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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 students must have their own iPad beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

  • 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.

  • Which iPad should my student purchase?

    It is recommended that you purchase at least the 8th Generation iPad with a minimum of 64 GB of memory.   Currently, iPadOS 14 is the recommended minimum.

    It is also recommended that your iPad have a hard case to protect it from damage.

  • 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.

    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?

    Students are required to bring an iPad. Our program is tailored to using texts and applications that are most effective on iPads.

    Students may bring laptops to school, however laptops and personal smart phones will not be allowed on the Fenwick Wi-Fi network.

  • 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?

    Student iPads will be configured to access the Fenwick WiFi network once we receive information about their iPads.  Directions will be emailed before June 30th.

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

    During Freshman Orientation, while the student is setting up their iPads for the Fenwick Wi-Fi, a class will be given about using Fenwick approved apps as well as Schoology. 

  • 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 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, the Tech Department might be able to find it if it is still in the building and the device is on.

    All iPads should have "Find My iPad" enabled.

    If you are still unable to find the lost iPad, you will need to file a claim with your iPad insurance provider.

  • 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 lose, 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.

  • What happens if my student forgets to charge their iPad?

    Maintaining the iPad and charging the iPad is the responsibility of the student. Failure to come to school with a charged iPad may result in an inability to participate in classroom activities. Consequences will vary from class to class.

  • Is there a way to charge iPads at school?

    Students should be sure that their iPads are fully charged each day when they come to school. There are electrical plugs in the entryway and throughout the school if needed.

  • Will students be able to back up information on the network? Is their data protected?

    There are several cloud storage apps which students may use to back up their documents, e.g. iCloud, Google Docs, skydrive.

  • To what extent will my student be able to customize his/her device?

    Since iPads are personal property, students can customize their desktop experience and application folder environment. It is suggested that students customize their device to suit both their home and school needs (i.e. folders for subjects, page for personal use, etc.)