What type of iPad should I send my child to school with?
An iPad 5th Generation or better .
We advise against providing pupils with an iPad which accepts a SIM card. It is not required and will result in unnecessary expense. iPads are available in a variety of different capacity (size) configurations. In most cases a 32GB model will be appropriate.
We must stress the importance of having a case for iPads to minimise damage. Evidence shows a sturdy case goes a long way in this regard and hence minimises any interruption to learning.
The rules of engagement are very simple: “It must be an iPad, and it must have a case”. We also strongly recommend you make sure your iPad is insured. A suitable policy can be found here.
We will provision a number of Apps via our mobile device management (MDM) solution Airwatch. These will be deployed to iPads automatically when the pupil registers on our system. Inevitably, there will also be additional Apps the pupils will wish to have. We advise parents to provide pupils with credit via gift vouchers to facilitate this, not attach their credit card details to an Apple ID account.
Can pupils use their own apps, as well the school ones?
We will ask all pupils to generate an Apple ID, and we will then assign license codes to that account. We will then revoke the codes as appropriate, for example when the pupil moves to a new class in a new academic year and where the app is no longer used. In this instance the pupil will still have seven days of uninterrupted use of the app, and will be alerted to the fact that s/he is able to buy his/her own license to ensure continued use of the app.
How will new Apps be deployed?
The vast majority of Apps will be downloaded as and when required by the owner/user of the iPad, namely the student. We advise this is done at home. When a pupils registers his/her iPad on our systems, the RGS App Catalogue will be installed on the device to assist the pupils find and then install the required school related apps.
Each iPad is for both personal and school use, so you will be able to install what you want – with the understanding that only school-related Apps will be used during lesson time. Students will need to realise that the device is primarily for educational purposes and that they will need to ensure space is available for loading educational apps and work.
Can the iPads be used at home?
Absolutely, at home, school and on the way to and from school (where appropriate).
Using an iPad both in and out of school facilitates longer term projects, challenge-based approaches and the ability to learn anytime, anywhere. This has the potential to transform our approach to home learning for the better. The iPads will connect to the school’s WiFi network as well as those available at home or elsewhere. Even without WiFi access the device can still be used to great effect.
Does this initiative extend only to iPads?
Yes. This initiative is about teaching and learning.
For the initiative to succeed it is essential that all parties (teachers and learners) use the same type of tablet. We wish to harness and embrace the ecosystems that go hand in hand with the iPad, ranging from the quality of numerous Apps we will use, through to things such as iTunes U.
We will not forbid students bringing in other devices, and we will endeavour to ensure our IT infrastructure is capable of supporting all ‘Bring Your Own Device’ types. However the training, equipment and systems that will be adopted by our teachers will not enable your son/daughter to benefit fully from the DLP initiative without an iPad.
Who pays for the apps?
Helpfully, all iPads now come free with a a copy of iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and Keynote. RGS will provision a number of ‘core apps’ to pupils devices, via our Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.
Pupils will be free to load up whatever apps they choose on their own device, free or paid for by themselves. Teachers may also make recommendations in regard to appropriate apps, which pupils will have the option to purchase themselves or install for free, dependent upon the actual app.
How will you ensure your teaching staff get the most from the iPads?
We announced our Digital Learning Programme at an event to staff on 19 June 2013, explaining what we intended and why. We provisioned each teacher with their own iPad.
More importantly however all our teachers are now engaged on an extensive training program to ensure they are appropriately skilled to both use, and teach with an iPad. That training will remain ongoing. We have engaged with and learnt from other schools to ensure we are best placed to learn from their experiences. We have also equipped our schools with numerous sets of class iPads so teachers can start to introduce the technology into their classes this year.
An important aspect is that staff have ample time to learn how to use the device and only do so if they feel it would improve learning in that lesson.
Do we still need a laptop?
An iPad is not a replacement for a laptop or a desktop any more than it might be considered a replacement for a phone. As pupils become more expert in their use, they may find themselves using a laptop/desktop more infrequently.
Can smartphones be bought to school and be used in lessons? After all what is the difference between an iPhones and an iPad?
Yes, subject to adherence to normal school rules.
Phones must be kept on silent in lessons as now, but making use of the technology appropriately will be welcome, as directed by the class teacher.
As pupils start using iPads from an ever-younger age, will you be educating them on the dangers of innocent plagiarism?
Will we still need to pay for a dictionary in Year Seven?
We will encourage students to use online dictionaries, app based dictionaries and paper based dictionaries, as appropriate. We wish all our students to be proficient in the use of all three types.
Is this not just the thin end of the wedge in eroding the traditional three Rs?
Not at all.
Our vision sees RGS pupils using technology appropriately to enhance teaching and learning. We intend to offer a blended learning environment. We continue to value the importance of ensuring all our pupils, without exception, are able to read, write and are fully numerate. These tools will further enhance opportunities that pupils have to excel in these areas.
How will the iPad impact on the quality of students' hand writing?
No change here. Students will still be expected to hand write work.
We will continue to teach pupils to write in our Prep Schools, and we will continue to place emphasis on tidy and legible handwriting.
Exams still take place on paper, so how will the iPads help with this?
As suggested in another answer, exams and essays will still be handwritten. If these would benefit from electronic marking then they can be photographed or scanned and sent digitally to the teacher, consequently providing an electronic backup of the work.
This is much the same as the way in which exams are actually marked today.
iPads are not easy to type on, so what happens for essay writing, if everything needed is on the iPad?
RGS will still offer pupils access to IT Suites with desktop computers and traditional keyboards, in the same way we expect most homes to remain equipped with a desktop and/or laptop. In addition some pupils may choose to purchase and use a bluetooth keyboard. In the longer term we expect more and more use of voice command and dictation services.
Why not wait for a few years until more schools have gone down this route?
Because RGS is ready and more importantly our students are ready.
Our students deserve the tremendous benefits these devices can offer now. To wait for the next best device, which will always be a few months away, means our current students will miss out now. Stalling now will leave current students at a disadvantage.
What happens if I can’t afford an iPad?
We want this to be an inclusive scheme.
We hope that no child will be excluded from the programme because of their financial circumstances, so please come and talk to us so we can ensure your child is included. In the first instance, please contact the School Accountant, John Ralph.
What happens if a student forgets their iPad?
This will disadvantage the learner, and be treated in the same way as not having any other item of required equipment, ie through the Sanctions and Rewards Policy.
What if we don’t want to take part?
While we would encourage all families to take part, it is your right to choose not to do so. If after reading through all the details which explain what we are doing and why we are doing it, please contact either Robert Berry or Ceri Smee.