Bedford Area School District
The district’s 1 to 1 initiative to supply every student with an iPad is nearing the end of the first year. Throughout the year, we endeavored to make changes as necessary grounded in the District’s overarching philosophy to help students learn with modern tools and instructional materials. Staying true to this commitment, we are excited to make another change to our plan for student iPads. After considerable investigation and planning, the district will permit students to keep their iPads for the summer rather than collect them.
For a lot of students the iPad is a useful tool, not only for structured formal learning, but for all learning opportunities whenever and wherever they occur. As we investigated the possibility of allowing students to keep their iPads, elementary students told us they would like to have them for vacation so when they travel they can learn about places and play educational games. Older students expressed very similar thoughts as well as desiring to use them to participate in advanced learning opportunities. Additionally, parents talked about how they often observed their children playing educational games and were surprised by how much extra learning their children do voluntarily. Our end conclusion was clear. Many students are doing exactly what we hoped; learning because they are curious and enjoying it. The district is determined to continue this momentum by allowing the students to keep their iPads for the summer.
Since this is a change from the original plan, we offer the following question and answer for parents and students:
Question: Will the district device insurance program for the iPad continue to cover my child’s iPad during the summer?
Answer: Yes, but please remember we do not cover everything.For example, we do not cover loss.If you travel with the iPad, please secure it in a safe place.Additionally, we do not cover water submersion, so please keep the iPad away from the pool, beach etc.Please review your insurance document.
Question: What if my child’s iPad needs repaired, gets lost, or damaged during the summer?
Answer:Our technology department and administrators work during the summer.Please contact your child’s building with your issue.The office staff will either direct you to the principal or the technology department.We will not offer any loaner iPads during the summer.The technology department will work with you to either replace or repair your child’s existing iPad.
Question: What if I do not want my child to have the iPad during the summer?
Answer: You have three options.
Option 1: If you already do not allow your child to take the iPad home during the school year, the school will keep the iPad like we did throughout the year.
Option 2: If your request is specifically related to summer, please take the iPad from your child and store it in a safe place for the summer.
Option 3: Again if only for the summer, please meet with your building administrators who can store your child’s iPad in a safe place for the summer.
Question: Is the district concerned about students spending too much time on their iPads?
Answer: Yes and No. First, this is not solely an iPad issue, but rather exposure to any screens.The district believes balance is an important element of life. We want students to engage in reading, writing, learning, playing, socializing, and all healthy activities of life. When school is in-session, we attempt to promote this balance.We ask parents to help promote this balance by making good decisions for their children at home.Some ways you can promote this balance is to limit the time your children spend on all screens including iPads, cellphones, gaming equipment, and television.Additionally, we recommend you closely examine your child’s habits around screen time at night or before bed. To further assist parents, we are exploring apps that allow parents to schedule times and set limits to when their child can use the iPad. In summary, while we do have concerns about screen time, we also know technology plays a huge role in students’ lives. Therefore, we want to promote balance and partner with parents to achieve this balance.
Question: Does the district monitor your child’s iPad activity during the summer?
Answer: No. This is the same as when students take their iPads home during the school year.When your child uses the iPad during the summer, they will do so under your supervision as per school board policy 815.1.Please know when they return and connect to our system, we may at that time discover issues or inappropriate use during the summer.
Question: When will the district inspect and clean the iPads?
Answer: In the last few days of this school year, the students under the guidance of staff will clean the iPads.Staff will complete a visual inspection during this cleaning.If you believe your child’s iPad requires additional cleaning after this cleaning, please contact the technology department for assistance.
Question: Will I have to complete a new Agreement for District Device Use and District Insurance Program forms?
Answer: Yes. These forms are completed annually.The district will release information about completing these forms at the beginning of August 2019.
Question: Will my child get new apps and tools on the iPad since they are in a new grade and/or new classes?
Answer: Yes. Every building, grade, and class have certain apps and tools to support students. During the month of August, the district will begin to reconfigure the iPads remotely. We will release additional information prior to beginning the reconfiguration process.
If you have additional questions, please contact your building administrators or the technology department for assistance.
In closing, the iPads are valuable learning tools and we are pleased to partner with our parents and community to offer this educational opportunity during the summer months.Thank you for your support in making this initiative a great experience for everyone!
The Bedford Area School District Administration