FAQ: Year 7 iPads

Q: Is it a compulsory item?

A: Yes. The school sees this as the direction for education and for achieving the best outcomes for students, so it is a compulsory item for Years 7 to 9.

Q: Are parents paying for the device?

A: Yes. Parents are to purchase the device and the device becomes the student's own property.

Q: How much is the iPad going to cost?

A: This will all depend on where the iPad is purchased. If you choose to purchase through the college the cost for the iPad package is $745 (2017). The iPad provided will be an IPAD AIR 2,  9.7” Colour Space Grey, Capacity:  128GB. Part of the cost is $70.00 for College provided Apps. This is a one off cost and the Apps provided by the college will be used from Years 7 to 9.

Q: Do we own or rent the iPad?

A: You own the iPad. The school arranges purchase and you have the option to pay for the unit in two instalments (commencement of each year). There is no option to rent the iPad from the school.

Q: Is there support for the devices?

A: Yes, but only for those purchased through the school program.  It is important to emphasise that the College cannot offer this level of support for iPads bought outside the school program.  If you decide to purchase the iPad yourself, you will need to organise your own warranty repairs through your place of purchase. 

Q: What happens if the iPad is damaged or lost?

A: With the device being owned by the student, and not the school, it cannot be covered by the College insurance policy.  It needs to be covered by your own contents insurance policy. You should investigate this with your insurer if you decide to take out insurance. 

Q: Can I buy an iPad outside of the school program?

A: Families are free to purchase an iPad outside the school program.  We believe the iPad may be an option for students’ Christmas and Birthday presents and some of our students have already purchased their own.  It does need to meet the minimum specifications: an iPad Air 2 64 GB wifi (2017). It is highly recommended that parents consider purchasing the latest iPad, Air2 wifi 128 GB. Older iPads are no longer supported by Apple and may not last the three years required for learning.

iPads purchased from outside the school package will incur of a cost of around $100 to access the school network.  The fee covers the network access, $70 for apps, and $30 for other required device management software, etc. to be outlined at the Parent Information Night.

Q: I have an iPad Air at home. Do I need to purchase an iPad Air 2?

A: Yes, you need to have a model equivalent or higher than the school model:  an iPad Air  2 wifi 64 GB. It is highly recommended that parents consider purchasing the latest iPad, Air2 wifi 128 GB. Older iPads are no longer supported by Apple and may not last the three years required for learning.

Q: What if we decide we want a higher model iPad?

A: Families are free to purchase a higher model iPad outside the school program, but the only model the school is offering is Apple school model:  an Air2 wifi  GB

Q: Is 32 GB enough for memory? 

A: It is deemed sufficient because of College storage and iCloud storage available. However, it is highly recommended that you consider buying the larger storage model.

Q: Is there an agreement I need to sign before my child can have access to the iPad device? 

A: The student and parent still must sign the 'ICT Acceptable Use Policy' and the school retains the right to withdraw student's access to electronic devices and the College computer network should the student breach the guidelines associated within this policy.

Q: Do we still have to buy textbooks?

A: For some subjects, the answer is YES, you still need to buy some textbooks. At this stage, not all text books used in our curriculum are available in electronic format.  However the number of textbooks has been significantly reduced by using the electronic texts and other texts available in PDF format, which can be used at a reduced costs. We see the future where the booklist will become an iPad and a subscription to the student textbooks, at a cost below current printed textbooks. We also anticipate some savings on reference purchases, such as dictionaries, atlases and calculators.

Q: Are there any controls over what my child can and can't use on the iPad?

A: In readiness for using iPads,  Emmaus College has invested a significant amount into its network to provide students with a Wi-Fi network capable of handling hundreds of users at once. As part of this upgrade, the College has installed a device at both campuses to control and filter everything that is accessed via any student 1:1 device. This means that a student's digital activity can be monitored. At home, it is a family decision as to what your son/daughter is able to do on their iPad.

Q: Can you open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the iPad?

A: A common misconception of the iPad is that you can't open your Word documents and change them and save them on the iPad. This is simply not true. We list some core Apps for students that includes 'Pages' which can open a Word Document from the students 'Cloud' , make changes, and then copy it back to the 'Cloud'. Similarly 'Numbers' can do this to Excel files, and 'KeyNote' does this with PowerPoint files.
 NB: iPad Apps (Pages/Numbers/KeyNote) are nowhere near the application strength that the PC versions are.  However, the Pages/Numbers/KeyNote Apps do the standard tasks that Microsoft Office will do.

Q: Do I need to Purchase an Apple Mac Computer?

A: No, the iPad syncs with iTunes which is available as a download for PCs. The College has PCs and laptops which are successfully connecting with, syncing and updating iPads quite seamlessly. This is important for back up of Apps and e-Books on iPads.

Q: As students will now have an electronic device, do I need to provide my child with a computer at home?

A: Students will need access to a computer and the iTunes software in order to backup iPads periodically. iPads are primarily an information access tool, and not a high end creation tool. A computer would still be useful for any complex tasks, but more basic work can be done on the iPad.

Q: When will my child receive their iPad?

A: For new Year 7 students, the distribution program will take place during the first week of the school year, with the likely date being the first week in February. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to use and care for their iPad with a quick course at the start of the academic year.

Q: Can we jailbreak our iPad?

A: Jailbreaking, in short, is breaking into the iPad and voids the Apple Warranty.  Jailbreaking is clearly defined in our 'Acceptable Use Policy' as inappropriate use and is therefore not allowed. Any students found with a jailbroken iPad will be removed from accessing the college network.

Q: Will students need an Apple ID? 

A: Yes. All students will be required to have an Apple ID for school. If students have an existing ID this account will not be used at school. Their Emmaus Apple account will be set up for all students. Students will be given information about this account when they pick up their iPads.

Q: What if I don’t have Wi-Fi at home?

A: It is preferable that WiFi be accessible at home in order to use the iPad seamlessly between home and school. However, if WiFi is not available at home, students will need to ensure that all related documents and work is downloaded before leaving school for the day. 

Q: Will the students be able to use the iPads in the school yard?

A: No, the school encourages a balance of work and play.  To ensure protection of the iPad from damage, iPads will be required to be secured in lockers during recess and lunch.

Q: Will my child stop hand-writing? 

A: No. The iPad will act as an educational tool to aid in the learning process. Students will still need writing skills as assessment tasks will continue to reflect the VCE Examination requirements, which remain handwritten.

Q: Can you print from the iPad?

A: The iPad uses a technology called ‘AirPrint’.  Many printers now include this technology built in and are available at a reasonable cost.  Many people who have existing printers, can email a file from the iPad to their PC to print.

At the College, the aim is to try to reduce the number of prints required by each student over time. As part of the Emmaus Community, we encourage students to be aware of, and make every effort to minimise the impact on our environment.  It is anticipated the iPad will assist in achieving this goal by reducing paper usage overall.