At ESCS, we are excited to move forward with the BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) approach to integrating electronic learning tools in the classroom.
Students in grades three through eight will use iPads to enhance traditional curriculum and encourage collaborative learning across all core subjects.
Click on the folders below to read the answers to frequently asked questions about BYOD at ESCS.
Q. What’s with all this technology? Why does each student need their own device?
A. Our goal is to alter our approach to educating, incorporating 21st century skills into the curriculum, so that students learn to integrate technology into ALL of their education. The device is simply a tool to aid in their education. Our goal is not to use technology every day to do the same things we do now; but it is to use the technology to allow us to do things that we can’t do without these devices. What this means is that while we will use these devices for IXL and AR, we will also use them to (along with a host of other things) monitor comprehension, create easily updated techbooks, and work to individualize instruction to each student’s needs. S.A.M.R. is a model (created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D) designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. The model has four steps and its goal is to support and enable teachers to design and infuse digital experiences using technology. The four levels are Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. If you are interested in reading more about this model and how it ties into today’s classrooms, I invite you to visit http://www.schrockguide.net/samr.html
Q. What are the students using the devices for?
A. This question will be different in every classroom. While there are several applications that we use across multiple grades (most notably Accelerated Reader, STAR Reader, IXL, Google Docs, BrainPop, Learn360, etc.) the devices will be used for different purposes depending on teacher implementation.
Q. Why iOS (Apple)?
A. One significant challenge of BYOD from a classroom point of view is the fact that there are so many choices for operating systems … and not all programs/applications are available for all operating systems. With Windows, Chromebooks, Android, and Apple devices (just to name the more popular models), it has become extremely difficult for educators to focus on applications that can enhance their curriculum if they cannot first “narrow the playing field.” By choosing a common platform, our teachers can research applications with confidence, knowing that they can utilize their choices for every student in their classroom. In addition, through the research conducted before adopting this model, ESCS determined that the vast majority (if not all) of the Catholic High Schools into which Espiritu Santo “feeds” after 8th grade graduation have chosen the iPad as their device of choice. For these reasons, ESCS will standardize our BYOD program with the iOS platform.
Q. What does my student need?
A. Students in grades 3 – 7 are required to have an Apple iOS device (iPad) with a minimum of 16GB of memory. Students in 8th grade (Class of 2016) will be allowed to use whatever device they may already have (including Android, Windows, or Apple – see below). Many families already have an Apple device their student can use. Many families are planning to purchase a new device for their student (additional considerations below). If you cannot purchase a new iPad for your student, we do have a limited number of iPads reserved for general student use.
Q. Do we all have to use iPads or can we have different devices?
A. We are going to allow this year’s 8th grade students (Class of 2016) to use whatever device they may already have (including Android, Windows, or Apple). We feel that it is unrealistic to ask the families to purchase a new device for one year and then have to purchase again (if you are planning on attending Catholic high school). However, if you plan to purchase a new device, we ask that it be an Apple device (preferably the iPad for the larger screen size). All other students (in grades 3-7) need to have an Apple iOS device.
Q. What size iPad should we have?
A. Mini iPads will be allowed at Espiritu Santo. Please be advised that mini iPads are NOT allowed at some of the Catholic high schools (most notably CCC). If your child is intending to attend one of these schools in the near future you may want to consider buying a full side iPad. 16GB of storage is the minimum requirement for our needs here at school. If your child wishes to install personal apps/pictures/videos/etc… you may wish to consider higher storage when purchasing as this is not something that can be updated at a later date. Cloud storage allows you to manage content on your device and move programs off and on. Each family should discuss their own individual needs to determine what “enough” storage is. Older 2nd generation iPads will also be allowed at school. However, if you are planning a new purchase, you will want to consider buying the latest version available within your budget. As technology evolves we must also! Certain apps and features may be unavailable to machines that have older operating systems. If you wish to compare prices and memory sizes, please visit http://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/.
Q. What other things do we need to buy besides the iPad?
A. We strongly suggest you purchase a protective case for the Apple device. There are several (actually many, many) options available. We have had good success with the Griffin Survivor style cases. Some cases you can purchase will include a keyboard. This is NOT a necessity. The students will still have access to computers in our Tech labs if they need to typing. At this time all of the apps which we will use are free. As teachers expand their usage, we may have apps that will need to be purchased.
Q. What happens if students do not have an iPad?
A. If the student does not have an iPad then the school will provide one for them to use during the day. However, they will need to leave it at school (i.e. at the end of the school day) and if necessary (we will only have a limited number of devices) they may have to share with another student at different times.
Q. Does my student’s device need to have a data package on it?
A. Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we would prefer that it doesn’t have data availability on the device. If the device is tied to a data package, it should be turned off while they are on school grounds. We want the students to remain on the school’s provided, protected wi-fi network at all times.
Q. Will they be using the device all day long?
A. No, there will still be interaction amongst the students in the classroom and in social situations. The students will not be bringing these devices with them to lunch, recess, or PE. They will be put in their backpacks (or in their lockers). If your child uses our extended day program the devices will also not be allowed until they have come back inside and are working on their homework.
Q. Will we be replacing textbooks with electronic methods?
A. We will not be replacing textbooks with electronic ones in the upcoming school years. Most of our current books also have an electronic component to them. As these resources become more digital and available we will revisit our current plan.
Q. Other than the obvious protection of a device cover, what steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the devices from damage or theft on ESCS property?
A. As for keeping them on task, this will be the responsibility of the teacher in the classroom. Since they are always in the room, there will not be a time where they student will be left alone without a teacher. When students are not using their devices, the devices will be off and “Apple Up” meaning that the Apple logo should be facing up and the screen is down (or away in their backpacks/lockers for longer times). Of course this will not deter all students. Inside the Student/Parent Handbook there is our BYOD policy. For those students who choose to break the policy, there will be consequences to their actions. These can include losing use of their device for the activity or longer as well as not being allowed to bring their device at all if they continue to break the rules. The contract also states that the responsibility of the device is theirs. The school is not responsible for the security of the devices. It will be important that the devices have cases and that the students remember to be careful with their backpacks when they are in there.
Q. Will the use of PC devices and/or Window products continue in the computer labs?
A. For the upcoming 2015-2016 school year we will still have two full labs of PC computers (Tech 1 and Tech 2). There will also be a few desktop computers in each of the teachers’ classrooms (if they asked to keep them).
Q. What is the Airwatch App that we are hearing our children talking about?
A. The Airwatch app is a mobile device management (MDM) program which allows the school to have some easy access to the devices. It allows us to push apps to the students without having to be physically connected to the network or even download it from the App store. It will also allow us to provide Internet Access to the devices so they can be on the school wireless. Several other Catholic schools in the diocese (as well as schools and business across the country) are using the Airwatch program to facilitate mobile device management.
Q. I have the password for the iTunes account for the device OR we have one iTunes account that we share as a family. Do I need to provide the school (or my child) with the iTunes ID and/or password?
A. Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I DO NOT want any passwords. You will be able to install the Airwatch App at home and the student will connect to the application with username and password at school (you will only have to do this the first time). Once they have connected to the app I will be able to push resources (WiFi, web clips, other apps, etc) to the device. Any new app can be either taken care of through the app or at home with the parents’ help. Neither the students nor I need to know their iTunes passwords.
Q. Does the Airwatch app monitor everything on the device (including text messages, emails, or GPS data)?
A. Absolutely not. Not only would that go against what we are trying to teach the students about being aware of their own devices and taking control of their own learning, but it is illegal! In the End User License Agreement (EULA) for Airwatch you can read what they do and don’t monitor but they do not monitor texts, emails, or FaceTime sessions.
Q. When will my student start using their iPad in the classroom?
A. We are working to install Airwatch on student devices on a grade-by-grade basis during the first month of school. Parents will be notified when their student’s homeroom will be migrated, and will be given the option to download the Airwatch software at home. In cases where the student does not have access to the Apple ID and password for their device, downloading the software at home will be a necessity. Appropriate instructions will be sent home with your student at that time.
Q. Given the allowance for compliance with other policies (most recently the change in PE shirts), will a similar allowance or “grace period” be given for transition to BYOD? The cost of an iPad or any personal electronic device is significantly greater than a PE shirt!
A. We have been using BYOD in the middle school in different situations throughout the past (2014-15) school year. Different teachers had their students bring in devices when they wanted to do a whole class activity. However, that approach did not accommodate students who did not have devices to bring into the classroom. Expanding and formalizing the BYOD program to include all students across multiple grade levels allows ESCS to maintain an environment in which every student has access to the same tools to enhance learning every day.
Using a mobile device? Read the BYOD Q&A here: ESCS BYOD Program 2015-16
Questions? Please contact our Technology Director, Mr. DeNote.