Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mercy's FAQ on iPads

We have been working through the details on our transition to an iPad 1:1.  We communicated a letter to our current parents and included the following FAQ which describes some of the effects that this change will  have on the community in the time to come. We'll have a "mixed environment for quite some time, which will be very challenging, but exciting!

Mercy 2.0 iPad FAQs for Parents

Can I go buy an iPad for my daughter from the Apple Store or from the Apple website?

No. iPads for the 2012-13 school year will be purchased directly from Mercy. They will be preloaded with many of the software apps that students will need to start the school year. The standard Mercy iPad package will also include an extra year warranty and will also be discounted from the retail price. Recommended accessories will also be available for one stop shopping. Further information on when and how you will be able to order an iPad will be forthcoming.

I have a daughter who is already a student at Mercy and I paid a lot of money for her HP laptop; how will this affect us? 

The students who currently own an HP Tablet will have the choice to continue to use it or to purchase an iPad. Students who wish to switch to the iPad for the 2012-13 school year will be offered a buy back discount on their current HP Laptop toward the purchase of an iPad. Further information on the discount will be released as we draw closer to the end of the school year. Support for HP laptops will remain in place at Mercy until all students who own them graduate.

How much will the Mercy iPad cost? 

The base model price of the Apple iPad is $499 through most retail channels. Once the discounts that Mercy can pass along to families and any added cost for extra year warranty and software are added in, we expect the total cost to be in the $500-$600 range before any accessories.

Why is Mercy switching to the iPad?

There has been a dramatic shift in the personal computer world away from the standard laptop to even more mobile devices. Accompanying this shift has been a move away from machines that have large storage capacity and computing power to devices that connect to the cloud for storage and computing power. These shifts, paired with a decrease in price to our parents, were key factors in the decision to move to the iPad. Recognizing these trends, officials from Mercy started researching the best way forward through surveys, focus groups and discussions with parents, students, teaching staff and outside partners. We evaluated several similar devices from different manufacturers. The widespread adoption of the Apple iPad by thousands of schools across the country and the relative maturity of the device and its platform were keys in the decision to go with the iPad.

How will this change my daughter’s education experience at Mercy? 

Mercy has been in the forefront of integrating technology into their curriculum for many years. In the six years that Mercy has had a 1:1 computing environment there have been dramatic shifts in many classrooms in how subject matter is learned. These shifts have allowed our teaching staff to accommodate many learning styles and pedagogies to further enrich our students’ learning experience. We expect this to continue regardless of the device we use. Our teaching staff will receive specialized training and will be ready to maximize the potential of the iPad once the new school year begins.

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