Academics 2011
Technology

Prince of Peace Christian School and Early Learning Center is committed to providing a learning environment that prepares our children to enter a world that requires the effective integration of technology into daily life. As part of this commitment, all preschool through 12th grade classrooms are equipped with a desktop computer, LCD projector, and Apple TV while the majority of these classrooms have a SmartBoard as well.  In addition, there are three computer labs on campus and several mobile laptop carts available for student use. 

 
In the spring of 2011, each of our teachers received an Apple iPad in preparation for a 1 to 1 iPad program beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.  Mobile iPad carts are now available for our lower school students to utilize in their respective classrooms.  All 5th through 12th grade students will participate in this cutting edge program and will be required to have their own iPad for daily use. 
 
Ultimately, our goal is that each of these technology resources will be incorporated in a manner that maximizes student engagement, positively transforms the learning environment and provides “anytime, anyplace” access to current technology. It is our sincere desire to provide your child with the best educational experience possible and we believe the effective integration of technology can help achieve this goal. 
 
Below are the most frequently asked questions concerning our 1 to 1 iPad program.  Should you have further questions about the program, please contact Our Director of Information Technology, Nick Weiss.

 

1. Why are we implementing a 1 to 1 program with iPads?
Our primary objective for implementing a 1 to 1 program is to prepare our children to enter a world that requires fluency in utilizing technology for a variety of tasks. The most important component of this goal is promoting a learning environment where technology is used as a tool to enhance the curriculum and maximize learning. Ultimately, it is our sincere desire to provide your child with the best educational experience possible and we believe the implementation of a 1 to 1 iPad program will help reach this objective.

2. How will the iPads be utilized for school?
The iPads in this program will be an integral part of the daily curriculum. Students will use the device to locate and evaluate web-based information, record and organize class notes, communicate and collaborate more easily with teachers and other students, access digital textbooks and complete coursework.  Additionally, students will utilize a variety of applications to produce creative multimedia content including digital portfolios, presentations, videos, podcasts, blogs and animations. Our goal is that the iPad will be integrated in a manner that positively affects the overall learning environment. 

3. Is my child required to have an iPad or can other devices be utilized?
All students in grades 5 through 12 will be required to have an iPad for the 2015-2016 school year. Device uniformity is important for three key reasons. First, all of the training and professional development for staff has been geared toward integrating the iPad into the curriculum. Each of the teachers has an Apple TV (used to display an iPad to an entire class at one time) and apps are regularly introduced that will work specifically with the iPad program.  To have students on different devices creates a huge challenge in the classroom as it is extremely difficult to plan lessons when the teacher cannot count on all students having access to the exact same programs and capabilities.

Second, tablet technology is much more versatile than a traditional laptop computer. In classes such as math and science where equation writing is necessary, it is simply not practical to complete assignments with a traditional computer due to the limitations of a keyboard. The result of this dilemma is that laptops typically don’t get used nearly as much in those classes. Tablets such as the iPad avoid this issue and make the device a much more versatile tool in those particular subjects. More importantly, the ease of taking pictures, recording audio/video and drawing really make the iPad an indispensable tool for students to be able to produce and share creative content which is an important skill. 

Finally, the outstanding app market for the iPad is a key reason for making this device required for all students. From an educational perspective, this is what really separates the iPad from all other devices. The app market for education is well-developed for the iPad which creates unique learning resources that are not available on other platforms such as Windows or Mac OS. Having access to specific apps is a key part of the curriculum so it’s important that your child has access to the apps that will help them accomplish specific classroom tasks and objectives. 

4. Can we opt out of the program?
Opting out of the program will not be an option for any student in grades 5 through 12 as the iPad will be an integral part of the daily curriculum. 

5. Who will provide the iPad?
All 5th through 12th grade students will need to provide their own iPad as part of the required school supplies. The minimum model we recommend is the iPad Air - 16GB with Wi-Fi; however, a device with additional storage capacity is recommended for longer term use. 

6. Can we get a bulk discount by purchasing the iPad through the school?
There will not be an option to purchase the new iPad through the school at a bulk discount. The maximum bulk discount Apple currently offers (for school districts of any size) is $20. If greater cost savings are desired, we recommend purchasing a refurbished model from the Apple website. 

7. What other expenses should I anticipate?
All app purchases will be the responsibility of the student; however, there will be limitations on how many apps a teacher can require to avoid excessive expenses to our families. Students will also need to purchase a stylus. If a student prefers to complete all of their work on the iPad, a Bluetooth keyboard is a recommended item to facilitate greater productivity. 

8. Will lower school students be a part of the 1 to 1 program?
Our goal for the lower school is to equip each classroom with a mobile cart of iPads that provides one device for each student to use as the teacher desires. These iPads will remain in the classroom at all times but will be available to utilize on a daily basis as part of the curriculum. 

9. Should my child have their own Apple ID?
It is the recommendation of the POPCS technology staff that each student has their own unique Apple ID for this program. This ID can then follow them throughout their school years and also be the ID that they use for their own personal resources now and in the future. All purchases made with an ID will stay with that student if they should use multiple Apple devices or if a device is replaced. A final option to consider, if you have more than one child in the program, is to set up one Apple ID to be shared so that both students can have all purchased apps and only pay one time.

10. Where can my child securely store their iPad if they participate in extra-curricular activities?
School-issued locks can be purchased from Meredith Brady in the front office for $5. These locks can be placed on the student’s personal school locker which allows them to secure it safely when not being used. If a student wants to utilize a lock, it must be issued by POPCS. Personal locks are not allowed and will be removed without notice. 

Students in after-school sports who need to secure their device while at practice may check out a PE locker from a member of the Physical Education Department free of charge. 

11. Can we purchase insurance to protect the iPad from accidental damage or theft?
Apple Care + insurance can be added at that time of purchase to protect the iPad from manufacturing defects for up to 3 years. This plan also provides coverage for 2 incidents of accidental damage over the life of the policy (with a $49 deductible); however, theft coverage is not included.

There are many other insurance options available that cover a wide range of issues including accidental damage and theft. Ultimately, it would be up to you as the owner to decide which policy works best for your particular needs. 

12. Does the school prevent access to websites and applications that may be inappropriate or distracting?
The student wireless network is protected by an effective web filtering program that limits access to websites and web-based applications that are inappropriate for school use. It is important to note that this web filter only works while the student is on campus. Limits on access in the home would need to be set up by each individual family and their Internet service provider. 

13. Will digital textbooks replace traditional texts?
It is our goal is to transition to digital textbooks as each of the specific subject areas are due for new curriculum adoption. Digital textbooks generally provide a variety of interactive features that are a significant enhancement to traditional textbooks; however, the adoption of digital texts will vary from class to class based on each individual teacher’s needs, the availability of digital forms of textbooks from the publishers, and the overall quality of the text. 

14. Can my child print documents from the iPad?
The iPad is equipped with an air print function that works with certain types of printers; however, the school will not be providing any air printing options on campus. A major benefit of a 1 to 1 iPad program is the ability to submit work electronically which most teachers on campus will require. If hard copies of assignments are requested, the student will need to print from home. With the cloud based storage system our students will be utilizing, accessing and printing completed assignments from home will be very easy.  

15. Who should I contact with questions about the program?
Our Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning, Nick Weiss, oversees the implementation of the 1 to 1 program. Should you have any questions or concerns, he can be reached at:

Office Phone: (972) 598-1128 
E-Mail: nick.weiss@popcs.org