During a recent visit to the La Encantada Apple Store, I was given two new recommendations from Apple regarding increasing the lifespan of Apple devices. The store employees had just been informed of these the prior week.
1. Every device should be turned off completely at least two times per week for fifteen minutes each time. This applies to iPads, iPhones, computers, etc. Many of us are in the habit of almost never turning off our devices, but not giving them time to “rest” can cause problems over time. Our recommendation is that student iPads be turned off each night before bedtime.
2. There is a lot of conflicting information on this topic, but Apple is now recommending that you only charge your device until it reaches 100% and then unplug it from the charger. Overcharging can decrease the lifespan of the battery and cause additional problems. This one may be especially difficult to follow because many of us charge our devices overnight. Our recommendation is that student iPads be charged in the afternoon/evening while at home. Plug in a charging cable at the student’s desk, so that the iPad can be charging while homework is being completed. Use an overnight charge as a last resort if there wasn’t enough time spent at home that evening to do it then.
The middle school teachers will be collecting all middle school iPads at the end of the day on Thursday, December 17th. iPads will remain at school over the winter break and will be returned on Monday, January 4th. If you know you will be absent on Thursday, December 17th, please turn your iPad in to Ms. Greynolds earlier in the week.
Sixth grade students will be advised by Mr. Roberts as to how to store their Science Fair data in such a way that it can be accessed from a home device if needed over the break. iPads will be turned in without their chargers but in their cases. Please try to arrive at school that day with a fully charged battery. We will power down all of the iPads as they are turned in, but they will not be charged over the break.
December 8-14 is Computer Science Education Week, and St. Michael’s students will join the millions of students around the world that have already tried an Hour of Code. Students will be using the free coding apps Lightbot One Hour Coding, Kodable, and Cargo-Bot on iPads in classrooms, and K-5 students will be using studio.code.org in computer class. We will continue with code.org courses throughout the year in order to advance their coding skills. Our middle school lego robotics team competed in the Arizona First Lego League Southern Arizona Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, and they utilized a great deal of code to program their robot. The middle school also offers a coding elective on Fridays that teaches http and css with codecademy.com.
There are many opportunities for St. Michael’s students to learn to code, and we hope you utilize some of the free tools mentioned above to continue this learning experience at home!
Mrs. Stout and Coach S. are excited to announce that Music, Motion & Media will be expanding to rising grades 1-8 this year! Camp runs M-F, June 9-27, here on campus. Registration and more information is now available on our website: www.musicmotionandmedia.com
All middle school iPads will be collected on Thursday, December 19th. If you expect to be absent on Thursday or Friday, please make arrangements to turn it in to Mrs. Stout beforehand. Over winter break, Mrs. Stout will be enrolling the middle school iPads in Apple OS X Server, our new mobile device management system.
As far as Apple IDs for middle school students go, there is still no word from Apple on how this is all going to work, but Apple IDs WILL be required at some point soon. Here are instructions from Apple on how to set up an Apple ID without a credit card: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT253
Look for further information about Apple IDs in next week’s Eagle Express.
St. Michael’s is excited to be participating in Computer Science Education Week by introducing every student to an Hour of Code. What is the Hour of Code? Visit the Hour of Code homepage.
We kicked off the week in Monday Chapel by explaining what coding is and for what it’s used. The Middle School Lego Robotics Team also shared their experiences from their first competition and demonstrated their robot’s skills, all due to excellent coding and teamwork.
Every student will be given the opportunity to code this week using one of the programs recommended by the Hour of Code. Some of our favorite options for school and home include:
Beginning in mid-December, every middle school student must have their own Apple ID (or a parent’s) with which to register their school-issued iPad into our new mobile device management system. They do not need it now though. This switchover will happen over the winter break, and hopefully we’ll be up and running with new features in January.
We are particularly excited about the following new features offered by iOS7 and OS X Mavericks:
“Teachers can remotely lock or unlock iOS devices into a specific app, such as an assessment app, ensuring that all students are on the same activity at the same time” (Apple).
App updates and installation can be done wirelessly at any time instead of during monthly collection of iPads for syncing.
We’ve already been able to purchase apps in bulk at a 50% discount. This will now extend to bulk purchases of iBooks too.
Students will still not be able to download apps that aren’t authorized by the school.
Apple has yet to release their required procedures for collecting “verifiable parental consent” for students under 13, but it will most likely come in the form of a permission slip (and hopefully soon!). Here is Apple’s Parent Guide to Apple IDs for Students.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will address all of these questions in a future post. That post will also include the permission slip and instructions for getting the Apple ID.