Question: I may have missed this in the material, but for “Bring Your Own IPAD”, can they have an IPAD-Mini?

Answer:  Acceptable devices are listed on this page.  The short answer is, yes, your child can use an iPad Mini.

Question: We will be purchasing an iPad for our daughter. What device do you recommend? Do you have any other purchasing tips?

Answer:  Please see the list for acceptable devices on this page.  If at all possible, we recommend the newest device with the largest storage capacity you are willing to spend money on.  With technology changing at such a rapid rate, it is not possible to buy the best and newest device without something better coming out in 6-12 months.  Refurbished devices from Apple are great values, and are comparable to brand new devices.  If you are interested in purchasing a refurbished device, see this page from Apple.

Question:  Does the district require all students to participate in the iPad program? Is there any way to opt-out if parents do not see significant benefit of their child utilizing iPads for schoolwork?

Answer:  All teachers at Miscoe and Nipmuc expect that their students will have access to an iPad for academic purposes.  With the establishment of 1:1 Learning in the district, as well as ongoing professional development, investments in electronic textbooks, support staff in place, and infrastructure improvements over the past few years, the district has come to consensus that there are multiple benefits in using the iPad as a tool to support their academic work.  If you have concerns about how your child is using the iPad for school purposes, please contact your child’s teacher(s) directly to discuss how the device will be used for school and what procedures are in place to deter the use of the iPad as a distraction.

Question: With all of the recent and serious on-line security breaches, personal data theft, identity theft and cyber stalking crimes, the thought of my children using on-line accounts and communicating on-line via “apps”, texts and emails causes great concern for the security and safety of my child. How are you protecting the personal information of the kids using iPads?

Answer:  The accounts that students use to access various apps, sites, and services do not allow third-party access to personally identifying information, with the exception of the child’s school-maintained email address, and first and last names.  Online communication occurs only through district-maintained and filtered email and within the closed environment of the district Google Apps for Education setup.  The MURSD Department of Technology regularly reviews the apps, services, sites, and services used by teachers and students in the district to ensure that each child’s privacy is protected and conforms to federal guidelines including CIPA and those set by the FCC and the Massachusetts legislature.

Question: Most parent aged adults agree that we are witnessing the collapse of social skills in younger, tech dependent generations. How does introducing our children to the dependency of more electronics help fix this problem? With all of the various electronic distractions available to kids today, is another display device in their hands any way to help correct this epidemic? Will apps eventually take the place of teachers?

Answer:  With the increased use of technology over the past 10 to 20 years, it is increasingly important that children are aware of the appropriate use of technology in their lives.  A goal of 1:1 Learning in Mendon-Upton is not to teach children to be dependent on the electronics in their lives, but to know and understand how to use them as a tool to support their learning.  The iPad is used as part of our students’ education just as textbooks, television, the VCR, and computers have been used as tools by teachers to support their work with students.  Certainly apps could never take the place of teachers; that has never been the intention or the goal of any kind of technology initiative the district has embraced.

Questions & Answers – 8/11/15

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