An essential part to rolling out any 1:1 mobile learning initiative is to get your parent community involved and provide opportunities to educate parents and answer any questions or concerns. At La Salle Prep we put together a parent information night last Spring to present an overview of how mobile devices will impact student learning, plans for digital citizenship lessons, updates on infrastructure, information about eTextbooks, etc.
Parents had a choice to attend two of four sessions:
- eBooks and Digital Resources,
- Student Formation and Orientation, and
- Financial Model and Infrastructure Planning.
I presented on eBooks and Digital Resources. We decided to attempt to convert most paper textbooks to digital versions. Every department conducted a lengthy review of textbooks and chose the best for their subjects. At this point many textbook companies aren’t quite ready to offer every textbook in digital format. We also were looking for stand alone textbooks vs. purchasing subscriptions that we needed to manage.
Here are some presentation notes:
La Salle Prep is committed to securing eTextbooks for most classes next year so that students will be able to use their iPads for course materials. Teachers have spent considerable time this school year reviewing and selecting eTextbook options for their classes. These textbooks are from a variety of different publishers and available in various formats: iBooks (iTunes store), Kno Textbooks, Pearson eText, non-fiction books purchased with Kindle app for iPad or Google Play Store, and eTextbooks by specific publishers.
Once the student schedules are complete in early summer and shared with families, La Salle will make the textbook list available on the La Salle Prep website. This listing will include: course, title, author, price, format and a direct link of where to purchase the eTextbook. iBooks can be purchased in the iTunes App Store. Families can purchase an iTunes gift card for their child and load the value onto an iTunes account to purchase iBooks and apps. Families might consider a family iTunes account to purchase eTextbooks to share books with siblings but then each individual child can have their own iTunes account for personal use. Families will need to coordinate credit card purchases with their son/daughter for books that need to be purchased by specific publishers, Kindle store (Amazon) or the Google Play store.
Most textbooks fall between the $15 – $25 range except for some of the specialty AP eTextbooks which are priced more like college-level textbooks. There is no need to purchase the materials too early. It is better to wait until the student’s schedule has been confirmed before purchasing books because you are buying them direct from the publishers. La Salle Prep will not be responsible for refunds if your child changes classes.
The La Salle Prep Library has invested in numerous digital resources to support the 1:1 mobile learning initiative. This includes digital databases, non-fiction and reference eBooks, links to free Project Gutenburg ebooks in ourDestiny Library catalog, video tutorials for specific apps and iPad procedures, and more. Many teachers will also provide course materials through Schoology, use Google Apps for productivity tools or may require specific apps for class.
We are making every effort to assist students and families with the transition to a mobile learning environment. All students will be required to complete Online Modules (posted in Schoology) that will cover basic use and care of an iPad, digital citizenship, rights and responsibilities. The modules will also cover steps students should take to prepare their iPad for the first day of school. These modules will be available beginning in early June.
All students will also be required to attend a 3 hour On-Campus Bootcamp in August. Sign ups for iPad bootcamps will begin online on May 16th. Students should bring their iPad to the bootcamp to register their device with La Salle’s mobile device management system and set up appropriate accounts like email, Schoology, Google Apps,etc.
Many students have commented that they are looking forward to having all of their textbooks on one device and they won’t have to carry around such a heavy backpack.
Using eTextbooks is an important component to the success of our 1:1 mobile learning program. Please contact Mario De Ieso firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.