving laptops to students as well and asking them to use them in class. All of these technologies have an oddly personal touch to them. And the smaller they are, the more personal, culminating in the iPhones that ride around in pockets and contain family pictures and personal contact information in addition to lots of corporate data.
We want our employees and students to be comfortable with the technology we give them, and yet we need to maintain it to our standards.
One way to approach a laptop program is to allow students to bring in whatever they have at home and just cross their fingers that the battery will last through they day.
Another way of doing it is to give them a choice, perhaps in 5th grade before any purchasing decisions have been made, between three models of computers that we recommend.
And the most corporate way of doing this is to crank out a hundred or so identically imaged machines that we lease for exactly four years and then make disappear, following by another wave or "refresh" of standardized platforms.
What is the right balance for us between the corporate and the personal?