iPad Parent Night
Learning with iPads
"Why iPads?" you might ask. Our district believes that students should have the latest technology available at their hands during the school day to learn, inquire, research, and create. Our Teaching and Learning Department looked at the requirements that our state has for students: the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. They looked at the standards that are expected of our students in Texas. The Instructional Media and Technology Department looked at the national standards that ISTE (International Society of Technology for Education) requires of our students. Then the district looked at the various tools that can help students accomplish theses things. iPads came to the top for every standard. We are proud that our district provides the latest and greatest technology in order to prepare students for their life after GPISD, whether it be a career or a college admission. We also provide MacBook Airs on carts at our campuses that can be checked out by teachers for the students. These stay in the classoorm, however they can be used for a variety of projects and research that the students might need. The MacBook Airs boot into both the Mac side and Windows side so that once again, students have the right tool for the right job.
GPISD is trying to develop our students—-to inform themselves and to create a sense of balance. Content Keeper is the filtering tool that secondary students will see when they take their iPad home to use. IF the student has access to wifi at home, they can place the iPad on that wifi with a password that might be needed for your particular home wifi. The student then must authenticate to Content Keeper. That means they log in with their computer/network login that they also use in school. The username is their 6 digit student ID and their password is their complex password. Please contact your Instructional Media Specialist for assistance with logins. Content Keeper helps to filter the devices with safe Internet content. However no filter is ever perfectly safe.
Safe Apps for Educational Use
Self Service is our District App Store. Only District approved apps are allowed here. These apps have educational value and are requested by teaching and learning departments as well as teachers throughout the district. The apps are monitored and adjusted constantly to help ensure that our students are safe.
YouTube for Schools is provided now for our students. This allows them to view videos that are deemed educationally appropriate. YouTube sets what is appropriate in this educational format and our district then has local access to control the content even further.
Canvas or Google Classroom
Canvas is the Learning Management System that our teachers use in grades 6-12 in order to provide online assignments for students.
We have some teachers that are still using Google Classroom which is now used by teachers in Grades K-5. However we are starting to have them transition over to using Canvas. Higher Ed in the metroplex and even those across are also moving to Canvas. This in turn, better prepares our students should they decide to go on to college.
AirDrop is an extremely useful iPad feature that allows files to easily be shared between iOS devices. This means that a teacher can share a file with the entire class or a small group of students. And vice versa—-the student can share their project file back to the teacher. The schools ask students to keep it OFF UNTIL they actually need to use it. This keeps down some of the temptation to AirDrop things that are not of educational value.
Apple Classroom helps our teachers with classroom management and guided learning. Teachers in grades 6-12 have been using it and now it is available for the teachers to use in grades 3-5. They are excited about being able to use that this school year.
Sora Reading App
The Sora app is an extension of the campus physical library, only it's online with 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks. It's convenient for students to check out titles at home, one the weekends or during the school breaks with no worry about misplacing a book - these digital titles automatically return at the end of the two week lending period.
Optional Device Insurance
GPISD provides parents of students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to buy optional device insurance. $20 covers one device and for those few campuses that have two devices, $30 covers both.
The Sora collection is an extensive This insurance overs accidental damage and theft (with a police report) at 100%, loss at 50%. Intentional damage is not covered. We have a deadline this year to purchase the insurance and that date is Friday, Ocotber 18, 2019.
Link to MySchool Bucks to pay for the insurance
The best advice we can give to parents/guardians is to monitor the device while at home. Keep the iPad charging at night in your room or a central location. Help get your child in a routine of charging each night and bringing it back to school each and every day. Ask to see their device—-you can ask to see the device any evening or weekend. The parent and guardian is in charge. Passcode SHOULD ALWAYS BE their student ID number.
Instructional Media Specialists
Our specialists are there to help you navigate the waters of your child having a device to help them learn. For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Instructional Media Specialist at your campus.