Ignatian iPad Program
Introduction | Specifications | Digital Citizenship | Frequently Asked Questions | iPad Help
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Regis Jesuit doing an iPad Program?
Our students are 21st Century learners and we focus on the skills that will help them most beyond their high school years. What will prepare them for their futures? We all know the 3 R’s, and added to these are the 4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. We must best prepare our students for a changing workforce, a world in which technology use is not optional but an integral part of most everything they will do. These concepts are perfectly in concert with Ignatian pedagogy, where we believe in meeting the students where they are and bringing them as best we can to represent the qualities of the Graduate at Graduation. We use a variety of tools and techniques, pedagogy and everything centered in our faith to accomplish these goals.
Tablet technology is changing the way students learn in the classroom. Interactive textbooks, collaborative platforms and personal organizational tools are just a few of the many applications tablet technology brings to the learning experience. Our “digital natives” only know a connected world and as Ignatian educators we must meet our students where they are and guide them to where we want them to be by the time they graduate. The best classes and the best teachers go far beyond rote memorization or basic accumulation of facts—they teach our students how to critically think, how to analyze information, and how to collaborate with others. It is true that Regis Jesuit is already teaching this way, but now is the time to bring in another tool. An Ignatian education asks teachers and students to discover together, to be innovative and perceptive in the questions they ask, to judge carefully the answers they find, and to add their own creative spark using cutting-edge tools. When done properly they can do anything; from convincing an audience of an argument’s merits to creatively solving an issue, to communicating with people in other parts of the world.
After much research, study, attending conferences, visits to other schools using a variety of platforms, as well as speaking with many experts in the field of educational technology, we have chosen to continue our iPad pilot project during the 2013-2014 school year to best prepare for full implementation. We are putting devices into the hands of all teachers in each Division for the full school year and up to 30 students in each Division for a full semester. This past school year we did shorter trials with a variety of teachers and students. We learned a lot from both the teachers and the students throughout those trials and are sure we will learn more from the longer trials this school year that will better prepare us all for adding this new tool into our repertoire.
So why the iPad versus other devices?
After researching laptops and tablet computers, and accounting for cost, battery life, portability, and electricity needs, it was apparent these were not the most ideal options. When Apple announced the iPad, it provided the option of a mobile computing device for under $600, making it sensible to review and consider its use in education. In addition to price, there are other features of the iPad that make it well-suited to Regis Jesuit’s curriculum and structure:
- The long battery life means that students can make it through an entire school day without recharging.
- Apple, Inc., has a history of working with schools to develop successful programs and has a well-defined strategy for providing assistance with building our program.
- With hundreds of thousands of devices in schools across the country, there is a large community of similar schools that use iPads with which we may collaborate, including many other Jesuit high schools.
- The iPad may consolidate many functions for students: textbooks, notebooks, binders, lab books, calculators, communication tools, calendars, cameras, video recorders, world atlases, periodic tables, dictionaries, encyclopedias, anthologies, etc.
- The iPad allows for easy face-to-face interaction, avoiding the barrier between students and teachers that occurs with a traditional laptop lid.
- Drawing on the iPad’s screen is useful in a variety of disciplines, such as drawing free body diagrams in Physics or working in Geometer Sketchpad in Geometry class.
- Handwriting on the iPad’s screen is useful for quick note-taking in all classes.
- Pen-based annotation of documents and books is quick and easy.
- Reading textbooks and other long-form materials from the iPad is more comfortable than similar reading on a traditional laptop screen.
- The iPad design has a distinct advantage as an e-reader. Even off-line ability to use it as an e-reader or writing device is unique.
- The iPad’s small size fits conveniently in student lockers and backpacks.
- The broad developer base provides numerous discipline-specific apps, such as the 3D Brain app used by some science/social studies classes.
- The iPad’s instant on/ instant off capability preserves class-time for meaningful learning activities; learning isn’t put on hold while a traditional laptop boots up or shuts down.
- The iPad does not allow true multitasking, thus encouraging students to focus on the learning task at hand.
- The built-in camera takes movies, and is easy to use for in-class activities such as practicing conversations in Language class.
- There are fewer pieces and components on the iPad compared to a traditional laptop, reducing maintenance.
- Over time, we will use less paper operating more efficiently and sustainably.
Does this mean that I should start thinking about buying an iPad for my student now?
You will need to do so before August 2014. iPads will not be required for summer school classes this summer. We are in the process of training the faculty all year as well as studying the availability of e-books and other resources that will benefit our students. No student needs to bring an iPad to school this year, although if you do already own one and wish for your student to bring it to school, he/she can do that. Some of our books are already available in e-format and may be purchased that way, but only if you want to at this point. Hard copies are just fine as well
Can my student bring a MacBook instead of an iPad?
No, a MacBook will not be acceptable due to the different capacities of the devices.
Can I buy the iPad through the school and get a discount?
Regis Jesuit has explored options such as purchasing in bulk. However with a discount of no more than $20, the school determined it was better to concentrate on training our teachers and educating our students. Many retailers offer specials that meet and exceed the discount the school can receive by buying in bulk, so watch the weekly ads for special offers.
Is an iPad with a cellular data plan required?
Absolutely not! Our campus is wifi-ready, so phone service will not be necessary. You may purchase it for family reasons, but it is not required, nor are we recommending it. See the part of the webpage with specifications.
What do we do if we don´t have internet access at home?
There are a variety of things that your student can do. He or she can stay after school each day and work in one of the libraries or in the cafeteria on the school wireless. You can also access free wireless at places like the local public library, Starbucks, Panera or many other cafes and restaurants.
Can my student use a case of his/her choice?
Absolutely. You can use any case you want to. We have given you a few suggestions on the iPad Specifications page, but those are simply suggestions. Get what works best for you.
May I jailbreak my iPad?
If an iPad is jailbroken, it voids the warranty. If you jailbreak (process of removing limitations imposed by the manufacturer) your iPad, you are responsible for the cost of the device.
What happens if my student forgets to charge his/her iPad?
It is the expectation that students will charge their iPads on a nightly basis. Regis Jesuit understands there will be instances where the student’s iPad may run out of charge before the end of the school day, and if the student has his/her power cord in school, the student may charge the iPad where there is a plug.
Will my student need to purchase a calculator since there are calculator apps for the iPad?
In future years we may be able to eliminate the need for purchase of TI-83 or TI-84 calculators in favor of utilizing calculator apps on the iPad. Currently iPads are not permitted on standardized tests, so even if your student is bringing an iPad to school for use in his/her classes, a calculator will still be needed. To ensure that students are properly trained and comfortable with the use of TI’s products, Regis Jesuit will continue to require the purchase of either a TI-83 or TI-84.
Does the iPad take the place of all textbooks?
Not all textbooks will be available in digital format the first year. We do believe that eventually most textbooks will be available in this format and with a 1:1 program we will be able to take advantage of cost savings, flexibility, ability to customize and other advantages of electronic/digital textbooks.
Will the iPad be used all of the time in every class?
We believe the iPad will be used on a significant basis in most every classroom, although there will certainly be times when traditional paper and pencil will be used and when the iPad won’t. It is like any tool we use in our classrooms, and there is nothing that we use 100% of the time.
There is unsuitable content on the internet. Is there any type of filtering?
Regis Jesuit High School has web filtering active to prevent inappropriate content and malicious web content while the student is connected at school. But that is only for while he/she is connected at school. While connected to wifi in other places, the student will have to use the internet responsibly just as he/she does at home.
So Regis Jesuit monitors iPad usage at school, but who monitors it at home?
That is the responsibility of the parents. It is Regis Jesuit’s belief that when off campus, parents have the full authority to restrict iPad usage. Examples of this include:
- Your student may use it in the family room but not in their bedroom
- Your student can use it until a certain time in the evening or until their homework is complete.
- Parents can examine the documents and other content of the iPad at any time. You have that right as a parent until the student is 18 years old.
What about backing up information? Can it be placed on the school network?
Each student is expected to back up his/her own information in a timely fashion on iTunes or using iCloud. They may not store their files on the school network.
What happens if my student loses his or her data?
Regis Jesuit will not have a backup of your student’s data. The easiest option is to use iCloud or iTunes to backup all the data on the iPad at least once a week, or at whatever interval you choose (note: if s/he loses data, the backup will only restore all content up to the time of the backup, so anything added or changed in the intervening time will be lost). To set up the backup features in an iOS device either through iCloud or iTunes, go here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766. For specifically saving documents or presentations, using other providers like Dropbox, GoogleDrive, or the SkyDrive accounts already associated with their school emails address are also recommended options.