Whats the deal with these iPads?

IPads were introduced to Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in 2015. It was a new way for students to be interactive with their work. The iPads bring education to life with hands-on work. Students have specific access to apps such as Dictionary, Calculator, Schoology, and Campus Portal. While some apps are allowed in SPPS, others aren’t. Although we were given an iPad, some restrictions applied. The App Store, Messages, FaceTime, and more, are not allowed. With this information, it had us thinking: Why aren’t students rewarded with the App Store if they are maintaining their grades?

With this question, we took the time to talk to Mr. Peterson. He is the iPad coordinator here at Highland. He takes care of all the Troubleshooting problems and has helpful hints with not only iPads but anything technology. We talked to Mr. Peterson to get as much information as we could on the iPad. Here are a few of the highlights:

Why don’t we have the App Store?

  • It is because not all apps are school appropriate. The district has a filter where they manage which apps we have access to.

Why do other schools have their App Store?

  • Private schools might be breaking the law about the iPads. They have different rules. It could also be they are managed differently. The way that we manage the apps means that we have to consider all ages in our choices about which apps in are in our self-service.
  • There are some apps they could have for specific ages, but also have to be aware of middle schoolers.
  • Self-service is the only service that does the job of maintaining, but it doesn’t do everything, it’s not able to give “age appropriate apps” (feature request).
  • Some apps are connected to some federal laws, and we get a federally mandated price for our Internet, so part of the fear is that we could lose our education radar for our Internet if we got caught giving apps that kids aren’t supposed to have. Strict guidelines.

With group projects, and people living far, why don’t you think they should have Skype and FaceTime, in your opinion?

  • I think the district should do whatever it can to get video conferencing enabled for students to use or Skype.
  • They have been reviewing Skype to make sure that it wouldn’t be too much on the system, so they have been running tests on them, and they haven’t been going well on there. They keep saying that they will (Enable Skype) but end up failing. It’s an ongoing project that they need to rush and enable the app.

While talking to Mr. Peterson, he mentioned CIPA, COPPA, and FERPA. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) governs the filtering of Internet access, acceptable use, and digital citizenship education. The Children’s Online Privacy & Protection Act (COPPA) governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information collected from children under age 13. While the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records.

These three laws work hand and hand to ensure Internet safety across our district. The App Store was removed when the district learned they were violating CIPA, COPPA and FERPA laws. The solution is to shut down the App Store.

For more information about these laws, please visit: https://www.spps.org/cms/lib/MN01910242/Centricity/Domain/11270/OverviewofCIPACOPPAandFERPA12.2015.pdf

Overall, while many students don’t enjoy their iPads, it’s a helpful resource. These iPads, as Mr. Peterson puts it, are to help personalize learning and transform learning for each student.

There are complications when it comes to having a reward.

There are district laws that prevent us from having our the App Store on our iPads. While our App Store dreams are crushed, there is still the possibility of having Messages, FaceTime or Skype, all helpful tools for group projects.

As we continue to use the iPads, the District will continue to find the best way to operate and execute it properly.

Do you want to join College Possible?

Overview Of College Possible
College Possible is a non profit organization that helps to make college success possible for students with low income backgrounds. With the support of College Possible, 98% of College Possible students earned college admission, and the students also graduate from college over four times more, in general. The application process starts your sophomore year, but College Possible officially begins the fall of your junior year. College Possible stays with you until you get your college degree.

What does it provide?
College Possible helps students explore the world of college options that are available to them through college visits to campuses, and a college fair. College Possible provides 4 ACT and SAT test preps, throughout your junior year, and scores have historically increased by over 20%.

College Possible guides students through the college admission process, and they provide help through the application process.

College Possible also helps to make college more affordable, by guiding students through the financial process, by helping students with finding scholarship opportunities, and by supporting them with their financial aid in college.

They offer guidance about the transition from high school to college, which includes a summer bridge workshop. It also provides support into college until you get your degree.

How does College Possible start officially ?
Each student is paired with a College Possible coach, who is caring, supportive, and knowledgeable, each year until graduation.

College Possible officially begins in the fall of your junior year. Students are required to attend after school sessions two times per week. In these sessions, students learn about, and complete the steps and paths to college, with the support of your coach and other College Possible participants. The after school sessions last until the end of your senior year.

High school seniors attend a Summer Bridge workshop, where they receive support to make sure that they are prepared to go to college.

During college, the participants are paired with a coach who will connect with them throughout the years to provide information, resources, and support so they can remain on the path to college graduation.

Who can participate College Possible?
In order to join College Possible, you need to commit to full participation, meaning that you have to come to all of the meetings after school and have regular contact with your coach. Also, you need to be available for some weekend events.

You need to qualify as low income, meaning your parent or guardian has to be qualified as low income.

You need to have a GPA of 2.0 or higher because grades are important.

You need to show an interest in attending a 4-year college or university.

Also, there is no citizen requirement whatsoever.

Meeting these criteria is necessary for you to join College Possible.

How do you apply for College Possible?
First, you fill out your basic Student Information sheet which is the white sheet, and can be found in the CCRC.

After that part is filled out, then you get a colorful packet which includes:

  • 2 Teacher Recommendations
  • Parent or Guardian Information
  • Permission for Information
  • Media Consent

Lastly, you will have to have a 10 minute interview.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to visit the CCRC and talk to Marta or Tiffany.