As part of a larger green initiative to help consumers recycle old iOS devices, Apple is now expanding its Reuse & Recycling program in the U.S. and Canada to include the iPad, reports 9to5Mac1. Apple also is making it easier for consumers to purchase new devices with more flexible terms for applying in-store credits obtained when recycling an iOS device.
Previously, Apple’s in-store Reuse & Recycling program accepted only iPhone models, which customers could trade-in for a store credit that could be used to purchase a new iPhone.
Under this new plan, Apple will accept either an iPad or an iPhone for trade-in and will issue a credit that can be used towards a new purchase.
Customers may apply this credit towards a new iPhone or iPad, regardless of which device they are trading in, and they can even combine iPad and iPhone credits (with a limit of one of each device type) to apply toward the purchase of a new device. For example, a customer could trade-in an iPhone 5 and an iPad 2 to receive credits that can be combined to purchase a new iPad Air.
Apple yesterday confirmed2 it was expanding its Reuse & Recycling program to include all devices, regardless of their condition. Besides the iPad, Apple will accept for free any broken or older model Apple product providing customers with a way to easily recycle the device responsibly. If a recycled iPhone or iPad has some remaining value as determined by in-store Apple Specialists, Apple will issue a store credit.
This expansion is part of Apple’s Earth Day celebration that began with the company’s “Better”3 environmental campaign, which highlighted Apple’s environmental efforts across its supply chain, its data centers and in its new Apple Campus 2 project.
How to unlock the most value out of your tech assets and streeeetch your tech budget.
GUEST COLUMN | by Robert Baker
Isn t that everyone s goal? To get more out of what you have, to maximize dollars already spent and limit funds being committed moving forward? Stretching every tech dollar further by implementing best practices for your current assets, looking at alternative sources of acquiring new assets and filling in budget gaps with creative funding are a number of ways
The easiest place to start is with your current IT assets, namely your high ticket, high volume devices like laptops, desktops and tablets.
The way the assets are tagged, tracked and cared for can unlock more value than you might know and make management even easier.
Asset tags are designed to help track and identify school assets as well as act as a theft deterrent. Try and avoid etching, permanent marker or engravings. These methods are more difficult to track (no barcode), more expensive to implement and significantly reduce if not eliminate any resale value for the device.
Best practices are to utilize metallic, high-stick stickers that identify the school or district, a phone number for loss retrieval and the asset number along with a barcode that scans the number for easy inventory.
All laptops and tablets, regardless of if they are kept in carts or not, should have some sort of case. Cases significantly reduce the most costly repairs (cosmetic case and display damage) and will unlock more value when you sell or trade in your equipment. TIP: A $30 case can net back $100 more on a Mac laptop trade in, for example.
All computers and tablets should be audited yearly. A decision should be made to keep, repair or sell.
Once your audit is complete, set aside units for repair, as well as establishing a system to track this data, for example listing the machine type, asset number and symptom (i.e., iMac 20 MC015LL/A, Asset #SV123456, flashing ?
suspect hard drive.)
Having a master list of what s wrong with each unit will help the internal person or team as well as any external company performing repairs provide a better picture of what the costs will be to repair these units beforehand and limit unwanted surprises on the back end.
If there is no budget for repairs and you don t anticipate any will be available within the next 6 months, you may consider selling them as is to unlock the most value before they become obsolete.
Selling your Equipment
If you don t plan to use or repair existing equipment in the next six months, or you re planning on upgrading to new or different units, you may be able to unlock funds for new purchases by selling your old equipment.
Going back to some of the items earlier I mentioned, organization and cosmetic condition play a big part in getting the most out of each device you look to sell. Engravings and an unorganized list of what you have and what may be wrong with some of the broken units will sink the amount purchasers are willing to pay. Having a detailed spreadsheet of units and having them be in the best possible cosmetic condition due to the use of cases and non-permanent asset tags will dramatically increase the amount your school or district can expect from each device.
When it comes time to add or replace devices at your school, consider some creative ways to get the technology you need for less money and less hassle.
Buy Refurbished Equipment
Buying refurbished computers and tablets can be a great way to get more devices for significantly less money.
Instead of doing huge refreshes of new computers that could possibly take years to obtain approval, fill in the gaps of computers you need by exploring refurbished options. Often you can find the exact models your students are currently using which can make deployment and support a snap.
Embrace the Tiered Approach
Desktops, laptops, tablets? Which should you be using?
The answer is all of them. These devices are tools that enable learning on levels once thought not possible, and as is the case with any job, it helps to have the right tools on hand. Use desktops for video editing, laptops for at the desk learning in higher grades and tablets for reading and mobile learning.
Newer devices should be geared towards the higher grades and older equipment can be cycled down the grades with age. Does a second-grader need a brand new iPad Air? Or could a refurbished iPad 2 at one-third of the cost be used to realize the same results?
Fast and Easy Grants
Big districts have full time staff whose job it is to fill out and apply for grants.
There are smaller, faster grant options out there to help get tech into smaller, more disadvantaged schools.
If your teachers are asking for a new Apple TV for their class or something on the smaller side, have them check out fast and easy grant options like donorschoose.com There are a lot of these kickstarter type sites where teachers can post their own story and partner with companies to get the equipment they need.
Robert Baker is the CMO Mac to School.
SASKATOON, SK, Apr 18, 2014/ Troy Media/ OK, so maybe the headline s a bit off the mark because, as everyone knows, Office for iPad is FREE from the iTunes App Store.
But is it really?
Not exactly. You have to have a subscription to Office 3651 in order to do anything other than open and read documents in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. An Office 365 Premium subscription in Canada runs for $99.99 and is available through Microsoft s website.
And in the spirit of full disclosure, Office for iPad is a misnomer it s not one app, but separate apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, each of which must be downloaded.
So, I m making this sound like a bad things right?
I think what we re seeing here is the shot across the bow from Microsoft allowing us to look into the future of Office products.
After all, if Adobe can make a subscription model for their software work, so can Microsoft.
I have a subscription to Office 365, and I use it quite a bit because I write in many different places on many different devices so I need to be able to access both my data and the software I use to prepare my blogs. I ve been using Word forever, and although I m a stupie in terms of PowerPoint and Excel use, I can function in both programs with some level of competence.
In my view, one of the weaknesses in iPad software has been the lack of Office apps. I ve used Apple s products quite a bit, but I always come back to Word.
Plus, Word is pretty well ubiquitous everywhere you look.
To be able to use this program on my iPad is, frankly, a thrill. I love it. Microsoft has now made me able to write what I want, where I want and on whatever platform I want.
I think that the Office suites over the years have proven so successful because they flat-out work perfectly with each other and this newest incarnation is no different.
The only problem I see is that you can t actually print a document from the apps, but I don t view that as a big deal because I can create and save documents on my OneDrive cloud and print them from another device later without having to reformat or make any changes at all. Microsoft has already gone on record as saying that printing will be one of the first fixes out of the gate and don t forget, we couldn t print from an iPad for around a year when they first came out and millions of folks still bought them anyway. I don t really think that printing from the app is, for the most part, all that necessary anyway.
Being able to open a document and work with it and save the changes is what s really important to me.
I m not going to talk about all the cool stuff in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While they aren t as fully capable as their computer versions, pretty-well everything the average user would ever need is there.
The first step is the most important, with Microsoft making changes in responce to consumers wants.
But now I can finally be productive on my iPad I was before, but now I m using software I m very familiar with and can access it from anywhere.
That anywhere part is also important to the Office iPad Aps. Microsoft s OneDrive3 (formerly SkyDrive) is like iCloud in that it s a personal space in the cloud that those buying a subscription to Office 365 get. This allows users to access their data and files from anywhere even on an iPad.
If you re an iPad owner and like to work with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in particular, you should take a good look at these Apps and the subscription to Office 365.
If you own an iPad and already use Office 365 then this is your lucky time of the year. Congratulations, you just became more productive on the same device you can stick in your briefcase and pull out to watch movies, listen to music, surf, get E-mail and text messages.
PROS: Apps work seamlessly with computer-installed versions; using OneDrive to access files is very convenient; most functionality is there; Word is Word now just about everywhere.
CONS: Not fully-functioned compared to versions on computers; can t print; must have an Office 365 subscription to be able to work with files.
TO SUM IT UP: It s about time Microsoft. I ve used Office for so many years it s second nature to me so to now have the capability to use it on my iPad is a treat.
My hitherto fore device that I mostly used for entertainment has all of a sudden become productive. I m a happy guy.
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