Frequently Asked Questions
An extensive comparison of various devices was undertaken and the iPad proved to be the most competitive in a number of key areas:
• 10 hour battery life
• Lightweight and portable
• Extensive range of cheap/free Apps, developed specifically for educational use on the iPad
• Familiar and desirable
• Intuitive to use, as there is only one input method
• Range of inbuilt sensors and two cameras
• Competitively priced
• Apple's closed ecosystem, means that only certified Apps can be installed, giving some degree of confidence in the Apps to which students have access. The Apps will not contain viruses and can be restricted by age group.
Is it possible to write essays on an iPad?
Yes it is, this FAQ document was produced entirely on the iPad using Pages, however there will not be an expectation that students will type work anymore than they currently do.
All documents produced are compatible with Word and students can move between PCs and the iPad easily when working on the same document.
It is possible to buy a separate keyboard which can be used with the iPad.
How will the iPad impact on the quality of students' hand writing?
Students will still be expected to hand write work. There will be no need to word process all their work, in the same way that there is no advantage to doing so at present. However there is an argument, in terms of sustainability, that work stored electronically would reduce paper wastage.
Exams still take place on paper, so how will the iPads help with this?
As mentioned above practice exams and essays will still be handwritten. If these would benefit from electronic marking then they can be photographed and emailed 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.
Why 1:1 as opposed to a class set of iPads?
Each student with their own device means that they take real ownership of the device and look after it, learn how to use it effectively and develop appropriate skills in its usage.
The link between home and school learning means that projects can take on much greater depth and not be restrained by the hour in the classroom that is available to work on them.
Parents can play a greater part in supporting and understanding the work that students are doing in class.
Why not wait for a few years until more schools have gone down this route?
At present there is a huge amount of support and enthusiasm available to help us drive forward this initiative. Digitally literate students are required now and any stalling in the process may leave our current students at a disadvantage.
How will you measure the impact of iPads on learning?
We are rigorous in our approaches to assessment at all key stages, across all subject areas. Regular assessment that is consistent year on year will provide some data on the impact of iPads, however we are aware of the challenges in linking this data solely to iPad use. More meaningful information will be gathered during our current school self-evaluation procedures, which include regular lesson observations, learning walks, work scrutiny and student voice surveys. The focus in all of these processes is to evaluate the amount of progress that students are making, we will be diligent in ensuring that we are assessing the use of iPads and their impact.
There are many risks in this area and it is important that all students engage fully with the risks before any iPads are issued. A series of Assemblies and Guidance sessions have been organised which ask the students to develop a responsible use protocol which they will all adhere to. The students’ ideas will be feedback to Senior Leaders in the school through the Year Council.
Will our students be in danger if they are carrying an expensive iPad to school?
We take this concern very seriously and our advice to students will be to hand the iPad straight over if they are challenged. The iPad can be remotely tracked, it is insured so can be replaced and all the students' work will be backed up. Issues of this nature will be referred to the police.
A large number of our students currently carry expensive smart phones to school and are not under threat because of this.
How will we ensure that students are not in danger when using social networking sites?
It is possible to block access to certain sites within school on iPads, in the same way that it has been with PCs. If necessary this will happen, however we are mindful of our duty of care to our students and the responsibility that we have to educate them so that they understand the risks associated with social media and use it safely and positively.
Will students spend all day staring at a computer screen?
Staff training will focus on effective short term use of the iPad. It will not be used in every lesson, all lesson. Many of the uses will involve using the video camera or working collaboratively with other students. A lesson with heavy iPad use may see it used as a quizzing tool at the start, to carry out 10 minutes of independent research in the middle and to photograph written work to swap with a fellow student to peer assess at the end.
d) What risk assessments have been completed to look at Internet misuse, copyright and privacy?
These are currently issues for all organisations and are covered in our current policies. The iPad does not change the fact that our students use the Internet in school, carry out research and create resources.
All students will sign an Acceptable Use Policy which clearly sets out how the iPads should be used.
How will the teacher stop students playing games?
The Airwatch system allows a teacher access to all I pads in their classroom and the administrators access to all. Misuse will be monitored and sanctioned.
What if students use the iPad to photograph each other without permission.
This issue is covered in the Acceptable Use Policy and will be taken very seriously. In the same way that it is now if a student uses their phone in this way.
Playing games and taking photographs/video are possible now, as the majority of our students carry mobile phones. iPads would fit into our existing policies for dealing with such incidents.
Will the WiFi be able to cope with over 250 iPads online at once?
Yes. The school has installed a new wireless network to provide full wireless coverage across the school.
How often and complex will it be to login?
iPads do not have separate user accounts like computers so there will not be the same requirement to login. Any access to services like school email, files, iTunes or other Apps that hold personal information will store any required username and password details within them so will only need to be changed whenever you change that password. However, if someone were to find an iPad they would be able to access this information without needing to enter these details so it is important that the iPad has a password lock on it. This can be as simple as a 4 digit code to a more complex alpha-numeric password.
How will new Apps be deployed?
Apps will be delivered wirelessly to each tablet via the digital operating system
Where will students' work be saved
Depending on the type of work, it may be stored in several locations. Some files will still be stored and accessed from existing school resources like Spaces or network drives and others files will be stored in “the Cloud” using services like Dropbox. Some files will be stored on the iPad itself and these will be backed up automatically to the iCloud.
What happens to the students work if the iPad is lost, broken etc
It is envisaged that most work would be stored either in “the Cloud” or on Ashmole Academy servers and these files would not be affected. As the iPad will have been backed up recently, students will be able to restore the files and settings onto their new iPad using iCloud.
What happens if a student forgets to charge their iPad?
Students are encouraged to ensure their iPads are fully charged at the beginning of each school day. However, should an iPad need to be charged, the new sixth form centre has a number of accessible charge points for this purpose.
How will students print from iPads?
Whilst there will still be the need to print certain documents, students all have a school email account and any work that is created on the iPad can easily be emailed to their teacher. By using email as the main method of handing in work, we will be able to reduce the amount of printing that needs to be done and also reduce the amount of paper that is wasted, something that will be of benefit not just to the school but the environment as well.
Will the battery life decrease over the two year period?
It is possible, but unlikely, that there may be some decrease in battery life over a three year period. To what extent this will occur is unknown and will depend on how a particular iPad is used.
How can the iPad be used for presentations, without various iPads being able to interfere with what is projected?
There are various ways around this including using Apple TVs which have a passcode or using reflector software.