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Middle School iPads : FAQs

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MISD will begin iPad deployment to middle schools mid-January 2015.

Middle school parents and students are encouraged to read this information and post any questions about the project here.

If you haven’t read the Student/Parent iPad User Agreement, it answers many of the questions parents ask.

What equipment will the student receive?

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If device has technical issues or the power cable & adapter go out students should contact the campus iTech for assistance.

What advantages are there to having an MISD-issued iPad instead of one that I bring from home?

Program changes for 2013-2014 have reduced costs and risks to families significantly, making the iPad 1:1 program an even better deal for students and their families!

  • MISD technicians work on malfunctioning district-owned iPads.Technicians cannot work on iPads owned by individual students for liability reasons.
  • A case of the caliber provided by the district for use with MISD iPads costs $35 or more if purchased separately.
  • Parents who have purchased theft coverage in the past have paid $50 or more per year with a $50 deductible. MISD iPads are now covered at no additional cost to parents. If an iPad is stolen and the student has complied with the terms of the iPad User Agreement, his/her liability is limited to $50, which is covered by the deposit. Another deposit will be needed to get a new device.
  • Under the 2013-2014 agreement, a student’s deposit is carried over from year to year until s/he separates from the district, at which point it is refundable if s/he complies with all of the terms of the iPad User Agreement.

What are the preparation steps that need to be completed bef ore a student is issued an iPad?

  1. Handbook sign-off sheet signed. This step was part of the online registration process that was completed at the beginning of the year.
  2. iPad User Agreement signed. This form will be available through Skyward Family Access on or before January 12, 2015 and will be due two days prior to campus deployment. It is also available in paper form at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org .  It’s under the “Parent Resources: Forms” heading. Use of electronic processes is recommended, but the form is posted at that site for you if you must use paper.
  3. Deposit paid. It’s $50. Students who participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program qualify for a reduced deposit of $10 and $25, respectively. We encourage parents to use RevTrak (https://mansfieldisd.revtrak.net/ ) to pay the deposit, which will be open on or before January 12, 2015. Deposits are due two day prior to campus deployment. 
  4. Use of electronic processes is recommended. Paper documents and payments (checks) can be sent to the school office. Checks should be made out to the campus. Use of electronic processes is recommended.

Where can I find the presentation from the January 2015 parent meeting?

It is posted on the MISD Educational Technology web site web site under Parent Resources. Click Here to View It.

Is use of an iPad required? 

No. This is an optional program. The District has a Bring Your Own Device policy that can be found in the student handbook.

Apple ID & U-13 Information

Read more about the Apple ID here

What will students use if they don’t check out an iPad?

Students may continue to use traditional tools such as books, papers, and pencils. Some students may opt to use computers at school or technology that they have at home.

Why use iPads and not another type of technology?

  • High school students and grade 7-12 teachers use iPads already.
  • Using iPads for the middle school will allow students to use many of the same skills and materials that they will use in high school.
  • MISD middle school teachers have had iPads for over a year and have participated in an extensive training program and are ready to begin using them with students.
  • The middle school Career Pathways curriculum was written for use with the iPad.

Will all students be able to get class notes and turn in homework using iPads?

Students’ experiences will vary initially. This will need to be implemented over time. Teachers have had extensive training to use a variety of tools that fit best with their content.Teachers and students now have Google Apps for Education which gives the ability to share files such as class notes and to submit work digitally.

How will teachers use the iPad in teaching?

Students’ experiences will vary depending on content and teacher. Teachers will still teach the District adopted curriculum. Current adopted textbooks can be downloaded and/or accessed through the Internet. Parents may see student activities using digital class notes; creation of presentations, videos, and websites demonstrating student learning; students have been able to connect to content experts in another state or country using various apps for connecting and collaborating. Some teachers use the iPad as a way to provide homework help or give students the opportunity to collaborate on projects out of school.

Other teachers may “flip” their classroom, meaning students review videos or a presentation as an introduction to new concepts and information, and then do homework in class the next day where the teacher is available to help them. Students are able to review the information as many times as they need to in order to understand.  If a student is absent, the information covered that day is easily accessed.

App used are recommended by MISD teachers, campuses, iPad Mentors, instructional technology, curriculum coordinators, and special education specialist. Many education professional organizations such as the Texas Computer Education Association, the American Dyslexia Association, and National Association of Special Education Teachers are reliable resources for the best apps.

Apple provides a list of educational apps at this link.

How can I restrict what my student can install on the iPad and more effectively monitor my child’s use of it?

The parent meeting scheduled for February 23, 2015 at 6:00-7:30 at MISD Center for Fine Arts auditorium will provide some specific strategies that parents can use to restrict further what students can access.

If you’d like to learn how to lock down your child’s iPad, please see the iPad, iParent videos in the Parent Resources section of  the MISD Educational Technology website at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org.

An important point to share with your child is that each iPad belongs to the district, not the student. As the parent, you can expect to be able to see whatever is on it. You also should feel empowered to take it from your child as needed as part of teaching him or her about responsible use.

These are some other notes about parental supervision shared at the January 2015 parent meeting:

  1. Use your student’s iPad. Practice. Play. Explore.

  2. Know your student’s passcode and logins.

  3. Ask your student to show you how they are using the iPad for learning.

  4. Charge the iPad nightly in the parents’ bedroom.

  5. Some restrictions can be set. See the iPad, iParent videos at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org under Parent Resources.

  6. Hands-on training about parent restrictions on February 23, 2015 at 6:00-7:30 at MISD Center for Fine Arts auditorium. Please bring your student and their iPad to this meeting. This meeting is not mandatory, and is provided to assist parents.

Where will students store them? Will they need to carry other supplies, too? 

Students will carry them from class to class and store them as they do other materials.

What are the disadvantages to using iPads?

The potential for distraction and financial liability for lost or damaged iPads are the most frequently cited concerns. Some strategies are in place to mitigate those concerns.

  • Electronic tools are available to block some potential distractions. For information about how to place greater restrictions on your child’s iPad, please see the iPad, iParent videos at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org.
  • The staff at your child’s campus has developed procedures for minimizing distractions in the classroom.
  • Under the terms of the 2013-2014 iPad User Agreement, liability for lost and stolen devices has been reduced:
    • MISD iPads are covered by a warranty plan against damage (subject to $50 deductibles and the terms of the iPad User Agreement).
    • MISD iPads are now covered at no additional cost to parents. If an iPad is stolen and the student has complied with the terms of the iPad User Agreement, his/her liability is limited to $50, which is covered by the deposit. Another $50 deposit will be needed to get a new device.
    • Under the 2013-2014 agreement, a student’s deposit is carried over from year to year until s/he separates from the district, at which point it is refundable if s/he complies with all of the terms of the iPad User Agreement.

Can students use existing iTunes accounts?

Yes, but use of a separate account set up for school works best.

  • Parents’ credit cards are typically linked with iTunes accounts set up at home. Accounts set up for school use are not linked to a credit card. Sometimes, when the district buys apps for students who have iTunes accounts with parents’ credit cards, that credit card is used instead of the district’s app redemption code. It’s been a hassle for parents to get those charges refunded.
  • When parents pay for apps, they pay up to 50% more than the district’s educational cost.
  • Some students struggle with both iTunes and personal email passwords. If they forget both, they can’t get into the email account to reset the iTunes account. If the iTunes account is linked to a district email address, a technician can reset that email account.

What happens to iTunes accounts and purchases when student graduates or leaves the District?

When a student leaves the District or graduates they must change their email address on their iTunes account to retain access to their purchases. Find out how to do this here http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202667

I want to turn in a paper check instead of paying online. Who do I send the check to?

Use of electronic procedures is recommended (please see the checklist at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org), but they’re not feasible for everyone. Please make the check out to your student’s school and send the check to the office. Signed paper copies of the iPad User Agreement should also be sent to the school office.

What apps are available on the device?

We’re planning to make available at no additional charge several paid apps for student use. Students will be able to install these from the district’s app store at no charge:

  • Pages – word processing
  • Numbers – spreadsheet
  • Keynote – presentation
  • iMovie – video creation & editing
  • Garageband – music creation & editing
  • iPhoto – image editing

Examples of free apps that will be available include:

  • Google Apps – cloud based storage, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database applications
  • Socrative – software teachers use to ask questions and get students’ answers in real-time

In addition, there are literally thousands of free apps that teachers can ask students to install for use in their classes such as QR code readers/generators.

How often are the iPads updated to the new iOS?

As new iOS versions are released, students and teachers upgrade their devices. Because these are very large files, students have been encouraged to complete these upgrades at home or at off-peak times in order to minimize congestion on the network. The last iOS upgrade was in December 2014.

What about accessories such as keyboards?

These are not provided as part of the deployment. If you want to buy one, please be sure to purchase one that is not integrated with a case. The case provided by the district must remain on the device as part of the user agreement. This is because cases with integrated keyboards offer much less protection than the case provided by the district.

If my student does not check out an iPad, how will that decision affect his or her educational experience?

This is likely to vary by student. Students will be able to complete assignments using other resources. Paper copies of materials will continue to be provided. Others may opt to use other devices at school or at home.

Do students need an iTunes account to use “Find My iPad”?

Yes. One of the ways to utilize Find My iPad is to sign in to iCloud using the student’s Apple ID and password (iTunes account login) By default, Find My iPad is turned on in iOS 8, the operating system for the iPad minis purchased for middle school. To learn more about this function go to Find My iPhone, iPad and Mac .

Does the iPad have to be turned on in order to locate it?

Yes. It also needs to be connected to WiFi.

Are notes that are given to students with Dyslexia going to be available on the iPad? Will this change testing for those students?

Notes can be shared easily with students using the iPad. Be sure and contact your student’s campus or teacher for more information about these questions.

What keeps the student from playing games or watching movies on it while in the classroom?

Teachers and campuses have developed usage guidelines for the iPads on the campus, and monitor compliance to these guidelines.  Ask what those guidelines are and work with your student to help them understand and follow them.  Our goal is for students to utilize iPads for learning, provide them with educational resources that they might not have otherwise, and to prepare students to learn and work in our increasingly technological world.

Does the student return the iPad at the end of the year?

Because of safety & security programs in place, students are able to keep the iPads during summer break and bring them back to school the next year.The Internet is filtered at school and at home on the iPads. Processes are in place for parents if the iPad is stolen. Eighth grade students will take the iPad to high school.

28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thank you for the question! The pilot involves students who are currently enrolled in the eighth grade at Wester Middle School.

    January 7, 2014
  2. Computers are programmed to turn off, but it’s set up for later in the evening to catch any that were left on by accident. We do all need to turn off computers when we leave for the day to save the most energy possible.

    January 8, 2014
  3. kristinn #

    Can you turn in checks after January 14.

    January 14, 2014
    • Yes. A second deployment will be scheduled once the first round is complete.

      January 14, 2014
  4. Melany Clay #

    Is it too late to get iPads for 2 students who are in 8th grade at Wester or do they just need to wait until next school year? (They are brothers)

    February 10, 2014
    • It is not too late. Please submit the forms and the deposit to initiate the process.

      February 10, 2014
  5. Tracy Pach #

    Do the students need to take the ipads to school everyday? Or will they get in trouble for not having it? My son is forgetful! And his 4 inch binder is bursting at the seams so it wont fit in there.

    January 13, 2015
    • It’s probably a good idea for the student to bring the iPad to school each day. Each campus has usage guidelines for the iPad. Please contact the campus for further information on this. We want them to be available for students to use in their classes. A routine of charging the iPad each night and putting it with other things that go to school each day would aide the student in remembering.

      January 20, 2015
    • This is part of the support parents may give to students. Remind them to charge them every night, and take to school each day

      April 20, 2015
  6. Spyware programs are typical in the Windows PC environment.The Apple ecosystem offers a worry free, easy-to-use mobile computing platform, including virtually no threat from malware of any kind. So you can rest easy with the iPad. Protection is built in for you.

    January 20, 2015
  7. The District has provided students an email. It is made up of their initials and student ID number.
    Example: bd12345@misdmail.net

    January 20, 2015
  8. The student District email is composed of their initials and student ID number. Example: bd12345@misdmail.net
    Students will setup their iTunes account at deployment if they are at least 13 years of age.
    If they are under the age of 13, please make sure that the parent email is correct in Skyward.
    More information about Under 13 is posted at http://edtech.mansfieldisd.org/Media/ONE-TO-ONE/ParentCommunication_U13.pdf

    January 20, 2015
  9. In order for students to setup an iPad they need:
    – District email account ( bd12345@misdmail.net) Provided to students last year.
    – Student email is their initials, student ID# and @misdmail.net. If they need assistance with the password you may contact the Technology Helpdesk at 817-299-4357
    and ask that they reset your student’s login password
    – Apple ID (iTunes account created when they get iPad during deployment)

    January 20, 2015
  10. There is no minimum grade for students to get an iPad. The program is available to all students.

    January 21, 2015
  11. iPad deployment begins January 20th and goes through February 13th. Check with your student’s campus for dates.

    January 21, 2015
  12. Please check with your student’s campus for dates.

    January 21, 2015
  13. martha #

    well i go to coble and didnt go to the meetings but im going to fill out the agreement form is that all u need to fill out?

    January 21, 2015
  14. Sharon #

    My DJMS 8th grader has her district email address but not the password. I have looked all over the MISD website for a shortcut or portal to access this account but have not found a way. I would like to know how we can access this email account for two reasons: 1) Password recovery 2) I am assuming, too, that any notifications connected to the iTunes account/regarding her Apple ID would be sent to that email address as well. Thank you for the information!

    January 24, 2015
    • When your student goes to deployment the campus technician can reset her email password, which is connect to her MISD network login. Once that is done your student can share that information with you.

      January 26, 2015
    • Have her contact the campus iTech for assistance

      April 20, 2015
  15. Make sure your email address is correct in Skyward. If there are two emails for parent/guardian in Skyward, check both email accounts for Apple Under 13 email. Apple will send a consent email to the parent/guardian email from Skyward. Once you give consent Apple will send you a temporary password. Change that password and share the Apple ID username and password with your student. You may need to check Spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox. If you have problems, contact your student’s campus and they will work with our Apple Under 13 administrator to get it corrected.

    January 26, 2015
  16. Cynthia Jensen #

    which email client does my student use to send/receive email? there are a number of choices in the “mail” app–do we simply select one? Or does the district prefer all students use the same ones?

    February 14, 2015
    • Your student can contact the campus iTech for assistance on setting up their email

      April 20, 2015
  17. WIFI password is your MISD login password that you set. Contact campus tech or MISD Helpdesk to reset

    April 20, 2015

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