Saturday, 1 December 2012

Advice for Families

Advice was made available on Sciennes website, based on advice shared with us by Cedars School of Excellence and Bellshill Academy.


 What if the device gets broken? 

Pupils are required to take personal responsibility for taking good care of their iPads and we believe that having access to their own personal device will give a strong sense of ownership and encourage care. We will provide a protective case. We recognise that accidents will happen, however, and we have some insurance in place. Incidents will be logged and may lead to restricted access if we feel pupils are being unduly careless. One parent usefully asked what to do if the iPad is broken during the holidays. We suggest emailing or in the first instance. We will issue Responsible Use Contracts when we hand over the iPads on Thursday 19th April and we have aimed to give you early sight of these by posting them below. We have also provided links to online copies of the contracts in Issuu for you to read at home before you sign in school and we welcome feedback and questions. Since all family members are allowed to use the iPad, one parent usefully recommended requiring siblings to sign the contract and you may request additional copies for other family members.

Does this mean that my child will be just sitting in front of a screen all day?

One of the major benefits of mobile technology is that it's mobile! We aim to show that the days of sitting behind a fixed screen on a desk are a thing of the past. One parent asked about setting time limits to reduce eye strain and we advise parents to use the same procedures at home as they would if their children were using a computer: take regular breaks and supervise usage to reduce eye strain. One parent mentioned concerns about posture, and being 'hunched over it'. Pupils are actually more likely to be 'hunched' over a jotter since the iPad actually allows greater flexibility in posture. With mobile devices such as the iPad, the pupils can move around and be active in the classroom while using these devices.
We want technology to go where the child goes, not to tie the child to where the technology needs to be.

What about handwriting, spelling? Surely the iPad will do all these things for them?

The aim is "technology as accessible as paper" so we will continue to blend together both paper and technology as appropriate to each lesson. Handwriting and spelling are not going away!

I don't have WiFi at home. Can I connect the device to the internet?

iOS devices require WiFi to connect to the internet. There is no method of connecting an iOS device to the internet using a cable.
You may be able to upgrade to a WiFi device through your internet service provider - sometimes at no cost. Unfortunately, the school cannot offer technical support for this.
If you do not have any internet connection at home, it is important to let the school know so that your child is not assigned any homework that cant be completed without the internet. It may be possible to provide time for online work at school. The iPad can still be used very productively 'offline'.

What about Internet Safety at home?

At Sciennes we have been running an Internet Safety programme from P1-P7 for several years using materials we have collated and placed in Glow. One parent at our initial Information Session usefully suggested access to this would be helpful. We agreed that is a good idea, so have posted information, links and materials in our 1:1 Glow Group. Log in to Glow>Sciennes Primary School (Establishment Site)>School Community Glow Groups>1:1 iPad Pilot.

Here are some general suggestions for how to help keep your family safe online:

*Keep computers in a central place. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your children’s activities.

*Know where your children go online. If you have young children, you might use the Internet with them. For older children you could talk about what kinds of sites they like to visit and what isn’t appropriate for your family. You can also check where your children have been by looking at the history in your browser menu. Another option is to use filtering tools like Google SafeSearch.

*Teach Internet Safety. It’s impossible to monitor your child’s online activity all the time. As they get older, they need to know how to use the Internet safely and responsibly when they’re on their own.

*Use privacy settings and sharing controls. Many sites that feature user-generated content, including YouTube, Blogger and social networking sites, have sharing controls that put users in charge of who sees personal blogs, photos, videos, and profiles. Using sharing controls is particularly important when you or your children share personal information on public sites. Using nicknames and avatars (an image that represents a person when online) can protect anonymity.

*Teach your children to respect the privacy of friends and family by not identifying people by name in public profiles and pictures.

*Protect passwords. Remind your children not to give out their passwords. Make sure they make a habit of unclicking “remember me” settings on public computers such as those at school or in the library.

*Beware of strangers. Teach your children not to arrange in person meetings with people they “meet” online, and not to share personal information with online strangers because people may not be who they claim to be.

*Help prevent viruses. Use antivirus software and update it regularly. Make sure your children avoid downloading from file-sharing websites and don’t accept files or open email attachments from unknown people.

*Teach your children to communicate responsibly. Take the following as a good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, do not text it, email it, instant message it, or post it as a comment on someone’s page. View all content critically. Just because you see it online, there’s no guarantee it’s true. Children should learn how to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, and how to verify information they find online. Make sure children understand that cutting and pasting content directly from a website may be plagiarism.

This ThinkuKnow CEOP website provides up to date and clear advice for parents and carers. Go to the 'Primary' section.

We recommend parents use the same family rules for iPad use as computer use: supervised access and engagement with children about how to keep safe online. We believe children need to be taught how to keep themselves safe and we have posted advice on that in our Glow Group Sciennes Primary School> Whole School Community Groups> 1:1. We are keen to work in partnership with you here but this is an area where ultimately parents are asked to take responsibility, as with any other behaviour issue at home. Our pupils are so extremely fortunate to be given a personal iPad and an ultimate sanction is removing that privilege.

Are there Parental Controls on the iPad?

We are piloting the configuration of the iPads, as much as piloting their use, and our set up will be reviewed in consultation with you.  We trialled a new piece of software called 'Apple Configurator' in the Easter holidays. It has the potential to let us lock settings at school and we will look again at the software when a newer version is released.

Meanwhile we advise you to use the Parental Control settings by setting a 4 digit passcode known only to you. (Please make sure it is a number you can easily remember.) Parental Controls can be viewed in Settings then Enable Restrictions.  This tutorial from Wallace High School in Northern Ireland explains very clearly how to do this and we can also offer advice in school. It is also posted below.

Parental Controls on the iPad
To enable parental controls on the iPad, turn on the iPad restrictions in Settings. Simply touch the top of the screen where it reads Enable Restrictions.

You will be prompted for a four digit passcode. Choose something you will remember, but not something your child can guess. The passcode for the iPad's restrictions will need to be entered twice to make sure you don't accidentally tap a different number than intended.

How do I create an iTunes Account for iTunes Store, App Store and iBookstore without a credit card?

Click on this link for information on how to set up an iTunes account, which is not tied to a credit card. You may set up an Apple ID to install your own Apps on the iPad if you wish but please make sure that you have logged out of the Sciennes' account or all the Apps we have put on the device will be erased. This can happen easily if your existing iTunes account is to set to 'sync automatically'. Switching to 'manual syncing' will prevent erasing of school settings and Apps. It is not necessary for you to purchase more Apps but you will need an Apple ID so you can use the "Find My iPad" feature. Please contact us if you require any advice.

So what will the children actually be doing with the iPad in school?

The iPad is a valuable tool in almost every curricular area. This does not mean that pupils will only be doing iPad work. The device is a tool in the individual teacher's hand to be used to enhance learning and teaching as appropriate. A wide range of teaching approaches will continue to be used in the classroom. We shared some examples of the innovative ways iPads have been used by Wendy French, since September 2011, and Fiona Barker, this term, (see slideshow above) and will share more at the Official Launch on Thursday 19th April at 7pm in the school Hall for P6A and P5C parents and pupils.

This video from Wallace High School in Northern Ireland explains how to use Parental Control settings on the iPad :

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