iPad Program

Keeping up to date with our 1:1 iPad Pilot

Where students bring their own iPad to school.

The Family Partnership with the Doncaster Apple Shop has now been set up! Please pop into this store and mention that you are a parent or carer of a student at Orchard Grove Primary. You will be eligible for a 10% discount on an iPad and a cover.

A parent information evening for parents of our current Year 3 students will be held later in Term 4 if needed. The format will be a presentation and a question and answer session.

Over the past 4 years, our teaching has focused on a more differentiated and personalised approach for our students. Ability levels in each class can vary by as much as 5 years and technology makes it easier to provide for each and every student’s needs and to take learning even further. Many schools throughout Victoria, Australia and across the world are going to ‘1:1’ or one device per student in an effort to cater for this and to engage and motivate learners.

Our current 1-1 iPad program has been running since the beginning of 2015 and see the benefits that the program is bringing in terms of broadening student learning, digital competencies, teacher planning and classroom practice, globalizing student outlook, increased student choice and to be able to provide for differentiated learning for the students. Student engagement is very high.

Please use the links provided to view research and thinking in regards to 1:1 practice.

1:1 Research

Overwhelmingly, studies of 1:1 programs indicate many positive effects for students.

The iPads for Learning Website, which incorporates the research from the ‘iPads for learning Trial’ by the Victorian Department of Education, has interesting showcases of student learning and archives

The trial showed that students in a 1:1 program:

  • Write more extensively
  • Have increased engagement in learning
  • Are more interested in learning
  • Focus on improving their performance
  • Work collaboratively, as they are more willing to share their work and help each other
  • Engage more in self directed learning
  • Have greater self confidence and self esteem
  • Have greater ICT skills
  • Are more enthusiastic and have fun learning
  • Improve problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Are engaged in more project based work
  • Enjoy learning actively.

Here are a few websites with further information and reflections on 1:1 programs:

Project Red is a comprehensive study of ‘technology’s effect on education’ in the US across 997 schools in 49 states. It has seven key findings about technology and 1:1 in particular. You can read the brief report here:
There is also interesting recent research from the United States in regards to screen time, which relates to this issue. It is published by Common Sense Media – a non-profit organization that advocates on child and family issues, and studies the effects that media and technology have on young users.

The research suggests that screen time has actually dropped in the last two years in all categories from ages 0-8. There has been an increase in mobile device usage, but a drop in all other screen media including TV, DVDs, computers and video games. For their research:
Common Sense Media


Where can I find out more about cybersafety?
We encourage all families to be at the forefront of any potential risks or issues. Please take time to explore the following websites for more information:

Expectations of Parents

Monitoring and setting ground rules around the use of the iPad at home is extremely important. There are some expectations that we will outline in our parent information sessions and will be added to the iPad site for your reference.


What iPad do I buy?
If you are purchasing a new iPad, we suggest you purchase the best that you can afford.
Currently the iPad Air and Air 2 are both excellent choices. The iPad Mini models are not recommended as the size of the screen is not condusive to good eye health.

The iPad needs to be WiFi only — not Cellular. This means there are no additional internet usage charges, and your child will only be connected to the internet when WiFi is available (at school for example).

Where can I purchase an iPad?
There are a number of stores that stock and sell iPads. Many do have finance available if needed. Stores include: JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Big W, Office Works and Harvey Norman.

We have an existing partnership with the Doncaster Apple Store. Just mention that you are an Orchard Grove Primary parent and you will receive a 10% discount on an iPad plus case.

How much storage/memory does my child need?
Storage options begin from 32GB. We recommend this as a minimum as apps, video and music can take up a lot of room. IMPORTANT: if storage is full on your child’s iPad, all school required apps/work need to stay on the iPad – games/photos may need to be deleted.

Does my child need a keyboard for their iPad?
No they do not as the keyboard does come up on the screen for typing. However, if your child feels more comfortable using a hardware keyboard, then this is ok also. Almost all Bluetooth keyboards are compatible with the iPad. Posture will be reinforced whilst working with the iPad.

Does my child need a stylus for their iPad?
No they do not as we are encouraging correct finger placement and fluency when typing. However, if your child feels more comfortable using a stylus, then this is ok also. Additionally, some applications such as Explain Everything can work more precisely with a Stylus.
NOTE: A stylus is a writing utensil for touch screen devices.

What type of protective case does my child’s iPad require?
We recommend a smartcover for the iPad (a cover that turns the iPad on and off by opening and closing it). The case should cover the back of the iPad, its 4 corners and also a flap that will protect the screen. It is ideal for the case to have a stand option (either a pull out flap or a resting place for the iPad). Many cases include the screen cover as
well. There are also many cases offering heavy duty protection such as the Survivor series cases.

What about Viruses?
There is currently no issue with viruses when using iPads.

Parent Information & Links

New Victorian Curriculum – Digital Technologies

Ted Talks: Bring on the Revolution

Digital Learning Showcase

Case Studies

Configuring Open DNS – David Martin (Feb)

iPads for kids – a parent guide – David Martin (Feb)

Parent Tips

1. Screen Time Agreement
The following document outlines an example of a screen time agreement.
Screen Time agreement

Purchasing an iPad

Purchasing a device
Orchard Grove Primary School believe that our community are well placed to purchase their selected device from a supplier of their choosing. All we ask is that the iPad you select is a current model. If you are purchasing a NEW device we strongly recommend buying the newest model as it will last for the duration of primary school. We have selected iPads for our program as we believe they represent good value and features. We have also selected these devices as they are compatible with our school network, meaning they will be able to connect to our wireless internet. This means that the content students are able to access is filtered through our normal school filter. We do not want cheaper alternatives to be purchased as they will not meet the requirements we have for our BYO iPad program.

Please note: You are more than welcome to purchase a device from a store of your choosing. PLEASE REMEMBER it is your responsibility to organise insurance, cover and a screen protector for the device.

Purchasing Options
Option 1

Provide a device already owned by the family. Students are welcome to use a device that is already owned by the family as long as certain requirements are met including:
It must be an Apple tablet device.
If you have not yet purchased an iPad but intend to do so in the near future we highly recommend choosing the most recent model available in order to extend longevity and capacity to cope with upgrades in the future.

Families will be expected to provide a high quality case for their child’s iPad with a hard back and cover on the front of the device as well as a screen protector.
Students will need access to an existing iTunes account. We highly recommend setting up an iTunes account for your child. You will need to set up an e-mail account to do this. This avoids any issues with content sharing across devices. It also means that as your child grows up, all their apps and content will be available to them.

Option 2
Purchase a device from a supplier / shop of your choosing.

Please note: We are only accepting iPads for our managed BYO iPad program. We do not want cheaper alternatives to be used.

*We strongly advise against an iPad that includes 3G (cellular) as this makes it more difficult to ensure cyber security both at school and at home.

The minimum specs must include:
– a camera
– at least 32gb storage

An iPad cover is essential. The best ones should also provide protection for the corners of the iPad. The STM Dux is one we recommend. Ideally covers should cover each corner of the iPad, be tight fitting, and be made with a material that can absorb shock.

Please contact the school if you are unable to provide an iPad for your child. We may be able to provide some avenues for assistance.

Why iPads?

  1. It is robust, reliable, light and easily carried in the school bag
  2. It is an intuitive device and minimal technical support is required
  3. Software deployment is quick and easy thus saving money on technical support, and updates can easily be deployed
  4. It has a vast number of high quality apps
  5. It has a 10 hour battery life
  6. Students are able to display their work through the use of Apple TVs and IWBs in our classrooms
  7. There is a huge amount of support from the DET – assistance with planning, teaching resources, professional development and technical assistance
  8. Robust wireless network support – including support of the 5ghz wireless band which allows us to support high numbers of devices per classroom and easy support of the certificate based authentication that the Department uses
  9. We had to make a decision about one device – and only one device, as the Department do not fund enough technician hours to set up a variety of devices. iPads are the quickest and easiest to deploy within the school environment
  10. We only have enough time and money to teach the staff one particular workflow. If teachers have to learn how to operate multiple tablet devices, it will disrupt student learning.