The questions listed below have been gathered from a variety of sources: iRock Parent Nights and Orientations, Community Forums, Twitter Chats, and via the Contact Us link on this website. Check back frequently for updates or additions.
Where will iPads be placed in our schools for the 2014-15 school year?
On March 25, 2013 the Rock Hill 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 home. Coupled with digital resources secured by the district, including techbooks, apps, and a powerful Learning Management System, teachers are exploring new and exciting ways to meet the individual needs and learning styles of students.
iPads will be distributed during the first few weeks of school. 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 $50. The protection plan will cover damage, malfunction, one-time screen breakage and one-time loss or theft replacement for one year. Families who are experiencing financial difficulty are encouraged to submit a 2014-2015 Device Scholarship Application.
- 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. Parents who have attended a face-to-face orientation in prior years need not do so again. Records of attendance have been stored in PowerSchool, the district’s student information system.
- A parent or guardian must agree to and sign the terms set forth in the Mobile Computing Guide. Parents need only sign the Mobile Computing Guide once per child. Record of the signature will travel with the student from school to school. Updates to the mobile computing guide are available via this website.
Grades 9 – 12
Each high school will receive several hundred iPads. South Pointe High has chosen to implement in Grade 9. Northwestern and Rock Hill High have chosen to distribute iPads to select teachers for use during class.
For 2014-15, only 9th grade students at South Pointe High School will have an opportunity to take the device home . The requirements that are in effect for students in grades 4-8 apply.
Kindergarten – Grade 3
iPads that were purchased for students in the fall 2013 will still be used. 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, therefore parents of children in these grades need not pay the $50.00 Device Annual Protection Plan nor attend the parent orientation.
How long will the orientation session last?
Orientation sessions are approximately 45 minutes in length. School staff will outline best practices for use and care at both home and school. Digital citizenship will also be emphasized.
If I have children enrolled in multiple schools, must I attend an orientation session at each location?
No. Additional copies of the required signature pages will be available at each orientation session. Be sure to sign one for each of your children. We will then route signatures to their appropriate school/destination.
Payment for the Device Annual Protection Plan must be made at each school, but can be sent with your child. Please make all checks payable to the Rock Hill School District.
I have attended a parent orientation in prior years. Must I attend again?
No. Face-to-face attendance is required only once. For example, a parent who attended an orientation session for their middle school child need not attend an orientation for a rising 4th grader.
If I signed the Mobile Computing Guide in prior years, need I do so again?
It depends. Parents need only sign the Mobile Computing Guide once for each child taking a device home. Once signed, record of the signature will travel with the child from school to school. Updates to the mobile computing guide will be posted to this website.
Must I attend a parent orientation session if my child does not bring the device home? What if we own our own device?
The parent orientation sessions are designed to be informative and useful to all parents, regardless of whether their child brings a device home or currently owns a device. Participation is encouraged for all families, but required of those where the device will go home.
My children attend an after-school program. What should I tell the director?
The school district has attempted to make contact with the larger after school care providers in the area. Many are excited and have expressed a desire to learn more on incorporating the device into their programs of study.
If your after school provider is not aware of iRock, there are two things you can do: 1. Point them to this website for details and specific information on the 2013-2014 implementation 2. Ask them to use the Contact Us link at the top of each page to submit questions or requests for assistance.
I would like to purchase an iPad for my child instead of using a district device. What considerations should I make?
The school district is currently using the 16 GB iPad 2. This version of the iPad is no longer available, but the iPad with Retina display is available at a similar price point. While newer versions of the full sized iPad are acceptable, the iPad mini is not an approved device for most online assessments.
The district will provide a Griffin Survivor case to protect district-owned devices. This case has been utilized in our demonstration classrooms and has proven to be very sturdy and reliable.
In some tested grades, the district has provided classroom sets of wired keyboards that teachers may “check out” for use during long writing assignments or online testing. Logitech and Macally produce the wired keyboards currently under consideration.
Are there plans to expand the initiative in subsequent years?
Based upon the success of our 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.
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 train both students and teachers in best practices related to internet safety, prevention of cyber-bullying, copyright, etc. The district has sponsored several parent workshops on these topics and will continue to provide training to students, teachers, parents and community members.
For parents who would like to educate themselves on the issues surrounding ethical technology use, there are a number of resources posted to this site. To begin, access the Parents and Community menu at the top and choose Online Workshops on Parenting in the Digital Age.