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Introduction To Digital learning

iPads in student hands enhance education beginning next school year

The 2014-2015 school year marked the beginning of the Fenwick High School Digital Learning Initiative wherein Fenwick introduced the use of individual iPads to each member of last year’s freshman class. We will continue this program this fall. All freshman, sophomores and juniors will be required to purchase their own iPad for use over their high school career.

The use of these tablets will allow us to further integrate technology into the best teaching practices already used in our classrooms. Fenwick has provided students with state of the art technology access for many years. Every classroom functions as a multimedia room with an LCD projector, sound system and teacher computer. And the faculty routinely integrates the use of these technologies and multimedia resources into the curriculum.

What’s more, is that we presently have three mobile wireless laptop carts which are used in many different classes each day, a language lab, and a math lab. Students have access to computers and printers throughout the building. All students using the iPad as a learning device is the next logical step.

The benefits of digital learning

Digital learning enhances student critical thinking and problem solving capabilities, as well as supports self-directed learning. This program will teach our students how to engage responsibly in a digital environment and strengthen their 21st century skills such as understanding the ethical use of technology, accountability, social responsibility and personal productivity. It supports creativity and innovation, communication and information skills, as well as global awareness and civic literacy. Acquiring this knowledge and developing these skills will better position our students for their future college years and beyond. 

Using iPads will allow us to replace some of the textbooks with iBooks and e-books, lightening the load students must carry with them every day. Additionally, it will reduce the cost spent on textbooks, which may offset the cost of the iPad over the course of four years of high school. Students will be able to access original documents, videos and other curriculum materials at anytime from anywhere inside the school and outside, too, which facilitates anywhere–anytime learning. These iPads provide a way for students and teachers to engage in an interactive, student-centered learning environment.

  • Who is required to get an iPad?

    All freshman, sophomores and juniors must have or purchase an iPad at the beginning of the 2016–17 school year.

  • What does this mean for freshmen?

    All students in the class of 2020 will be using iPads in their classes for the 2016–2017 school year. Students and teachers will use the iPads as tools for learning (books, note-taking, document sharing, etc.) over the course of their four years at Fenwick.

  • What if we cannot afford to purchase an iPad?

    Fenwick will be offering a purchasing plan for families who receive tuition assistance and who are interested in purchasing their iPads on an installment basis over a one- or two-year period. A financing cost and insurance requirement will be associated with this option. Please see the Purchasing Plan on the website.

  • What does this mean for seniors?

    Seniors are not required to have an iPad. They may use an iPad in their classes if the book(s) can be purchased as an iBook or eBook version. Teachers will decide in these classes if the iPads can be used for other classroom activities.

  • How will the iPad be used in the classroom?

    Classroom use will vary by subject. We anticipate the iPad replacing many textbooks in the classroom, serving as a simulation platform for science classes and acting as a student’s primary interface to email and web activity.

  • When will everyone in the school be required to have iPads?

    We will roll out iPads each year to the incoming freshmen class. Over the course of four years all students will have their own iPad for use in school. 

  • Which iPad should my student purchase?

    It is recommended that you purchase an iPad 3 or later with a minimum of 32 GB of memory. 

  • What accessories come with the iPad? What additional accessories are required? What are recommended?

    All iPads come with a power adapter and a Dock Connector to USB Cable. Magnetic covers are available, however a more industrial strength cover is recommended (e.g., Otterbox, NewTrent). Additionally, students may want to purchase a keyboard for easier typing.

  • Can I bring a device other than an iPad into school?

    No, students are required to bring an iPad. Our program is tailored to using texts and applications that are most effective on iPads.

  • Can I share my iPad with a sibling or another?

    No, the iPads will be required throughout the school day and sharing will significantly limit effectiveness of the program. However, books and apps may be purchased on an iTunes account that shares content across devices.

  • How do I connect my iPad to the Fenwick Wi-Fi?

    Over the summer, all freshmen will be required to attend one session in which the Fenwick Technology staff will help students connect to our building’s Wi-Fi, setup their Fenwick email and other appropriate apps and discuss iBook or eBook options. Seniors intending to use iPads may also attend a session as well. We will hold several sessions over the course of the summer. Dates for these sessions will be posted on the website.

  • How will my student learn how to use the iPad?

    During the summer, while the student is setting up their iPads for the Fenwick Wi-Fi, sessions will be available for those students who need assistance in learning how to use the iPad. Webinars are available on the website.

  • How do I get the needed apps and/or iBook’s on my iPad?

    Apps are available for purchase through the App Store, which comes standard as part of the Apple environment. Students will be given a list of apps that they must load on their iPad. Fenwick will have a list of required apps per subject, which will vary in price. Many of the apps we intend to use are available at no cost, e.g., calculators.

  • Will all books be electronic?

    No. However, Fenwick is working hard to move to electronic books in all areas. This rollout will take several years and is dependent on teachers, availability of e-texts etc.

  • Will students still have to or be able to use hardcover textbooks?

    Students may use hardcover books if they prefer. However, the iPad will be required for other classroom activities (e.g., simulations, web access, etc.)

  • Will my student need to purchase a calculator?

    Yes, calculators are required for math and science. Familiarity with a calculator is paramount to ACT/SAT performance and math and science testing.

  • What can I do to prevent loss/theft/damage to my iPad?

    The iPad like their cell phone are expensive electronic items and should not be left unattended. If a student leaves their iPad in their locker, they must be sure to lock the locker.

    Purchase Insurance or be sure that it is covered on your homeowner's policy.  Fenwick is working with Worth Avenue Group to provide insurance for iPads at a very reasonable cost. See the website at https://my.worthavegroup.com/fenwickfriarsil for more information. 

    Applecare is an extended warranty that covers only two instances of damage. It does not cover lost or stolen iPads.

    Also, make sure to download the app, “Locate my iPad” and install it on the iPad. If the iPad is ever lost or stolen, this application allows messages to be sent to the device, an alarm to sound, and a map to show the location of the device.  (See Screencast for additional directions and information.)

    To prevent damage, students should be mindful of how they carry and store the device. Also, a case of the student’s choice is recommended.

  • What should I do if the iPad is damaged, lost or stolen?

    If your iPad is damaged, lost or stolen be sure to follow the procedure outlined in the hand out found on the website.

  • If my iPad is in for repair or if it is lost, what can I do until I get a new iPad?

    Fenwick provides loaner iPads at a cost of $35 for a maximum of three weeks for students that loose, damage or have their iPad stolen. If students are in a situation where a loaner iPad should be issued, both parents and the student are to sign the loaner agreement found on the website.

  • Can I print directly from my iPad to the school printers?

    Printing to school printers from an iPad is available. Students should check their Fenwick email for instructions on printing from their iPad.

 
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