With the introduction of such new technology, parents are bound to have many more questions.
Below is a series of frequently asked questions regarding the capabilities of the iPad and the reasons for our decision to use iPads from Years 7-12. Please take the time to browse through as it might cover some of the questions you have been asking yourself.
Click on the question to show or hide the answer.
Do you have a list of recommended places to purchase?
There are many retail outlets where iPads are available. Many of these are reputable and well known but Danebank is not associated with any particular store or outlet.
I already own a laptop or tablet. Can I use that?
Students in Years 7 to 10 are expected to purchase an iPad.
Students in Years 11 and 12 can choose either an iPad or a laptop.
As most eBook providers are web based, any computer with web access can view the eBooks.
At Danebank the student will need to use a device which has wireless 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz / 5GHz simultaneous Dual Band otherwise their network access will either not work or run extremely slowly.
At the start of 2011 the only tablet with this wireless capability was the iPad, although many modern laptops are capable of supporting these requirements.
Please check your wireless specifications before purchasing an alternate device to the iPad.
In addition to the networking requirement, if there is future coursework that involves other uses of the iPad, owners of other types of tablets will need to investigate and purchase their own solutions and Danebank cannot guarantee that agreed educational licencing will cover solutions for other types of tablets. In this situation, owners of other tablets may have to purchase solutions at their own cost.
This situation is entirely the same for purchases of paper based textbooks and solutions.
Why should I get an iPad and not a laptop?
Danebank has spent a considerable amount of time testing the iPad in school situations and we are convinced it will achieve all that is required (and more) in regular classroom situations. For example the iPad will access the Internet, School Email, Danebank Diary and other Online Teaching and Learning spaces. It will allow students to Word Process, create Spreadsheets and complete Presentations.
The iPad is very light. Both laptops and tablets are significantly heavier. The iPad has battery life in excess of 10 hours so it will last a full school day on a single charge. Many schools that have introduced laptops or tablets have found that students needed to re-charge during the day and this proved very difficult.
The start up time for iPads is almost instantaneous and this will allow students to commence work as soon as they enter the classroom. This is not the case with laptops or tablets.
In addition to this, the iBook feature on iPad allows users to keep a number of the books and resources needed for school on the iPad. We are hoping to have all or most texts on eBooks by the start of 2012. You can also run all of the apps from the iTunes store – these apps will not run on a laptop.
How often will I need to replace my daughter’s iPad given the frequency of new models being released?
The intended usage of the iPad will be for reference, emails and research. As of October 2011, the base model iPad available will be suitable for this use for the foreseeable future.
If students have increased digital needs in the future, they may require a different model iPad but this would be in special cases. For further information see Which iPad?
Can I plug a keyboard into an iPad?
Yes you can plug in a keyboard. Danebank has found the built-in screen keyboard works well for short sections of typing, however, should students wish to type a document on their iPad they can buy an iPad keyboard dock, or can connect a Bluetooth keyboard.
Some typing may be done in class but Danebank will still expect all students to hand write most class notes in order to ensure that writing and spelling speeds are developed for external examinations.
Does the iPad need a case?
Yes, a case will help protect the iPad and it will also help to identify it.
There are a large number of cases on the market. Students are free to personalise their iPads in any way they wish. Observations of students at other schools suggests that it is best to choose a cover that covers the screen when not in use and will allow students to position the iPad at an angle to make it easier for typing.
What other accessories will I need for the iPad?
There are many accessories available for the iPad including engraving, stylus, protection sleeve, screen cover, docking station and external speakers.
None of these are required for use at Danebank but may protect your purchase and be helpful to your daughter in her day to day use of the iPad.
Their purchase is your choice.
- iPad engraving (laser etching) is available when purchasing an iPad on the Apple Online store or through any Apple store which would help to identify the iPad. Some people have their name engraved but also initials and mobile numbers or student numbers can be used. Please note that if you get your iPad engraved by someone other than Apple, it will void the warranty.
- A screen protector will prevent scratches on the screen and will help reduce the screen reflection.
- Protection sleeves can help protect the iPad when being pushed into backpacks.
- A Stylus can be used instead of a finger tip when operating the iPad. Also a stylus may be suitable for use in drawing or design Apps.
- Adapters – various adapters are available for the iPad including VGA and camera connection. These are handy for presentations or for loading photos from a camera.
What apps should I load so I am ready for school in 2012?
Danebank has provided a complete list of apps we want students to download onto their iPads, as well as a guide that details how to use iTunes to load them.
See the “Being iPrepared” section on the website.
How do I get my books onto the iPad?
Danebank will hold the texts on iDanenet so students can upload them.
More information on how this is done is available on the “eBooks” section of this website.
Is Danebank providing the students with lessons on how to use the iPad?
The iPad is a fast-to-learn digital device that many students will already be very familiar with, either through an iPod Touch or iPhone. All usage is very intuitive but if you need to learn more, easy to understand help is available from the Apple iPad User Guide by clicking here.
In addition, your daughter will find many of her friends will be able to provide further help on using the iPads should she need it.
Apart from an initial introduction of how to connect to the schools WiFi, setup email and calendar, Danebank has no plan to provide formal lessons on how to use the iPad.
Will there be iPad information sessions for the parents (post purchase)?
This website has been provided with the intention of providing parents and guardians with all the information about iPads and their use at Danebank that you should need. As further information is needed or available, it will be provided through this website.
There are no plans to provide information sessions for parents.
How do you plan to roll out the software that will be put onto the iPads?
At this point, Danebank will not rollout any software onto student iPads. Preparing the iPads for use at the school will entail purchase by parents of the mandatory Apps and eTextbooks as detailed on this website. When the students come the school in the first week of 2012, we will instruct them on setting up email, calendar and WiFi usage for the school.
The aim of the implementing iPads at the school is as an aid to your daughter’s education and development that will prepare her for taking part in an increasingly digital world. Aside from the mandatory Apps and eBook references, how a student uses their iPad will and should be a personal choice.
What sort of Internet Plan do I need at home?
It is very important to check what type of Internet Plan you are on. Some plans charge you if you exceed your monthly download allowance. Others give unlimited downloads and slow your connection down if you exceed your monthly limit.
The unlimited plans are by far the safest, and the best value. Please check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) for more information.
Do I need wireless Internet at home?
The iPad is a wireless internet device. Danebank has ample wireless coverage at school. However there are some things you might consider for home:
- If you already have wireless internet at home, the iPad will easily connect to this.
- If you do not have wireless, you can still access iTunes from your PC, and then download apps to your iPad.
- Wireless routers are generally available for a reasonable cost.
How secure will my iPad be at school?
If a student is not using her iPad she should lock it safely in her locker. We suggest parents check with their insurance companies to check their level of cover. Our investigation has shown that while some insurance packages automatically include iPads, others require additional cover.
What additional security measures have been put in place for all the iPads?
It is the student’s responsibility to care for their iPad when they are at school. Students are given access to personal storage lockers to safely keep their belongings while they attend sport classes, etc.
What does the current charge cover and how will it change?
Currently the Text and Resource charge covers:
- Booklets created by subject areas for particular topics
- Assessment booklets
- Paper and printing costs for handouts to students
- School Diaries
- Locks for lockers
- Library cards
- Some software used by class or year groups
- Some materials for Visual Arts and TAS subjects
As you can see, the other costs covered by the Text and Resource charge will continue even through we are not hiring text books to students in 2012.
However, as there are likely to be some cost savings in other areas with the new technology, we will be closely monitoring costs in 2012 and any reduction in costs will be passed on to parents in the 2013 fees.
Other Schools incorporate these costs in the overall School fees. At this stage Danebank has chosen not to do this as it allows some families to use these costs as a tax deduction when they are presented as a separate item on the fee statement.
How will it impact on the current textbook and resources charge on my Danebank bill?
During 2011 as we researched the best options for parents we discovered that the School buying the eText’s directly from the publishers created a significant cost reduction for parents. As a result we have revised our initial approach regarding billing.
As a result in 2012 the textbook/resources fee will be reduced to $55 per term for all Senior School students.
However in your Term 1 account, a separate item will appear that identifies the cost of eTexts specific for each student. Danebank will have purchased the texts required and will charge the total amount directly to your account. By using this method we were able to negotiate directly with the publishers to save parents around $80 in total for each student.
Students will then be able to download the texts directly from our intranet which will also benefit you by simplifing the delivery process.
This amount on the Term 1 school fee account may be claimable under the Education Tax Refund so we would recommend you keep your Term 1 account for discussion with your accountant at tax time.
Are there any licensing costs and will this be passed onto the parents?
Yes. As mentioned in the letter from the Principal, the eText books were much cheaper for parents overall if Danebank purchased them as bulk orders.
In addition to the eTexts, there will also be the price of Apps through the App store.
Indicative pricing for Apps is available on the App pages on this website. You should note that many of the Apps will be used for the full period that the student is Danebank – you will not need to purchase these again each year. The eTexts will be different each year but we have been careful to look for Apps that had long term use prior to listing them for students to purchase.
Why doesn’t the school make the purchase using the Year 9 laptop grant?
As mentioned elsewhere, the iPad is a personal device and therefore should not form part of the schools IT infrastructre. It will hold personal information on it, perhaps from your own home network, which should be kept separate from the schools corporate resources.
Digital Education Revolution funds have already been used extensively at the school to provide additional computers, laptops and wireless infrastructure on our site, all of which will be accessed by students during their day to day activities.
Why doesn’t Danebank buy all the iPads in bulk for us?
The main reason is that the Australian government changed the Australian Consumer and Competition Act recently to prevent schools from acting as a resellers for educational purchases on behalf of parents without setting up a reselling unit. To set up a reselling arm for this purpose is not a simple process and carries a high cost.
Further information on this change of Act is available from the Commonwealth Law website.
I have a PC at home, not a Mac. Will the iPad work with my PC?
The iPad connects to either a Mac or a PC via iTunes.
The iPad will sync, backup and talk to either PC or Mac desktops or laptops.
How do I print from an iPad? Wouldn’t a laptop be better for printing?
While iPads do have limited printing capabilities using wireless printers, students who wish to print at school will log on to a school computer in the library or other location that has desktops or laptops connected to a printer. They can then load their files, and print. This method won’t change. To print an iPad file, students either save it to the Cloud or Email it to themselves, log on to a school computer and print. If students have their own laptops, the process will be the same. They will still need to send the file to themselves and log on to a school computer. Only school owned computers connect to the school printing system. The current procedure will be unchanged; the main difference will be in using the Cloud or Email rather than USBs.
The iPad is the perfect device for storing and viewing thousands of documents, so we would like to encourage everyone to only print when absolutely necessary.
Can an iPad open Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint?
The iPad opens all of those documents, and Apps such as Dropbox will let you view them. If you need to edit these documents on the iPad, you will need to use the QuickOffice app, however please be aware that there are limited editing features on an iPad. We have spent a lot of time testing this.
Why would I need to use eBooks?
There are a number of advantages in having books loaded onto the iPad. If for example, we upload the Maths book, Science Book, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Atlas, Bible and an English novel onto an iPad for Year 7, 8 and 9 students, we decrease the weight of the school bag by several kilograms. Students will always have access to all those resources in class.
We are negotiating with our text book suppliers to access preferential pricing on behalf of Danebank students to assist with costs. More information on this is available on the eBooks section of this web site.
Will I have every book on my iPad?
In the first year it may not be possible to obtain every book in this form.
Where appropriate books are not available, hard copy texts will still be provided by the school.
In addition, the library will hold a small number of hard copy texts for students to use if their iPads are not functioning or are being repaired.
Can you save to an iPad?
Any file created on an iPad is saved to it. In fact, when students use a word processor App such as QuickOffice, it saves every word as they type. All of these saved files can then be sent to Dropbox or emailed in Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats.
Day to Day
Will I use my iPad for all my school computing?
We envisage that for 90% or more of class time, the iPad will be the device that best suits the students. In specialist areas, for example Music, Creative Media, or Science that use specific software – such as Sibelius, Logic Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier Pro, Auto CAD etc. – the school will provide access to computers that will complete these tasks. Danebank has ample banks of laptops and desktops in the library and other classrooms that are used for specialist needs.
At home, when students type longer English or History essays for example, they might use their home PC or Mac, then transfer those files to their iPad to take to school.
An iPad has no USB, how do I transfer files?
The iPad does not have a USB port, however that does not mean you can’t easily transfer files. There are a number of ways to do this;
- The iPad can plug into (via the supplied USB cable) your home PC or Mac and copy files across.
- Students can email files to themselves from their iPad, then open it on a PC or laptop at home or school.
- We have found that the best way to transfer files (and keep a backup at the same time) is to use The Cloud, i.e. Dropbox.
Some people save files from an iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone or a range of other devices to the Cloud (i.e. web-based storage) and access them from anywhere in the world. At Danebank we prefer to use Dropbox as this can be accessed on all school computers through the Dropbox website. In fact using the Cloud is probably safer than a USB. Our experience at school is that students lose USBs, forget to bring them, or sometimes the USB fails and all work on it is lost. Files are actually safer stored “in the cloud” on the Internet. Dropbox is password protected so files are safe, and files can be easily shared with others.
Will the students be required to perform work on the iPad?
The initial usage of the iPad at Danebank will be as a reference source – reading material and textbooks, calendar, research. At this stage, there is no plan at Danebank to require student work be completed on the iPad as typewritten.
The critical reason for this approach is the current HSC examinations require all written submissions to be in the student’s own handwriting.
Will the iPad replace the diary?
No, students will still be using the paper diary in 2012 but we will be investigating options to go completely electronic in the future.
If the iPad requires recharging will there be adaptors available at the school?
A fully charged iPad should last all the school day with “normal” usage (reading, emails, diary). Heavy usage (videos and music) will reduce the battery life considerably.
There will be a limited number of adaptors available at Danebank but you can imagine the demand if many students need to recharge during the day. We recommend that charging overnight is a best practice, ready for each morning. See the section on this web site on being iPrepared.
Are the ipads suppose to be carried to every class and in the locker other times? Do you allow girls to go back to their locker, if they have sport or PE which does not require the ipad?
The iPad will be required in every class, just as physical textbooks are right now. When students go to assemblies or chapel services, they are to take their iPad with them and keep it under their seat to avoid distraction. In the scenario of a PE class, they are to store their iPad in their locker when they go to collect their sports uniform before class.
Which subjects will not be using the iPad?
All subjects will be using the iPad as either a device to read from the eTextbook, research information on the Internet, learn from interactive apps, and communicate with fellow students and staff via email.
Why doesn’t the school purchase them and students hand back at the end of the year, just like text books?
An iPad is a personal device, in much the same way as a mobile phone or ipod is set up for your personal use. It will sync with your home computer and will have personal information on it.
We do not believe it is appropriate to have this kind of device, accessing your home network, belonging to the school. We know your girls will want to use the iPad in many places other than just at school, as will you perhaps. As a result we consider that the iPad should be your personal property rather than the schools.
What is my child’s rights in relation to the iPad? Can the teacher force a child to unlock their iPad and view contents?
When students fail to comply with the Personal Electronic Device policy, the school reserves the right to confiscate the iPad for serious offences.
If the school is of the opinion that the iPad contains inappropriate material or that the material on the iPad could be used in an inappropriate manner, the Principal, Deputy Principal or a nominated teacher will request that the student show them the contents of the iPad. This will be done in the presence of the relevant Year Co-Ordinator who will act as a support and a witness. Alternatively, the Principal or Deputy Principal may hold the iPad until the student’s parents are present before the contents are viewed. In extreme cases the assistance of police may be called.
If inappropriate or offensive material is found stored on the iPad, consequences for breaching the School’s Behaviour Code will apply which may include detention, suspension and/or expulsion.
How will teachers control usage for non-academic purposes during class?
The iPad is an internet device and its use centres around information being available through a network. WiFi access through the Danebank network will be monitored and controlled where needed.
iPads with 3G access can operate outside the school’s control and are not recommended. In some instances, a teacher may have to tell students with 3G devices to put them in Airplane mode so that they are forced to only use the school’s WiFi connection.
There are simple procedures available and being developed for teachers to assist with the distraction of an electronic, web-connected device in the classroom. The simplest is “iPads face down” where all students place the iPad screen down on the desk.
Have other schools also introduced the iPad?
Yes, a number of other schools in Sydney and around Australia have introduced iPads into their school program. We have investigated their usage and applicability when establishing the iPads at Danebank.
Health and Safety
Will reading books off my iPad hurt my eyes?
Danebank has been testing the iPads for several months, and no one has complained about eye strain. The iPad can be adjusted for brightness to suit personal preference.
Repairs and Support
Who will repair the iPad if it stops working or is broken?
An Apple Store, such as the one in Hudson St Hurstville, will offer repair options.
Note that an extended warranty can be purchased with the iPad.
Danebank will have a number of older tablets or laptops available for loan if a student’s iPad is being repaired.
If the iPad needs to be rebuilt/restored to factory settings, what is the procedure for the school software to be loaded on again?
The record of apps that have been purchased through the App store (paid or free) is retained. If the iPad has been reset, you will be able to logon to the App Store using the same Apple ID with which you originally purchased your Apps and all of them can be reloaded. Apple has information on restoring these on their App Store support site.
School texts and ebooks will be available for loading in the same manner as they were at the beginning of the school year.
If the iPad is damaged and sent to repair, will the school make available a temporary one?
Danebank will have a number of laptops available for loan if a student’s iPad is being repaired.
In addition the library will hold a small number of hard copy texts for students to use if their iPads are not functioning or are being repaired.
What will happen if the iPad goes missing?
It is the student’s responsibility to care for their iPad when they are at school. As a method of prevention, we are suggesting students identify their iPad with an image containing their name and BOND class on the lock-screen wallpaper, or using name labels that can be stuck on the case of the iPad.