iPad Requirements for Students Entering Grades 6-12
UC Academy uses digital curriculum in order to provide students with the most interactive, engaging learning environment. Students entering grades 6-12 will need to provide their own iPad in order to access digital curriculum at school and at home.
Helpful Hints for Purchasing iPads
Minimum: iPad Mini 4 / iPad Air 2 9.7” [2nd Gen] running iPadOS 13 or above
Recommended: iPad Mini 5 / iPad Air (2020) [5th Gen] / iPad 10.2” 2020 [8th Gen] / iPad Pro 11” [4th Gen] / iPad Pro 12.9” [4th Gen] running iPadOS 14 or above
Purchasing the minimum iPad is the bare minimum system requirement for the apps and books to work properly; however, performance and stability will be affected as app updates are issued to the iPad. So, purchasing a recommended iPad will ensure that the iPad will last throughout several school years.
All iPads come with basic Wi-Fi connectivity. You do not need to have cellular connectivity unless this is desirable for your family.
To ensure continuous access, we will lean toward downloadable curriculum. While downloading increases access without the constant need for an Internet connection, the procedure also requires more storage capacity.
Insurance: AppleCare+ must be purchased separately within 60 days of your iPad purchase. AppleCare+ permits owners to take their iPads to any Apple Store and have them serviced immediately; the closest one to our school is in Victoria Gardens. If your iPad doesn’t have AppleCare+, you can visit Mobile Fixerz for repairs: http://www.mobilefixerz.com
Case: A rigid case that protects all sides is required! The iPads will be traveling in a backpack with the weight of books and supplies compressing on them. It is entirely possible for our children to throw their backpacks to the ground, forgetting about the iPads in there. You should select a case that protects against such mishaps. Here are some criteria to consider when considering an iPad case:
- The case must completely cover the front and back of the iPad.
- The case must provide significant protection for all 4 corners and edges of the iPad.
- The case must close securely, and not be prone to opening by accident
- The front corners and rim of the case must keep the iPad glass from resting flat on a table when placed face down.
Here are the cases that we recommend:
An external keyboard and stylus are highly recommended.
Financing Options: Apple offers up to 24 months of interest-free financing for purchasing iPads if you open a credit card account with them. You can find the information at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/finance/instant_credit_page.
The school offers tuition assistance to families with demonstrated financial needs. Families can apply at https://www.ucacademy.org/admissions/tuition-grants.
Places to Buy iPads:
Best Buy https://tradein.bestbuy.com
Frequently Asked Questions About our iPad Requirement
Why not let families choose their own device/platform? This “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach has been tried by other schools. Technology education experts advised us that the vast majority of schools that start with a BYOD approach usually end up needing to switch to one platform. Our observations have confirmed this as well. This is because in a classroom environment, students need to be “on the same page” for whole group instructions to work well. Additionally, it is cost prohibitive for schools to hire the required personnel to service and manage multiple platforms.
Why iPads (as opposed to another platform)? iPads are generally more expensive than other devices, but when you consider all the advantages of iPads, we believe that they offer the best overall value. Here are some of the main reasons why our school selected iPads:
- Repairs: Using digital curriculum will mean that our students will be relying on their devices 24/7 to access their school work. Other platforms require students to surrender their devices for 1-2 weeks when repairs are needed. With iPads, students can simply visit the Apple Store in Victoria Gardens to have their iPads serviced or replaced, usually on the same day! We have also found Apple products, in general, work better and require fewer repairs.
- Content: Among technology companies, Apple has the longest history of serving the education industry. They hold the most selection of e-textbooks, educational software, Apps, and other educational tools. By selecting iPads, we are providing our students and our school with the most educational options available now and in the future. We have witnessed schools select an option that was less expensive in the short run, but ended up making corrections that were both painful and more costly in the long run.
- Compatibility: Our school has invested heavily to outfit classrooms with interactive projectors and Apple TVs. The equipment permits teachers and students to share content quickly and seamlessly with the whole class when using an iPad. Other platforms require additional software or equipment, increasing costs and the likelihood for glitches or other compatibility issues.
Why can I not use an iPad 1st – 4th generation, iPad mini 1st – 3rd generation, or iPad Air 1st generation? These devices cannot install iPadOS 13, so the school will not be supporting these devices to download the school’s apps and books.
My iPad meets the system requirement, but the storage is 16GB, can I still use it? The reason why there is a storage requirement of 32GB and above is the size of the apps and digital books can be quite big to be stored on the iPad. For example, the total storage capacity of 16GB is around 13GB. When downloading iMovie, iPhoto, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the size can reach to around 4GB, which leaves 9GB for digital books and other course-specific apps. For high school students, the sizes of the digital books are quite big compared to junior high as well as saving projects and assignments on the iPad. In addition, when upgrading the iPadOS to the next version, there is a certain amount of space to be reserved to perform the upgrade; otherwise, the upgrade will fail. In summary, 16GB isn’t enough to store digital books and apps.
What about Internet safety for my child? The Internet is a powerful tool with potential for good and potential for vice. Our school will continue to teach our students how to use technology responsibly and safely. It is our goal for our students to understand technology as a God-given tool to be used for His glory. We will also provide parents with training and tools to help monitor their children’s use of their iPads. The iPad has a built-in web filter, which you can find more information by visiting this link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304. New Junior High and High School families and incoming 6th grade families are required to attend the CyberWise Parent Meeting.
How will students learn Microsoft Office programs? The Word, Excel, and PowerPoint App are available for free to the students. In addition, the students can install Microsoft Office to up to five computers. We see the value of students learning productivity tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. We will continue to teach and use these tools in school. These programs will be taught in computer classes and used by other subjects as appropriate.
What about Elementary students? Our Elementary classrooms will continue to become more of a digital learning environment as well. Elementary students will have more access and increase their use of our iPad and laptop labs. We will continue to monitor and evaluate if/when we need to transition Elementary students to a one-to-one technology environment in the future.