Shared iPads at School in Grades K, 1 and 2:
Students in Grades K, 1 and 2 will have access to small classroom sets of approximately 13 iPads through their teachers. These devices are exclusively used for instruction, and only with direct teacher supervision.
It is essential in the 21st century that children have the opportunity to utilize devices that will be ubiquitous in their futures under appropriate, supervised, educational conditions. Additionally, students are able to experience individualized and immediate response and feedback from the few apps that we use, which have been hand-selected for educational value, developmental appropriateness, and safety, including a “zero-tolerance” policy for marketing that is in place at Abingdon. These devices are equipped with RetinaShield blue spectrum light filters in addition to their protective cases. They are not issued to students, and are kept in the classroom, for use in educational technology-integrated lessons designed by the teacher, often in concert with the educational technology administrator, who coaches staff on best- and research-based practices in effective, developmentally-appropriate uses of these devices for learning. Students are not permitted to use these devices for “screen time,” which is the recreational use of the devices. Please visit the Parent Media Academy to learn more about this.
iPads in the 1:1 Student-Issued Program (grades 3 – 5)
Students in Grade 3 at each school in Arlington Public Schools are issued an APS-owned, APS-issued iPad device. As of Spring 2017, the currently-issued device is an Apple iPad Air 2. These devices are not used every minute of the day and they are used to supplement teacher instruction and personalized learning. Additionally, by policy, the devices are NOT used during:
- Lunch, to encourage prosocial interaction
- Recess, to promote free physical play and student interaction
- Extended Day, to limit recreational “screen time,” unless specifically granted permission by the teacher and the family to use the device for an academic purpose in a supervised setting
- During school or teacher designated quiet time
These devices are learning tools to be used in the context of the APS Personalized Learning initiative. This is a county-level program not specific to Abingdon ES. Please visit the APS Personalized Learning website to learn more about this program.The iPads issued are purchased, owned, managed, and maintained by the APS Department of Information Services.
The devices in the APS program are managed by a mobile device management system (MDM). The MDM controls the settings on each iPad, for each student. The MDM used in APS is called AirWatch. All device restrictions and settings are controlled centrally by the APS Department of Information Services. Neither individuals nor schools can modify these settings.
Student Possession and Responsibility
In grades 3-5, it is anticipated that the devices will be sent home each day with the student and it is the expectation that the student brings it to school each day for optimal classroom learning experience. Students are expected to maintain the good condition of their devices, charge devices overnight, maintain possession of their chargers, and use devices appropriately and for school purposes only.
To learn about how Internet Content is filtered by the APS Department of Information Services, as required by Federal Law, please visit http://discovery.apsva.us/blocking. Additionally, through Global Protect, a virtual VPN service, the APS iPad devices are continually filtering content and material regardless of which wireless network the device is connected.
Philosophy of Personalized Learning
The initiative is rooted in the district’s mission: “Arlington Public Schools instills a love of learning in its students and prepares them to be responsible and productive global citizens.” To prepare students for an ever-changing world, APS recognizes the need to engage students in learning experiences that prepare them for the world in which we live. To meet that goal, which is part of our 2011-17 APS Strategic Plan, our teachers are committed to fostering a personalized learning environment where each student is challenged and engaged in relevant and meaningful learning.
While personalized learning is not new, technology is helping us to make greater strides toward this goal, and we see many wonderful benefits.
- Classrooms are student-centered and the teacher’s role is as facilitator to guide learning rather than just being gatekeeper or a single source of knowledge.
- Through personalized learning, students are challenged to think critically and use higher order level skills.
- Students are more engaged in learning when they are given more opportunities to take control of their learning.
- Teachers are able to offer immediate feedback so that students can make adjustments to their thinking and improve on their work.
- With collaboration tools, students and teachers are able to communicate easily both inside and outside of school.
- Students are exploring more creative ways to solve problems, express their ideas, generate new learning and develop skills to work as part of a team in the classroom and virtually.
These are the skills needed for success in college and careers in the 21st Century and APS is proud to offer students these high-quality learning experiences to prepare our students for their lives beyond high school.