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F.A.Q

 

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.

 

Jump to Section

Purchase

Which Model

Accessories

Setting Up

Networking

Security

Cost

General Usage

Day to Day

Educational Implications

E-Text Questions

Pastoral Implications

Technical Questions

General Interest

Health and Safety

Repairs and Support

Purchase

Do you have a list of recommended places to purchase?

There are many retail outlets or online stores where iPads are available. Many of these are reputable and well known but Thomas Hassall is not associated with any particular store or outlet. We have investigated potential partnerships with suppliers and have found that it would be more economical for families to purchase the iPads themselves by researching available deals through retail outlets.

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Which Model?

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 or their choice.

 

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Why should I get an iPad and not a laptop?

Thomas Hassall 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, College Email, 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 other tablets.

In addition to this, the iBook feature on the iPad allows users to keep a number of the books and resources needed for school on the iPad.

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How often will I need to replace my child’s iPad given the frequency of new models being released?

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?

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Accessories

Can I plug a keyboard into an iPad?

Yes you can access a keyboard through the iPad. Thomas Hassall has found the built-in screen keyboard works well for short sections of typing, however, should students wish to type a large document on their iPad they can buy an iPad keyboard dock, or can connect a Bluetooth keyboard. The purchasing of a Bluetooth keyboard is optional only.

Some typing may be done in class but Thomas Hassall 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 such as the HSC.

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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. It is best to choose a cover that covers the whole iPad when not in use and will allow students to position the iPad at an angle to make it easier for typing. Cases that cover the back and provide protection on the corners of the iPad are recommended. These types of cases will offer additional protection to the device especially if it is dropped.

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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 Thomas Hassall but may protect your purchase and be helpful to your child in their day to day use of the iPad. It is recommended that students do have a set of compatible headphones that can be plugged into the iPad for classroom and personal use.

The purchase is your choice.

For example:

  • 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 or full covers can help protect the iPad when being put 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 cables. These are handy for presentations or for loading photos from a camera. The College has VGA adapters for classroom use to project the iPad screen onto the whiteboard for teachers.

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Setting Up

What apps should I load so I am ready for College in 2015?

Thomas Hassall will provide a complete list of apps required by students to download onto their iPads, as well as a guide that details how to use iTunes to load them.

See the "College Apps for 2015" section on the website.

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How do I get my eBooks onto the iPad?

More information on how this is done is available on the "eBooks" section of this website.

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Is Thomas Hassall 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 2014, all Year 7 students completed one period per week of IT Skills. This class covered how to use the iPads, specific apps, digital citizenship, cyber safety and several other IT concepts and skills. This class will continue for Year 7 students in 2015.

iPad learning modules have been created to assist students and staff on how to use the iPad. The modules contain screen shots and video links explaining and showing how to use the iPad. These modules can be accessed by clicking here or alternatively click on the link iPad Training in the menu bar. Students will be able to access these modules at College and at home. Year 7 students will spend some time in class going through some of the modules.

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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 Thomas Hassall that are necessary. As further information is required or available, it will be provided through this website.

There are no plans to provide information sessions for parents after post purchase.

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How do you plan to roll out the software that will be put onto the iPads?

At this point, Thomas Hassall will not rollout any software onto student iPads. Preparing the iPads for use at the College will entail purchase by parents of the mandatory Apps as detailed on this website. Students will be given instructions on how to access the eTextbooks once the list has been finalised and is ready for deployment.


The aim of implementing iPads at the College is as an aid to your child's education and development that will prepare them 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.

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Networking

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.

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Do I need wireless Internet at home?

The iPad is a wireless internet device. Thomas Hassall has ample wireless coverage at College. 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 or wireless modems which include a router are generally available for a reasonable cost.

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Security

How secure will my iPad be at College?

If a student is not using their iPad they should lock it safely in their allocated College locker. Please be aware that a student’s personal property, such as an iPad, is not insured by the College, and the College does not accept responsibility for loss of or damage to a student's personal property.  In this respect we suggest that if parents have concerns, they contact their insurer (or consider taking out insurance) and check the level of cover that may be available through home contents insurance, or associated valuables insurance. Some home insurance policies automatically include a level of cover that may be suitable to cover the loss or accidental damage to items such as iPads; other policies may have particular requirements.

 

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What additional security measures have been put in place for all the iPads?

As is the case with any student's personal property, it is the student’s responsibility to care for their iPad when they are at College. All students will have a locker while they are at College to safely keep their belongings. 

All students in Years 7-12 will have their own locker in 2015. Locker use will be compulsory.

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Cost

Why doesn’t the College 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 College's IT infrastructure. It will hold personal information on it, perhaps from your own home network, which should be kept separate from the college corporate resources.

Digital Education Revolution funds have already been used expended completely at the College 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.

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Why doesn’t Thomas Hassall buy all the iPads in bulk for us?

There is currently no way that the College could retail IT devices, such as the iPad, to parents at a price lower than is available from various reputable local retailers. This is particularly the situation in relation to Apple products in Australia.

The main reason is that the Australian government changed the Australian Consumer and Competition Act recently to prevent schools from acting as 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. Significant savings can be made by families researching the best available price from retail outlets that sell Apple products.

Further information on this change of Act is available from the Commonwealth Law website.

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General Usage

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.

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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 College will log on to a College 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 Dropbox or Email it to themselves, log on to a College 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 College computer. Only College owned computers connect to the College printing system. The current procedure will be unchanged; the main difference will be in using Dropbox 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. Printing directly frm the iPad to a College printer is being explored.

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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 appropriate Apps, however please be aware that not all editing features are available on an iPad, however, the basic functions of Microsoft Office Suite can be used on the iPad. We have spent a lot of time testing this.

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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 College 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 electronic editions (eBooks) of our textbooks to be available in 2014 for Thomas Hassall students.

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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 College.

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.

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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 Pages, it saves every word as they type. All of these saved files can then be sent to Dropbox or emailed in a format that can be easily edited on a PC / Mac.

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Day to Day

Will I use my iPad for all my College 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, Digital Media, or Science that use specific software - such as Yenka, Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, Finale, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Solidworks etc. – the school will provide access to computers that will complete these tasks. Thomas Hassall 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 College. However, the iPad can be used for large word processing tasks if students feel comfortable using the touch screen keyboard for longer periods.

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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 Dropbox.

Some people save files from an iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone or a range of other devices to Dropbox (i.e. web-based storage) and access them from anywhere in the world. At Thomas Hassall we prefer to use Dropbox as this can be accessed on all College computers through the Dropbox website. In fact using Dropbox is probably safer than a USB. Our experience at College 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.

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Can I access my W:/ Drive from my iPad?

You cannot directly access files from your W Drive from the iPad as the device does not support Java software which is used for remote access to College drives. You will need to access your W drive from a PC/Mac at College or at home and transfer those files to your iPad either using Dropbox or email as previously outlined. Dropbox will essentially be used like the W Drive at College.

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Will the students be required to perform work on the iPad?

The initial usage of the iPad at Thomas Hassall will be as a reference source - reading material and textbooks, calendar, research. At this stage, there is no plan at Thomas Hassall to require students work be completed on the iPad as typewritten. Students can choose to produce work on the iPad.

The critical reason for this approach is the current HSC examinations require all written submissions to be in the student's own handwriting.

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Will the iPad replace the diary?

No, students will still be using the paper diary in 2015.

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If the iPad requires recharging will there be adaptors available at the Collegel?

A fully charged iPad should last all day at College day with "normal" usage (reading, emails, internet usage). Heavy usage (videos and music) will reduce the battery life considerably.

There will be a limited number of adaptors available at College but there will be high 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 "Apps/Textbooks".

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Are the iPads supposed to be carried to every class and in the locker other times? Do you allow students 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. Students will be required to store their iPads in their lockers when they are not in use at recess, lunch, PE lessons, assemblies, chapel and sport unless they are instructed to do otherwise from their teacher. 

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Educational Implications

How much will students use their iPads at the College? To what extent will they use hard copy texts?

This is difficult to answer at this stage. Usage will vary from subject to subject and even from topic to topic within a subject just as usage of hard copy texts has always varied.

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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.

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Does Thomas Hassall plan to launch into interactive style course work?

There will be continuing developments in all areas of e-text based learning. Both the text books and the materials produced by staff will have an increasing amount of interactive opportunities as staff develop their skills and as the software becomes more user friendly.

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Will students do their homework using iPads? There is a concern that, if yes, they could accidentally lose/delete their work.

This will depend on work set by individual teachers. Students are encouraged to keep backups of their iPads and documents using iCloud and Dropbox. As with any computer or laptop there is always a chance of breakdown, theft or loss so backups are always advisable.

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Since the students’ subject folders can get so heavy, can the iPad be used to store class work? What does the College envisage the future will bring to this aspect of learning?

In many cases, handouts and notes can always be scanned and kept as PDF’s on their iPads for reference during the College hours. Dropbox storage can be used to keep documents and notes which can be accessed very quickly through a Dropbox app or online from any the College computer.
While HSC and Tertiary exams are in written form, physical documents and note taking is important but in the future this may change.

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Are the students encouraged to use free course materials from iTunes as an aid to textbook work?

As has always been the case, students are encouraged to use a variety of resources to aid their learning.

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Does Thomas Hassall choose appropriate apps when there seem to be some that attract critical online reviews?

Thomas Hassall always strives to provide the best materials available. At times apps can be updated and change. Where apps change in a manner that renders them no longer of use, students will be advised and asked to remove them and those apps will no longer be recommended. On-line reviews are obviously considered when deciding on apps. More significantly, apps are trialled by staff prior to recommendation. Staff members assess the usefulness of the app with regard to the intended teaching purposes. This is not necessarily the criteria used by others who publish reviews.

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I would prefer my child to use a laptop. Can it replace the iPad or do they need both?

The iPads were chosen for Years 7-10 after much consideration. They provide access to apps that, at this stage, are not all available on a laptop. Any laptop occupies a large amount of desk space and students are required to write rather than type notes. They are also expected to work from the e-text and as such the desk needs to accommodate both iPad and folder.
There is also a need for all students to be using the same hardware and texts in the younger classes to aid smooth and effective management of the classroom.
Students can choose to have both but must have an iPad from Years 7 to 10. Students in Years 11 and 12 can choose to have either or both.

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Why doesn’t the College purchase them and students hand back at the end of the year, just like textbooks?

An iPad is a personal device, in much the same way as a mobile phone or iPod is set up for 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 home networks, belonging to the College. We know your children will want to use the iPad in many places other than just at College, as will you perhaps. As a result we consider that the iPad should be your personal property rather than the College's.

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What are 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 Acceptable Uses of Mobile Devices Policy, the College reserves the right to confiscate the iPad for serious offences.

If the College 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 Advisor, Faculty Co-ordinator or Executive staff member 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 College Behaviour Code will apply which may include detention, suspension and/or expulsion.

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How will teachers control usage for non-academic purposes during class?

The iPad is an internet device and its use centres on information being available through a network. Wi-Fi access through the Thomas Hassall network will be monitored and controlled where needed. Teachers will monitor what is on the screen during class and periodically check what applications are opened simultaneously to make sure students are on task and completing set work.

iPads with Cellular access can operate outside the College 's control and are not recommended. In some instances, a teacher may have to tell students with cellular access to disable cellular data so that they are forced to only use the College's Wi-Fi connection. If students own a 3G/4G enabled device, we ask that they come to College with the SIM card chip removed.

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. Students are asked to close all apps that are opened and only have the apps they have been asked to use open. If they do not comply, there will be consequences.

E-Texts Questions

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 textbook, Science textbook, History textbook, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Atlas and Bible 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 electronic editions (eBooks) of our textbooks to be available in 2015 for Thomas Hassall students.

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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 College.
In addition, the IRC will hold a small number of hard copy texts for students to use if their iPads are not functioning or are being repaired.

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Can Thomas Hassall buy bulk e-novels like they do with texts or do they need to be individually bought?

At the moment, due to Australian distributor and copyright reasons, we cannot purchase e-Novels in the same way as e-Textbooks. In the future this could change with certain publishers.

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Can etexts on the iPad be downloaded to a computer at home?

The students are licensed to have a copy of each e-Text for one year except in the case of stage textbooks that apply for two years. This copy must be kept on students’ iPads for classroom use at all times.

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Should students download etexts to make hard copies for study at home?

Due to copyright restrictions, students can only print 10% or one chapter whichever is the greatest of the total e-Textbook.

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Can the iPad be used for more than etexts so as to make full use of the device?

Certainly. The students will use it for keeping notes and handouts, using apps, reading library e-Books and surfing the Internet for both the College and personal use.

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What textbooks replacements are available when a student forgets or loses their iPad?

A hard copy of a textbook can be loaned from the library in cases of emergency such as a broken iPad for a short time. Alternatively, students can viwe downloaded textbooks from their USB or download some textbooks from the internet and view them using a College laptop.

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Pastoral Implications

What does the College do to protect the students’ electronic property?

  • Students are required to have their name or a photo of themselves on the lock screen of their iPad for easy identification.
  • Students are required to keep their iPads in their lockers when not in use. 
  • Students must have a keypad lock on the lock screen of their iPads.

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Will assignments be notified online through iPads?

Students will still receive a hard copy version of assessment notifications.

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What does the College do to keep students from being iPad obsessed and not interested in other things?

The iPad is just one educational tool that the students will use during their time at Thomas Hassall.

The College will continue to encourage students to take a balanced approach to their education and their lives. We will continue to place importance on personal relationships being at the centre of what we do. iPads will be required to be stored securely at recess and lunch so students have a break from the devices.

Learning is a social activity. We will continue to develop the personal and interpersonal skills of all students.

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How can I block another student accessing my child’s iPad?

Every student has a passcode on the lock screen on their iPad. Students are not to share this code with other students. This is their private, personal passcode.

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Why does Thomas Hassall have a hard copy diary when there are digital ones?

Thomas Hassall students use their hard copy diary every day to organize and plan their study. In order to ensure that students felt comfortable with the move to iPads, the College has made the decision that students, for 2015, will use a hard copy diary. The College will be using edumate as much as possible as a form of a diary for the students in terms of assessment tasks and calendar of events.

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What do parents do about the students using Facebook when at home?

Social networking has become an important part of life for young people. Some students do find that using Facebook can be a time waster and detract from homework time and study time. Parents need to take an active role in helping their child prioritize their study time. Some suggestions are:

  • Negotiate with your child so that they may use Facebook after study time is over.
  • You may choose to change your child’s Facebook password to ensure that they need your permission to use Facebook.
  • IPads can be kept in a central location in the evening for charging so that students do not have them in their rooms at night.

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In Years 11 and 12, how does the College ensure that students have enough practice at writing by hand? Are notes typed in class? Will writing skills be prioritized due to the use of the iPad? Should students be learning to type?

The HSC requires students to hand write for up to 3 hours. Currently all Year 7-12 in class assessment tasks are handwritten. This will continue to be the case until the structure of the HSC exam changes. In Years 7-10, notes in class will still be handwritten. Thomas Hassall will continue to encourage handwriting skills. There is no need to learn to type.

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Other colleges have social networking sites within the College. A closed Facebook site so the students can make their mistakes in a closed environment. Will Thomas Hassall have this?

Thomas Hassall has a College intranet site on which students can access information about their College subjects. It hosts forums and discussion groups as well. All students can be identified when they join forums on Moodle and Edmodo.

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How is Thomas Hassall making sure that the students’ use of technology is not excessive and that they are not glued to their iPads instead of interacting in the playground?

Relationships are central to life at Thomas Hassall. We will be closely monitoring how the students are coping with this new technology during the College vacation. We will make adjustments to guidelines based on our feedback from the students and observations from the teachers.

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Technical Questions

To what extent does Thomas Hassall monitor/block what the students’ access on their iPads? What about Facebook?

Thomas Hassall monitors every single webpage that is accessed by a student through the network and Wi-Fi Network, regardless of which device they use. We block websites based on a variety of categories, and have a blacklist that includes sites like facebook.com. The College cannot monitor student use of their iPad if they use a 3G/4G connection using either their phone or a 3G/4G enabled iPad. This is the reason why we ask that you purchase a wi-fi only iPad for your child or you remove the sim card from the device whilst they use it at College.

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How does the College achieve this and monitor its success?

We achieve monitoring and filtering of web content with a proxy server appliance developed by BlueReef. We measure its success by running regular reports to view recent trends in Internet usage and feedback from teachers.

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Are the students directed to safe websites while at the College?

Teachers do direct students to specific websites, however most of the student’s web browsing is initiated by a search engine like Google. All of the websites returned by the search engine are filtered through our proxy server to ensure they are safe.

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Knowing that Cellular (3G) versions of iPads can bypass the College’s security, can that be blocked at the College?

No, this is not possible. However, students can be instructed by teachers to put their iPad in Flight Mode in order to disable the 3G/4G network. This can be difficult to monitor. We ask that students with a cellular version of the iPad to remove the sim card before coming to College so they do not have the option of bypassing the College network to access the internet.

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How can parents monitor/filter their students’ access to the internet at home?

There are two approaches to achieve this.

  • Use a proxy server, similar to what we are doing at Thomas Hassall. This can be quite difficult and will require some expertise in computers. There are also off the shelf software solutions available from Net Nanny, Symantec and McAffee.
  • Use Safari replacement apps, such as Mobicip. This requires you to use the iOS Restrictions feature to remove the Safari app from the iPad so that your child is forced to browse the web through one of these alternative apps.

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How can parents restrict their child’s playing digital games at home?

The first step would be to delete the existing game apps from the iPad. You can then use the iOS Restrictions feature to disable the installation of any new apps.

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Is there an app parents can download to help monitor their students’ appropriate usage and access to websites at home?

There are a number of options available on the app store, however, the app that is most compatible with the College network is:

  1. Mobicip

The College maintains a sophisticated web/smtp proxy filtering system which allows the College to restrict and limit student and staff access to approved categorical sites. If parents require personal filtering on student device that in itself is slightly redundant whilst at College, however when away from the College this is a sound idea. We have tested multiple services and apps and have come to the conclusion that Mobicip filter is the most compatible, and in fact complimentary with our onsite filtering solution. Mobicip can and will block sites of its own accord. When this occurs we cannot by-pass this filter as onsite IT support as it requires parental intervention to allow/remove the app. 

There are a few caveats with this and all filtering apps for the iPad - being:

  1. You must use the Mobicip browser for filtering to take place. Therefore there must be no other browser on the iPad like safari (which can be blocked by restrictions), or chrome, puffin etc (you can stop installation of apps via restrictions as well).
  2. The free version of the app has limited blocking abilites, should you choose to subscribe to the service it will obviously be at a cost but will provide a more robust solution.

Should you choose to purchase the subscription to the App it will provide time management facilities which parents could choose to "turn off" or limit restrictions whilst at College to avoid potential issues during class time. This is a very attractive feature in this service.
 

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What do parents do about the students using Facebook when at home?

You can use one of the aforementioned approaches on filtering the Internet at home or take the device off your child.

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What is a proxy server and how can/should parents set one up at home?

A proxy server sits between your home Internet connection and all devices on your home network, and therefore can be used to cache and filter Internet content for these devices.
There are many tutorials on the Internet that will show you how to setup Squid and DansGuardian. http://www.google.com/search?rls=en&q=squid+dansguardian+howto

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What does Antivirus software like Norton Security stop?

Norton Security is a product made to protect your Windows (and now Mac OS X) computers from malicious attacks on the Internet (viruses, spyware, phishing, etc.) Certain editions even allow you to set parental controls. Unfortunately, this software does not run on an iPad so it cannot be used to filter web pages in any of the apps.

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Are students being taught how to make the home PC communicate with their iPads?

All of the required information can be found at the iPad icon on the Thomas Hassall portal page or by going to http://www.opac.nsw.edu.au/ipad-home

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Does the College work on iPads need to be backed up at home?

Whenever you sync your iPad to iTunes it will back-up all data. Therefore, the more frequently you sync your iPad, the less chance you have of losing any recent work. We are also encouraging the use of Dropbox (cloud storage) so that the College work is continually backed up without having to connect your iPad to a computer with a cable every time.

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Can Edumate and student email be accessed on the iPad?

Yes and most functions behave exactly the same way as if on a laptop or desktop.

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Do iPads need anti-glare screens (for eye strain)?

This is a matter of preference.

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General Interest

Will the use of iPads be introduced into the Junior School?

At this stage there is no plan that Junior School student’s to be required to purchase an iPad. Junior School will have approx 200 iPads available for Junior School teachers to use in the Junior School in 2015. Junior School teachers have been trained in how to use the devices, 

 

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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 our iPad program.

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Health and Safety

Will reading books off my iPad hurt my eyes?

Thomas Hassall 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.

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Repairs and Support

Who will repair the iPad if it stops working or is broken?

An Apple Store, will offer repair options. Note that an extended warranty can be purchased with the iPad.

Thomas Hassall will have a number of laptops available for loan if a student’s iPad is being repaired.

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If the iPad needs to be rebuilt/restored to factory settings, what is the procedure for the College 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. College texts and ebooks will be available for loading in the same manner as they were at the beginning of the school year.

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If the iPad is damaged and sent to repair, will the College make available a temporary one?

Thomas Hassall will have a number of laptops available for loan if a student’s iPad is being repaired.
In addition, the ICR will hold a small number of hard copy texts depedning on the texts for students to use if their iPads are not functioning or are being repaired.

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What will happen if the iPad goes missing?

As is the case with any student’s personal property, it is the student’s responsibility to care for their iPad when they are at College. As a method of prevention, we are suggesting students identify their iPad with an image containing their name on the lock-screen wallpaper, or using name labels that can be stuck on the case of the iPad. If their iPad goes missing at College, they are to immediately inform a staff member. In addition, students are required to turn on their “Find my iPad” application on their iPad. This will assist in retrieving the iPad when it goes missing as the owner can locate the iPad on a map whether the device is turned on or off. In addition, the owner can choose to lock the iPad and play a pinging sound until the owner inputs the correct passcode. This is a useful method of finding an iPad close by and will act as a deterrent for the iPad going missing.

 

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