Digital Citizenship

St. Mary's is committed to providing a 21st-century learning environment.

The driving factor of the Digital Citizenship Initiative is our 1:1 interactive iPad program, which means each student in grades 6-12 at St. Mary's uses their own iPad as a part of the daily school curriculum.

There are many reasons we have adopted this policy, starting with this basic premise: We want our students to have access to information and knowledge anytime, anywhere. We also want to be aligned with the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, which include:
“Curriculum and instruction for 21st-century learning prepares students to become expert users of technology, able to create, publish, and critique digital products that reflect their understanding of the content and their technological skills.”

Students will use their iPad in every class as:

  • A medium for their direct participation in—and interaction with—the learning process;
  • A means of richer collaboration with their teachers and other students;
  • A powerful organizational tool;
  • A vehicle for research; and a tool for completing and submitting assignments.

Why did we choose the iPad for St. Mary's? The iPad is the industry standard for tablet computing and by far the most popular choice among schools nationwide. Intuitive, powerful and versatile, iPads help to enhance teaching and learning in myriad ways. St. Mary's chose to use the iPad for its design and durability; the benefits it offers for teaching and learning; and the cost, function and utility of the device. Read the Questions & Answers later on this page for more information.

Design & Durability

  • Slim, durable, lightweight and highly portable, the iPad is easy to bring to school and carry around campus.
  • Long battery life allows students to go the whole day without recharging.
  • Instant start-up means students are ready to go in class much faster than with a laptop.

Teaching & Learning

  • The iPad supports a variety of teaching and learning styles, and helps foster student-centered learning environments.
  • It provides instant access to school email and the student portal.
  • Unlike laptops, the screen does not create a barrier between teacher and students.
  • Thousands of apps for the iPad open the door to endless possibilities for creative teaching and learning.
  • At the tap of a screen, it connects students to the wider world outside of St. Mary's, and allows them to do research at any time without having to use a computer lab.
  • The recording capability allows students to record lectures, create podcasts, practice language skills, and dictate notes.

Cost, Function & Utility

  • At approximately $400-$500, the iPad is more affordable than a laptop computer.
  • Because the iPad is more intuitive than a laptop, students can use it more easily with less dependence on technology support staff.
  • Unlike a laptop, the iPad is also an e-reader. St. Mary's is going to require that teachers and students utilize eBooks and digital material in the classroom. At this time not all texts used by St. Mary's have an eBook option. Some traditional textbooks may need to be purchased. St. Mary's is committed to digital content and will look to create digital content if necessary.
  • It is an effective organizational tool that can help students stay prepared for school. By replacing traditional paper notebooks with an interactive, digital device, it also reduces the need for making photocopies on campus and at home.
  • Apple is dedicated to accessibility, and the iPad has many built-in assistive technology functions.

Q&A about the Student iPad Program

1. Where do we purchase our iPad and how much will it cost? Are there any discounts for students through Apple for this program?

You can purchase your iPad from any reseller, including local Apple stores or the online Apple store. All the options and prices, please see the online Apple store. Apple does not provide any educational discount for the iPad. The iPad Mini is not acceptable for academic use – do not purchase an iPad Mini for school use. It is strongly recommended that you also purchase some form of insurance. If you buy the iPad through Apple, it is called AppleCare. Other stores will offer their own form of insurance.

2. What iPad should we get?

It is recommended that you purchase the newest model possible. 32GB is needed for academics and any additional space that may be needed for personal use will require you to purchase a device with more memory. 

3. Do I need 3G/4G or just WiFi?

You do not need an iPad with 3G or 4G. All iPads will connect to the Internet anywhere on campus thought the SMH-Wifi network. WiFi-only iPads can also connect to the Internet anywhere there is a public Internet hot-spot or at home if the home has wireless. The initial purchase price for 3G and 4G iPads is higher. Further, to maintain the 3G/4G connection, there is an additional monthly charge (just like a cell phone). Finally, the St. Mary's Acceptable Use Policy for iPads will include a provision that students disable their 3G/4G service while in class to prevent them from bypassing our school filters.

4. Is there anything else we need to purchase with the iPad? Do I need a case? What about insurance?

It is strongly recommended that you purchase a case to protect your student's iPad from accidental damage. There are many options for cases and the final decision is up to you. Additionally, St. Mary's recommends that families consider insurance coverage for accidental damage. The device is covered by most homeowners insurance policies, but the repair costs for accidental damage typically do not exceed the deductible, which makes separate coverage a good idea. If you want to pursue extra coverage, check with the retailer where you purchase your iPad or contact your family insurance broker. 

5. Is there a student-use policy for the iPad?

The current Student Handbook includes a Technology Acceptable Use Policy. That document will be the overriding student use policy for the iPads. Additionally, these iPad-specific usage expectations will be considered part of the Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

  1. Storage Space: Students are required to maintain adequate storage space on their iPad for course material. If a student wishes to store personal music or video files on the iPad, the family may want to purchase an iPad with additional storage space.
  2. Recording Devices: The iPad comes equipped with audio and video recording capabilities. Students are not allowed to record classes, teachers, or other students without the expressed permission of those being recorded.
  3. Search/Privacy: In compliance with our rules regarding appropriate behavior, and to maintain a safe school environment, the school can choose to conduct a random search, without prior notice, of any area of the school premises, including but not limited to the school's electronic systems and technological resources, as well as any item of a student's personal belongings. The right to search and sanction is extended to any electronic resource used by students at school or school related activities. Electronic resources include, but are not limited to: iPads, student-assigned or student-owned computers, cell phones, other electronic equipment, Facebook, MySpace and blogging sites. The administration reserves the right to hold students accountable for any material posted on their devices, equipment, or sites that is contrary to the mission of St. Mary's. The administration may review social networking sites and other Internet activity at any time.
  4. Filtering and 3G/4G: Any attempt to intentionally bypass the school's filtering system is considered a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Use of unauthorized proxy servers to intentionally bypass school filtering will result in disciplinary action. Using the 3G or 4G capabilities of the iPad is not permitted during the school day as it can be used to bypass the school's filtering system.
  5. Academic Use: During class time, the teacher will direct iPad use and determine if and how the iPad is to be utilized. When a student's iPad is at school, we see this as an educational tool in our academic setting. Using the iPad for gaming, social interactions or viewing videos/movies is discouraged while at school.
  6. Appropriate Materials: Utilizing the school network or equipment, as well as personal laptops and iPads, to create, access, download, edit, view, store, send or print materials or programs that are illegal, offensive, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, sexually explicit or graphic, pornographic, obscene or otherwise inconsistent with the values or standards of the school is prohibited. Using, accessing, distributing or creating such resources will render a student liable for disciplinary action.

6. Will we be responsible for buying apps used in class or will the school?

The school will provide a few basic required apps to all students. St. Mary's will finalize the list of school-purchased apps in the Spring of 2013. Any additional apps are the responsibility of the student/family.

7. What happens if the iPad is lost or stolen?

First, St. Mary's recommends that you either purchase special insurance coverage for the iPad or work with your homeowner/renter insurance provider to include the iPad. This will help cover the cost of an unrecoverable iPad. Second, it is recommended that you configure the “Find my iPad” feature when setting up the iPad. This will allow you to remotely erase the iPad and even locate it on a map. Third, St. Mary's will provide loaner iPads to students whose iPads are missing. The information from a lost iPad can be easily transferred to a loaner or new iPad using Apple's iCloud backup service.

8. Will there be filters on iPad use at school?

Student iPads will be filtered the same way student computers are currently filtered. Students should disable the 3G/4G connection on their iPads while they are on campus so that their only Internet access is through the school's filter. Use of the 3G/4G connection during class or the school day will be considered an attempt to bypass the school's Internet filters and the student will be subject to disciplinary action. Use of the 3G/4G connection outside of school hours is acceptable. Students will have access to games and any other apps they may have added to their iPads that are unrelated to school, but they will not be allowed to use them during class.

9. Will there be help-desk support?

If you are having iPad issues, please bring your iPad to Mr. Gribbins in the IT Office near A23.

10. Will there be commensurate aid for families already receiving tuition assistance?

The Financial Aid Committee will consider the cost of the basic iPad (currently the iPad2) when determining need-based tuition assistance grants.

11. What do you suggest for the care & use of the iPad?

Don't stuff the iPad into a backpack full of books because the excess pressure from the books may cause the glass to crack. Develop the habit of charging the iPad every night before going to bed; this way the iPad will be fully charged for a day of school and homework.

12. Can families opt out of the iPad program?

No. Participation in St. Mary's Digital Citizenship 1:1 iPad program is required of every student.