High School 1:1 Project

 

September 19, 2017

The 2017-18 school year begins our third year of iPad integration here at General McLane High School.  It’s unfortunate, but rising costs have forced us to change our damaged equipment fees as follows as of September 19, 2017:

Damaged Protective Case:  $53

Damaged Charging Cord:  $13

Damaged Charging Brick:  $15

August 30, 2016

The past year has been an exciting one for us at the high school.  We successfully completed our first year of our iPad 1:1 program!  Here are some things we accomplished:

  •  each student in grades 9-12 was issued an iPad on the first day of school — 760 iPads were distributed and set up!
  •  each student created an Apple ID based on his/her school email address without attaching a credit card to the account.
  •  teachers began using Schoology to distribute and collect assignments, lead classroom forums, and create activities.
  •  students utilized Notability to edit and submit work as well as other apps to study, stay organized, and create.
  •  teachers made 123 requests for apps to be added to our “self-service,” a portal where students can download apps to their iPads without payment.  Most apps we are using are free, but paid apps (such as Notability) are purchased by the district and made available to our students at no cost.
  •  teachers attended professional development aimed specifically toward utilizing technology in the classroom, including 40 teachers who took a graduate course focusing on technology integration.
  •  all iPads were collected in the last couple of days of school to complete the first year of implementation.

All in all, it was a year of learning — for students, staff, and administration.  Some of the lessons we learned have led to some changes in our program, which are outlined below:

  •  in response to many complaints of inappropriate use (game-playing) during class time, we will be placing restrictions on the iPads of this year’s 9th and 10th graders.  This school year, freshmen and sophomores will be able to download apps only from our self-service portal.  No game apps are in the portal (unless it’s an educational game) and should reduce the problem.  Juniors and seniors will not have restrictions placed on their iPads.
  •  the amount in fees collected for damaged iPads was unfortunately inadequate based on the number of damaged iPads that needed repair.  Therefore, we will be raising the fees for damage as follows:
  •      First incident – $100
  •      Second incident – $175
  •      Third incident – $250
  •      Other fees remain the same.
  •  we also did not anticipate that the protective cases would be damaged as they were.  Beyond normal wear and tear, some cases were damaged due to neglect or deliberately damaged.  A fee of $35 will be charged for cases that are damaged beyond normal wear and tear.

We are looking forward to our second year of 1:1 with great anticipation.  As always, if you have concerns or questions about the program, give us a call at the high school office.

September 25, 2015

As you know, teachers at the high school are using Schoology as a learning management system.  While not all teachers have every course on Schoology, many do.  Our goal is to have every teacher on Schoology by the end of the school year.  To access your son/daughter’s courses on Schoology, follow the instructions on the Parent Account Guide below.  Once you create an account, you will be able to see your son/daughter’s courses, including assignments, activities, and announcements.

Schoology Parent Account Guide

 

September 4, 2015

We have completed our first two weeks of school with all students having and using iPads.  Our tech team has worked through most of the student issues and we anticipate we’ll have everyone fully functional within a few days.  Teachers are using the iPads in the classroom and students are utilizing them for research, assignments, and communication.

A student group was created on Schoology and a link posted for students to use if they are having issues with their iPad.  The link can be accessed from a computer as well (go to schoology.generalmclane.org and sign in).  This is the best way to report issues; our tech team monitors the reports and can respond quickly to make repairs or provide support.

Additionally, it has come to our attention that some students are downloading apps that are not educational–apps that could cause disruption to the school day or cause network security concerns.  The device is, after all, school district property and the intended use is for educational purposes.  Students were instructed to remove the following:  Social media apps such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram; chat/messaging apps such as kik; and any VPN or proxy apps.  These apps need to be removed by 8 a.m. Tuesday, September 8. 

Below is a guide for parents that you may find helpful.  We encourage you to talk with your son/daughter about responsible digital citizenship.  The guide also lists resources for parents to help you form guidelines and encourage conversation with your son/daughter.

2015.CommonSenseTech

 

August 28, 2015

There are a couple of issues we have run into regarding the iPads.  One issue is that some students are unable to download and/or use apps at home.  Here are steps to follow to resolve this issue:  1) Close all apps (double-press the Home button and swipe each app “up”)  2) Reset the iPad by holding in the Home button and Power button together until the iPad shuts down and restarts.  3) After the iPad restarts, launch Safari and go to filter.generalmclane.org and login with their school credentials at this authentication screen.  After the authentication, students should be able to download and use apps.  Remember, you’ll need to authenticate each time you use the iPad on a new/different wireless network.

It’s important for students to carefully read the pop-ups and follow the instructions.  For example, if a pop-up asks for a student to login, he should login with his district credentials.  If the pop-up asks for an iTunes or Apple ID password, the Apple ID password should be entered.

Some households do not have Internet access.  Teachers are exploring ways to assign homework that students can complete on the iPads without the use of a network connection.  Students should download needed homework documents before leaving class; then, once home, the document is on the device and can be read and assignment completed.  Then, once back in school and on the network, the assignment can be “turned in.”  There are a number of tasks that can be completed on the iPad without Internet access.  Teachers and students are discovering ways to use the tools . . . be patient while we all learn!

 

August 25, 2015

The iPads have been distributed!  During the first two hours of school today, each high school student received his/her iPad and walked through procedures to set it up.  While we did experience a few glitches–mostly with accounts–we are confident that we can solve the issues and get each student’s iPad functioning soon.  Teachers have received two days of training to prepare, and while we are excited, we’ll proceed carefully.   We have begun using Schoology as our building-wide learning management system.  Teachers will provide course assignments and other activities via Schoology; students will be able to hand in work digitally as well.  Parents can access a view of their son/daughter’s coursework by going to schoology.generalmclane.org and login with the same login used for the PowerSchool portal.

 

April 13, 2015

Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, technology use in schools has turned on a dime.  The “old” model of computer labs or computer carts is visibly an inefficient way to provide a technology solution in schools.  We now live in the Information Age.  According to Forbes magazine, a June 2013 Pew Research study revealed that 56% of US adults have the world (Internet) in the palm of their hand (smart phone)–not to mention teenagers.  A more recent Pew Research study revealed that 73% of teens use smart-phone technology.  We as educators know that the teaching of facts and information is no longer enough.  What is needed is to teach students what to do with the information — how to create, apply, and utilize the information.  At the high school level, our challenge is even greater as we prepare students for college and careers.

The most logical way for us to provide technology for students today is to provide a device for each student — the 1:1 model.  Parker Middle School is in its second year of a 1:1 project; the students in grades 5-8 utilize iPad minis in classes throughout the day.  Students are taking notes, researching, creating videos and utilizing online web 2.0 tools.  They are expanding their creativity as well as having a device at the ready for fact-checking, exploring, and learning.

The high school project will springboard from the middle school’s groundwork.  Some important differences, however, are necessary.  Students at the high school level will be able to take the iPads home; students will be issued a full-sized iPad; students will be expected to manage the content on the device.  High school students will access the GM App Store to download school-approved and school-purchased apps for use in the classroom.  They will also be able to download resource materials (books, ie.) as recommended by their teachers.

A meeting for parents of high school students was held Thursday, May 7 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  Information regarding the plan was discussed that night.

Many questions have arisen since we have begun to talk about this project.

Q:  Will the iPad belong to my son/daughter?
A:  No.  The iPad belongs to General McLane School District.  Students will return the iPad upon transferring out or graduating from General McLane High School.

Q:  Will the iPad have a protective case on it?
A:  Yes.  The district will place a protective case on each iPad that students should not remove.

Q:  Is there a fee families will have to pay per student for the iPad?
A:  No.  Families will have no up-front costs for students to receive an iPad.

Q:  What if my son/daughter loses the iPad?
A:  Parents will be asked to pay a fee of $250 toward the replacement cost.

Q:  What if my son/daughter’s iPad is stolen?
A:  We will require a police report and parents will pay a fee of $250 toward the replacement cost.  If no police report is filed, parents will be asked to pay the full replacement cost.

Q:  What if my son/daughter’s iPad is damaged?
A:  Parents will be asked to pay $75 for the first incident; $150 for the second incident; and $250 each incident after that.  If it is determined that the iPad is deliberately damaged, parents will be charged $250 toward the replacement, even if it is the first incident.

Q:  If the iPad is damaged, can a parent take it to an independent repair shop to have the repair made?
A:  No.  Needed repairs must be handled through our General McLane district technology office.

Q:  We don’t have Internet access in our home.  How will my son/daughter do homework?
A:  Students who don’t have Internet access at home will be able to download documents while at school; these documents, then, can be accessed on the iPad without Internet access.

Q:  When will iPads be distributed to students?
A:  The iPads will be distributed in August, before the school year starts.  A schedule will be posted and announced.

Q:  How are students expected to type on the iPad?
A:  English teachers will have sets of keyboards that will connect to the iPads for student use.

Here is a PDF of the presentation used in the parent meeting held May 7, 20015.

iPad Parent Presentation 5.15

 Do we have all the answers?  No — but we are working to ensure a smooth transition to this next stage of technology integration.  If you have further questions, please call the high school office or email a high school building principal.  We’ll include your questions and the answers here to continue the conversation.  Stay tuned as we roll out this exciting program!

 
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