The iPad 1:1 Program
Description & Goals
The Bring Your Own iPad Program gives WCA students a unique opportunity to learn using the creativity and productivity tools they will need in college and the workforce. WCA students enjoy all the benefits of the traditional classroom during the school day. The use of an iPad augments the curriculum for these students by providing opportunities for different learning styles and teaching options. Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged, but not required, to have a parent-provided iPad 2, 3, 4, or Mini for daily classroom use. WCA will gradually integrate iPad use into the entire high school curriculum. Middle school students may use iPads for organizational and study skills benefits, however the middle school curriculum is not fully integrated with iPad technology. The information below gives the details of WCA’s Bring Your Own iPad Program.
The goals for the Bring Your Own iPad program and technology use at WCA:
Students utilize technology as a tool to dig deeper into God’s Word to understand His plan for their lives.
Students recognize when to use and when not to use technology.
Students utilize content from a variety of resources and styles tailored to how they learn best.
Students create content to demonstrate mastery and share that content with others to help them learn.
Students more fully engage with the learning process and have the resources available to pursue subject areas they are passionate about.
Students collaborate with teachers, professionals and peers to enhance learning.
Students utilize technology to organize their personal and academic lives.
Teachers integrate technology as a tool to dig deeper into God’s Word to understand His plan for their lives.
Teachers extend content in order to reach students with different learning interests.
Teachers encourage students to utilize the tools available to more fully pursue areas that interest them.
Teachers utilize technology to collaborate with other teachers in their disciplines at other schools.
Teachers utilize Moodle* to create a library of material that extends the classroom.
Teachers prepare lessons in each course to be uploaded to Moodle.
Teachers organize content in Moodle so they and their students have quick access to learning material.
Teachers utilize technology to take advantage of the teachable moment.
Teachers utilize technology to bring appropriate current events to lessons.
Teachers utilize technology to organize their personal and professional lives.
* Moodle is an online classroom environment that augments the curriculum for students by providing a structured learning system for homework and assignments. WCA students enjoy all the benefits of the traditional classroom during the school day. The school provides Moodle access to students. Moodle is fully integrated with the current Renweb online services and can be accessed from the icon at the bottom of any west-mont.org webpage.
Each of the above iPads provides the full functionality needed for use at WCA. Students will not have an advantage by purchasing a more expensive device. Adding a wireless network to your existing home Internet service is needed to make student iPads fully functional. The cost to set up a Wi-Fi network is modest one-time fee. A brief informal survey of WCA students indicated that over 99% of WCA families currently have home Wi-Fi networks or cellular data plans.
The iPad program does not support other tablets or laptops, including iPad first generation devices which do not support iOS7 – the newest operating system from Apple Computer. Having a myriad of different devices causes teachers to spend more time on synchronizing technology than teaching the actual curriculum. In addition, Apple Corporation has educational controls within iPads that are not uniformly available on other tablets.
Purchase of Apps and Books
WCA provides a list of recommended apps for the students to purchase from the Apple Store. See the list here. It is the responsibility of families to purchase the needed apps for their students. This is a one-time expense for families, and many of the apps are free. All apps purchased can be used for multiple students (and other family members) on multiple devices. When necessary, WCA provides students with iPad eTextbooks at no additional cost to the family.
Students may be asked to download novels and other books available on the iBook store or the Amazon Kindle store. (iPads have a “Kindle” app; do not buy a Kindle device for high school classroom use.) Many of the digital books required are available at no cost, however families are responsible for the cost of any novel or book required for the course. For most eBooks, students also have access to a hard copy book at school at no cost to the family.
Content Filtering and Device Management
The use of iPads in the classroom creates wonderful productivity, organizational, and creative opportunities for your student! iPad use at school also presents some challenges, especially as it relates to filtering content and security. The Academy has carefully investigated these issues and has selected a state-of-the-art management system that must be installed on all student iPads.
All iPads used at WCA must have a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system installed by the school. This software cannot be bypassed or altered by the student or parent once installed. It not only filters content, but also limits the use of apps (application software) to those approved by the school. The MDM functions even on those iPads with cellular access or home Wi-Fi – not just those using the school's Wi-Fi network.
Apple Corporation specifically designed iPads to function with an MDM in an educational setting. Other types of tablets and devices do not uniformly have those same abilities. Therefore, only iPads will be allowed for student use during school hours. It is also impractical for teachers to have to regulate more than one type of tablet in the classroom.
Students should bring their iPad to school in early September to have the MDM installed. (The school should be able to return iPads to their owners within 48 hours.) Instructions on this can be found here. The installation process wipes all files and apps from the student iPad; it is therefore necessary that iPad owners back-up their files and images prior to the MDM being installed. The school will give parents instructions on how to do this back-up procedure. Any apps that have already been loaded on the iPads will also be deleted during the MDM installation; however once an app has been purchased from the Apple Store it can be re-downloaded by the iPad owner at no cost after the MDM is installed.
Apple Corporation requires that the owners of all iPads have the ability to delete (not alter) the MDM software. If this is done, the school is automatically notified of the deletion, and that particular iPad can no longer be brought to WCA. If the MDM is deleted during the school year, and the family still wants the device to be used at WCA, the re-installation of the MDM will result in a fee to the family.
The Academy has extensively researched MDM’s, filtering capabilities, and system software from many companies. The school has selected the most capable, secure, and state-of-the-art option available on the market today, one produced by CISCO/Meraki: https://meraki.cisco.com/solutions/mobile-device-management.
Purchasing a well-designed protective case for your iPad is an important decision. If dropped, the iPad screen can crack. Parents are responsible for damage and loss of their iPads by their student. Most protective cases, including Apple’s, are poorly designed; the key is to make sure that the corners of the iPad are well protected by the cover. WCA recommends: Future One Stop – Rotating Case – eBay Store – $7.99 - $13.99
Any standard ear bud headphones will work.
Any stylus for the iPad or iPhone will work.
Most bluetooth keyboards will work with the iPad. The Apple or Logitech wireless keyboards work well with iPads. Both can be purchased at the Apple iStore. The keyboards that are built-in to the carrying case have an advantage in that the student does not have to carry two separate items. The price of wireless keyboards ranges from $30 to $100. Generally students can function well academically without purchasing a keyboard. WCA is suggesting that parents delay a decision to purchase a keyboard until they determine that their student would benefit from such a purchase. All keyboards are designed to be an accessory that can be added at a later date.
Frequently Asked Questions about WCA’s Bring Your Own iPad and IPads in the Classroom Program
Why does WCA integrate iPads into the classroom?
The educational, organizational, and productivity benefits of such a program are significant. WCA is committed to providing the best educational setting and opportunities for our students.
Is WCA becoming a paperless “iPad only” instructional program?
Absolutely not! The value and benefits of the traditional classroom environment are both significant and foundational to the mission and vision of West-Mont Christian Academy! WCA hopes to create a “blended program” to best meet the needs of our students while retaining and enhancing our teacher-taught instructional program.
What grades can take advantage of this program?
Only students in Grades 6 to 12 are involved.
Will students be able to bring other types of tablets or laptops to school other than iPads?
No, having multiple types of devices makes effective classroom management and device security impractical.
Does the school provide individual iPads to students?
No, parents of students in grades 6-12 will be expected to purchase a new or used iPad for use by their student. Please see the purchasing guidelines and recommendations here. However, a limited number of school-owned iPads are available only for in-class use. Students will not be able to use a loaner iPad outside of the school day or take the iPad home.
What about security and filtering?
All student/parent owned iPads must have a Mobile Device Management system installed by the school prior to using the iPads at WCA. This software allows the school to control and filter the iPad use within our wireless network, as well as iPads with cellular data plans, or home Wi-Fi networks.
What is a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system?
Apple Corporation designed all iPads to function within educational environments under the control of special MDM software. Once installed by WCA, the MDM controls cannot be altered by the student or parent. The MDM profile provides filtering and timed control of Application (App) usage. As a service to WCA families, the school will make available several profile options for parents to choose from. An updated MDM will be installed each September.