Blake MS iPad Iniatitive

Here is some important information regarding the iPad Initiative for 2014-2015 at Blake.  

Minimum Device Specifications
iPad 2  Although the iPad 2 is no longer manufactured by Apple, it will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device.  

iPad Mini, iPad 4, iPad Air  If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, than any of these devices will be acceptable regardless of screen size.

Leased iPads
 All 8th grade families who confirmed and signed up for receiving their iPads through the Medfield Public Schools received an e-mail in the past couple of weeks regarding the distribution sessions.  Please be sure to sign up for a session.

Device Responsibility 
All Blake students should have a lock for their lockers to keep their valuables safe to include their iPad. Leased devices must be kept in the Griffin Survivor case provided by the school. We strongly recommend that case or one similar Dux case that has passed the Military standards in protecting your investment.

Apple IDS 
We are strongly recommending that all students have their own Apple ID that is separate from a family-owned or a personal account. Note, there is a different procedure for students under the age of 13. Please see the Apple ID page for more information.

iPad Setup 
Apps that should downloaded prior to the start of school are: Dropbox, Evernote, Nearpod, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, iBooks, Socrative, Subtext and Sunrise. Please see the Starter App List page for more info.

All staff and students (gr. 4-12) have a Medfield School Google Apps account. GAFE has been a significant component in how we use technology and share information within and beyond our school community.  Essentially, GAFE is a cloud-based learning platform allowing teachers and students to create a range of documents online, e-mail, share calendars and 30 gigabytes of data storage to be accessed at home and school on any device.  GAFE allows us to collaborate and learn more effectively through the use of technology, and offer a range of new learning opportunities for teachers and students.  

Further information about GAFE can be found here:  Google Apps Overview and Benefits.  Our primary reasons for employing GAFE as a district are:

  • To give our students practice using technology applications and tools.
  • To give students the ability to work on common, no-cost tools on their own documents both at school and outside of school.
  • To facilitate ‘paperless’ transfer of work between students and teachers (‘work flow’).
  • To provide adequate long-term storage space for student work
  • To help students work collaboratively, engage in peer-editing of documents, and publish for a wider audience. 
  • GAFE works on any computer or device with Internet connection.  This allows our students to continue learning beyond the classroom and the ability to access their content at any time.
  • Students and teachers can work in teams, sharing calendars, documents and collaborating ideas to learn more effectively.
Student User Agreement 
iPad Initiative Student User Agreement 14-15 outlines the guidelines and parameters for the initiative.  This form should be signed by all students and parents/guardians and should be turned in on the first day of school.  They can also be turned into the Blake main office prior to the start of the year.

Digital Citizenship 
Throughout this initiative we will be placing a strong emphasis on 'Digital Citizenship and Responsibility' with our students.  The Blake staff shares similar concerns with parents regarding student safety online and in the 'digital world'.  We will need to continue teaching students to use technology and the internet in a safe and responsible manner.  We need to make sure that we, as adults, stay informed and current regarding existing risks, likelihood and consequences of risks, and the benefits/costs associated with the risks.  Teachers will be teaching students about Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy to help students to best use technology in a responsible manner.  These concepts should also be reinforced at home.

Same Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core 
Our pilots over the last two years provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative.  It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum.


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