iPad FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Christian Brothers School go with the iPad?

For over a year, a nine-member faculty and staff committee studied what CBS could do to help our students to become more in tuned with 21st century educational standards. Eventually, this group began to focus on a more student-centric form of study, where the children entrusted to our care would be able to be more collaborative in their classes, would be more mobile in their learning, and where teachers would be able to concentrate more on in-depth study, using project-based learning when appropriate.

This group began to look at various portable devices including netbooks, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Each device was tried by committee members, judging them on various measurable standards. After careful consideration, the committee's recommendation was unanimous in favor of the iPad.

How much will my child's iPad cost?

That depends on how many "bells and whistles" you'd like the iPad to have. Check our website, CBS iPad Initiative. for the latest minimum specifications.

If you follow this rule of thumb, you'll be fine: Get the best you can get at the price you can afford.

What kind of case should my child have?

Middle school children can be hard on electronics. That is why we suggest a Griffin Survivor or the Brenthaven. The links provided are to the manufacturer's websites, however, purchases may be made through third-party vendors, such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.

Should I get insurance on my child's iPad?

Though not required, insurance is strongly suggested. Most insurance groups require the policy to be purchased within a specified number of days after the actual purchase.

Apple offers a two-year policy called Apple Care. The $99.00 price tag covers two years, allows two incidents of repair with a $49.00 deductible, and unlimited service calls.

When the Christian Brothers Alumni Association graciously purchased a set of ten iPads for the City Park Library, it was decided to purchase a policy from a third party. The two, SquareTrade and Worth Ave Group, were close in price, but Worth Ave had better coverage in case of theft. Each had an adjustable deductible, anywhere from $0 to $100.00.

We went with Worth Ave Group for the Library iPads, who allowed us to purchase the policy within 60-days of the acquisition and had a $50.00 deductible.

What if my child's iPad stops working/breaks/is stolen?

CBS will have a set of iPads that will be used as backups for such an occasion.

If there is an issue with a student's iPad and it needs to be repaired/replaced, there is the option to use one of the backups, with this stipulation:

If proof of insurance on the student's iPad is given to CBS in the form of a copy of a policy that is in force, a backup will be provided at no cost to the student for a reasonable length of time for repair.

If there is no proof of insurance, a backup will be provided to the student for a fee of $10.00 per day until the iPad is returned to the school.

Why is more memory required on the newer iPads?

The newer iPads have higher resolution cameras, thus taking up more memory. In addition, the apps for the newer iPads will use those pictures, taking up even more memory. Remember that the more memory, the better.

Should we buy a stylus or keyboard?

The answer is: hang on.

A stylus is probably a good idea, but don't go out and spend a lot of money. You can find cheap ones at various dollar-type stores or other bargain stores. Don't go out and spend a fortune on a stylus. They're not really worth it.

As for a keyboard, wait until you find out if your child will be needing one. Some students can fly on the built-in iPad keyboard. If you find your child is doing quite a bit of typing, a keyboard would be appropriate. However, please make sure the keyboard can be used when the iPad is flat, which is encouraged in class.

Though the Apple Bluetooth keyboard is a good one, we have seen where it will power itself on in a backpack. That can lead to quite a few issues, including accidentally locking an iPad. Again, do not go out and spend a fortune on a keyboard. Some can be had for as little as $30 on Amazon.

How much will the iPad be used in the classroom?

Each teacher will determine how the iPad will be used in his individual class. However, there is an expectation that each teacher will incorporate the iPad into his teaching in some way.

Why is a 3G or 4G iPad not allowed?

The Internet access at Christian Brothers School is placed behind the Archdiocese of New Orleans firewall: a software that accomplishes two specific tasks: 1) helps to prevent any "hacker" attacks on any equipment using the Internet on our campus, and 2) prevents any accidental (or intentional) access of inappropriate materials on the Internet. The WiFi here at CBS is connected through that same firewall.

An iPad can have 3G or 4G capabilities, meaning it can go onto the Internet without using a WiFi signal by accessing a data plan for a cell phone carrier, such as AT &T, Verizon or Sprint. An iPad that has 3G or 4G capabilities uses what the carriers call a SIM card, very similar to what is in some cell phones. This SIM card "activates" the iPad, making it part of whatever data plan is assigned to that SIM card. Thus, an iPad with a 3G or 4G antenna and a SIM card will be able to bypass our firewall protection. Not being able to protect the students entrusted to our care to the best of our ability is not acceptable.

The iPad I own has 3G or 4G, but it has not been activated. Is that acceptable?

Sorry, no: a 3G-4G iPad is not acceptable. The 3G and 4G capabilities on the iPad can be turned on just by inserting a SIM card from an iPhone into the iPad and changing a few settings. So, even though the iPad has not been officially activated, the SIM card makes it think that it is.

Apple and the carriers will tell you that it can't be done, but there are articles galore on the Internet that tell us otherwise, along with the advice of our IT. Thus, a 3G or 4G iPad will not be acceptable.

Will there be certain apps and books required for purchase?

Yes. That list is generated by the faculty, with the list of required apps and books posted, along with their appropriate links for purchase.

Parents will buy these apps and books and have them downloaded to their child's iPads by a target date to be posted at the beginning of each school year.

Why are parents responsible for the purchase of iPads, apps, books, and textbooks on the iPad?

There are various models of iPad deployment done by schools across the world.

  1. Schools buy the iPads and distribute them to the students. The school owns the iPad and the apps and books. Any and all information on the iPad stays with the school, not the student
  2. Schools lease the iPads to the students over their time at the school. Students may purchase the iPads from the school at the conclusion of their schools years. Any information, books, textbooks, and apps purchased by the school stay with the school, not the student.
  3. Parents/students purchase the iPads and all materials contained on the device. The iPad, apps, books/textbooks and all information contained on the iPad belong to the parent/student.

The third option was chosen. There are a number of reasons why this is the model of deployment for Christian Brothers School:

  • Under options 1 and 2, CBS would be required to increase its technological staff substantially, creating a larger increase in tuition.
  • If parents own the devices, using their own Apple ID for purchases, it is easier to monitor what apps are purchased.

Will hard copies of the textbooks/books be available for my child?

Many resources are available on the iPad, thus lessening the load in the student's book bag, and having a central repository for information. With that said, there will be some textbooks/books that are not available on the iPad. For those instances, hard copies of the textbooks/books are to the students.

It must be noted that CBS has never intended to go all digital. There is something to be said for the tactile feel of books, pencils, paper, and writing things down.

However, the advantages afforded on the educational front by the iPad cannot be overlooked.

My child will only be at Christian Brothers School for one year. What if the high school of his choice doesn't allow iPads in the classroom?

We are tasked with the responsibility of giving the best education possible to the students who attend CBS. With the national and international move toward an enhanced learning environment that includes collaboration, we feel, as thousands of schools across the country and world do, that the iPad affords this enhanced learning environment.

We cannot control what a student's future school does with electronic devices. However, continued use of the iPad in the away-from-home learning environment will make your child a better all-around learner.

Can you explain how instruction and learning in a CBS classroom might be transformed with the introduction of the iPad?

CBS teachers are good at what they do. The iPad can make them more efficient at their craft. Each teacher will determine how the iPad will be used in his individual class. However, there is an expectation that each teacher will incorporate the iPad into his teaching in some way.

Here are a few examples of how some teachers are already planning to use the iPads next year.

• The teacher uses an iBook in place of the traditional textbook as the main resource for instruction. (In some cases, a teacher has rewritten parts of the traditional textbook in iBook format!) He is still free to instruct in a similar manner as he has in the past. However, the iBook includes embedded instructional videos which a student can review for the re-teaching of concepts as needed. iBooks provide an interactive experience addressing various learning styles.

• The teacher uses an iBook or app as his main resource and supplement his instruction with traditional resources such as a workbook.

• The teacher uses a traditional textbook but enhances instruction with interactive apps that more effectively impact presentations and, consequently, student learning.

• For assessment at the end of a class, the teacher uses an app that provides immediate and reliable feedback on the mastery level of every one of his students.

• The student has opportunities to exercise creativity using the iPad to build various types of presentations further illustrating concepts taught.

• The teacher exposes students to additional apps which are instructional games. We know that students currently see the iPad as an entertainment device. The students will recognize that such entertainment can be found in the context of an educational app and, more importantly, that the iPad is as much an educational tool as anything else.

• Certain apps are used by all teachers to enhance note-taking in class. These apps can provide for a more effective transmission of notes from teacher to student and allow for students to personalize their notes as needed. Apps are also be used for submitting information electronically to teachers – a skill that should prove useful to students for high school and college courses.

If you have any questions, please contact me: djoubert@cbs-no.org