1-to-1 iPads

iPads and 1-to-1

St. Vincent implemented a pilot program of iPads in 6th grade for 2013-2014.   Every student in 6th grade had an iPad to take home.  In preparation for the pilot, a committee consisting of parents, teachers and technology staff at St Vincent’s visited various schools with a 1-to-1 program. We learned from these visits that training, infrastructure, and a learning management system were key elements for success.

Today, our 1-to-1 program has expanded to include grades K through 8.   Student devices are planned for usage over a three-year cycle.   Each student maintains responsibility for the device throughout the school year.

Rotation Plan

The iPad program is designed to be self-sustaining after initial capitalization.  Student devices are planned for usage over a three-year cycle.  St. Vincent purchases the iPads as students enter the 3rd grade, and 6th grade, providing a three-year rotation.  Students will keep the iPad only at the end of the 5th and 8th grade.   

Why 1-to-1

Our 1-to-1 initiative at St. Vincent grew because of the high demand for computer lab time and the lack of availability. The lack of computer availability was hindering lesson plans that were designed to help prepare our students with the skill set required for the 21st century. As technology changed, and personal devices became more affordable, the decision was made to stop investing in the traditional desktop. 21st-century skills are a set of abilities that students need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. Examples include; critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, information literacy, technology literacy, flexibility, and initiative. Thoughtful Blog stated the following:

"To hold information-age jobs, students also need to think deeply about issues, solve problems creatively, work in teams, communicate clearly in many media, learn ever-changing technologies, and deal with a flood of information. The rapid changes in our world require students to be flexible, to take the initiative and lead when necessary, and to produce something new and useful."

With our iPad 1-to-1 program, we want students to take personal ownership of their iPad device, which is why the device stays with the student during the three-year life cycle of the device. In a research study by Technology Enhanced Learning Group, the evidence showed that when a student takes ownership of their device, there were increased levels of motivation, responsibility, and engagement in their learning.

Internet Safety

Each iPad has been set up to browse the Internet while being filtered through our school's Internet Server called Lightspeed. The devices are configured so that they can only access the internet via the Lightspeed filter both in school and at home.  

Additional benefits of the Lightspeed filter included the comprehensive nature of its reporting and its demonstrated effectiveness.   The reporting feature of Lightspeed provides information of blocked sites and search queries. These reports are viewed daily by technology staff.

Should any modifications be made to the iPad's profile settings, the Lightspeed software will alert the network administrator, parents will be contacted, and disciplinary measures may be necessary.