Technology At Singapore American School

At SAS, we constantly look through the lens of how technology can enhance learning and make it more personalized, collaborative, and relevant.

In each division, world-class educational technology coaches guide teachers, work with students, run digital citizen boot camps, host informational parent coffees, team up with our counselors, advise on digital media, and lead the way in creative approaches to teaching and learning that leverage and maximize the use of technology. Digital citizenship is woven into the curriculum at each grade and collaboratively taught by counselors, ed tech coaches, and teachers.

In elementary school, every student starting in kindergarten has an iPad outfitted with a suite of core apps that becomes a scaffold for learning. With significant guidance from teachers and ed tech coaches, kids set goals and monitor their progress, and use technology to express themselves, demonstrate their learning, and support the development of critical skills and core knowledge.

The SAS Vision for Technology

Technology serves as a dynamic tool for learning that optimizes productivity, connectivity, collaboration, and creativity.

When technology is integrated into the teaching environment in meaningful and purposeful ways, the following learning opportunities will be created:

  • Enhanced engagement and achievement in all academic and core subject areas
  • Increased connection of core subject and curricular areas to real world opportunity and experiences
  • Increased opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate and communicate with other students, educators, and experts from around the globe
  • Encourage and promote creativity and innovation by integrating digital tools
  • Promotes a variety of forms of expression that utilize digital tools and platforms best suited to individual learning styles

Therefore, students will demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways including:

  • Collaborating and creating documents, spreadsheets, maps, presentations, and websites using Google Apps for Education
  • Developing an authentic electronic platform portfolio in the form of a blog that supports reflective learners and showcases growth and learning
  • Creating unique and dynamic multimedia projects such as movies, slideshows, and music
  • Connecting and collaborating with other student within and outside of SAS using educational social networking
  • Publishing their creative works online

We encourage students to publish both in-process and completed works in a variety of online spaces in order to build a positive digital presence. By sharing their works online, students will practice good digital citizenship and develop an increased understanding of responsible online behavior. Presenting their work online at local and global levels provides a real audience from whom they can continue to grow and learn.

Important to our 1:1 program is that it remains viable, relevant, and flexible. We are fully expecting the programs and structures to evolve over time as technologies and needs continually change. Students and teachers will be involved in evaluating new tools and their effectiveness toward our learning goals and school vision. SAS will continue to support innovative and creative uses of technology for teaching and learning.

Elementary School 1:1 iPad Program

Why 1:1 iPads? Why now?

SAS is committed to creating and embracing a 21st century approach to teaching, learning, and providing all students with 21st century learning experiences, environment, resources, and skills. An essential element in supporting this direction is adequate access to technology resources. 1:1 device programs are the norm in international schools and have proven to be successful in developing 21st century skills, apptitutes, behaviors, by creating an institutional culture of learning, creativity, and innovation.

Why has the school selected Apple devices for the Elementary 1:1 program?

Apple Computers have been committed to supporting public and private education for several decades. As such, their products and solutions provide an "ecosystem" widely known for its ease of use, reliability, innovation, and creativity. The emergence of iPads as a powerful learning tool for schools has furthered Apple's presence and commitment to education. The consistency of design, functionality, and user experience from Apple's operating systems, iOS and Mac OS, simplify use for users of all ages and experiences. These characteristics are ideal for educational settings and support our vision for educational technology. These factors led to the decision of choosing Apple as the single platform for SAS.

Download the 1:1 iPad Program Handbook

Singapore American School Digital Citizenship Agreement

Singapore American School believes technology serves as a dynamic tool for learning by optimizing productivity, connectivity, collaboration, and creativity.

Our goal in providing internet access and digital devices to students is to promote educational excellence by facilitating innovation, communication, and collaboration. In order to meet our goal, users are expected to abide by and model the accepted Digital Citizenship Agreement, which includes but is not limited to:

RESPECT YOURSELF

PROTECT YOURSELF

I will show respect for myself through my actions. I will select online names that are appropriate. I will consider the information and images that I post online to build a positive digital footprint.

I will not publish my personal details, contact details or a schedule of my activities. I will protect passwords, accounts and resources. I will find a healthy balance between online and offline activity.

RESPECT OTHERS

PROTECT OTHERS

I will show respect to others. I will show respect for other people in my choice of websites, I will not visit inappropriate sites.

I will protect others by not forwarding inappropriate materials or communications and not visiting inappropriate sites. I will protect others by reporting abuse.

RESPECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

PROTECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

I will respect copyright rules and follow fair use guidelines.

I will protect property of others by following fair use guidelines.

RESPECT PROPERTY

PROTECT PROPERTY

I will respect and properly care for the iPad issued to me. I will respect and properly use any SAS iPad or other device.

I will follow the SAS core values so that I am prepared to learn everyday.

If the Digital Citizenship Agreement is not followed, and disciplinary actions are necessary, the process will follow the standard procedures outlined in the divisional student handbook.

This Agreement was adapted from the Digital Citizen AUA and is licensed by Singapore American School under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/.

Guidelines and Agreements

The Institute of Global Ethics has identified five values (compassion, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect) as recognized core values throughout the world. The five core values are the basis for SAS's approach to character education and serves as the foundation for all relationships among students, faculty, staff, administrators, and parents.

Being a Responsible User

Responsible use with regards to technology is expected for all of our users. Digital citizenship and responsible use are modeled and taught whenever appropriate. Students are expected to be responsible members of the community and act in a manner consistent with the core values while in a digital environment (no matter the device).

Keeping Health and Balance in Mind

The 1:1 iPad program is meant to be a positive, enriching tool to enhance learning and creativity. However, technology can sometimes have a disruptive effect on a person's behavior and well-being. Proper usage of technology should never cause emotional or physical pain. While technology can be an engaging way to spend time, over-use is possible. If device use interferes with school work completion or real-life personal interactions, it is time to re-balance usage.

Digital Citizenship Agreement

Responsible citizenship means practicing good ethical behavior and adhering to the SAS core values whether online or offline. Students are encouraged to model good digital citizenship by making sure their actions and choices do no disrupt the learning environment for themselves or others. In order to participate in the SAS online community, students agree to the SAS Digital Citizenship Agreement which outlines common expectations and serves to guide student use and behavior.

SAS iPad Use Guidelines

Students are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of school-owned devices. This includes leaving school-defined settings and software as installed, and not voiding the warranty by disassembling the iPad or taking it to a non-authorized service center for service.

Students should also take careful steps to protect their iPads from damage or theft. When not in use, the iPad must be securely stored within the classroom and must never be left unattended in open areas.

iPad Acceptance

Prior to taking an iPad home, parents or guardians must agree to and sign the iPad Acceptance form.

Gifting Apps

Parents will be required to gift all basic productivity apps for the upper elementary 1:1 iPad Program. Additional apps, to meet the individualised learning needs of the student, may be requested to be installed by classroom and support teachers. Students may install free apps and updates as needed throughout the year under the instruction of the classroom teacher.

Returning Your iPad

Upon the completion of grade five, students will be required to return the iPad, case and power cord to SAS.

Collection and Inspection by School

SAS reserves the right to collect and examine school-issued iPads at any time for the purpose of assuring compliance with school rules and guidelines. The school may also monitor iPad and Internet use at school to ensure compliance. iPads may be restored to factory settings if found not to be in compliance.

iTunes Accounts

Students are setup with an iTunes account in the same country as their parents. They are not linked to a credit card. iPad apps remain the property of the child. Upon early withdrawal from SAS, steps are provided on how to change the iTunes account to a personal account on the ES iPad website.

Content and App Restrictions

Each iPad has restrictions set to stop students from downloading apps, music, videos, and books with adult content. The best “parental control” involves the low tech approach of on-going conversations between parents and students around “acceptable use” and “boundary-setting.” In the event that a student is experiencing difficulty adhering to the boundaries that have been set, it is best to seek consultation with your child's classroom teacher and their counselor so that home and school can partner with low tech approaches as well.

Being Prepared to Learn

Students that are part of the 1:1 iPad Program must bring their iPad and headphones to school each day in the school assigned protective case and zipped up in the carry pouch with the battery fully charged.

Security

Students are responsible for the security of their iPads at all times. iPads should never be left unattended or taken into environments that may prove harmful.

Passwords

A strong password is important because any individual password that is compromised can have adverse consequences. We encourage using the same password for all school accounts. Students are responsible for remembering their own passwords. Student passwords will be shared with parents at the beginning of the school year for safety and monitoring purposes.

Connecting to the Internet From Home

Students in grades four and five are able to connect their iPad to a home wireless network. If you are having trouble connecting your school-owned iPad to your home wireless network, you will need to contact your internet service provider for assistance.

iPad Care

It is generally expected that an iPad will be functional for three years if treated well. Students are expected to have their iPads in full-functioning order for every class every day at SAS. For this reason, it is vital that they exercise care at all times to keep their iPads functioning properly. There are several fundamental ways to retain the functionality of the iPad.

  • Use the school-provided iPad case
  • Always carry your iPad safely
  • Keep iPad away from liquids and food
  • Place your iPad on a safe surface
  • Be gentle with your iPad

Online Sharing Guidelines

We encourage students to publish both in-process and completed work in a variety of online spaces in order to build a positive digital presence and develop a deeper understanding of how they can collaborate, create, share and communicate online. By sharing their work online, students will practice good digital citizenship and develop an increased understanding of responsible online behavior. Presenting their work online at local and global levels provides them a real audience from whom they can continue to grow and learn.

Publishing student work online is a key component of the 1:1 iPad program. All students should be aware that once information is on the Internet, there is nothing to stop it from being replicated, shared and distributed widely without your control, both now and into the future. Additionally, it is important that students know there are certain pieces of information that should never be shared, such as passwords and private information. By following the SAS Online Sharing Guidelines that follow, students will be sure to be operating in a safe and responsible way.

  • When you share and comment on work online, you are expected to demonstrate the five “core values” of SAS (Compassion, Honesty, Fairness, Responsibility, Respect) in everything you do offline and online by following the guidelines below. Since what you post online is permanent, use the questions in italics to help you decide what is appropriate before you publish.
  • Think before you post. Ask yourself: Is this something I want everyone to see? Would sharing this offend, surprise or shock anyone? Would I want this graded for proper grammar and spelling?
  • Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Ask yourself: Would I say this to someone’s face? Would I want someone to say this to me?
  • Do not share personal information such as last name, address, phone number or email address. Ask yourself: Could someone find me or someone else (in real life) based on this information?
  • Anytime you use media from another source, be sure you have permission and properly cite the creator of the original work. Ask yourself: Who is the original creator of this work? Do I have permission to use this work?

Commenting Guidelines

Commenting on other people’s online work is just as important as posting your own work. It is your responsibility to moderate comments on things you post. Please report anything inappropriate or disrespectful to your teacher.

Google Terms of Service

SAS’ Google Apps for Education complies with legal requirements for safety and security such as the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Students under 13 ordinarily need parent permission to have email accounts, however SAS acts as the parents' agent and approves the accounts on their behalf. Therefore, all students will have Google Apps accounts (including GMail) built in SAS’s private domain.

The Google Apps for Education accounts are property of SAS. This means that content in these accounts may be accessed or searched by delegated SAS employees. (IT Staff, Administrators, etc.)

As the provider of these services, Singapore American Schools has included several safety and educational features in Google Apps for Education.

  • Parents, guardians, and administrators will have access to student’s Google Apps
  • Filters to block SPAM, viruses and inappropriate content
  • Parent, Guardian and Administrator ability to review all student emails

Email Guidelines

Student email use at SAS should be be appropriate and targeted.

Appropriate

At SAS, we expect our students behavior to reflect the core values and be consistent with general agreements outlined in our Digital Citizenship Agreement.

Targeted

Students should send email only from their school email account for school purposes.

Elementary B students will be issued a SAS Google apps accounts, which includes a school Gmail account for email. School email accounts will also allow students to engage in dynamic learning experiences using web 2.0 learning tools that extend learning beyond the classroom.

At the beginning of grade three, students participate in digital citizenship lessons to learn how to use email to communicate in appropriate ways. We believe in teaching students the necessary technical skills in conjunction with increasing their awareness of digital citizenship. It is only then that students are informed of their email address and password and instructed on how to log onto their email account.

Parents are also provided with their child’s email address and password. It is appropriate, at the elementary level, for teachers and parents have access to student email accounts. Teachers will not use the passwords to ‘spy’ on the students, but rather as a tool for monitoring and safety purposes.

Keyboarding Skills

Typing speed should not hinder the writing process but should optimize productivity and communication. While keyboarding is not taught directly in any ES courses, students will have many opportunities to practice as it is an important input device for writing. It is expected that students, in upper elementary, whose typing speed is impacting their productivity make time to practice at home to improve speed and accuracy. A variety of web based and Google Chrome apps are available to practice and improve typing speed.

Suggested Resources

  • To test your typing speed, take a three minute typing test on typingtest.com
  • For grade five we subscribe to Typingtraining.com
  • For grades three and four we recommend and use TypingWeb.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of iPad are the students issued with?

Grade one students will have access to an iPad Mini. Grade two students will use the iPad Air. Grade three students will be issued with a new iPad and they will keep the iPad until the end of grade five as long as they remain a student at SAS. Students who enroll after the start of the school year may be issued with a refurbished iPad.

What accessories come with the iPad?

Each student is issued with a Griffin Survivor style military-grade protective case. The iPad must remain in the protective case at all times.

Students will also be issued with a set of their own ‘inline’ earbuds for the iPad. Each is individually labelled with their name. Students will not share earbuds due to health concerns. If the earbuds are lost or broken, it is the responsibility of the parents to replace them.

A carry pouch will also be issued to each student to hold the iPad, earbuds and name card.

Do we get to keep the iPad?

No. The iPad remains the property of SAS.

How will we pay for apps?

Many of the apps we will utilize are free, but there are some paid apps we will ask parents to install during the year. To offset the cost of installing the apps, we will credit your child's SAS card with the equivalent amount.

Do I need an iTunes account?

For grades three to five, a parent must have their own iTunes account so they can 'gift' apps to their child. The parent's iTunes account should be linked to a credit card. No account is needed for kindergarten to grade two.

Does my iTunes store need to be the same as my child's?

Yes, in order to 'gift' apps, you and your child must have iTunes accounts in the same country's iTunes store.

When will I have to 'gift' apps to my child?

Your child's classroom teacher will be in communication with you about which apps and then they need to be 'gifted'.

Can my child install apps on their iPad that will be charged to my credit card?

No. Your child can only install free apps. The account that has been set up for them is a 'free' iTunes account that is not linked to your credit card.

If we leave SAS, how do I retain all the gifted apps?

We have included a link on our ES iPads website to assist with the transfer of the iTunes account.

How can I assist my child with their learning on the iPad?

At SAS, we consider the education of your child to be a joint effort. It is a partnership between admin, teachers, parents, counsellors, and the student. We encourage you to talk to your children about what they are doing and how they are learning. Follow up parent coffee workshops will also be held during the year to ensure parents can assist their children in making the most of learning with their iPads.

Will I be able to access my child’s work online?

Grade one students present work in a class blog which will be shared with parents of each class. Grade two students maintain their own blog which will be available.

Students in grades three through five utilize a blog in conjunction with their Google Apps account so that they can publish work, collaborate with peers and document their growth over time. Students are encouraged to use the blog to reflect on their learning and create a positive online presence. Teachers will ask students to post to their blogs and we encourage you to view their blog on a regular basis and to comment on their posts.

Will students be able to use the iPad during break times?

We are conscious that a balanced school day includes time when students do not use their iPads. Elementary students should be running around and playing during break.

Will all of the students’ work be done on the iPad?

No. As stated in our overview, technology should be purposefully integrated into core curricular areas to enhance learning. 21st century learning requires a blend of digital and analog tools and experiences for students.

We are conscious of screen time for our students. Teachers will be mindful of best practices such as: students holding or placing the iPad at a reasonable distance from their face; keeping the room well lit; limiting continuous iPad activities to 20 minute intervals; and encouraging students to run around during breaks and lunch recess.

What measures are in place to protect my child when searching online?

There are several safeguards that we have in place: we filter some content at our server; we physically monitor students during their use; and we teach digital citizenship to ensure students understand internet safety and develop appropriate habits.

Will students be able to put install apps on their iPad?

Students can install free apps on their school iPad that support their learning. They should do so only under the direction of their classroom teacher.

Will my child bring the iPad home?

Kindergarten through grade three students will not bring their iPads home. Grade four and five students will bring their iPads home.

What should I do at home to ensure that my child is using the iPad in the way intended?

It is important to establish an ongoing dialog about your child's technology use. Establishing use protocol is best determined by the school and parent’s while involving the child's input. Duration, location, and purpose of use requires an ongoing assessment.

Will there be a place for my child to charge their iPad at school?

Grade three students will have a place in the class to charge their iPads. In Grades four and five we will send the iPad charger home. Your child will be required to charge their iPad overnight and come to school with the it fully charged and ready for use. Set an expectation with your child that the iPad is charged in a common area of your home, such as the living room, by an agreed time. That way, your child will not have their iPad in the bedroom where they may be tempted to use it rather than going to sleep.

Is the iPad insured?

Yes. The iPad is owned by SAS, and insurance has been purchased for the iPad.

What if the iPad is accidentally damaged?

If the iPad is accidentally damaged, the family will be responsible for paying SGD $200 toward the insurance deductible for the first incident. The ‘military' covers we have purchased should protect from most accidents.

What if the iPad is stolen?

If the iPad is stolen, the school insurance will cover up to SGD $800 for replacement after a SGD $200 deductible. Families will be required to submit a police report in order to make an insurance claim.

What if my child loses the iPad?

If the iPad is lost, the family will be responsible for paying SGD $400 toward the cost of a new iPad. If the iPad is lost a second time, the family will be responsible for the full replacement cost of the iPad. If a student loses any of the accessories such as the power supply or earbuds the family will be responsible for 100% of the replacement cost.

Can I buy insurance for the iPad?

The iPad is owned by SAS and insurance has already been purchased for it. You may wish to see if your personal insurance will cover the deductible or losses not covered by the insurance provided by the school.

How will the iPad connect to the Internet at home?

iPads can be easily configured to access the Internet by connecting to your home wireless network.

Students learned about coding

Two years ago, after one of our fourth grade students began exploring virtual reality games, I knew we had to connect with Manuel Clement, a virtual reality designer at Google. After meeting at a Google Apps for Education Summit, we coordinated a Google Hangout and got Mr. Clement together with Ms. Koehler-Smith's class. The students were able to learn everything about coding, virtual reality, and working at Google.

Tara Linney, Educational Technology Coach

Powered by Finalsite