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Frequently Asked Questions

In 2013, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School embarked on an exciting step forward in our academic and technological growth through the introduction of an Apple iPad® curriculum integration pilot program. Mother McAuley is the first single-gender, private high school in the Chicago Southland to launch an iPad initiative. The outcome of our pilot program allowed us to make educated and informed decisions for our overall objective of creating a 1:1 iPad Integration Program.

Why the iPad program is important

At Mother McAuley, we remain committed to providing our young women with the highest quality education by integrating innovative technologies that continue to redefine traditional learning experiences. Today’s students are immersed in a digital world. Mobile communication has changed the way people learn and work. We believe the iPad is the best instrument to prepare our students for their 21-century educations and careers as it supports multiple learning and teaching styles and makes education more accessible and relevant. Students are placed front and center in their learning as they

  • explore dynamic content and creative approaches to learn, solve problems, build and apply knowledge
  • communicate and collaborate in real-time with classmates and teachers
  • develop self-discipline and digital skills as they learn responsible uses for technology in the classroom and beyond
  • prepare to thrive in digital environments, such as those found at colleges and universities, as they are trained to submit homework and offer meaningful contributions online
  • become responsible contributors in helping McAuley to go “green” by using technology to reducing our ecological footprint


Why iPads, as opposed to laptops?

We live in an increasingly digital age and the Apple iPad has emerged as one of the leading new tools in education to interactively aid and enrich a student’s learning. The functionality of the iPad allows students to become active participants in their education. From a practical perspective, the iPad

  • is compact, portable and compatible with many different environments
  • offers a wide range of features and robust selection of resourceful applications (apps) to aid in students’ comprehension and overall study skills
  • offers an 10-hour battery life, ensuring its viability throughout the school day
  • provides a cost-savings over traditional textbooks through the availability of eBooks, instructional videos and supplemental resources

In what ways will the iPad be used in the classroom?

During class, we anticipate the following uses:

  • Immediate access to the wireless network for instant research action
  • Connections to iTunes University courses where necessary classroom materials and notifications will be uploaded by teachers, organizing course materials all in one space
  • Audio or video recording of lectures to reference for review of homework assistance
  • Digital organization tools, such as access to school and personal calendars
  • Real-time feedback to teachers through instant polls and quizzes that track how students comprehend the material
  • Use of Apple TV for students to use AirPlay to wirelessly share their work instantaneously[1], and teachers can project their content for all students to see and experience

[1] Apple TV–AirPlay.” Apple Inc. http://www.apple.com/appletv/airplay/

How has faculty been trained on the iPads?

All Mother McAuley teachers have been equipped with iPads since 2013, and have attended various iPad conferences held on and off campus. Additional support and training is available in our new Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT), a state-of-the-art resource space. The CIT is staffed by an Instructional Technology Specilist who offers one-on-one instruction to help faculty develop and sharpen their technology skills and enhance their instructional abilities and curricular goals.  

Where can I find a list of school-approved eBooks and apps for the iPad?

A complete list of available e-books for 2016 - 2017 school year can be found here.

Will my child be allowed to use other tablet devices than the iPad?

We believe that the iPad is the best instrument to prepare our students for their 21-century educations and careers, therefore curriculum instruction will be limited to the iPad. However, students who use a Nook® or Kindle to read novels and other material will be allowed to bring these devices to school. All students using a personal device are subject to the terms of Mother McAuley’s Acceptable Use Policy, which can be found on page 6 in the Student Handbook. 

Where can students purchase an iPad?

For the 2017 - 2018 school year, students were advised to purchase their iPad at any authorized Apple iPad retailer.

What iPad model is required?

Mother McAuley prefers the iPad Air 64GB as its iOS platform can fully support the necessary educational apps. iPads with 3G or 4G capability are not permissible as our web filters will not work over the cell phone providers’ signals to block inappropriate and malicious content.

Is a data plan needed with the iPad?

All iPads are wireless and supported by McAuley’s Internet Service Provider. iPads with 3G or 4G capability are not permissible as our web filters will not work over the cell phone providers’ signals to block inappropriate and malicious content.

What, if any, additional iPad accessories are required or recommended?

Students are strongly encouraged to purchase a protective cover for their iPad. It also is recommended that students purchase a film to protect their screen from cracks and scratches. Some students may wish to purchase a Bluetooth keyboard.

Does Mother McAuley offer insurance to cover student use of the iPad?

Currently, Mother McAuley does not offer an insurance plan to cover the iPad; however, families interested in insuring the iPad can go through independent insurance companies for coverage plans. We also recommend purchasing the iPad with AppleCare+, which is a two-year hardware/software warranty that also covers two incidental drops. Please see the Apple website for further coverage details.

Will there be technical support for student iPads on campus?

Yes. Media Resource Center support staff members will be available in the Computer Center to assist with technical issues.

Will students only be using eBooks this year?

eBooks will replace traditional hardcover textbooks for most freshman, sophomore and junior level classes. As more publishers release more texts to the eBook platforms, we will be closer to our goal of 100% eBook adoption. A list of eBooks for the 2016 - 2017 school year can be found here. Specific questions regarding eBooks may be directed to Pat McGreal at (773) 881-6520 or pmcgreal@mothermcauley.org or Lauren Dowden at (773)881-6148 or ldowden@mothermcauley.org.

What is the average cost of an eBook?

The average cost of an eBook is $14.99.

What restrictions will be in place to prevent students from using unauthorized applications, e.g., Facebook, Tumbler, etc., during school?

McAuley has a secure firewall to block inappropriate and malicious content. iPads with 3G or 4G capability will not be permissible as our web filters will not work over the cell phone providers’ signals to block this content.

How can I learn more about the ways in which my child will be using his or her iPad? What if I still have questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact our Instructional Technology Specialist, Lauren Dowden, at ldowden@mothermcauley.org.
  • © Mother McAuley Liberal Arts H.S.
  • 3737 W. 99th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60655
  • Phone 773.881.6500
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