Questions & Answers
Question: “I was under the impression that 5th graders weren’t participating in the program this year due to budget cuts. Is that not the case? I hope they do as I think it’s a great program.”
Answer: With the override passing in Mendon on June 30, all programs and positions that were cut from the budget became restored. As a result of this, the fifth graders will be using iPads this year.
Question: “If we choose to use a school owned iPad for classroom activities, would the school content be accessible from our personal iPad at home as well?”
Answer: Generally, yes. The teachers work very hard to use apps and services that are “cloud-based” and therefore accessible from any device. The teachers and students both will use cloud storage services (like Google Drive and Dropbox) that will enable them to save work from their iPad to the cloud, and then accessed on a home computer or other device.
Question: “Will incoming 5th grade students begin using iPads prior to January 2016?”
Answer: Yes! It is our hope that iPads will be available for fifth grade students for the first day of school in September. The technology department has already done a lot of prep work to get the iPads ready, so we are hopeful that this will happen.
Question: “For my entering 5th grader, I have signed up for the School Loaner option. What happens if I change my mind and decide to bring in our own device instead and who do I contact? By when would this decision need to be finalized?”
Answer: We are pretty flexible. If you change your mind (either way, from school loaner to family owned or vice versa), please contact Anthony Amitrano, Director of Technology Integration, and the information will be forwarded to the appropriate technology staff member.
Question: Our device currently has some time left on Apple Care Plus, so we may decide to add an extended warranty plan to the device after AppleCare expires. Is that okay? Do I need to let you know this?
Answer: That is absolutely fine. You can elect to add an extended warranty plan to any device at any time. Because extended warranty plans are third-party, there is no need to give us the specific information about the plan. The only time we would get involved with the third-party is if a school-owned device is damaged and needs to be repaired. At that time, a technology staff member will be in contact with you and the repair process will go from there.
Question: “My question is about the choice of technology. Why have iPads been chosen over something less costly and more functional, such as: chromebooks?”
Answer: That is a great question. You can find an answer about that in our FAQ’s. To follow up on the answer in the FAQ, when we decided to begin the process of developing a 1:1 Learning program, the iPad was the clear frontrunner. Now, as technology has developed and there are more choices available, this is continually a topic that we discuss as a team. Although we might change the device we use in the future, the iPad is what we are sticking with for now.
Question: “We’re buying an iPad, but we know from our 9th grade son that the school has an arrangement for the apple care package as well as all the required apps. Is there a way we could purchase and iPad and then get the other packages through the school? Leveraging the school’s arranged packages? What other costs are required for the iPad beyond simply purchasing the device?”
Answer: The options that were available when your son began using the iPad a few years ago are quite different. At this time, the district does not have any arrangements for reduced pricing for AppleCare or for the required apps. Additionally, effective at the start of the 2014-15 school year, we ended the policy of charging a fee for BYOD devices that covered apps and management. All required apps are provided by the school at no cost to the families. As far as additional costs required for the iPad beyond simply buying the device, it is highly recommended that you purchase a sturdy case that protects the body of the iPad as well as the screen, and that you consider purchasing an extended warranty through a third-party.
Question: “What are the acceptable versions of iPads that my student can use for 1:1 Learning?
Answer: The only version that is not currently supported for 1:1 Learning in the MURSD is the original iPad. Your student may use:
- iPad 2
- iPad 3rd Generation
- iPad 4th Generation
- iPad Air
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini 2
- iPad Mini 3