iPad Program: Middle School

iPad Parent and Student FAQs

Why iPads?

We believe the iPad is the perfect tool for our Middle School students. Students are immediately engaged once the device is placed in their hands. The iPad is able to deliver text, audio, images, and video in a unique and engaging way. We believe students will come to use this tool to organize thoughts and assignments and the faculty is excited to learn alongside the students. And though the iPad is also the perfect gaming platform, a movie theatre, and television all rolled into one device, we believe these school owned iPads should be used for educational purposes only. Toward that end, the school will be managing the devices and take great care to determine what will be loaded on the iPad and how they will be used in school.

When will my child get an iPad?

Each Middle School student will receive his or her iPad at the beginning of the year, provided a parent or guardian has signed the permission form.

Our family owns an iPad. Can my child use it instead of a school iPad?

No. School owned iPads are specially configured and managed to enhance functionality and student safety. Also, our teachers have carefully chosen a suite of apps to support student learning. Having a consistent platform will enable our teachers and students to create an effective learning environment.

Will there be any training for students/parents?

Yes. Students will learn how to use apps in their subject classes, and the school will offer several workshop opportunities for parents throughout the year. Please check on Inside PDS and the events calendar for specific dates and times.

How will the iPads be set-up?

Student iPads will be managed and suites of carefully chosen apps will be installed on iPads by the IT department. Decisions about what apps and content should be placed on student iPads will be decided by teachers and departments on an ongoing basis. iPads are configured to access the Internet through our school’s Internet filtering system whether they connect from campus or at home, limiting exposure to inappropriate web content.

Can students download apps?

No. The school has paid for and downloaded an extensive suite of applications. We will continuously seek out the best educational materials and will solicit suggestions from students, faculty, and parents. Additionally, we are working on creating our own in-house apps for delivering our own content.

If I have my own iTunes, Amazon, Nook, or iBook account can I buy books / music for my child?

Yes. We encourage students, with their parents’ permission, to use iTunes and any of the pre-installed eReader apps, such as iBooks, Nook and Kindle to purchase music and digital books. The iPads are configured not to allow students to download explicit music or movies onto their iPads. We recommend parents use smaller denomination gift cards to fund such accounts and to limit a child’s potential purchases.

Can my child still use his/her laptop at home instead of the iPad?

Yes and no, depending on what is required by the assignment. A student may choose to type their homework on a home laptop or desktop computer and then attach it to an email so it can later be opened in school on their iPad. However, we have found the iPad to be entirely sufficient the majority of student homework needs, and we encourage students to use their iPad as their primary computing device.

Can my child bring his/her iPad home over breaks?

During the school year, students may take their iPads home during breaks. Over the summer, the school will need to collect iPads to perform annual maintenance on the devices.

What happens if my child loses or damages his/her iPad?

The iPad is covered by insurance. There is a deductible of $75.00 which will be charged to your student account. Your student will be provided with a loaner until their iPad can be fixed or replaced.

Can my child purchase a different cover for his/her iPad?

No. Covers have been carefully selected for their safety and functionality and should be kept on the iPad at all times. To extend the life of the covers, we ask that they not be altered in any way.

Where are the iPads stored during the school day?

Each student’s iPad will be stored in that student’s locker during the day. Students should take their iPads home each night in order to charge the device and complete their homework.

May my child sync his/her school iPad to his/her iTunes account on a home computer?

No. The iPads will be specially configured and preloaded with a suite of apps carefully chosen by teachers and staff. Students should never sync a school iPad to a personal iTunes account on a home or school computer as this will erase the school’s content from the iPad.

How will my child backup the work he/she has created on the iPad?

Students will have several ways in which to make sure their work is backed up. First, they may email work to a teacher or to a class conference. Students will also be able to save and sync work to their PDS Network homefolder from school or home.

How will my child's iPad connect with my home network?

The iPad may be connected to a home network wirelessly. If your network is password protected, you will need to enter this password when the device first detects your network.

How will my child print using the iPad at school and at home?

In a move toward sustainability, we are hoping to reduce our paper usage through the iPad. Also, students can print from iPads at school using networked printers. At home, newer printers with AirPrint and ePrint capabilities can communicate with the iPad or third party software solutions can be installed on existing home computer/printer setups that will allow the iPad to discover older non AirPrint printers.. Another option is to use email to move documents to another device for printing purposes.

AirPrint 101 @ Apple Support

Third Party Print Solutions

Can other people use the iPad during the school day?

No. The iPad is intended to be an individual student tool and the responsibility of a particular student. Borrowing or lending iPads at school is not allowed.

Who may use the iPad outside of school?

We recommend having this important discussion with your child, as he/she is responsible for his/her particular device and how it is cared for. We have installed apps on the iPad which parents may also enjoy exploring.

When and where can I use my iPad at school?

The iPad is an academic tool to be used in the classroom under teacher supervision. iPads are not to be taken out to recess, into the bathroom, to PE, to assemblies, to lunch, etc.

When and how may I use my iPad to record and post images, audio, and video?

We are excited to integrate the capabilities of the iPad in classroom activities. Everything produced on the iPad should show respect for others. Inappropriate use of the iPad to capture images, audio, or video without the permission of the teacher or subject is not allowed. Before posting multimedia files in a public forum, students must seek the permission of their class dean.

How will my student charge the iPad?

Students will be issued plug adaptors and cables for charging their iPads at home. The iPad can hold a charge for 10 hours, and our expectation is that students arrive at school each morning with their iPads fully charged. A replacement fee will be charged to student accounts for lost cables and chargers.

How is the cost of the iPad covered by PDS?

The iPad program is funded completely outside the operating budget of the school. We are grateful to the generosity of our community for their support of this innovative program.

What accessories are included, required, or recommended to use with the iPad?

The iPad will come with a case, a plug adapter, and a cable. Earphones are required and will be sold in the bookstore, but students may want other styles, and parents can choose to purchase other models elsewhere. A stylus is recommended and these will also be sold in the bookstore, but families may want to select their own. An external keyboard, if desired, may also be purchased by families.

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