Listed below are answers to some frequently asked questions, under the following headings:
Will my child use their iPad all the time?
No. iPads are tools for learning that will be used along with all the other tools available at school and home (e.g. pen, paper, calculators, books, computers etc).
Students are typically engaged in a range of activities in all classes and all year levels. They also participate in kinaesthetic (hands-on) learning, physical education and sport from Prep to Year 9. In Year 10, students take Core Physical Education, and all Senior School students have the option to participate in sport.
Will children in Junior School use their iPads before school or during breaks?
When students arrive at school, they put their iPad in the classroom. iPads will be left in the classroom during breaks. (Students may be involved in special, teacher-supervised activities during breaks that require iPads. In this case, the teacher-in-charge will manage the children while they collect, use and return their iPads.)
How will the iPads be stored at school?
In the Junior school, students will store their iPad in the classroom. Middle and Senior School students will have lockers to store of their iPads when not in use.
Will my child still learn how to hand write in Junior School?
Yes. iPads will not replace handwriting in the Junior school. In the Middle and Senior Schools, the mode of communication used will depend on the learning opportunity.
Will internet access be filtered?
Yes. The College uses DansGuardian to filter internet access. We also have the capacity to control internet access by year level and group.
All internet access via our network (WiFi and wired) is routed through our filter. It is worth noting that no filter system is perfect given the dynamic nature of the internet. The filtering definitions for our system are updated nightly.
Do you have advice about online safety?
Our pages about:
provide information for students and families.
Will iPads promote poor posture?
Poor posture and associated strain are generally the product of fixed body position for an extended period of time. Desktop computers and laptops are just as likely to cause strain because they control posture. iPads are more mobile and light, which means they can be used with a wider variety of postures. It is easier to shift positions while remaining engaged.
We will run programme at the beginning of the school year to raise awareness of the importance of good posture.
If you have concerns about your child's posture, please consult a doctor.
Will iPads cause eye strain?
Looking at any screen (computer, TV or iPad) for a long period of time without resting your eyes may cause eye strain. This is commonly called Computer Vision Syndrome and relates to computer and laptop monitors.
iPads potentially reduce the prospect of computer vision syndrome in the following ways:
- Due to its mobile nature, the chance of staring at a fixed focal length for an extended period of time is reduced.
- The brightness of the screen can be easily adjusted to match the lighting conditions.
- It is easy to tilt the iPad or change body position to reduce glare.
iPads with retina displays (all iPads after 2nd generation) may help to address this issue. Gary Heiting, an optometrist and associate editor of the site All About Vision, says “A key factor in something that’s called computer vision syndrome, or just eye strain from computer use, is screen resolution,” Heiting says. “The new iPad, with twice the resolution of the iPad 2, 264 ppi (pixels per inch) instead of 132, people are going to notice less pixelation, especially in a small typeface. It’s not just an enjoyment issue or an aesthetic issue, but it’s definitely a visual comfort issue, over time.” (Mashable, 2012)
We run a programme at the beginning of the school year to raise awareness of the importance of reducing eye strain using a simple guide: after 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and look at something across the room.
If you have concerns about your child's vision, please consult an optometrist.
What do you advise about volume levels for headphones?
The volume for music can be limited on the iPad via Settings > Music > Volume Limit.
How much does my child need to use their iPad at home?
Some homework, set activities and assessment tasks will require your child to use their iPad at home. Outside these things however, it is your decision about when and how your child uses their iPad. If you have any doubts about the nature of set work, please contact your child’s teacher.
Our position is:
iPads provide an environment / tool for learning; that is its main purpose.
Students can use it for other purposes but these must be appropriate to the context – school or home – and subject to permission.
We support parent decisions about the setting of boundaries at home as long as school work can be completed.
Students do not need games and entertainment apps on their iPads for school. Whether parents allow games and entertainment apps on their child's iPad is a family decision.
What if I need to remove my child’s iPad access as a discipline measure?
We understand that this may be required and we will support you where we can. Please contact us about arrangements for ensuring the iPad is accessible at school and for school work.
What is the College’s advice about children overusing technology (phones, personal technologies, television, gaming devices, etc)?
It has been noted by some sources that overuse of any form of technology may lead to problems such as sleep deprivation and addiction. Each of these issues are significant problems caused by a range of often complex issues. Our advice is:
- Regular sleep patterns free from disruption of any kind are important to brain function and mental health. This is true of children, adolescents and adults.
- We advise against children using any form of bright screen technology before going to sleep as it may impact on melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that controls the body clock, allowing us to sleep. It would appear that bright light creates irregular production of melatonin, changing the body clock and making sleep difficult (refer this article in Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bright-screens-could-delay-bedtime/).
- Highly engaging and emotionally rewarding activities release a chemical in the brain called dopamine that positively rewards behaviour. Excessive participation in any highly rewarding activity can create addictive style behaviour according to some researchers. In all things, therefore, moderation is important.
Should I be concerned about overuse of technology?
All things, no matter how good, can be used excessively and this may lead to problems: food (obesity), exercise (exhaustion or injury), reading (eye strain) and technology. In all things, therefore, moderation in use is important and iPads are no different. We do not require the students to use their iPads all the time; it is important that they engage in other activities.
The minimum requirements for a parent-supplied iPad:
- a full sized 32GB iPad i.e. it must not be an iPad mini.
- a recent iPad capable of running the latest iOS i.e. iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro. Typically, this means replacing iPads after two years of use.
- a WiFi only model to reduce cost to parents and to ensure internet traffic at the College is filtered.
Families make their own decisions about where and how to purchase iPads. For example options include:
- Apple Store
- eStorm Australia
- JB HiFi Capalaba
- Harvey Norman Capalaba
Students will need an iPad that is capable of running the latest version of iOS (operating system for iPads) and school-required apps. Typically this means replacing iPads after two years of use.
- Headphones - Redlands College recommends students use volume restricted over-the-ear headphones. For more information visit: https://ipad.redlands.qld.edu.au/content/volume-restricted-over-ear-vs-e...
- Apps - a core collection of apps, please refer to the apps page.
- Extended warranty and robust case. We strongly recommend the purchase of an extended warranty and a robust case to minimise potential damage. We have found the Griffin Survivor case to be highly effective. The G-Form Extreme Portfolio case is another highly recommended case (both are available from Geekworks).
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