Teacher Handbook - Elementary iPads in the Classroom

Richardson ISD continually grows with technology.  We are committed to a positive transformation of teaching and learning that brings digital resources, access, expertise, and skills to our school’s historical success and development of its 21st Century Learning.  Through our vision, mission and goals, the district is enriching all learning environments with additional devices, creating an environment where every student has access to a device.

We Grow with Technology is a plan aimed at ensuring our students have equitable access to technology that transforms learning. With greater access to technology also comes the need for educators to understand and help students understand how the digital world works.

This handbook is to help teachers, campus administration, and campus support staff understand, support and implement this initiative fully for the benefit of student learning.  

If a teacher ever has any questions or needs support as it relates to instructional technology, they should reach out to their campus-assigned iTeam member, from the Instructional Technology department.  

Campus Technology

Devices Each elementary school has access to iPads for each student and a lab with a combination of iMac desktops and MacBook Air laptops.  The lab is maintained and monitored by the campus Technology Assistant.  Grades 3-6 also receive a keyboard for each iPad.  Grades PreK-2 have access to two class sets of keyboard available through the Technology Assistant.  All elementary iPads are to be used on-campus only.  The iPads do not go home.  All district Apple equipment is enrolled through JAMF, the district’s management system.  (JAMF provides the district the ability to install settings and restrictions on iPads, application management, and geo-location.)

Campus and Central Personnel The Technology Assistant (also called the TA) handles all the logistics behind the technology on campus, including any hardware issues through the district work order system and inventory of all student devices.  Each campus is assigned a centrally-housed iTeam member.  iTeam supports teachers with effective technology integration through professional development, student learning, and PLC (lesson planning) support, and co-teaching opportunities.  In addition, the iTeam works closely with the Teaching & Learning department with technology integration into the curriculum. The iTeam and Technology Assistants are supported by the Instructional Technology department.  

Campus Processes & Procedures

Understanding the uniqueness of each campus community, campus administration and staff should establish campus-specific processes and procedures for effectively using the technology on campus.  Included in these processes and procedures should be the following:

Student Contract  Each campus will develop a student contract for using the iPad.  These guidelines should address the responsibilities of the student in using the iPad.  These student guidelines should cover when (at the teacher direction) and how (on task usage) for using the iPad during school.  In addition, proper care of the iPad should be addressed.  Campuses should have students accept the terms of the contract, sign, and keep on file.  Campuses may elect to have the parent and/or guardian also sign the contract.  

Password Resets  All students have access to Classlink, the district’s Single-Sign On solution for accessing district-purchased applications easily.  Occasionally, students forget their username and/or password.  This is especially common at the beginning of the school year.  Campuses should establish an effective workflow for getting or resetting this information when a student needs it.  The Technology Assistant is the point-of-contact for resetting password.  *For a list of student resources that parents/guardians have access to, they may visit Parent Corner (www.risd.org/wegrow).   *Students should never share their password with any other student and the password should be unique to the student, not easily identifiable (like a birthdate or student ID number), per the district’s Acceptable Use Policy located in the Student Code of Conduct.  

Breakage When an iPad is broken, the campus TA and campus administration should be notified immediately. The campus should establish a process that allows for easy notification to the TA and appropriate campus administration.  The TA will work with Instructional Technology to get the iPad fixed and/or replaced in a timely manner.  Breakage will be handled on a case-by-case basis with Instructional Technology and campus staff.  If breakage is intentional, campus administration should contact the student’s parent/guardian to notify them of the violation of the student contract on iPad use.  

The two most common issues with iPad hardware breakage in RISD are screens and headphone jack breakage.  Campuses should include in their student contract and modeling of care in these two areas.  Specifically, how an iPad is carried, stored, placed on a table/desk and how headphones should be inserted and removed from the device.  

Lost Procedure  Campus staff should determine the procedure for communicating a device has been lost.  A lost iPad should be communicated to the TA as soon as possible.  Technology Assistants have the ability to search for a lost iPad via the district’s Technology Support System through the wireless Access Points throughout the campus building.  It is important to note: a lost iPad that turns off due to no battery power, is not able to be seen on the district’s network.  In addition, an iPad that has left the campus complicates the ability to locate it and could mean local authorities will need to be notified and a theft report filed with the district.  This raises the importance of following campus processes for notifying administration and TA in a timely manner.  Teachers should check that all iPads have been stored appropriately prior to the end of each school day.

Rollout & Roll-In Each school year iPads will be distributed and assigned to a student for the time they are enrolled at a specific campus.  (To understand why an iPad is assigned to a student, see Student Learning Expectations > Apple Classroom.)  At the end of the school year, all iPads and peripherals (power cords, keyboards, etc.) will be collected and securely stored over the summer.  iPads will be cleaned off of all account information and student-specific products and reset to the standard app load for the next school year.  Teachers are responsible for maintaining their inventory for the duration of the school year.


Managing Apps

Downloading Apps Self Service, a district managed app library, will be the only method for downloading apps. The App Store will not be available on student devices. The apps in Self Service will go through a district vetting process following COPPA & CIPA guidelines. The teacher will be responsible for determining the appropriate app for a lesson based on learning objectives as well as appropriate use based on age. If an app is not in the Self Service app library please use this form to request it be added.  The following will be vetted during the approval/addition process of the app:

Teachers should maintain the highest level of privacy restrictions when using an apps with students.

When a profile pic is needed for a student account, students should always use an avatar or a generic picture - not a picture of their face.

Identifying Apps for Instruction  Teachers should identify and use applications on the iPad that support student learning objectives and state standards.  They should pay particular attention to the terms of use in account creation and age limitations of apps.

Purchasing an App If a paid app is requested, a Purchase Order is needed. Gift card funds cannot be used to make purchases intended for classroom use. Apps can be purchased by a campus or Teaching & Learning department.  Any app purchased by RISD has to go through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  To purchase an app with a PO through the VPP, please contact Instructional Technology. Please note: if a teacher creates an Apple ID using their district email address and purchases an app, it becomes the property of RISD.  

Classroom Expectations

Classroom Management:

The iPad is a tool for teaching and learning, not behavior modification. Therefore, it should not be used as a classroom consequence or reward and should not be part of a classroom behavior management plan. For example, the iPad will not be used as busy work for early finishers, an incentive for good behavior, or taken away due to negative behavior. iPad use should always connect to learning objectives. Students will use only the iPad assigned to them. Students should never use a teacher iPad due to differences in profile settings.

Teachers should create and implement a plan to spot check iPads.  This will ensure student content being stored is student learning specific.  If inappropriate content is found, teachers should refer to the campus student expectations and notify campus administration.  

Know and share why you choose a particular tool

-Classroom Management in the Digital Age, Dowd & Green, 2016

Device Identification, Storage & Charging Each campus will determine what works best, but all iPads need to be easily identified and have a daily designated storing and charging area.  It is not recommended to adhere any type of identification (labeling and/or stickers) to the outside of the iPad, since the iPad will be collected and redistributed each school year.  (It may also be inconvenient with a campus who withdraws and enrolls students throughout the school year.)  Instructional Technology suggests a wallpaper be created including identifying information such as student name, teacher, and grade level.  This allows for easy identification if left somewhere in the building.  Even if the battery drains, the iPad can easily be plugged in and charged enough to see the wallpaper.  

Storing and charging is at the discretion of the campus.  Instructional Technology provides each homeroom with two power supplies/surge protectors for charging.  The recommended method of storing is a filing system where students can easily access their device and teachers can quickly determine if all devices are accounted for. This can be accomplished through file folder stands, crates with dividers, etc.

Locking a classroom door is considered securing the devices nightly.  During long breaks, it is recommended an added layer of security is applied.  This can be a cabinet or file drawer.  This is especially important if a campus is undergoing construction during the break.  

Device Accessories Each campus will have keyboards per student for 3rd-6th grades and two class sets available for PreK-2nd.  Each campus has a set of noise-reducing headphones with a microphone to be used for state assessments.  For everyday use, it is suggested students have a set of inexpensive earbuds.  Teachers should establish a process for labeling and storing earbuds for students that eliminates sharing of earbuds.  Earbuds have been added to the campus school supply list, it is campus discretion to supplement earbuds for students who do not bring them.  

Specials Rotations A campus process should be put into place for communicating with the classroom teacher when a Specials Teacher, Support Teacher, or LITE (librarian) needs to use the iPads for instruction. Campuses can institute a calendar system, email protocol, or have students always take their iPads to these other instructional areas, so they are available.  *iPads are not available for xPlor after hours program.  

Daily Schedule & Special Circumstances  iPads do not go home and should be stored in the classroom at night, charging if needed.  Time should be built into the daily schedule for pickup in the morning and storing at the end of the day. Departmentalized grades will identify a method that works best for the students, teachers, and campus.  Because of special circumstances, like leaving in the middle of the day because a student is sick or arriving late because of an appointment, campuses need to think through how these will be handled and communicate a plan to all staff - teachers and support staff.

Reach A campus process should be in place for allowing Reach students to take their iPads on the bus to and from Reach. The iPad will not go home during this transition, but be returned to the campus.

Student Learning Expectations

The most important element of a technology initiative that provides equitable access to devices is how it will impact student learning.  The iPad is another tool for the teacher to use to provide an engaging learning experience where students are creating, collaborating, communicating, and creatively thinking in their knowledge building.  Students should use the iPads at teacher direction, specifically when the lesson and student learning expectations dictate a need.  There may be days where the iPad is not a part of instruction or student learning, and that is alright.  

Taking time to evaluate the digital and analog options is a new responsibility for twenty-first-century teachers.

-Classroom Management in the Digital Age, Dowd & Green, 2016

Monitoring To add a tool to the teacher’s classroom management toolbox, the district has available Apple Classroom.  Apple Classroom allows a teacher to guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.  This can be done by launching the same app for all students or a group of students, see in real-time from the teacher iPad or MacBook what a student is viewing on their iPad, lock iPads into one application or freeze it completely.  A video overview can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2J4OVcr  

For Apple Classroom to work, students will use the same iPad each day.  The serial number will be tied to their name for each teacher to view the correct students.  This includes all Specials and Support teachers.  

Classroom helps teachers focus on teaching so students can focus on learning.


Screen Time Awareness Why does this matter? How Much? When? What? It depends on the content being viewed and if it is active vs passive. The current thinking from researchers is that content choice is more important than time spent. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released updated guidelines for screen time for children. For the new guidelines, the AAP identifies screen time as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. These screen time guidelines use the word ‘entertainment’ to differentiate between educational screen time and entertainment.

RISD teachers can determine the amount of screen time for grades 2-6 by establishing consistent limits on screen time and the curriculum content being viewed. Screen time should be reflected in lesson plans.RISD suggests no more than 30 consecutive minutes of educational screen time and not to exceed 60 minutes in 24 hours for PreK-1. RISD suggests no more than 45 consecutive minutes of educational screen time and not to exceed 90 minutes in 24 hours for 2-6. Educational screen time is defined as active, productive learning.

Balance is always key, and making sure students have physical activity and other curriculum choices that do not use a screen is important part of a student’s school day experience.  

Instructional Technology Integration Richardson ISD uses the SAMR model to evaluate the level of technology integration within a lesson.  As students experience lessons moving up the SAMR model, instruction should be at a point where students are able to work both independently and collaboratively.  This moves beyond games and activities.  Technology should be used to help students create useful products for an audience beyond the classroom - redefinition.  

Instructional Technology and the iTeam supports the Teaching & Learning department in providing teachers with technology integrated lesson support and examples.  Currently, the following supports are in place for creating technology integrated lessons in the following ways:

Teachers will collaborate during PLCs on purposeful and intentional technology usage aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and best instructional practices. The campus iTeam member is available to support, including meet with PLCs.

An overview of the tool is provided to help teachers determine if it meets the student learning needs.  Tools are regularly evaluated and refreshed as needed.  

If a teacher ever has a recommendation for or questions about Teacher Corner, they should contact their campus-assigned iTeam member.

Technology integration is what comes when technology is available and accessible.  It is a goal-in-process, not an end state.

-National Center for Education Statistics

Ongoing Support

Professional Development Teachers have been preparing for the iPad initiative since 2013 and have received ongoing professional development on technology integration, including tools and best practices for integrating technology into lessons and student learning. Instructional Technology believes technology professional development must be relevant, timely, authentic and useable. It must be relevant to the task of teaching and beneficial to student learning.

Each teacher is still required to obtain a certain number of non-duty professional development hours each year.  The hours they obtain are based on their TTESS goals and personal areas of professional growth.  The iTeam will continue to provide a variety of professional development choices as the iPad initiative is implemented.  These choices will be face-to-face, online, and blended.  In addition, the iTeam creates a menu of choices from around the DFW metroplex for summer PD opportunities focused on technology.  The campus-assigned iTeam member will communicate these opportunities out each spring.

Campus administration may chose to embed professional development opportunities for teachers during campus PD days during the school year.  

Digital Citizenship Digital Citizenship is defined as ‘thinking, being, and acting safe online (Common Sense Media).  RISD’s Library & Information Technology department has a comprehensive Digital Citizenship curriculum that is presented yearly to grades K-6 by the LITE (librarian).  The curriculum covers the following:

In addition, teachers cover aspects of digital citizenship as it relates to student learning outcome of the lesson, when applicable.  Teachers should communicate to parents resources available to support safe searching and digital citizenship. RISD recommends using ClassLink resources both on and off campus.

Because technology literacy is quickly becoming a highly valued skill in college and the workforce, students need help while they are in school to use technology effectively and efficiently.

-Kuntz, 2012

Community Outreach As the district continues to grow into a technology-rich culture, where student learning uses technology to focus on collaboration, communication, creativity, and critically thinking, keeping the community informed is a priority.  

To recommend someone to participate on the TAC, please contact your campus-assigned iTeam member.