Why do students need their own device?
A device offers students access to the Internet via our wireless network… “the greatest library in history.”
Mobile computer and working “in the cloud” are now considered the normal kind of work that our society expects.
iPads offer access to online books, databases, textbooks, audio & video files so students can access instruction in a variety of formats.
A personalized computing device ensures equitable access to technology for all students as well as a chance to learn personal responsibility.
Why does it have to be an iPad?
It doesn’t. However, after researching laptops, netbooks, and other tablets, we decided that iPads are the best tool to achieve our school improvement goals – increasing student engagement and literacy across the curriculum. Also, students are familiar with the Apple brand and the vast majority of them have other iOS devices. iPads are the most widely used tablets in education.
Other specific advantages of the iPad include:
Long battery life, assuming that students arrive at school with the iPad fully charged
Mobility and easy face-to-face interaction; teachers can easily walk around with the iPad and students can share their work simply by showing their screen.
Drawing on the iPad is easy for all subject areas, from working out algebra problems to drawing diagrams in chemistry and physics.
Annotation of documents and reading material is easy on the iPad.
Reading text on the iPad mimics a real “book.”
iPad size is conducive to carrying around.
iPads have the broadest availability of subject specific apps.
Fewer pieces/components on iPad compared to a laptop; reducing maintenance costs and making management easier on the technology department.
iPads have the capability to go truly paperless, replacing texts, workbooks, and submitting work electronically.
Why can’t I buy my own iPad?
Each student will pay a fee per year as part of an iPad lease program, allowing each student the use of the school-owned iPad. The fee includes not just the device itself but the infrastructure, bandwidth, software, wiring, rugged case, educational apps, maintenance, security, management console and all the other background items that need to be put in place to support the iPad. Based on our research with other schools, we have determined that it is best for the school to own and manage the iPad as an educational device, just as we own and manage our textbooks and other educational tools.
Will I be able to download my own games and music onto my iPad?
In short, the answer is no. The school iPad is to be viewed as any other piece of school property, like textbooks or desks. Just as we do not allow students to “personalize” desks, the iPad will be managed by the school and will contain the apps and resources that teachers require. The iPads will be synced with a school issued Apple ID, and students will NOT be able to access the app store via their own personal Apple ID.
Will the iPad replace all those cumbersome textbooks?
That is our goal. Over the next two years, we will be replacing hard cover texts and workbooks with replacement iPad texts and resources. The iPad provides a unique venue for multimedia texts, and we want to take full advantage of those capabilities.
Aren’t kids already overexposed to technology?
Whether we like it or not, students “power off” when they come to school. Outside of school hours, they live their lives online- on their phones, on their laptops, on their iPods…the list goes on. We know the dangers of technology and social media, but we also know the power. Our job as a school is to make students become smart users of these devices. Your child’s teachers will help by using the right tool at the right time. Sometimes it makes sense to work a problem out with pencil and paper. Sometimes it’s important to listen to a teacher lecture and give information. And sometimes it’s essential to use an iPad to find the best answers, sift through mountains of information, collaborate with other students in a team, or create something to demonstrate deep understanding of a concept. We want the students to use the iPad as an additional tool in their educational process. We don’t believe that iPads are the solution to all educational issues. They are tools, as are your students’ graphing calculators, compasses, rulers, and paperback novels.
How will you ensure that students are using the iPads appropriately and not playing games or using them for non-educational purposes?
Just as in “real life,” if the teacher gives a task to a student, then that’s what they should be doing. If the class is researching something, then all students should be on task. Just as a student can get an infraction for being disruptive in class or being off task, they can get an infraction for doing something on their iPad other than what they should be doing. Misbehaving is misbehaving. However, the school is going to take the necessary steps to manage the iPads to the best of our ability, including ‘locking them down’ to prevent online mischief and off-task behavior.
How will the students be trained on appropriate use of the iPads?
After we distribute the iPads, we will require student training which will include teaching students how to maintain an appropriate and safe online presence, how to use the iPad effectively with the volume of information available; how to use the iPad to increase personal productivity, and how to set up and maintain the iPad.
The dates of the student training will be set soon, and we will have multiple dates to make sure it does not interfere with summer family plans.
Important Note: iPads will be distributed to the students as soon as each family is in good standing with the Business Office regarding the current year tuition and fees as well as 2015-2016 tuition and fees.
What happens if a student drops an iPad and it accidentally breaks?
First, the case we will provide with the iPad is an industrial strength one. It will be pretty indestructible.
If something does happen to the screen, however, your school's fee includes insurance. Refer to your school's Acceptable Use Agreement for more information.