iPad Initiative

“The future of society largely depends on the education of women.”

The Mount consistently searches for ways to prepare our students to be 21st century citizens.  We desire to prepare our students to be successful in a world that has become digital and global. We desire to do this without surrendering our values and priorities, yet challenging our students to embrace new technologies and learning opportunities.

It is the first time in history that the younger generation has greater ease and expertise with the core tools of technology than their parents. Research has proven that anyone born after 1980 is “wired” differently. Brains in these individuals have developed differently because at a young age they are introduced to the digital world, through gaming consoles and multi-sensory input. Because of this, educators have learned that we must adopt new strategies and resources. Students at the Mount use blogs, wiki spaces, social media, Drop Box and Google Drive on a daily basis.

The Mount desires to move our focus to student-centered instruction. Our students are being empowered to use technology to explore, create, and innovate. Classrooms are becoming centers of collaboration where students learn to work together to be creative problem solvers. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and so must education.

We believe the choice of the iPad will assist us in our preparation of students to be global citizens. Our program will develop at a faster pace with everyone on the same device, both in school and out of school.


Preparation

The Mount has expanded the bandwidth from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps of our wireless network.  We have invested over $40,000 in preparing for the 1:1 implementation.

We began a pilot program with some faculty members in March 2011. In April 2012 we expanded the number of faculty with iPads to include over 30 members and the purchase of a traveling cart of 25 iPads for use in various classrooms. In the spring of 2013, all members of the faculty received an iPad.

The Mount has invested in a web-based teacher development program to assist the faculty members in preparing for the use of the iPad as an instructional tool. In addition, the faculty are attending ”iPad 101” sessions each week conducted by members of the faculty in order to become more familiar with the device and the apps we will be adopting.

A computer cannot do everything an iPad can, but an iPad is quickly assuming the abilities of a computer.  An iPad is also designed for individual use. Therefore, the iPad will be the property of the students, who will be expected to use it according to school policies while a student at the Mount.

Timeline

 NovemberStudents are permitted to bring in their iPads. Some students begin using them in September in selected classes. We consider this a soft roll-out. 

 JanuaryStudents are encouraged to bring their iPad to school. We will begin to use them in selected classes. Information on these classes will be forwarded to the parents prior to Christmas.

 SeptemberAll Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors will be required to have an iPad and bring it to school on a daily basis. 

 Seniors (2014-2015)Seniors are not required to purchase an iPad. However, those who will be in class with Juniors may need to use the iPads from our cart. Those iPads must be returned at the end of each class, and may not leave the building.

Government Funding

Some teachers have chosen textbooks that have a digital companion.  Through government funding, we have purchased those textbooks in both a hard copy version for the classrooms and digital licenses for students enrolled in the courses.  The digital licensing period for the school is six years; each license is given to the student only for the duration of the class.  The licenses can be turned over to different students for each class during the six-year timeframe. 

Safeguards

All students and parents/guardians must sign the school-wide Acceptable Use Policy available on the Student and Parent Portals and at the left. All students must sign the Student iPad Pledge which is a separate document from the Acceptable Use Policy that deals directly with the use of the iPad.

Educational Apps

A current list of required applications is posted at the left. We have set a limit of $100.00 per year, per student, for the purchase of apps. MOST EDUCATIONAL APPS ARE FREE. Once you purchase an app, it is yours. The Mount will put safeguards in place in order to make sure that all departments stay within the established limit. Many of the apps will be used for 4 years.

Keyboards and Covers

Students are free to purchase a Bluetooth keyboard or a cover that contains a keyboard. We do encourage all parents to consider the purchase of a sturdy case and to make sure that the student’s name is located somewhere on the device.

Purchase

Parents are free to purchase the iPad at any retail store or via the web. The Mount has partnered with Springboard Media for those who wish to finance the purchase of the iPad Air. Springboard will offer 0% interest over 12 months.  You may call 215.988.7777 and tell them you are purchasing for Mount St. Joseph Academy.

Students may have an iPad Pro, iPad Mini, or an iPad Air.  We ask that the iPad have a minimum of 32GB, preferably 64GB, or for the Pro, 128GB. It must have WiFi capability. Parents are free to purchase iPads with 4G (Internet capability via cellular) access, but the student must agree not to use this capability while in school. We cannot provide Internet safety for our Mounties unless they use our WiFi.  Parents are encouraged to purchase Apple Care, an insurance program that covers damage. It does not cover theft.

We are asking that every iPad has a cover/case in order to protect it.  You do not need to buy your case from Springboard media.  The cases listed are only suggestions.  Feel free to shop online or at any retail store and use our criteria as a guide.  We used the following criteria as we evaluated iPad cases:

  • price
  • protection 
  • work angle
  • on/off automatic feature
  • weight

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