Why this technology?
The iPad is well suited to providing an extensive range of tools and opportunities to support our educational aims. These include collaboration, independent learning and research, creativity, innovation, and critical thinking. There are a range of technologies that could be beneficial, however after much research, the School decided to adopt a 'single device' approach to mobile learning that uses the Apple iPad. It is lightweight, has reliable software, has a high quality screen, can be switched on almost instantly and has a range of tools that can be beneficial in an educational context.
Why were iPads selected over other tablets or laptops?
A number of criteria were taken into consideration for selecting the iPad as opposed to other devices. These included: user friendliness, the availability of educational apps and support from manufacturers, reliability and the amount of IT support required.
Hardware questions and costs
Should we buy an iPad with cellular?
We are recommending parents do not purchase cellular enabled devices. Parents should be aware that these cannot be filtered in school for inappropriate internet content.
Should we buy a keyboard?
The iPad is less suitable for extended writing so some parents may consider purchasing a blue tooth keyboard - it is not necessary to buy an apple keyboard although they work well but tend to be more expensive.
What about leasing options?
Parents interested in spreading the cost of the iPad can do so by contacting the Apple Partner directly.
Why doesn’t the School fund the provision of iPads for its students?
The iPad is designed to facilitate learning at home as well as at School. It would be very difficult for the School to provide reasonable security for such devices other than on the School premises. It would also be almost impossible for the School to manage the maintenance and repair of over 1000 such devices. Parents will wish to manage the use of the iPad by their children at home and the School would be unable to support such use given the many different IT environments that operate in different families. The iPad is a personal device and, as with other pieces of student equipment such as sports kit, calculators and items of school uniform, it will be best looked after if it is owned by the students and monitored by their parents. The experience of other schools, both in the UK and elsewhere, is that 1:1 devices such as the iPad are used most effectively if they are owned by individual students.
iTunes accounts are restricted to persons over 18 years of age. How does this affect the use of the iPad?
iTunes accounts are actually restricted to people aged 13 and over. Apple recommends that users aged 13 - 18 read through the terms and conditions with their parents. If there are issues then we recommend that parents set the iTunes account up in their name and control access to the account password.
iTunes cards can be purchased which can be used by pupils without the need to access your password or credit card details and may be the better choice for pupils under 13. Apple ID's can now be set up for family sharing, which is another option.
Can we share the same iTunes account at home?
While it is possible for more than one person to share an iTunes account it may become confusing over time. Sharing the iTunes account means that all purchased apps are shared between the devices, but in the case of iCloud, this also means that all pictures and documents are shared.
However we strongly recommend that you consider using the Apple family sharing option.
Do we need to create an iTunes account for our child?
An iTunes account will be required to download apps onto the iPad however it is up to the parent to decide if a new account is to be created for their child or if an existing family iTunes account is used.
In order to be able to use an iPad it is required to setup an iTunes account with an Apple ID. During the setup process you will be asked to enter payment details. You do not have to enter your credit card details as there are other options. You can remove your credit card details at any time. Parents may choose to manage their child's iTunes account or they may choose to share one iTunes account with other family members or provide their child iTunes gift cards to purchase apps.
You can read about how to set up an iTunes account with a credit card here, and without one here.
There are inappropriate apps on the App Store. Will teachers keep an eye on what Apps students download?
Teachers will monitor the use of the iPad in the classroom to ensure it is being used appropriately. However they will not be able to check all Apps on the device. Parents are also free to enable the parental controls on the iPad to restrict access to age-inappropriate apps. This topic will be addressed at the Parent iPad familiarization sessions, which we encourage all parents to attend.
Can we purchase our own iPad case?
Yes, students are free to use their own cases but they must ensure that the case provides adequate protection for the iPad and meets any insurance criteria, if applicable.
Safety and Security
What happens if the iPad gets lost or damaged?
While parents will be responsible to organise the repair or replacement of damaged or lost devices, the school will have some iPad devices available for short loan during the time students are without a device.
Who is responsible if another student damages my child’s iPad?
Individual students are responsible for their own iPads and should ensure that they take care of it at all times. The normal disciplinary procedures apply in the event of damage to another student's property. The school will not become involved in recovery of repair cost which will be met with suitable insurance that should be taken out.
Are there any health risks?
There are minimal risks involved in using the iPads provided that some basic precautions are taken. In particular parents are advised to take heed of advice offered around protecting hearing when using headphones.
Wi Fi Risks?
What are the potential implications for my child getting headaches from screen time?
Prolonged use of computer screens is a well documented area with advice regarding time of use and posture etc. Prolonged use is often considered as 15 to 20 minutes constant looking at a screen without any break.
You may find the following useful
Are the iPads passcode protected? What happens if my child forgets the passcode?
We suggest that an access code is put onto the iPad. If however it is forgotten then the iPad needs to be erased which can be a time consuming process. Parents are encouraged to keep a copy of their child’s passcode for safe keeping.
What happens to student work if the iPad is lost/damaged/stolen?
Students are responsible for ensuring they keep an up-to-date backup of their iPad. This should be done via the school Google drive. In the event that an iPad is lost, all work that has been backed up by either syncing with iTunes, iCloud or using a different backup option will still be available.
How will the school ensure that the devices are secure?
Pupils must understand that they need to look after their belongings. All pupils have access to lockers. The devices themselves must also be kept in a protective case to protect from accidental damage. Each pupil will be required to provide clear personal identification on the device, including their own custom iPad wallpaper that will allow them to easily identify the device from the lock screen. Pupils will also be expected to follow school guidance on ensuring that device security settings, back up and passwords are set appropriately.
What are the risks of being tied to a large corporation such as Apple?
The School has made an informed decision based on extensive research to opt for the iPad as our 1:1 device. However we certainly do not wish to be tied to a particular company for a long period and our relationships with IT providers are kept under continuous review. We retain the right to move from one platform or device to another when the educational and commercial imperatives suggest that this is wise. Inevitably many of the apps used will be available for a range of devices and will not be dependent on the use of the iPad.
What about Internet safety?
The apps available on the iPad are regulated by Apple and access to the Internet via our Wi-Fi system is filtered. Even though the iPads are pupil owned, the school reserves the right to 'manage' the devices to ensure safe and appropriate use at school. Pupils have also received an “Acceptable IT Use' policy and have received e-safety briefings and updates to support their understanding of their responsibilities and risks online.
The School’s standard internet filtering policies apply to the iPad. These filters will block access to any inappropriate content while the device is used on the School network (but not if they have a 3G device). Parents are free to determine how restrictive their child’s access is at home. We are recommending that parents also use the Parent controls that the iPad offers. Advice on how to do this can be found here. We do not anticipate the having the parent controls activated will cause any restrictions for use in lessons, but we will be closely monitoring the situation moving forward.
UPDATE Our advice is not to restrict Safari access: In school we have filtered and audited internet access through both PCs and Wi-Fi connection which would block the vast majority of unsuitable sites. However unlike commercial filters the apple restrictions on the iPad also blocks a very large number of perfectly acceptable sites. This is well reported – for example see first comment here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5740779
Assuming that you have filtered internet at home and your child has filtered access via his smart phone and doesn’t have 3G on his iPad then it would be safe to set his access to websites in restrictions to all sites.
Click here to view http://www.childnet.com/resources/know-it-all-for-parents
As a precaution, Firefly only embeds content that has a certificate to prove it’s sent over the web securely.
In school and the classroom
For what types of tasks will the iPad be used?
The iPad will be used to access information and online resources in conjunction with the KES website. Subject specific apps will also be used to assist in building student knowledge. The iPad will allow students to create content, including movies, interactive books, mind maps, presentations and text documents. Further subject specific information will be available via departmental webpages.
What Apps Are required?
There are already 300 000+ Apps for the iPad to choose from. We are recommending a core group of Essential Apps which can be found on the iPad portal. These must be downloaded prior to the first subject – not in class.
Will all teachers be using these devices with the pupils at all times?
All teachers were issued with an iPad in September 2013 and are receiving extensive training to further their skills and understanding of the use of such technology in the classroom. IPads will be used where appropriate in teaching and learning activities. The extent of their use will vary depending on what is being taught. The device is a tool that should be used to aid learning where appropriate. It will be often used in conjunction with printed text and exercise books.
Will the iPad be used in all classes?
The iPad will be used as a learning tool and will be used in conjunction with a range of more traditional means of teaching and learning including the use of pen and paper! While it is hard to put an exact percentage on their use, our aim over time is that the majority of information that previously was delivered on paper will be given to students through the iPad.
Will students still be writing using pen and paper? Will handwriting skills still be considered important?
Yes, the iPads are being introduced to enhance learning and teaching. Using a pen and paper is still a vital skill for students to learn particularly as examinations will continue to be handwritten.
How are students prevented from accessing non-educational apps/websites during class time?
Teachers will monitor the use of iPads in the classroom. Misuse of the iPad in class will be treated the same as any other distracting activity such as the misuse of a mobile phone and normal classroom discipline rules will apply.
Does the School backup the iPads?
No, students are responsible for ensuring that their devices are backed up regularly by either connecting it to their home computer, or using the iCloud backup service.
Where are files going to be stored given that each app works independently?
Students will have a range of storage options and can select the one(s) that best suit their needs.
Apple's iCloud also stores files and can backup of the files on the iPad on a daily basis. (5Gb free)
What if my child is not as comfortable using an iPad or as ‘tech-savvy’ as their friends? How will I set this thing up? How will I help my child download the apps?
Students will be shown how to utilise the iPads during class time. Also, early in Term 1 each lunchtime a location will be available for all iPad issues this will be supported by student digital leaders. Students will also have training with our eLearning coordinator to make sure that they are comfortable using the technology for learning.
If my child downloads the Facebook app from home, will it work when they bring it to school?
No, the School’s filtering system will block access to this content while connected to the School network.
Will we be using electronic textbooks (e books)?
This will vary from subject to subject but we expect interactive electronic textbooks to become the norm fairly quickly. The publishing industry is currently adapting to this change. We are not expecting a large move to electronic textbooks until 2015 or beyond but this may change very rapidly.
Can students print from an IPad?
The big picture here is that we are hoping to move away from printing.
You can print from an iPad wirelessly using AirPrint. Alternatively it is very easy to share any file from an iPad via the cloud or email to yourself so you can then print from a traditional computer.
How will I know how much time my child will need to use the iPad at home for school work?
The time required will depend on the homework that students have to complete. For example, a student who is completing a writing task might only need the iPad to access a dictionary or the thesaurus. Another child might require more time in order to research and prepare a presentation on a specific topic.
Will all homework tasks require the iPad? In what way will the iPad be used for homework tasks?
The iPad will be used as an additional resource to assist students complete homework tasks. There may be some tasks that will benefit from the use of the iPad and some that will not need it at all. How the iPad is used will vary from subject to subject. Students will be asked to do homework on paper as well as on the iPad,
Do we need Wi-Fi at home?
While not essential Wi-Fi at home will allow students to fully utilise online resources, including the KES website. Of course, it is ultimately up to families to make a decision about this option.
Does the iPad replace the need for a laptop/desktop computer at home?
Some high end tasks such as web development, animation and desktop publishing may require a laptop or desktop to be available at home. Desktop facilities will also be available at school.
How can I ensure my child only downloads suitable/appropriate apps?
This can be achieved by controlling access to the iTunes account password.
How can I ensure my child is not using the iPad inappropriately at home?
Clear boundaries and expectations are the easiest way to achieve this as with the use of all computers in a domestic setting. We recommend that you only allow use of the iPad in open and visible parts of the house, not bedrooms. Establishing a routine where the iPad is checked by parents regularly is also a good idea.
We have Windows PCs at home do we need to buy Mac computers?
No. iTunes software is Windows PC compatible enabling you to connect, synchronise and backup your iPad with a PC. Common file formats for documents, images, photos and movies are now compatible with iOS (iTouch, iPhone, iPad), OS X (MacBook, iMac) and Windows PCs.
Can my children put their own apps/songs on the iPad?
Yes. The iPad is a personal device linked to an iTunes account. Students can install their music and other apps onto the iPad as long as its use does not impact on the space available for educational resources and apps. However, it will be impressed upon students that whilst at school the device is an educational device.
What About Games?
Gaming and Games Apps in lessons/Tutor Periods are not allowed on the iPad unless directed by a teacher. We may ask for Games apps to be removed in school and therefore our advice is that they should not be installed.
What if I have other questions that are not covered here?
Please send an email to email@example.com and we will endeavour to answer your question.