iPad Breakage and Theft

The use of iPads in schools has grown almost exponentially ever since the first iPad came out in April 2010. And ever since then, critics have been quick to dismiss this as a waste of money and a distraction to students. As teachers who know the power technology brings to the classroom, you need to be prepared for criticism as you implement iPads (or other devices) into your classroom, school, or district. Let’s narrow the focus to breakage and theft.


I have started and managed several 1:1 programs at different schools. No matter what, there will be some breakage. I can say confidently that 99.5% of the time, this breakage is completely accidental. Chances are you have dropped you phone but you never gave it a thought to give up your phone because it might break.

IPads in the Classroom - BreakageHow do you resolve this with your phone (and iPads in the classroom)? Get a good case! No…get an exceptional case. According to warranty providers such as SquareTrade, as well as tons of anecdotal evidence, a cracked screen is by far the number 1 breakage issue. This almost always is the result of a drop on the corner. All that force on a small corner causes the screen to break.

Your case needs to be sturdy enough to protect the iPad when dropped from waist high onto a hard floor. Literally put an iPad in a case you are testing and drop it on its corner on a hard floor. If you can do this over and over again without fear, you have the right case. Many products will do this and I’m sure some major brands already come to mind. If you can almost eliminate breakage due to a corner drop, you will remove a stumbling block to iPads in the classroom.


Theft is almost always low or even non-existent; however I have had students lose a device. I have had students lose a device and blame it on theft. Once, I even had a student say his device was stolen and we filed a police report…then, we got a call a few days later from the police. It was found in the subway stop near school…along with the student’s entire backpack! He later admitted he forgot all his belongings when he got on the train. A passerby turned in the gear to the authorities. Again, this is very rare but something to be prepared for. Google “school ipad theft policy” and you will discover lots of examples you can incorporate in your school.

What do you do to minimize breakage and theft?