An iPad has no USB; how do I transfer files?
The iPad does not have a USB, but that does not mean you cannot easily transfer files. There are a number of ways to do this:
- The iPad can plug into (via the supplied USB cable) your home PC or Mac and copy files across.
- You can email the file to yourself from your iPad, then open it on a PC or laptop
- We have found many new ways of manipulating files as more and more apps are released, and will share these with students progressively
- Students can also access their ‘Home’ file located on our server online
Our experience at school is that students lose USBs, forget to bring them, or sometimes the USB fails and all work on it is lost. Files are actually safer stored “in the cloud” on the Internet.
How do I print from an iPad; wouldn’t a laptop be better for printing?
Currently students who wish to print at school log on to a school computer in the library or a location around the school that has desktops or laptops connected to a printer; they load their file, and then print it. This method won’t change. To print an iPad file, you either save it to the Home file or Email it to yourself, log on to a school computer and print. If you have your own laptop, the process will be the same. You will still need to send the file to yourself and log on to a school computer. Only school-owned computers connect to the school printing system.
An iPad can’t open Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
Wrong, the iPad opens all of those documents, and Pages, Numbers and Keynote all save in Microsoft Office format. The iPad is compatible with all your Office documents.
You can’t save to an iPad.
Wrong again. Any file you create on an iPad is saved to it. In fact, when you use the Pages word processor it saves every word as you go. You can Email in Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats. The iPad actually has a safer, more regular saving mechanism than most other devices.
Can I plug a keyboard into an iPad?
Yes you can plug in a keyboard. We have found the built-in screen keyboard works well, especially when you get used to it. However, if you are wanting to type up a large piece on your iPad rather than your home PC, you can buy an iPad keyboard dock, or you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard.
Should I get the Wi-Fi-only iPad, or pay more and get the 3G model?
The Wi-Fi-only model would be recommended for a number of reasons. We have spent a deal of time and money putting in place a wireless network throughout the school. Your iPad will connect to this easily, and you will not be charged for any downloads. If you buy the 3G model, not only is it more expensive, you also have to go onto a plan and get a sim card, just as you do for your mobile phone. When you are not connected to a wireless network, the 3G model will kick in, and your plan will be charged for any downloads. More importantly, with the Wi-Fi-only model, the iPad connects to the Parklands network and passes through all our Internet filters and security. A 3G model can bypass these filters. You can use a Wi-Fi iPad with any wireless hotspot, such as those found at Coffee Houses, McDonalds, hotels etc.
What size should I get, 32, 64, 128 or 256GB?
For school purposes, the 64GB should be sufficient.
I have a PC at home, not a Mac; will the iPad work with my PC?
The iPad connects to either a Mac or a PC via iTunes. It doesn’t matter what you have at home. The iPad will sync, backup and talk to either PC or Mac desktops or laptops.
Have you compared the iPad with other devices?
Yes. As part of our pilot program, we compared a number of devices, taking into account the numerous factors relevant to Parklands, including the relative merits of a multi-purpose device compared to a single-purpose device. The comparison therefore paid particular attention to the broad range of educational uses of any proposed device across many subjects within Parklands. Other considerations include classrooms dynamics between students and teachers, the physical layout of Parklands teaching spaces, maintenance needs and cost. Taking all factors into account, the overwhelming support was for the iPad. While other multi-purpose tablet devices are now entering the market and can also cater to the learning styles of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners, our comparison shows that of the current models, the iPad is currently superior.
Do I need to do anything about the safety and security of my child’s iPad?
Yes. We are not overly concerned about theft of iPads at our school. However there is a number of things we should consider:
- Insure the iPad on my home and contents policy
- Engrave the device
- Buy a good cover – damage caused by neglect or silliness is a real possibility
- Register my device with Apple
- Use “find my device”
- Make sure you (the parent who spent a lot of money) establish and reinforce your expectations for responsibility and care for the device
- Ensure the iPad comes home every afternoon – it should never be left at school overnight!
Does the iPad replace the need to but expensive calculators?
Yes. The College will recommend a calculator app that is appropriate for the needs of secondary school students. Using Guided Access feature, we can even lock down the device so students can use the calculator app during examinations. Guided Access helps students remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen.
Have you considered cybersafety?
Yes we have! Cybersafety is already an important part of our ICT curriculum. Every child is introduced to cybersafety in our IT subjects, during our orientation programs and now as a part of our iPad program. For more information about cybersafety visit the CYBER SMART web site.
We thank and acknowledge our friends at Northside Christian College for providing much of the above content.