They have announced that students will begin getting their iPads on Monday.  However, they have announced this before...given dates that come and go.  The students are getting frustrated but I am glad that they are taking the time to make sure it is all done properly. They have figured out a VPN that will filter internet access for both students and staff that will keep the device from accessing inappropriate sites.  The good news- students will not be able to access Facebook with their iPad at school...or at home.  The bad news- neither can staff!  As I have told the students, they can still access it however they do now- just not with their school iPad.  
I tried to turn the VPN off, but it turns itself back on within a minute.  I tried to access Pandora radio at home, but that didn't work either.  The filters are required; they won't watch what we do but they do get a message if we turn it off.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes a student to over ride it, and get their iPad taken away.  I can't get over how many of the students are just threatening to jailbreak the system.  In the end, I think they will take care of it and value the opportunity.

I am disappointed that only about 1/3 to 1/2 of my students have been given permission to receive an iPad.  The parents either don't know how to access Skyward to give permission or don't want their student to have the added responsibility of the iPad.  I have tried to explain to my students ways we will change the class through the use of technology- such as creating a podcast or ShowMe rather than writing a paragraph to show knowledge- but I don't know how much of that information gets home.  The thinking is that once we get them distributed and using them, the rest of the parents will come on board. I hope so.  We already have ideas for our first project- and a paper and pencil alternative for those who don't have an iPad.
The students need to be able to open their school email account, and then create an iTunes account using that email.  So many of them changed the password and don't remember it; many of them have been changed back to password,  and many can't open it anyway.  The students who have technology class will be working on it tomorrow; I am not sure that the students will actually be able to get the iPads on Monday.  it is just one more hold-up for the students.....but still exciting for us all.
 


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