Elementary and Secondary Instructional Technology Advisory Committees met during the first week of December. Here’s a summary of our work.
Elementary ITAC began by reviewing feedback from surveys and a meeting with our elementary iPad Readiness schools (Eagle Crest, Erie, Thunder Valley), who are helping us test processes to use next year when we roll out devices to all of our elementary schools. Based on this feedback and discussion, ITAC made the following recommendations:
- Provide class sets of iPads to grade level classrooms based on average district class size.
- Provide access to Specials (PE, Music, Art) and pull-out classes through shared carts of iPads.
- Give the highest priority to purchasing iPads and work with our readiness schools to determine which accessories are essential and how they are being used.
- Communicate with schools and with district leads to determine which pull-outs (SPED, G/T, ELL, Literacy) are active in the elementary schools, how these classes operate, and how they might utilize the technology.
We also looked briefly at apps currently provided to our elementary students through Mobile Device Management (MDM) and the proposed process for requesting and selecting additional iOS apps to add to MDM.
Secondary ITAC began by discussing Apple IDs – both managed Apple IDs and personal Apple IDs (for students over the age of 13) – and the limitations and advantages of both. We then broke into groups to discuss implications for middle school and high school students and came up with the following recommendations:
- In High School, we believe utilizing personal Apple IDs (whether linked to personal or educational email account) is a best practice; therefore, we maintain the current practice that every incoming 9th grader create an Apple ID for their use because we expect high school students to be self-directed, informed, collaborative learners.
- In Middle School, we believe Apple IDs provide the advantage of iCloud backup; therefore we expect 6th and 7th graders to have Managed Apple IDs and 8th graders to create personal Apple IDs (after turning 13) with a recommendation that we educate students about the differences between personal and professional use.
We also reviewed last year’s iMessage recommendations with the intention of reviewing this at our next meeting.
If you’re interested in seeing the agendas and notes from the meetings, you can find them on the ITAC blog under Meeting Documents.