iPads for Learning – Further information about our programme

Haslingden High School strives to provide the highest possible standard of education for all our students. We are preparing them for a world where digital technology is transforming social and work life at an ever-increasing pace.

Technology has transformed almost every aspect of life from how people work in offices to how entertainment is consumed at home, yet to date this explosion of innovation has somehow bypassed education. However, technology has now reached a point where it is so easy to use that it can start to be effectively applied in mainstream education without the technical difficulties encountered in the past.

We operate a learning technology scheme that ensures every participating student has a personal iPad that can be used at school and at home to support learning.

This document is designed to address the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that have been encountered during our preparations for a 1:1 iPad scheme at HHS. We want to give parents as much information as possible on the scheme so that they can make informed decisions. We will regularly update the FAQ with new information as it becomes available and as parents, students and staff raise more questions.

The Basics

We believe our 1:1 iPad programme has the capability to transform and improve the way students learn at Haslingden High School.  Because our funds are limited, we cannot afford to purchase a device for every student, however, we believe we have come up with an affordable alternative that we hope everyone can support.

We have partnered with Freedom Tech and MCC Digital to help us deliver a 1:1 iPad scheme.  Through them, we ask parents to make a £18.35 per month payment for 30 months as a contribution towards an e-learning programme that includes the provision of an iPad. By paying into this scheme, parents are therefore supporting a programme that will enable us to transform the way students learn at Haslingden High School.

We understand that not all parents will be able to afford the payment amount and the school has set funds aside to assist parents who would like a device for their child.

Why are we doing this?

There are many answers for this and they include the following:

Improve the Quality of Teaching & Learning:

The most effective lessons are those where students receive highly personalised feedback and where the level of challenge is high for all students.  Content must be engaging and any processing of information must be at a deep level. Used effectively, the iPad provides the teacher with an amazing resource to facilitate outstanding lessons. The device in itself will not turn a poor lesson into a good one, nor does it in any way replace the professional judgment of the teacher to determine how best to support their students.

However, if you ask teachers what would make the biggest difference to student progress they will say that it is the student’s self-motivation, engagement and independent learning skills that will have the biggest impact on their success. A personal device such as the iPad offers new opportunities to motivate and engage students of all abilities. It empowers the student to take control of their learning and to work in a more individualised way.

Additionally, the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students both within the school and beyond has the potential to greatly enhance a child’s understanding and educational progress.

There are many functions provided by the iPad that can support effective teaching and learning, just a few of them include:

  1. A web browser – extension tasks, wider reading, film clips, and research skills can all be developed in short bursts and where appropriate, rather than having to take a whole lesson in a computer room.
  2. A camera – The production of rich media resources by students will lead to more innovative and varied presentation styles in lessons. It will allow learning to be consolidated and developed in a different way. Students can be filmed carrying out activities so that they can receive coaching from teachers and their peers; PE lessons can be enhanced by filming a student’s batting action in cricket to improve their footwork.
  3. Apps – there are many subject specific Apps that can enhance the quality of provision. Obvious examples include GarageBand in music lessons and the many art creation Apps. However, there is an ever increasing supply of subject specific Apps for all areas.
  4. Productivity software – Google Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as Apple’s own suite: Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

Research Evidence:

Research has shown conclusively that when schools introduce a programme with proper training for staff, they have seen dramatic improvements in achievement as well as the students’ attitude to learning.  There is also good evidence for an increased involvement of parents both with their children’s learning and with the school.  There is also a growing body of international research into the effectiveness of mobile devices detailed below:

  1. Harris J., et al, One to One Technology and its Effect on Student Academic Achievement and Motivation, 2016 https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1117604.pdf 
  2. Acer-EUN Tablet Pilot Trial (2012) http://1to1.eun.org/web/acer/evaluation
  3. Burden, K et al. University of Hull. iPad Scotland Evaluation, October 2012. A case study of the adoption of mobile technology in 8 schools in Scotland. www2.hull.ac.uk/ifl/ipadresearchinschools.aspx
  4. Heinrich, P (2012) The iPad as a Tool for Education; A study of the introduction of iPads at Longfield Academy, Kent. www.naace.co.uk/publications/longfieldipadresearch
  5. Clarke, B., Svanaes, S. (2012, UK). One-to-one Tablets in Secondary Schools: An Evaluation Study. Retrieved from http://www.tabletsforschools.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2011-12-Final-Report.pdf
  6. Chaplin S. (2009). Assessment of the impact of case studies on student learning gains in an introductory biology course. J. College Science Teaching. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-208132889.htm
  7. Classroom Window & Flipped Learning Network (2012). Flipped Classrooms: Improved test scores and teacher satisfaction. http://classroomwindow.com/flipped-classrooms-improved-test-scores-and-teacher-satisfaction/
  8. Couse, L & Chen, D; 2010. University of New Hampshire, USA. “A Tablet Computer for Young Children? Exploring Its Viability for Early Childhood Education”. http://dawnbennett.wiki.westga.edu/file/view/a+tablet+computer+for+young+children.pdf
  9. Edudemic, 2013, Flipped Classrooms web article. http://www.edudemic.com/2013/03/why-an-educator-is-flipping-colorados-classrooms/
  10. Goodwin, K, (2012). Use of Tablet Technology in the Classroom. New South Wales. http://rde.nsw.edu.au/files/iPad_Evaluation_Sydney_Region.pdf
  11. Marks, D, et al, University of the West of Scotland. Does use of touch screen computer technology improve classroom engagement in children? (Downloaded from the Online Educational Research Journal www.oerj.org )

The top three teaching approaches that have the biggest impact on student progress are:

  • Effective feedback
  • Meta-cognition & self-regulation
  • Peer tutoring/peer assisted learning

Whist the full potential is still being realized, here are some very simple examples of how iPads could help:

Effective Feedback

Socrative and Kahoot Apps – allow a whole class to be quizzed quickly and the data analysed by the teacher to pick up on individual misconceptions. The level of questioning can be moderated to provide different levels of feedback; a report of student responses is emailed to the teacher.

Email – the opportunity for assessed tasks (whether tests or broader responses) to be completed electronically and then emailed to the teacher provides huge potential. These tests can be marked quickly, returned to the students for improvement and then resent in a much more timely and effective fashion than currently possible.

ShowMe – allows the iPad screen to function as a mini-whiteboard which students write on with their finger, to give the teacher instant feedback.

Showbie – allows students to submit work for marking to their teacher.  The teacher can electronically mark (either by annotating or voiceover) the work and send it back to the student.

Verbal feedback – staff can produce more detailed responses to student work by recording audio feedback which the student can then listen to in their own time. Explain Everything is an app that can allow a video to be made of the marking process. Work does not need to be typed to be marked in this way, it can be photographed and emailed to the teacher.


Interactive text – whether students are reading worksheets or textbooks, the iPad allows them to check their comprehension by clicking on keywords and defining them. It also allows notes to be written while the text is being read to support the student in gathering their thoughts, and securing their understanding.

Animation software – some subjects require large amounts of abstract thinking. By building and animating 3 D models of complex processes students can form a far greater understanding and recall of the process.

Mind mapping software – essay planning and revision can be greatly supported by the student developing mind maps of key concepts. These can be produced alone or collaboratively.

ShowMe – this App can also be used for students to draw or write and then speak and record, therefore providing them with a means to articulate a thought process. It is particularly useful if students provide a voiceover to a sequence of events or film.

Electronic sharing of exam questions – students are more likely to take a risk with answers if they know that the work will be quickly returned to them for improvement. By emailing their answers the students can receive faster, more relevant feedback and be expected to have improved their answers before the next lesson.

Peer tutoring/ peer assisted learning

Students can bump their work (by using Air Drop) to each other for peer assessment.

Students can collaborate on shared resources.

Model answers can be instantly shared with the whole class.

Students with Special Educational Needs

Students with specific learning difficulties can benefit enormously from using iPads. The research evidence from the Tablets for Schools programme has highlighted the benefits of students having access to these devices.

Students can use their iPad to follow video instructions that they can stop and restart as required. They have been able to produce their own video and photographic evidence for portfolio work. Students with limited reading and writing skills have used the Dragon Dictation App to dictate notes. The colour and size of text can easily be adjusted and the students have been extremely motivated by using such an interactive and user friendly device.

When students see the quality of the work they are able to produce on an iPad it has an extremely positive impact on their self-confidence and ability to tackle the next challenging task.

Maintain opportunities for students to have access to digital resources:

As government funding falls we need to find alternative ways to ensure that our students remain IT literate and produce digital resources where appropriate.

Even if the funding were to remain and we could afford to maintain our current ICT suites, this approach to using technology is inflexible in terms of access for the whole curriculum and is not the best way of facilitating effective learning in every subject. Whole lessons have to be spent in the computer room, when they may only really be needed for 20 minutes of research.

Equip students with the skills they need for the future

We have a duty of care to our students and our role extends beyond ensuring that they pass exams. Students at HHS need to leave us confident that they can safely navigate the wider world in which they live and will work.

Universities and businesses are expecting students to be digitally literate and have an awareness of their personal digital footprint. Many corporations are also looking at the ways in which new technologies can support them. We want to give our students the life skills and understanding to be ahead of others in terms of employability.

Why iPads?

An extensive comparison of various devices has been undertaken and the iPad proved to be the best device in a number of key areas:

  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Extensive range of cheap/free Apps, developed specifically for educational use on the iPad
  • Familiar and desirable
  • Intuitive to use, as there is only one input method
  • Range of inbuilt sensors and two cameras
  • Competitively priced
  • Parental controls
  • Apple’s closed ecosystem, means that only certified Apps can be installed, giving some degree of confidence in the Apps to which students have access. The Apps will not contain viruses and can be restricted by age group.

Is it possible to write essays on an iPad?

Yes it is; this FAQ document was produced entirely on the iPad using Pages, however there will not be an expectation that students will type work anymore than they currently do.

All documents produced are compatible with Word and students can move between PCs and the iPad easily when working on the same document. It is possible to buy a separate keyboard which can be used with the iPad.

How will the iPad impact on the quality of students’ hand writing?

Students will still be expected to hand write work. There will be no need to word process all their work as there is no advantage to doing so at present. However there is an argument, in terms of sustainability, that work stored electronically would reduce paper wastage.

Why 1:1 as opposed to a class set of iPads?

Each student with their own device means that they take real ownership of the device and look after it, learn how to use it effectively and develop appropriate skills in its usage.  Most apps are tied to a specific iCloud / Apple ID which enables work to be backed up and stored safely for each user.  We cannot guarantee that work saved on a ‘shared’ class set iPad will be safely stored from one week to the next as many students could be using the device over the course of a week.

The link between home and school learning means that projects can take on much greater depth and not be restrained by the 50 minutes in the classroom that are available to work on them.

Parents can play a greater part in supporting and understanding the work that students are doing in class.

By carrying the iPad from lesson to lesson it is easy to develop cross-curricular projects.  Students’ engagement and involvement in a subject can be fostered and will increase their levels of self-motivation.

There is clear evidence, e.g. in Humanities lessons, that providing students with more open ended homework tasks has greatly increased their motivation and effort levels, however the presentation and peer-assessment of these projects is often limited as they are produced electronically and have to be printed off or watched one at a time with the whole class. This would no longer be an issue if each student brought in their own device.

Why not wait for a few years until more schools have gone down this route?

Many schools across the country already have.  We have a national reputation for delivering electronic learning and support many schools running similar schemes to our own.  Digitally literate students are required now and we feel that the provision of a mobile device to all students will significantly enhance learning and prepare our students for the world of work in the 21st Century.

How will you measure the impact of iPads on learning?

We have conducted surveys with staff and students about the impact of devices on learning.  Support for the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive with the biggest benefits seen in terms of homework, engagement and access to a wealth of resources.

Most businesses do not use iPads, how will you ensure that students have all the IT skills they may need?

Sales of PCs have dipped dramatically across the world as employees furnish their staff with mobile devices; there is still a need for us to have PCs in the classroom to deliver content-heavy lessons and continue to teach ICT / Computing as we do at present.  We see the iPad not just as a device but a means of enhancing the way children learn and as such is the best tool for the job within the constraints of space and current access to PCs.

Staff Training

Staff training is crucial to the success of the iPad scheme and the School has set aside considerable training time to ensure all staff are comfortable using a device themselves as well as using it with students.  The training requirements of staff will vary widely and some staff will feel much more comfortable than others about using the device in the classroom. The most important aspect is that staff have ample time to learn how to use the device and only do so if they feel it would improve learning in that lesson.

Will staff have to spend hours rewriting resources so that they work on iPads?

No.  We use Google Apps for Education extensively and work can be opened in a range of different apps.

Student Safety

a) Will our students be in danger if they are carrying an expensive iPad to school?

We take this concern very seriously and our advice to students will be to hand the iPad straight over if they are challenged. The iPad can be remotely tracked and locked as soon as it can go missing.  The police are aware of our plans.

A large number of students across Lancashire carry expensive smartphones to school and have not experienced any major problems with these being stolen/extorted.

b) How will we ensure that students are not in danger when using social networking sites?

It is possible to block access to certain sites within the school on iPads, in the same way that it has been with PCs. If necessary this will happen, however, we are mindful of our duty of care to our students and the responsibility that we have to educate them so that they understand the risks associated with social media and use it safely and positively.

We can apply software controls that restrict how the device is used outside of school; for example, we can stop access to age-inappropriate content outside of school.  We run an e-Safety event each September and outline the controls we use to keep everyone safe.

From time to time we carry out regular spot checks on school-owned devices to see if students are using them appropriately.

c) Will students spend all day staring at a computer screen?

No. The iPad will be used as and when staff see fit and where learning will be enhanced.  Many of the uses will involve using the video camera or working collaboratively with other students. A lesson with heavy iPad use may see it used as a quizzing tool at the start, to carry out 10 minutes of independent research in the middle and to photograph written work to swap with a fellow student to peer assess at the end.

d) Will students sit in uncomfortable positions throughout the day that are bad for their backs?

We will advise students on the best ways to sit and use their devices.

e) What risk assessments have been completed to look at Internet misuse, copyright and privacy?

These are currently issues for all organisations and are covered in our current policies.

The iPad does not change the fact that our students use the Internet in school, carry out research and create resources.

f) Why not allow students to use mobile phones in school?

There are many reasons why we feel it is inappropriate to allow students to use mobile phones in school.  One reason, in particular, is that mobile phones connect to the internet and are not filtered or controlled in any way by the school.

Behaviour Management

All students will sign an Acceptable Use Policy which clearly sets out how the iPads should be used.

a) How will the teacher stop students from playing games?

The teacher will still be in charge of the classroom and set engaging, challenging activities with expected outcomes that drive the focus of the class just as they do now.

However, there may be some abuse of the device and any such instances will be dealt with through our normal behaviour and management systems and processes.

Teachers will always have the right to remove Apps from an iPad during the lesson or ask students to close the case or put the iPad away.

b) What if students use the iPad to photograph each other without permission?

Students are not permitted to take photographs of other students without their permission.  This issue is covered in the Acceptable Use Policy and will be taken very seriously.


a) Will our WiFi be able to cope with over 1700 iPads online at once?

Yes.  The school has installed a wireless system to provide full wireless coverage throughout the school and upgraded our physical infrastructure.  We have several caching servers which securely store iPad content and popular apps which decrease reliance on the Internet.  These developments are designed to cope with a large number of wireless devices being used at any given time.

b) How often and complex will it be to login?

iPads do not have separate user accounts like computers so there will not be the same requirement to login. Any access to services like school email, files or other Apps that hold personal information will store any required username and password details within them so will only need to be changed whenever you change that password.

However, if someone were to find an iPad they would be able to access this information without needing to enter these details so it is important that the iPad has a password lock on it. This can be as simple as a fingerprint or a six digit password.

c) How will new Apps be deployed?

We centrally manage the apps on each iPad using an MDM system called Jamf Pro.  The core set of apps for the iPad will be provided by the school.  We will encourage staff and students to explore and discover new apps, paid for or free, for distribution across our network.

d) Where will students’ work be saved?

Depending on the type of work, it may be stored in several locations. Some files will still be stored and accessed from existing school resources like or network drives and others files will be stored in “the Cloud” using services like iCloud and Google Drive. Some files will be stored on the iPad itself.  Students are asked to take responsibility for backing up their work on Google Drive.

e) What happens to the student’s work if the iPad is lost, broken etc

It is envisaged that most work would be stored either in “the Cloud” (using Google Drive or iCloud) so files would not be affected. As the iPad will have been backed up recently, students will be able to restore the files and settings onto their new iPad using iCloud.

f) What happens if a student forgets to bring or charge their iPad?

Students are required to ensure their iPads are fully charged at the beginning of each school day. We will deal with forgotten iPads in the same way as other missing pieces of equipment. Students are not allowed to charge their iPad in school.

g) How will students print from iPads?

Whilst there will still be the need to print certain documents, all students have a school email account so any work that is created on the iPad can easily be emailed to their teacher. By using email as the main method of submitting work electronically to teachers, we will be able to reduce the amount of printing and paper that is wasted, something that will also be of benefit to both the school and the environment.

h) Will the battery life decrease over the three year period?

It is possible, but unlikely, that there may be significant decrease in battery life over a 30-month period.  Instances of battery failure are very rare.  We will respond to failures on a case-by-case basis.

i) What happens if a student does not have Internet access at home?

If a student does not have access to the Internet at home then the iPad can still be used but will lose some of its effectiveness. While the student will not be able to access services like email, they would still be able to work on most Apps that are installed on the iPad and create new files and content. They will have to save this content on their iPad and then back it up once they return to school and are connected to the Internet.

Essential resources such as textbooks made by their teacher can be downloaded directly onto their iPad whilst they are at school.

Financial arrangements

a) What are the principles of the 1:1 iPad scheme?

We have looked very carefully at the options for the 1:1 iPad scheme and have a solution that delivers the following objectives:

Fairness – we want all students to benefit from the iPads, regardless of financial circumstances. We hope that all parents who are able to contribute will do so.

Sustainability – we want a scheme that will be sustainable for the school in the light of tough budgets ahead.

Affordability – we want the monthly payment to be as low as possible.

To this end, we offer a payment model where parents are asked to contribute a sum of money each month to cover the cost of an iPad for their child as well as receive the educational benefits that a 1:1 scheme would bring.  Funds will be available to deliver the scheme fairly to students whose families may not be able to afford the monthly payment.

What about insurance?

Please see the section on the iPad section of the school’s website.

c) What happens when the scheme finishes?

Please see the section on the iPad section of the school’s website.

d) What if parents don’t want to take part?

Whilst we would encourage all families to take part, it is their right to choose not to do so.

Please be fully aware however that by opting out your child will not be provided with an iPad to take home and may need to share a school device in the classroom with other students in the same situation. There will be a very limited number of iPads that can be signed in and out at the start and end of the school day.

Once you have opted out it may not be possible for you to change your mind. The school only has finite funds and may not be able to buy more devices for this group of students.  The school may not be able to take out a lease for a small number of iPads if people change their minds.

e) Why can’t the school provide these for nothing?

The school receives a budget which is used to facilitate the effective and efficient running of the school.  These funds are limited and would not sustain the provision of an individual iPad to each student in school.  This is why we have had to ask our families to make a payment and without that help, the programme would not be able to go ahead.  Parents also have to provide other basic equipment such as uniform, stationery and PE kit.

f) Why should I pay if others don’t?

We can only run this programme if parents want it, and are prepared to contribute. Whilst a small number of families in difficult circumstances can be accommodated, unless there is widespread support for the programme then the school will not be able to continue the scheme for other children joining us in Year 7.

g) What happens if I can’t make regular payments?

No child will be excluded from the programme because of their financial circumstances so please come and talk to us so we can ensure your child is included. We do have limited funds to subsidise the scheme for those in challenging circumstances.

We do not want to exclude any family that cannot pay the suggested donation amount; please contact Mr J Roper to discuss your circumstances in confidence

h) What happens if I change my mind in a few months?

This would give the school a big problem as our decision to go ahead and buy the devices for the children will be based on the initial level of support from our parents. Changing your mind halfway through the programme would compromise the school’s finances. This is a commitment to the children that needs to be seen through.

i) What happens if the iPad gets damaged or lost or develops a fault?

The device will be covered by a warranty and repair scheme to cover against damage.

j) What if I want to buy an iPad for my child to use in school?

Parents who wish to do this are welcome to purchase a device for their child.  Students wishing to use their personal iPad in school must allow the IT team some control of the device to enable us to install the correct Apps.

Any warranty, loss, damage or theft of the device would rest with parents rather than the school.