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Middle School Technology Program

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The Initiative

"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob then of tomorrow."

- John Dewey

A device for everyone logo Anywhere learning
 
Student centered logo
A Device For Everyone Anywhere, Anytime Learning Student Centered
Safe and secure access to the Internet and all the learning opportunities the world wide web has to offer. Learning is expanding beyond the four walls of the classroom. Technology makes information available where and when it's needed. An individual device for an individualized learning experience. A personal device for every student.

 

For Parents

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Partnership for Success

It Takes A Village

With the advent of the Internet, social media and 24x7 information access, ensuring our students have the skills to safely and effectively navigate the web in and out of school is a critical component of preparing them for their futures. Sylvan Union School District is committed to working together with parents to provide safe and informed access for our students.

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Web Filtering

Internet Protection

The district is using a web filter solution from Securely (http://www.securly.com) to block websites and content that matches predefined content categories. District staff periodically review the web filter logs for violations of the student AUAP.

The Securly web filter provides Internet filtering on the iPads when used outside of school, regardless of the network being used. It will also work in combination with a home filtering solution Common Sense Media - Parent Controls (https://www.commonsensemedia.org
/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-parental-controls.) It is important to recognize that no web filter is capable of blocking all objectionable content all of the time. 

Ensuring students are accessing the Internet responsibly both at school and at home requires a combination of "over the shoulder" monitoring, periodically reviewing student Internet activity, and educating students on the appropriate use of the Internet. 

 If you have questions or concerns regarding the district web filter on the Chromebooks, please email help@sylvan.k12.ca.us.

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Digital Citizenship

Resources for Home

Classroom blogs and other online media are powerful tools that open up communication between students, parents, and teachers. Please help with responsible use of online tools by reviewing the Common Sense media family tool kit Essential School Tools (https://www.commonsensemedia.org
/guide/essential-school-tools) and parent resources and monitoring your child's iPad use at home.

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Google Classroom

Resources for Learning

Google Classroom is a learning management system to help simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a 1:1 learning environment. Many Union School District teachers use Google Classroom to send and receive student assignments in their classrooms. Google Classroom Student Guide 

Alice Keeler's Guide - http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2014/12/01/google-classroom-student-quick-sheet-guide/ 

 Google Apps for Education Resources for Collaboration Sylvan Union School District is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) district. Teachers and Students utilize GAFE to build 21st Century Learning environments focused on Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking. 

 Google Apps For Education Information for Parents https://www.google.com/edu/trust/ 

 Google Apps Essentials http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/02/05/google-apps-essential-infographic/

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Screen Time

Information About Screen Time

How much time children spend using technology during the day is a concern for many parents. Recent studies have differentiated between active screen time and passive screen time but everyone agrees that setting expectations for overall screen time for children is important to providing a well rounded learning experience.

Articles

Information from Around the Web

Article: "Five Myths and Truths About Kid's Internet Safety"

"How do I keep my kids on Safe Sites?" 

"Are some types of screen time better than others?" 

NRP: "When It Comes To Kids, Is All Screen Time Equal?

How much screen time is okay for my kids?

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Voluntary Insurance

Optional Protection

Worth Ave. Group

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As an option to protect against unexpected damage or loss, the District has partnered with the Worth Ave. Group to provide an insurance option for devices. Coverage options can be reviewed at the Worth Ave. Group SUSD Insurance Portal -(https://www.worthavegroup.com/gpo/
sylvank12
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Program Forms and Handbook

Middle School iPad Take-Home Mobile Device Handbook (link to pdf) 

 Student Acceptable Use Policy (link to pdf) 

Equipment Loan Agreement

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Most Commonly Asked Questions

 

Why a 1:1 take home program?

Sylvan Union School District believes that the integration of technology into the learning process is essential to preparing students for their futures. 1:1 technology provides anytime/anywhere learning and opens the doors to collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills that students need to compete and contribute in our local and the global society.

By preparing our students to communicate and collaborate in an ethical and safe manner we are preparing them for their futures. The Common Core Standards both explicitly and implicitly require students in all grades to use technology to research, collaborate, and create original works. Additionally, the end-of-the-year California State Assessments begin in third grade and are administered entirely on a computer. Using technology throughout the year in an authentic manner will better prepare our students for this new generation of assessments.

Will Students use the iPad for everything?

No. The iPad will not replace the teacher or traditional hands-on activities that also make learning fun and relevant. Teachers will carefully plan lessons that make appropriate use of technology and will continue to provide exceptional teaching and learning opportunities for students. Just as your student doesn't use a pencil for every learning activity at Sylvan Union School District, neither will they use the iPad for every learning activity.

Does this mean that students will not have textbooks?

No, students will continue to have textbooks; however, they can expect fewer textbooks in upcoming years as Sylvan Union School District expands its implementation of 1:1. It is important to note that the curriculum is not dictated by the textbook. The textbook is one of many resources used to deliver the curriculum.

How will students be prepared for the responsibility of having their own computing device?

The 1:1 middle school initiative will become a part of the student’s everyday classroom experience. Union School District has developed a rigorous and intensive professional development program for teachers that will ensure that they have the skills needed to teach your student how to use his or her device to the fullest potential. Your student will learn: digital citizenship, internet safety, collaborative communication skills and more. Students will also learn how to care for and protect their iPad.

How will this initiative impact the parents of Sylvan Union School District students?

This program represents a partnership between teachers, students and parents. Parents are encouraged to talk to their student about how they are using technology to learn in the classroom and what their teachers expectations are for them with the technology at home. This is also an opportunity to talk to students about personal responsibility. Students will need to care for their device, charge it, and use it to the fullest educational potential. With parental support, the district is certain that students will benefit from 1:1 technology and instruction.

What will prevent students from accessing inappropriate sites?

Filtering software is installed on each device and will be active anywhere the student uses the computer, including at home. However, it is important to recognize that no web filter is capable of blocking all objectionable content all of the time.

Ensuring students are accessing the Internet responsibly both at school and at home requires a combination of "over the shoulder" monitoring, periodically reviewing student Internet activity and educating students on the appropriate use of the Internet.

Will the device be turned in over school breaks?

At this time we are planning to allow students to keep their devices over breaks.

What happens if I do not want my student to bring the device home?

We believe access to appropriate educational technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of the learning environment. However, if you feel that this is not the right solution for your student, we ask that parents/guardians inform their school administrator as soon as possible so that alternative accommodations can be discussed.

Can parents have an administrative account on the iPads?

iPads do not have “administrative” accounts that provide elevated permissions or supervision capabilities. The students iPads are secured through the District Mobile Device Management system. Student Google Apps for Education accounts are managed by the district. If a Parent would like access to their student’s account, you can request the account password from one of your student’s teachers. You will be able to login to their Google Apps for Education account, which will give you full access to your student's data.

What technical support is provided for the iPad?

Fortunately the iPad is a straightforward device that requires minimal support. School technical support staff are available to troubleshoot and diagnose issues during the school day. If the device should have an issue after school, students should alert their teacher the following school day. For issues that cannot be resolved quickly, a temporary chromebook will be issued while the student’s device is being repaired.

Can students play games on the iPad?

iPads should be used for educational purposes. The iPad is a pretty powerful computing device and is capable of running games. However, the students do not have access to the Apple App Store and their ability to download non educational apps is disabled. The ipad will run many HTML5 web based games and the school web filter is set to block many of these game sites. If you find your student accessing a web based game, please email the web site to help@sylvan.k12.ca.us and we will evaluate the site for inclusion in the district web filter.

What should we do if the iPad is lost or stolen?

Report the lost or stolen iPad to your teacher/school administrator immediately. If the iPad is lost or stolen after school hours or off campus, file a police report. If you purchased the optional insurance, file a claim for reimbursement. You are responsible for the replacement cost of the device, currently $299, to be paid to the school in the event the device is not recovered.

I’m concerned about my child’s online privacy, what should I do?

Common Sense Media has very good resources for parents regarding online privacy for children. Their most frequently asked questions can be found here. If you have privacy concerns about classroom activities or educational applications, please contact your child's teacher or your site administrator or send an email to help@sylvan.k12.ca.us.