Frequently Asked Questions
How are parents paying for the device?
Parents are required to pay the ICT levy. This covers:
- the cost of the learning device
- Required Apps
- 2 technicians at the College to fix technical issues
- Use of school hardware and network
Students are entitled to keep the device at the end of the payment period.
Will parents have to pay for the device if it is damaged?
- Accidental Damage -- $100
- Loss & Theft -- $250
- Malicious Damage -- $500
- Will parents be required to purchase accessories?
If there is a malfunction this will be covered by warranty. Damage that occurs will be:
No. The iPad will come with a heavy-duty case and all standard cables and charger. The purchases of any additional accessories are at the discretion of the parents, with the exception of the case itself.
Will parents be required to purchase ‘Apps’ from the Apple App Store?
Students will be ‘gifted’ a collection of core paid Apps for use on the iPad. Otherwise, teachers will be recommending free apps.
Is there an agreement that I need to sign before my son can have access to an iPad?
Yes. As part of the program parents/guardians will need to sign an agreement and students will need to agree to the Code of Conduct.
Will my son need to have my credit card details to register for an Apple ID?
No. You can setup and Apple ID without the need of a credit card. St Mary’s College would not recommend ever allowing your son to use your credit card, but rather use iTunes Gift Cards that are readily available from many stores.
Will students be able to put their music on their device?
Yes. Students are able to place their purchased music on their iPad. However, it must not interfere with the storage on the iPad for school related material.
Are the students allowed to install games?
Yes. The device can be personalized by students. However, the school would recommend that this does not occur, but if the parents allow this for use at home then this is permitted. At school games cannot be played. The installation of games must not interfere with the storage on the iPad for school related material. The iPad is primarily a learning tool not an entertainment tool for the students.
Can my son have his allocated iPad taken from him?
Yes. The College reserves the right to remove the privilege extended to them at the discretion of the Principal.
Will my son’s Internet use be monitored at school?
Yes. There will not be any change from the current filtering process.
Will I need wireless Internet at home?
The iPad is a wireless internet device; we will have ample wireless coverage at school. However there are some things you might consider for home. If you already have wireless internet at home, the iPad will easily connect to this. If you do not have wireless, you can still access iTunes from your PC, and then download Apps to your iPad. Wireless routers are not expensive; you might consider talking to your Internet Provider about options.
What happens if my son has a technical issue with the iPad?
If there are any issues with the technical operation of the iPad, it can be discussed with our technicians for diagnosis.
Will my son still need his books?
Yes. The College is moving to digital texts and therefore these will be on the iPad; however, your son will still need a notebook for some written work and textbooks that do not have a suitable digital version.
What about handwriting?
Handwriting will continue to have a place in the classroom as well as the use of the keyboard.
Have teachers’ skills been updated?
Yes. This is an ongoing process where staff has access to a variety of professional development opportunities.
Will the device add extra weight to their bags?
The device weighs 652 grams and will add minimal weight to student bags. With textbooks becoming digital it is anticipated that the weight of bags should decrease.
Will my son be able to use their iPad during breaks at school?
Yes. However, this can only occur in the Library or under direct teacher supervision. The College will encourage a balance of work, play and also physical education outcomes.
Can Students modify their iPad?
The iPad cannot be physically modified or its software changed that contravenes Apples Terms and Agreements which can be read here - https://www.apple.com/legal/terms/, however students can personalise their iPad with different wallpapers, settings and layout.
What happens if my son has an iPad already?
Home devices are not configured to the school network. It is important that your son views the College iPad as a learning tool, perhaps the home iPad could be for entertainment purposes and the College iPad is for learning.
Will students need an Apple ID?
Yes. All students will be required to create and have an Apple ID. If students have an existing Apple ID this may be used instead of creating another one.
Will students be able to have Facebook on their iPad?
Yes. The device can be personalized by students. However, Facebook will not be able to be accessed at school via our network and can only be accessed at home with parent permission and supervision. The College iPad is primarily a learning tool not an entertainment tool for the students.
Who do we contact at the College if we are concerned about iPad usage?
If you would like to talk about the device and its use within the College, information can be sought from Mr Brendon Willocks, Head of Department E-Technology on email@example.com or (07) 46317333.
Will the battery last all day at school?
The battery life is approximately ten (10) hours. Students will need to manage their battery life.
Why should students use eBooks?
There are a number of advantages in having books loaded onto the iPad. If for example, we put the Maths book, Science Book, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Atlas, Bible and novels onto an iPad, we decrease the weight of the school bag by several kilograms. Students will always have access to all those resources in class, and perhaps most importantly eBooks, allow for instant updates and have rich media content. Also, the Library will be able to allow students to borrow fictional eBooks at school and at home, thus promoting greater access to literacy.
Will reading books off my iPad hurt my eyes?
Don't forget, you will give your eyes a rest between classes, and the iPad can be adjusted for brightness to suit your personal preference. People regularly use the iPad to read books, newspapers and journals from around the world; many actually prefer the iPad to newspaper print. Research also suggests that boys prefer to read digitally.
An iPad has no USB; how do I transfer files?
The iPad does not have a USB, but that does not mean you cannot easily transfer files. There are a number of ways to do this:
- The iPad can plug into (via the supplied USB cable) your home PC or Mac and copy files across.
- You can email the file to yourself from your iPad, and then open it on a PC or laptop.
- We have found that the best way to transfer files (and keep a backup at the same time) is to use cloud storage.
- Students will also be able to save to their school networked drives via WebDav and an App called ‘Over the Air’
Cloud storage is a web site that allows you to save files from an iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone or a range of other devices and access them from anywhere in the world. In fact having cloud storage is probably safer than a USB. Our experience at school is that students lose USBs, forget to bring them, or sometimes the USB fails and all work on it is lost. Files are actually safer stored “in the cloud” on the Internet. Cloud storage is password- protected so files are safe, and files can be easily shared with others. Some students already use cloud storage. Students will be shown how to manage Cloud storage.
Will the iPad allow me to word process and work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files?
Yes. The iPad opens all of these documents, and Pages, Keynote and Numbers all save in Microsoft Office format.
Can I save to an iPad?
Yes. Any file you create on an iPad is saved to it. In fact, when you use the Pages word processor it saves every word as you go. All of these saved files can be sent to WebDav or Emailed. You can Email in Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats. The iPad actually has a safer, more regular saving mechanism than most other devices.
Can I plug a keyboard into an iPad?
Yes you can plug in a keyboard. However, our research and discussion with other schools indicate that the built-in screen keyboard works well, especially when you get use to it. However, if you are wanting to type up a large piece on your iPad rather than your home PC, you can buy an iPad keyboard dock, or you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard.
Have you compared the iPad with other devices?
As part of our research and visitation to other schools, we compared a number of devices, taking into account the numerous factors relevant to St Mary’s College, including the relative merits of a multi-purpose device compared to a single-purpose device. The comparison therefore paid particular attention to the broad range of educational uses of any proposed device across many subjects within St Mary’s College. Other considerations include classrooms dynamics between students and teachers, the physical layout of St Mary’s College teaching spaces, maintenance needs and cost. Taking all factors into account, the overwhelming support was for the iPad. While other multi-purpose tablet devices are now entering the market and can also cater to the learning styles of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners, our comparison shows that of the current models, the iPad is currently superior given the Apple App store and the vetted Apps.
What is the level of security on the device (virus and malware)?
Software is installed via the Apple App Store, at the time of publication; it is subject to an approval process by Apple that includes some restrictions on the distribution of inappropriate content, virus and malware.