Dear Parents of Rising Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders,
You may be certain that many wonderful and meaningful experiences await next year. One of the opportunities your child will have is to participate in our 1:1 iPad program. This letter of information about that program is being provided to you well in advance so that you may be apprised of what the program will involve.
Our faculty and you, as parents, expect our students to become the leaders of tomorrow, communicating, collaborating, creating, leading, and serving in global communities to confront and address the many challenges faced by all members of this planet we call "home." Never before have millions of people been able to connect with one another in mere seconds. Technology has brought a wealth of knowledge, communication, and challenges to each of us. Our students must be prepared for a world that changes rapidly yet still needs, perhaps more than ever, solutions grounded in strong, universal values. For our students to be meaningfully engaged in their education and future, they need the tools and the skills to use them effectively and ethically. We believe that a 1:1 computer program is essential to their learning environment and, also, believe that iPads are the best device for this Lower School program.
Each third, fourth, and fifth-grader is required to have an iPad, a protective case for the device, a keyboard, and earbuds. Students may not use iPad models released before 2018, the iPad mini, or any other mobile device. In early August, we will provide you with a list of apps that you and your child will need to download as school begins.
At this point, some of you may be asking, "Why iPads when there are so many other devices out there?" Please read the document below for reasons why we believe the iPad is the best tool for our 1:1 program. Please know that your child will use his/her iPad in fourth and fifth grade.
Our current grade 3, 4, and 5 students have been using iPads in their classes, with great enthusiasm, success, and minimal "downtime" due to computer issues. The most frequent downtime cause is students' forgetting to charge their iPads the night before. Faculty members have an iPad to use in the class and the teachers have integrated these mobile devices into their curricular programs.
We do not feel that iPads or any other computers are the keys to educational excellence. They are, however, tools, just as are calculators, books, lab equipment, playing fields, musical instruments, and the like. The most important educational "tools" are the teachers--their minds, hearts, values, energy, talents, skills, role modeling, and attitudes. The teachers remain the single most important "device" for learning--the kind of learning that develops capable, creative, courageous, and caring young men and women. There is no "app" for that except excellent teachers and engaged students. Of these, we have many!
In case you have any questions about the iPad program and its requirements, please consult the Technology page of the School's website. Please feel free to email our office with any questions.
Thank you for your continued support and trust.
Kristen Sheehan, Ed. D.
Head of Lower School
According to the Technology Department at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in California, students need a window from their [TBS classroom] to the world, and they need a 21st-century communication tool that can collect, synthesize, and produce evidence of their learning. We feel that an iPad more than meets the criteria for such a tool. Here are some of the features that facilitate students’ collection, analysis, integration, and creative demonstration of their learning experiences:
o The long battery life means that students can make it through an entire school day without recharging.
o The iPad allows for easy face-to-face interaction, avoiding the barrier between students and teachers that occurs with a traditional laptop lid.
o Drawing on the iPad’s screen is useful in a variety of disciplines, such as drawing plant vascular systems in science or geometric shapes in math.
o Handwriting on the iPad’s screen is useful for quick note-taking in all classes. o Pen-based annotation of documents and books is quick and easy.
o Reading textbooks and other long-form materials from the iPad is more comfortable than similar reading on a traditional laptop screen.
o The iPad’s small size fits conveniently in student backpacks.
o The broad developer base provides numerous discipline-specific apps
o The iPad’s instant on/ instant off capability preserves class time for meaningful learning activities; learning isn’t put on hold while a traditional laptop boots up or shuts down.
o The iPad does not allow true multitasking, thus encouraging students to focus on the learning task at hand.
o The built-in camera takes movies and is easy to use for in-class activities such as practicing conversations in World Language class.
o There are fewer pieces and components on the iPad compared to a traditional laptop, reducing maintenance.
(Source: St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco, CA: Why iPads?)