1:1 iPad Program

With the start of the 2015-2016 school year just around the corner, we wanted to share some important details about our exciting 1:1 iPad Program, for sixth, 7th and 8th grades. 

Program Overview

In preparation for the iPad rollout for students, we have put several training programs in place for our teachers and are upgrading the school’s technology infrastructure to support the new learning environment. We have dedicated new technical resources to both teacher training and student support, and we have an excited staff that will greet our students in August. However, as with all new programs, especially one of this magnitude, we anticipate that we will be learning along the journey. The iPad will be a dynamic new teaching tool, but we do not expect nor wish it to replace the special teacher-student relationship of the traditional classroom. We are also aware of the potential misuse of technology, so we have initiated a Student iPad Acceptable Use Policy Agreement that helps protect our students from the dangers of mismanaging the iPad. In addition:

Technology Fee

There will be a fee of $215 to cover the annual expenses of the iPad program including management software, iPads applications, and e-books. This fee must be paid by August 7th, the day you must bring the iPad to school for enhancement.

Text Books

The Spanish Textbook ($40) and the ITBS practice workbook ($20) will be the only books required. These books can be purchased at the school.

Reminders

  •  
    • Monitoring Software The iPads will be monitored by the school via a management software tool, which will track both iPad usage and apps loaded on the devices. Any unauthorized use of the iPad will result in disciplinary action.
    • Internet Access – As always, students will have filtered Internet access at school. The filter prohibits students from visiting social networking and other inappropriate websites. 
    • Textbooks and eBooks STMACS is committed to providing students with the best learning resources available today, so we will use a blend of traditional printed materials and e-textbooks this year. We are using e-books offered from our textbook partner MBS as well as e-textbooks available from Apple’s iBooks App
    • Feedback - As we embark on this program, we will be very interested in feedback from our students and parents. We plan to issue a survey at the end of the first quarter to assess the program.

 

Why have we selected the iPad? 

The Apple iPad is the most promising device on the market today for the following reasons: 

  1.  
    1. Dedicated Education Division - Apple Inc. has a history of working with schools to develop successful programs and has a well-defined strategy for providing assistance in building the program.
    2. Established, large user base - With 100s of 1000s of devices deployed in schools across the country, there is a large community of similar schools that use iPads with which we may collaborate
    3. Multifunctional Device - The iPad will consolidate many functions for students: textbooks, notebooks, binders, lab books, calculators, communication tool, calendars, cameras, video recorders, world atlases, periodic tables, dictionaries, encyclopedias, Shakespeare anthologies, lab computers, etc
    4. Form and function - The iPad is lightweight and the batteries last an entire day. It will add minimal weight to a student’s backpack
    5. Innovative Apps - The iPads offers the most extensive library of educational apps and support for multiple languages
    6. Touch screen/Accessories -Offline Access –The iPad uniquely allows for off-line usage so that it will remain useful as an e-book reader or writing device when there is no Internet connection
    7. Environmentally Conscious - Over time, we will use less paper operating more efficiently and sustainably

Home Internet Filtering

The Internet is filtered by the STMACS wireless network to prevent students from visiting websites counter to the school’s mission and philosophy and those prohibited by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy for Technology. When students use their iPads off campus, their networks may have no boundaries.

STMACS is promoting a free option for parents. Parents looking to make their network safer for their students can use OpenDNS web content filtering to help protect against adult sites, video sharing, social networking sites or any sites that you deem to be a time waster or potentially harmful.

OpenDNS is an alternative to the DNS server that is provided by your Internet provider. It is easy to switch to by changing the setting on your router to use OpenDNS.

Visit http://www.opendns.com/home-solutions/parental-controls to learn more about this free service.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I bring the iPad to school to set them up and download the e-books?

iPads need to be set up prior to the start of the school year. Therefore, you need to bring the iPad to school by August 7.  We will set up the monitoring programs, download application and e-books, and make sure the iPads are working properly.  iPads will be ready for the first day of school.

Do I need to do anything to the iPad before I bring it to school?

Yes. 

Make sure the battery is fully charged.

Back up your files.  The iPad will be formated and may lose some of your information.

Remove all password protection. Student will be able to reset password when the iPad is returned the first day of school.

You will be given a receipt when you bring the iPad to school indicating the serial number and condition of the iPad.

Which version of the iPad will students be allowed to use?

Students will be using a fourth generation or better 16GB (preferably 32GB), with Retina display, WIFI  capability, Apple Care (insurance) or other device insurance. NO 3G or 4G capability. 

What are the expectations for student use of the iPads?

Students will be expected to bring them to school fully charged each day and have them in class   just as they would for any other required material.  As a technology device, the iPads fall under the Acceptable Use Policy articulated in the Student-Parent Handbook.  A specific iPad program agreement will be provided during the orientation process.

 Does the school plan to use digital books next year?

Yes. All, but the Spanish textbook, are available in digital formats. 

Will students use other devices in class?

STMACS is committed to providing teachers and students the best technology for specific learning goals. Laptops, computers and other devices will be available when necessary in the classroom. The school will continue to provide student access to the computer lab throughout the school year as part of the curriculum.

 Will there be an additional fee for the iPad Program?

Any accessories, such as a personal keyboard or stylus, will be the responsibility of the family. There will be a fee of $215 to cover the annual expenses of the iPad program including management software, applications. This fee must be paid by August 7th.

Will my student still need a computer at home?

It is important to note that the iPad is not a replacement for a computer, but rather its touch screen, unique apps, and interactive textbooks offer students a completely new learning experience. Students may feel more comfortable completing some assignments, particularly those involving extensive use of a keyboard, on a computer.

Do I need to have wireless Internet service at home for this device to work?

No. One of the advantages of the iPad is that it has sufficient memory (that is why we recommend a 32GB device) to store textbooks and other materials required for homework, making it unnecessary to have Internet access at home. Naturally, any available connection at home will enable a student to use his/her iPad for Internet research, access files stored in the Dropbox, GoogleDocs or other “cloud” program, and to complete some assignments.  The school will provide filtered Internet access on campus. The iPads must not have cellular connection capability.

How will a student’s safety online be ensured?

We will be using our Internet infrastructure to control the devices that use our wireless network. We also provide Children's Internet Protection Act compliant web filtering. Additionally, our students’ online behavior will be governed by the STMACS iPad Authorized Use Policy that will be communicated to all students and parents during orientation in August.

Help me understand the price element: 

After extensive deliberation, STMACS chose iPads as the required device for all students in grades 6 through 8.  In coming to this conclusion, we considered a number of issues including the advantages of a uniform platform, the cost to families, battery life, and the future of digital textbooks.  Our conclusion was that the iPad was the best solution.

Apple has contracted with a number of textbook companies and iBook textbooks are becoming readily available.   Apple's digital textbooks represent a significant savings for families.

 

My family already has an iPad 1.  Do I need to purchase a new one?

The School recommends version 3 or higher because of the photo, movie, and projection features. iBooks and eBooks will work on all versions. If it is your family’s only iPad, however, please understand that your student will rely on it heavily and may not be able, or willing to share.

Will an iPad Mini suffice?

No.

Will STMACS provide an iPad or will I need to purchase my own?

All sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will need to purchase their own iPad, similar to buying a book or calculator.  However, the initiative will actually provide our families with a significant savings. eBooks and iBook textbooks are a fraction of the cost of their printed counterparts, yet offer  considerably more content and features. 

 What type of iPad case can the students use?

Students may use a case of their choice, provided it does not show any offensive or improper pictures or decorations. The administration may require students to remove a cover that is not in conformity with the school catholic spirit.

Which Apps will be required?

The required applications, such as Notability, iBooks, iTunes, Socrative, PDF Reader, and many others, will be downloaded to the students’ iPad. During the course of the year, the teachers may require additional Apps.

Why do we need an iPad Acceptable Use Policy?

This iPad Acceptable Use Policy is intended to promote responsible use and protect students and the school from liability resulting from any misuse of the school-issued iPad. Technology, on or off-campus, must be used in accordance with the mission and philosophy of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School as well as the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology as stated in the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School - Parent Handbook. Teachers may set additional requirements for use in their respective class.

There is no assumption of privacy. STMACS reserves the right to inspect student iPads at any time during the school year. Misuse of the iPad may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. 

Above all, the 1:1 iPad program at STMACS is an academic program, and the policies governing the use of the iPad support its academic use. To maintain the integrity of the iPad program, all students and parents/guardians must acknowledge and agree to the iPad Acceptable Use Policy. Click here for a copy of the Policy.

 If you have any questions, or need additional information do not hesitate to contact the School Office. We want to make sure that we have a smooth transition into the XXI Century education environment. Your comments are always welcome.