I have confirmed that two Kindles in the San Francisco classroom are no longer working because their screens have been damaged. Because the devices are more than one year old, they are no longer under warranty, so Amazon will not replace them.
My partner teacher has asked the students if they dropped the Kindles or exposed them to pressure or liquid. Both said they treated their device with care and always used a case. It is possible, of course, that the students are not telling the truth, maybe because they’re scared. Or maybe they stuffed their Kindle inside an overpacked bag or dropped their backpack. Amazon representatives have repeated that the screens’ horizontal and vertical lines do not occur without misuse.
I am bummed. This is a big setback. We’re down to 42 Kindles.
More troubling, it is difficult to figure out what happened. Is this a fluke? Is this a case of improper training by the teacher? Or negligence by the students? Or a combination?
(Up until this incident, one Kindle has been damaged since the project’s founding in 2010.)
I’ll try to figure out what happened, but for right now, I instructed the teacher to collect all the Kindles and to suspend the project until I determine next steps.
I understand that loaning out Kindles to ninth graders does present some risk, and I probably should allow for the loss of one or two Kindles per year. In fact, I’m thinking of saving some money to replace broken or damaged devices.
But what should I do now? I welcome your thoughts to these questions:
- How do I find out what really happened?
- Should I cancel the San Francisco classroom or give its teacher and students another chance?
- What are some ways to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
- Should I order replacement Kindles ($47.20 each) for the broken ones?
Please let me know what you think!