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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