Technicians Complete Laptop Inspections After Safety Concerns

Technicians Complete Laptop Inspections After Safety Concerns
Chromebooks Student Photo

October 31, 2016—Some Amarillo ISD high school students are getting their District-issued laptops back after more than 4,000 Acer Chromebooks had to be returned and inspected. Earlier this month, three of the laptops caught fire or overheated, prompting the district to recall the devices as a safety precaution.  

Technicians from Quanta Computer, the manufacturer of the Acer Chromebooks, spent the last week on campuses individually inspecting each of 4,096 devices.

“They went through each device, opening them up and inspecting for any kind of damage, looking at parts in question, and placing some film to help keep the device from shorting out,” said AISD Chief Technology Officer Jeff Roller.

Students were asked to return the devices to their schools on October 7th after district administrators were made aware of problems with three of the devices. The Chromebooks were issued to all students at Palo Duro High School, primarily the freshmen and sophomore classes at Amarillo High School, and approximately 800 students at Tascosa High School at the beginning of the school year. The number of devices issued to students is large because integrating technology is a priority for AISD, particularly with the District’s work on the Profile of a Graduate initiative to develop 21st century learners.

“The intent of collecting the devices originally was the safety and security of our students. There was one incident where fire was actually seen. In the other two incidents, the cases were melted, but the users were unaware until after it had happened. We didn’t want to risk having additional devices catch fire,” said Roller.

To facilitate a faster return of the computers to students, Roller said the district elected to have technicians come to Amarillo, rather than shipping the computers to the Quanta repair center. A team of nine technicians conducted inspections over the last week, returning the devices to students as each device was cleared.

“Additionally, they took ten of our devices and gave us ten new ones. They’ll conduct further testing on our devices to ensure the best long term results,” said Roller.

Technicians were originally scheduled to conduct inspections over a nine day period, but finished about three days ahead of schedule, wrapping up their work on October 30.

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