Several years ago, we made the decision to commit to the use of a single device for students at HCS.
We have chosen the iPad as our primary device because when digital tools are selected as part of the learning experience, choosing the iPad allows teachers one platform to track, monitor and teach students to use. Teachers use an app called ‘Apple Classroom’ which allows them to view the screens of the entire class of student iPads at once, and to lock all iPad screens while talking to the class, or direct the class iPads to open up a specific webpage or app and stay on that app. At the end of the class, the teacher receives a summary which informs them of what apps students had open and were using during the class. This aids us in effectively monitoring that students are on task and using their device appropriately.
All students from Year 1 to 13 are required to bring an iPad (with iOS 15 or newer).
- Y1-13 require iPad with iOS 15 or newer
- All iPads must have a robust shockproof case in the event of an accidental drop
- The iPad should have a minimum of 64GB of memory
- While the use of a physical keyboard is an option for Year 1 – 8, it is recommended for Year 9 and up. Our recommendation is the Logitech Combo Touch (please check compatibility with your child’s iPad model.
- All students are required to have personal headphones.
- Earphones and earpods are not to be used at school at any time unless requested by the teacher.
There are several reasons that we chose iPads, some of which (not comprehensive) are listed below
- Portability to and from school: iPads are smaller, lighter, and more portable than most laptops. This can be especially beneficial for younger students who may have trouble carrying heavier devices.
- Portability for learning: Students can roam with the iPad and use the camera for capturing videos, still photography, recording audio and creating many other opportunities for learning.
- Touchscreen interface: iPads have a touchscreen interface, which can be more intuitive and easier to use for some students than a traditional keyboard and mouse.
- Longer battery life: iPads typically have a longer battery life than laptops, which means that students can use them for longer periods of time without needing to recharge.
- Lower cost: iPads are generally less expensive than laptops, which can make them a more affordable option for parents that are working within a tight budget. Parents are not required to have a brand new, top-of-the-line iPad for each of their children.
- Educational apps: There are a large number of educational apps available for iPads, many of which are designed specifically for classroom use. These apps can help to engage students and make learning more interactive and fun.
- Teacher Control: With the use of Apple Classroom, teachers can monitor and restrict what students do on an iPad. It also gives teachers a summary of what apps students were using during their class.
- Common platform: We wanted all students to have one platform so that they would all be able to access the same apps and have the same learning opportunities. This way teachers did not need to modify lessons where some students have a portable device and others a stationary device.
We did also consider the use of laptops, however, not excluding the above points, we ultimately decided against them. Laptops generally restricted learning on with a device to internet searching, watching videos and typing. The basic conclusion is that with a physical keyboard, an iPad can now do all a laptop can and much more.
Where an iPad is not able to be sourced, as a temporary measure, we have a few iPads at school that students can sign out for the day.
Only iPads will be given access to the school network, as these are the only devices our teachers can monitor in a way that limits their becoming a distraction to learning.
Please note that we have heard from individual parents' preference for a different device such as a Chromebook, android tablet, laptop or even no device. I trust that with the information included in this message, you will have a better understanding of how we landed on this decision.