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iPad FAQs

MBMS1:1 iPad Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the iPad 1:1 Program at MBMS and what is the District’s rationale for doing it?
Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, each MBMS student will have an iPad. Students will use this iPad both at school and at home. One of the goals of the MBUSD Board of Trustees for the last two years has been to promote 21st century teaching and learning in the classroom.  There are many ways to bring in creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication in the classroom, but MBUSD believes that placing mobile technology in the hands of highly professional teachers and in the hands of students eager to learn is an amazing way to promote 21st century teaching and learning. In the last few years, MBUSD has gone from a district fraught with technology issues to one of the leading districts in the nation.

 2.  What research went into this program before it was implemented?
In the 2011-12 school year, the MBUSD Board of Trustees initiated an iPad Pilot. Forty teachers across grades K-12 were trained to use iPads in the classroom and had access to iPad carts for classroom use. The district collected data (Board presentations posted on the MBUSD website) from teachers, parents and students regarding the pilot, and the data proved to be extraordinarily positive. After examining the data, the Board made the determination to move ahead with a full 1:1 implementation at grades 6-8, and to provide every fifth grade classroom with iPad access.  Click here to see the Board Presentation regarding this decision.

3.  Who pays for the iPads?
All was accomplished through the generous funding from our Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, Parent Teacher Association, our partnership with Chevron, and so many of our MBMS families.  All teacher training is funded through Title II, a federal funding category for professional development.

4.  What if my student is missing district approved Apps?
Technology support is on campus and will be able to ensure all district Apps are downloaded and installed successfully. Students may visit the iPad office for assistance.

District Approved Apps
1. AT&T Scanner-QR Reader
2. Creative Book Builder
3. eBackPack
4. Edmodo
5. Educreations
6. iMovie
7. Keynote
8. Pages
9. Numbers
10. Notability
11. Thing Link
12. Subtext
13. PowerSchool Student
14. Google Drive
15. Google Docs
16. Google Sheets
17. Google Slides
18. Penultimate
19. Show Me

All additional Apps approved by the district in the future will be posted on the MBUSD website under the MBMS 1:1 Program link.

5. What is the password for the MBUSD iTunes account?
The passwords for the student iTunes accounts have been disabled for security purposes. Updates and future App installation will be occurring in class at MBMS. We will inform all parents when these occur.

6. How will students be trained to use the various Apps?
All 6th grade students are given the training in their Humanities classes. Additional trainings will be held.

7. How will parents be trained to use the various Apps?
Parents were invited to an iPad training. PTA will contact you about upcoming parent trainings given both during the school day and selected evenings.

8. How are the teachers planning to use iPads in the classroom?
Program implementation will vary from teacher to teacher. All teachers were given the opportunity to attend training over the summer and will then determine how use of the iPad bests meets the instructional delivery needs of state standards curriculum. This is the first year of implementing the iPads on a school-wide level, and we will be learning a great deal along the way. We ask you to recognize teachers who are jumping into using the iPad as an instructional tool with your words of thanks, and to be patient with those who are moving more slowly. We plan to learn a great deal this year!

9. What is eBackpack?
This is your student’s digital locker. Teachers are able to upload worksheets, notes, study guides and other resources that will support student learning. In some cases, your child’s teacher may choose to have digital, paperless exchange for various assignments. eBackpack is a program where students can save their work and access it directly from the following website: mbusd.ebackpack.com (Please note: there is no www).

10. Will I be able to access my student’s eBackpack account?
eBackpack is a new program to the district. At this point, only the students can access the account. Parents can obtain the password to the account from students in order to view all work in the account.

11. Will the Parent Portal in eBackpack be available?
Using the parent portal only gives parents a limited view. The student portal offers the most accurate and complete view. The district recommends that you obtain the eBackpack password from your student and sign in that way.

12. Do I still need to use PowerSchool?
Yes, this site is still your parent portal to your child’s grades. Teachers may still be using their own websites as well, so please check with your child’s teacher to see which site will be used for all postings of homework, tests, and major projects.

13. How should students take notes on the iPad?
We have several recommended ways to take notes:

  1. Students can use the “Pages” App, which is like Microsoft Word to type notes. They can save the Pages App to their iPad, as well as save it to their eBackpack Account.
  2. Students can use the “Notability” App to type notes, take handwritten notes (good for math or drawings) or to mark up and comment on PDF files or handouts. Notabillity and eBackpack are compatible for file saving.
  3. Students can also use the “Evernote” App. This requires an email address and the school is not requiring one at this time.  This is a cloud-based note-taking App that automatically saves and stores all notes, pictures, audio recordings and more.

14. Will the district be providing email addresses for all students?
Not at this time, but it is being considered for the future.

15. What about our textbooks? Are they on the iPad yet?
Currently no textbooks are available. However, the district will be implementing all MBUSD School Board approved textbooks. In the meantime, MBMS has distributed all home copies for student use and teacher classroom sets for school use. STUDENTS SHOULD NOT BE CARRYING TEXTBOOKS IN THEIR BACKPACKS.

16. Will any of the Core Novels be on the iPad?
The district is currently investigating options.

17. What are some of the ways that the iPad can be used in class?

  • All student presentations can be recorded via video so that parents and students can review it later. The students’ video can be stored in eBackpack in the digital portfolio.
  • Student’s are using the Calendar App to enter in all assignments for the various middle school classes.
  • Students are using a variety of note taking Apps on their iPads. These notes can be uploaded in their eBackpack.
  • iMovie gives students the opportunity to use media for creative presentation of content.
  • Edmodo gives teachers the opportunity to extend student discussion beyond class time and offers a safe, monitored space for student learning.
  • Instant feedback for teachers in order to check for student understanding using Apss such as Socrative/Poll everywhere/Edmodo.
  • Khan academy offers differentiated instruction for both reinforcement and enrichment.
  • Students will learn and practice how to give presentations using Keynote, ShowMe, and Educreations providing another forum for teacher assessment.
  • Students have the opportunity to practice careful browsing skills and real time problem solving skills and answers to questions.
  • And many more to come!

18. Is the district looking into a more protective browser?
We are currently looking at implementing Mobicip as an additional safeguard for web browsing.

19. What if a student iPad is lost,  stolen or damaged?
For parents who have purchased insurance, please contact Karina Gerger if you encounter any problems.  The policies will have detailed information about how to handle any claims.

20. How does  my child make sure that  none of his/her papers or notes  are lost?
We strongly recommend the use of eBackpack to ensure no work is lost.