Frequently Asked Questions
The questions listed below have been gathered from a variety of sources: iRock Parent Nights, Community Forums, Twitter Chats, and via the Contact Us link on this website. Check back frequently for updates or additions.
1. Where will iPads be placed in our schools for the 2013-14 school year?
On March 25 our school board voted unanimously to proceed with the iRock technology initiative and provide all students in grades 4-8 with a mobile learning device, an iPad, to use at school and, hopefully, at home. The iPads, which will be distributed during the first few weeks of school, will provide students with the flexibility to learn anytime and anywhere! Each iPad will be customized through unlimited apps and digital textbooks based on a student’s individual needs and learning style.
Parents of students in grades 4-8 who would like their child to take the iPad home must meet three requirements:
- The student’s family must purchase a Device Annual Protection Plan for $65. The protection plan will cover damage, malfunction, and a one-time loss or theft replacement for one year. Families who are in crisis and cannot afford the $65 may apply at their school for assistance.
- A parent, or guardian, must attend an orientation session on the district’s Mobile Computing Guide. Orientation sessions will be held in each school, so please check your school’s website for dates and times.
- A parent, or guardian, must agree to and sign the terms set forth in the Mobile Computing Guide.
Kindergarten – Grade 3
The iPads that were purchased for students last fall will still be used. However, there are not enough iPads for every child, so each elementary school will decide how the iPads will be used. Devices in grades K-3 will not go home.
Grades 9 – 12
Each high school will receive several hundred iPads. The principal and teachers at each school will decide which classrooms receive the devices, when they will be distributed, and how they will be used. However, each high school must address the following goals: reduce the number of ninth-grade students who are retained; reduce the dropout rate; and increase the graduation rate. High school students may have the opportunity to take the device home. If so, the same requirements that are in effect for students in grades 4-8 will apply.
2. I would like to purchase an iPad for my child instead of using a district device. What considerations should I make?
Review “When and What to Buy: A Guide for Parents.” This post is available via the Parents and Community link at the top of each page, or you can click here.
3. Are there plans to expand the initiative in subsequent years?
Based upon the success of our 2013-14 implementation and the availability of funding, the district will explore options to expand the initiative in subsequent years. The long-term goal of iRock is for every child to have access to a personalized learning device.
4. Will there be an MDM (Mobile Device Manager) for the devices? How will you manage apps and student temptations?
The current plan calls for student-managed, district-owned devices. In this scenario, students (or parents) would register devices using their own AppleID. The purchase of apps would be the responsibility of the parent. Ownership of these apps would remain with the student via the iCloud.
We are encouraging the use of free apps in our work with teachers. Use the Student, Teacher, or Parent and Community menus at the top of each page for recommended APP lists.
5. How are you going to teach children ethical use of these devices?
Our district has a long history of teaching safe and ethical practices in the use of electronic devices. Our media specialists expose both students and teachers to best practices in internet safety, prevention of cyber-bullying, copyright, etc. The district has sponsored several parent workshops on these topics as well, and will continue to provide training to students, teachers, parents and community members in this regard.
For parents who would like to educate themselves on the issues surrounding ethical technology use, see Living Life Online, a publication by the Federal Trade Commission.