The Coronavirus and EdTech

Paula Currie


By now everyone has heard about the Coronavirus (or COVID-19), a fast-spreading virus that has quickly fanned out from Asia to Europe and now to North America. Healthcare professionals have instructed people to take common-sense measures to avoid getting sick, including washing hands.

What about school edtech devices? Is it possible for the Coronavirus to infect your school’s IT program?

Yes, but perhaps not as you would expect.

The Coronavirus is having a serious impact on the ability of schools to refresh their Apple edtech devices on a tight timetable.

We can look to the Japanese Tsunami in 2011 for an explanation. When the tsunami hit, the Apple supply chain was disrupted because parts needed to make the iPad 2 were made in Japan and many manufacturers were unable to start producing components until the country recovered.

With entire cities in China on lockdown, workers who assemble Apple iPads and MacBooks are unable to get to factories, and this is creating delays in filling orders. In fact, schools that are committing to a fleet refresh today may not get their devices until August, a full five months from now. There already is an iPad shortage in the United States, according to Apple Insider.

What should schools do to ensure the virus doesn’t impact their refresh?

If your school is planning to refresh a fleet of Apple devices, put the order in now. Work with a sellback partner, like Second Life Mac, willing to coordinate with Apple to pick up your used devices once your new fleet arrives.

The Coronavirus is disrupting travel, conferences and the financial markets. A quick decision can help you avoid having your refresh cycle disrupted as well.