Questions and Answers
GENERAL.

BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE (BYOD) - HENRY SIBLEY HIGH SCHOOL


IPADS - ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS

 

CAN'T FIND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION?
Please contact the District at 651-403-7005 or empowered@isd197.org with questions about the EmPowerED Technology Plan.

Parents/guardians are also encouraged to contact their building principal if they have questions about the technology implementation process. 





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How was the Technology Plan developed?
In the fall of 2012, the District’s Director of Technology, with input from stakeholders, led a study of the District’s current use of technology and examined future technology needs. The study was completed in two phases, with the second phase developed in partnership with the District’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment department. The Technology Plan was presented to the School Board in October 2013, with a finalized plan presented in January 2014. In November 2014, residents approved an increase to the district’s Capital Projects (Technology) Levy to fund upgrades to the district’s technology infrastructure and purchase/replace student and staff devices. Learn more
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What is Personalized Learning?
Personalized Learning is defined as affording the learner a degree of choice about what is learned, when it is learned and how it is learned by adjusting the pace (individualization), adjusting the approach (differentiation), and connecting to the learner's interests and experiences.

While personalized learning can happen without technology, the possibilities for increased student engagement and learning that can happen when technology is added are endless. Through the use of devices, teachers are increasingly able to tailor learning to meet individual student needs and interests at any age. Further, personalized learning with technology makes learning flexible—it can happen anytime, anywhere. 
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Won’t moving to digital learning just increase “screen time” for kids?
The term “screen time” is a phrase used to describe a passive use of technology, such as playing computer/video games or watching television.

In an educational environment technology is used to actively engage students in learning that emphasizes 21st century skills such as creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.

Further, integrating devices and transitioning to digital learning does not mean students will use a device for every class/subject, every day. Technology is one learning tool among many. Teachers will still use traditional teaching methods and ask students to complete assignments or projects using tools other than an iPad/tablet or laptop when there is a subject-matter or developmental need.
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When will the devices be purchased and distributed to schools/students?
Student devices were purchased/replaced for the middle schools and high school during the 2015-16 school year. Technology carts or sets of devices for students in grades K-4 will be integrated into the elementary schools starting the 2016-17 school year. Magnet schools such as Moreland, Pilot Knob and Heritage, who have had iPad initiatives since 2011 will continue with their programs until their devices need to be replaced.
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Will there still be classroom instruction and learning that doesn’t involve technology? 
Yes, teachers in all grades will still use traditional teaching methods and ask students to complete assignments or projects using tools other than an iPad or laptop when there is a subject-matter or developmental need. Students will not use a device for every class/subject, every day.

Technology is a tool and its worth and value to the student is dependent on the skills of the teacher and the availability of high-quality software applications.
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Will students be given their own iPad or laptop to bring back and forth to school each day?
Students in grades K-2 will use school-provided technology that will part of sets of devices for the school. It will not be assigned specifically to them and they will not bring it home. Students in grades 3 and 4 will also be provided with a device to use at school, however, it will be assigned specifically to them and they may be allowed to bring it home periodically throughout the school year.

Students in grades 5-8 will be assigned an iPad at the beginning of the school year and will be expected to bring it back and forth to school. Students in grades 9-12 will have the option to bring their own device (BYOD) or have one assigned to them. They will also be expected to bring it to school each day each day.

Before any student will be allowed to bring the device home they will need to demonstrate that they understand how to properly care for and use the device. Students will be expected to exhibit high-levels of maturity and responsibility to ensure they can acquire an age-appropriate understanding of the Digital Footprint that is created through online activities and the District’s Acceptable Use policy (School Board Policy 524).
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What if my child breaks a school-owned device?
The District has anticipated the need to replace devices due to regular ‘wear and tear’, hardware failure or accidental breakage. These costs have been built into the Technology Plan budget. Device loss, damage or breakage due to student misuse or neglect will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Students may be responsible for some or all of the cost of a device. All students will receive instruction on proper care and use of their device at the start of each school year. They will also be instructed to report any damage or theft as soon as possible.
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What happens if a school-owned device is stolen?
Device loss, damage or breakage due to student misuse or neglect will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Students may be responsible for some or all of the cost of a device. Students who lose, break or are the victim of theft of their school-owned device will be given a temporary device until the matter can be resolved. 

Any theft committed by a student (school- or personally-owned devices) will be handled according the district’s discipline policy. If warranted, the district’s School Resource Officer (SRO) will be involved and the incident may be turned over to local law enforcement.

School-owned devices will have software installed on them that will allow the district to remotely disable a device, if it is stolen.

All students will receive instruction on proper care and use of their device at the start of each school year. They will also be instructed to report any damage or theft as soon as possible.
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Does the District provide insurance for damage, loss or theft of devices?
No. The District does not offer an insurance plan for school- or personally-owned devices. Families are encouraged to check with their homeowner’s or rental insurance provider, as a device may be covered under an existing policy. Insurance plans for a device may also be available from the retailer through which a device is purchased, such as AppleCare or Best Buy’s Geek Squad. Other options include Worth Ave. GroupNSSI and SquareTrade.
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What web filtering systems does the district have in place?
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires all network access to be filtered, regardless of the tool that is used to access it while in a public school. School District 197 has a CIPA-compliant filter in place to ensure protection measures are in place during any use of the district’s network. This filter was updated in the summer of 2016.

In addition, the Apple iPad Content Restriction setting is enabled on student devices in grades K-8.

A filter is a software that works as an intermediary, evaluating content and websites based on categories (aligned to CIPA guidelines), such as “obscene” or “harmful to minors”, or keywords. Depending on its interaction with the filter, content is either blocked or allowed to be displayed on school technology.

No filter is perfect, however. Filtering software operates in the rapidly changing environment of the World Wide Web. Filtering controls that are too stringent can cross the line into censorship or have unintended consequences. Similarly, blocking potentially harmful keywords can filter out educationally relevant content. 

The district must strike a balance with its filter settings. We also cannot only rely on a filter, and that is why our schools continually work with students, parents and staff to help them understand acceptable use of technology and have put in place policies and disciplinary action for unacceptable use.

It is our responsibility as a school district to protect students and keep them safe. At the same time, it is our responsibility to educate students. This includes providing them with access to information and instilling in them the ability to make good choices.
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Does the district have an acceptable use policy?

The District’s Internet and Electronic Use Policy (School Board 524) is available here
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Are teachers responsible for troubleshooting and fixing district-owned student devices?
No. Each school has technology staff on site to assist with district-owned devices and equipment. Further, schools such as Moreland, Pilot Knob, Heritage and Henry Sibley have developed student groups, called Tech Squads, through which students help their fellow classmates and educate them on technology-related topics (e.g. using different features of the iPad, trying new apps, connecting to WIFI, etc.). Students on the Tech Squads are able to use their technology expertise to assist others and become leaders in the classroom.
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Will parents/guardians need to provide Internet access at home?
No. Students will not need to have cable Internet or a WIFI connection at home to be successful in a digital learning environment at school. Class content can often be downloaded to a device before a student leaves school, making an Internet connection at home helpful, but unnecessary.
 
Schools will also work to be flexible with students. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays this year Henry Sibley High School has made extended hours available to students who need to stay after school to use technology resources or receive help from a teacher. The activity bus is then available so students can get home.
 
There are also providers of free WIFI in the community, such as any Dakota County Library that students could use to access the Internet outside of school hours.
 
Resources for families searching for Internet service providers include, but are not limited to:
Everyoneon.org
Freedompop.com
- A mobile hotspot via a cell phone provider
XFINITY by Comcast | Internet Essentials from Comcast (low-cost Internet for those who qualify)
CenturyLink
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What if a student forgets their device or charger at home?
The expectation for all students is that they bring their fully charged device to school each day in order to be prepared for class. 

If a student forgets their school-owned (or personally-owned for high school students) device, however, they will be given a temporary school device to use for the day. If a student forgets the battery charger for their device they will also be able to borrow one of the school’s temporary devices.
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What if a student loses or damages the charger for their school-owned device?
Students in grades 5-12 who are using school-owned devices are issued a charger at the start of the year or when they are first given the device. They are required to return the charger with the device at the end of the year, when they leave the district or graduate. If the charger is lost or damaged, students/families may purchase a replacement charger using the following links: Lenovo X131Lenovo Chromebook | HP Stream | Macbook | Macbook Air | iPad
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What is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)?
Bring Your Own Device or BYOD allows high school students to bring devices they have purchased, such as a laptop, Chromebook or Macbook, to school for educational use. When students use their own device to support and direct their learning, they increase their access to up-to-date information and have the ability to maximize their academic potential.
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Why would families want to purchase a device for their child?
Developing the Technology Plan gave district leaders an opportunity to learn more about the use of technology in other districts. One thing their research found was the successful use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs throughout Metro Area high schools. When other schools began to provide a digital curriculum and technology-enabled learning environments, high school students chose to bring their own computers and tablets to school.

Reasons students chose to bring their own laptop, Chromebook or Macbook instead of using a school-issued device include the ability to:
- Select the platform that fits their personal education needs/preferences (Mac vs. PC; laptop vs. tablet)
- Permanently archive and back-up files
- Customize settings and configure overall set-up
- Download and install personal applications and software
- Upgrade their device at their own discretion
- Continue using the device in college or post-secondary training

Even though more curriculum will be digitized, please know that there will be times when teachers will still use traditional instructional methods and ask students to complete assignments or projects using tools other than a laptop. Students will need a device each day, but may not use it for every class/subject, every day.
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Why is it necessary for high school students to bring a device?
In the fall of 2015, Henry Sibley High School began its shift to a digital learning environment (electronic textbooks, web-based curriculum, a robust WIFI network, etc.) which will create the need for students to bring a device to school each day to access content, work on assignments, complete homework, communicate and collaborate with classmates, and more.
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When will devices be necessary at Sibley?
High school students are asked to bring their devices starting the first day of school each year. School-owned laptops are assigned to students to use until they graduate and may be kept over the summer. It is expected, however, that the laptop will stay in good condition and be in an acceptable working order each fall. Students in grade 9 will receive their laptops during the first week of school.
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Won’t there be issues with compatibility—different operating systems, multiple device platforms, etc. with BYOD?
Ensuring as smooth of a transition to digital learning as possible will be a priority throughout the implementation of the District’s Technology Plan over the next 3-5 years. To that end, while researching the plan, the District’s Curriculum and Technology departments set a goal that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) at Sibley would only be an option for the future if there were enough device-neutral and web-based educational resources to support it.

Device-neutral software and applications (apps) can operate on most devices because they are not designed specifically for a Mac or a PC. Web-based programs and systems are accessible by most devices through the Internet. The device being used simply needs to have the ability to access the Internet and an up-to-date browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) to accurately display content. Examples of device-neutral, web-based programs currently used in the District include Moodle and Google Apps.
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What are the hardware requirements for high school students who want to bring their own laptop?
Click here for a list of minimum and recommended device requirements for BYOD at Henry Sibley.
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What technology support or help desk options will be available for high school students who bring their own device?
While there will be some technical assistance provided, students will be expected to know how to operate their devices and connect them to the Internet. Teachers will not be able to use class time to fix or troubleshoot device issues. Students with technical questions should contact the student-led Tech Warriors office in the media center for assistance.
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What if a family is unable to provide their child with a device in grades 9-12?
Families are not required to provide their child with a device in grades 9-12. Regardless of financial circumstances, all high school students have the option to use a school-owned device.
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Can elementary or middle school students bring their own devices?
No. Currently, BYOD is only an option at Henry Sibley High School.
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Why aren’t iPads or tablets acceptable for use at Henry Sibley?
After researching the current programs and applications used at the high school and gathering input from teachers, it was determined that a laptop or Chromebook (versus a tablet) is the device that will best meet students’ academic needs at Henry Sibley. Factors that impacted the decision not to allow tablets or iPads included the need for a built in keyboard and the compatibility of the device with Adobe Flash, which is used by several textbook manufacturers.
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Where can families purchase a device for their high school student?
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools (District 197) has partnered with a company called CDW-G to offer an option for families who would like to purchase a laptop for their student. District 197 regularly works with CDW-G to make technology purchases and the company has agreed to extend district pricing to families. Ultimately, however, families may purchase a laptop from the retailer of their choice.
 
Purchases may be made through CDW-G at anytime. Please ensure your student will have their device by the start of school, keeping in mind it will take approximately two weeks for it to be delivered. Your order will be shipped to the address you designate, not Henry Sibley High School.
 
Learn more about CDW-G and view device options at www.cdwg.com/isd197.
 
If you would like to place an order, call 1-866-770-0358 and tell them you are part of West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools (District 197). Purchases cannot be made online.
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Will students who bring their own device need to purchase additional software?
No. All educational resources used by students will be device-neutral, web-based and/or available at no charge for download through the district.
 
Device-neutral software and applications (apps) can operate on most devices because they are not designed specifically for a Mac, PC, or Chromebook. Web-based programs and systems are accessible by most devices through the Internet. The device being used simply needs to have the ability to access the Internet and an up-to-date browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) to accurately display content. Examples of device-neutral, web-based programs currently used in the District include Moodle, Canvas and Google Apps.
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What devices will Henry Sibley High School provide?
School devices are a mix of new, currently owned and recertified laptops, Chromebooks and Macbooks. All students who request to use a school-owned device will be provided with one, however, they will be assigned to students based on availability.
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What is a Hybrid Class?
Hybrid Classes combine in-class and online learning and instruction for high school students. These classes do not meet every day of the semester and require some independent study. Some classes meet Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday. Others meet Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday.

Students in a Hybrid Class spend two or three days each week in the classroom and on non-class days they are responsible for completing coursework through the online course management system, Moodle or Canvas. Non-class days provide opportunities for self-directed study and inquiry. Teachers are readily available to students through email, as well as in person before, during and after school for questions.
 
Henry Sibley began offering Hybrid courses in the 2010-11 school year. Examples of classes offered in the hybrid format include Economics, Health, Interior Design (FACS), Advanced Film Studies, Individual and Team Activities (Physical Education), On Your Own (FACS), Chemistry, Physics, Sociology, Psychology, Advanced World History and Geography.
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Can a student use their own iPad case?
No. The cases distributed with the iPads were chosen based on their ease of use and the protection offered to the device. For example, this model of case has been drop tested 26 times at 4 feet and has proven itself to be secure. Using different cases could compromise the safety of the device, therefore other cases will not be allowed, including those with keyboards.
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Can a student add a passcode to their iPad?
No. Students cannot enable their device with a passcode. This policy was adopted because of the potential for the passcode to be forgotten. In order for technology staff to unlock an iPad without a passcode it must be returned to its factory settings and all data on the device would be lost, including all of a student’s work.  
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Can a student change their Apple ID password?
Yes. However, administrators do NOT want students to change their passwords. If students stick with their original, district-assigned password, school technology staff can better provide appropriate and timely support if students encounter issues.
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Can a student change their iPad's wallpaper?
No. Friendly Hills and Heritage have school-wide wallpapers that are required for all students. 
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What safety controls/restrictions are on the iPad?
All student iPads have been set-up with Apple Parental Controls (for ages 12 and under) and Content Restrictions. Only district or school-approved apps can be downloaded to the iPad by staff at school. This is a setting that comes from Apple and is a district-wide practice across all middle and elementary schools.

The Parental Controls setting means that the following apps will not be accessible to students:
- Facetime
- Messages
- Google Chrome
- YouTube (Videos can still be viewed through Safari)
- Any app that is rated for ages 17 and above.

While the Content Restrictions settings filter out inappropriate content at school and at home, the district has an additional CIPA-compliant Internet filter for the district network (see above). Parents or guardians are encouraged to setup a filter on their home wireless Internet network. To learn how to setup a filter, visit http://opendns.com.
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Do students have access to the App Store on their iPad?
No. The App Store cannot be accessed by students.
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Do students have access to iTunes on their iPad?
Yes. iTunes may be accessed by students and music, movies, books, etc. not restricted by the 12+ Parental Control setting can be downloaded. Any costs associated with such purchases will be the responsibility of the student/family. However, storage is limited to 16GB on the iPad. If there is an issue where more storage is needed on the iPad, students will be asked to remove the music, movie, etc.
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Can a student use Messages on their iPad?
No. All iPads have been set-up to not permit access to the Messages application. 
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Can a student use FaceTime on their iPad?
No. All iPads have been set-up to not permit access to the FaceTime application.
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Will my students iPad be checked?
From time to time, teachers or administrators may perform a monitoring check of a student’s iPad to ensure safety and proper use of a school device. Any inappropriate content may be subject to possible disciplinary action. Accidents certainly happen, however, and if a student inadvertently accesses unacceptable materials or an unacceptable Internet site they should immediately notify a teacher or administrator.
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