iPads & FERPA
In order to protect our students' privacy, access to certain content is restricted on shared use iPads. Some examples of content that may be restricted are the LMS, email, and other web portals requiring authentication that may contain student data. The list of restricted content may change at any time and without advance notice.
The following are some possible approaches that can be taken to allow access to the content your students need.
One-to-One Deployment Model
The ideal environment for an iPad is when it is assigned to a specific individual. The user is able to customize it to optimally suit their specific needs, and they will receive the best overall experience. When iPads are something you will be using as a part of the learning experience, we've found the best outcomes when pairing each student with an iPad that will be theirs to use and care for during their time in your program. With the One-to-One approach, there are no restrictions placed on the iPads limiting access to content. The One-to-One model can be accomplished a couple different ways. Here are the common approaches to this:
- Option 1: The college facilitates the student's purchase of an iPad that will be theirs to keep. The cost of the iPad is passed on as a part of a "toolkit" for the program. CVTC receives special pricing that is lower than the general public, and we're able to pass that savings on to the student. When the student graduates or withdraws from the program, the iPad is theirs to keep. With this approach, the iPads being issued are current model hardware at the time of deployment, so students have the latest technology in their hands.
- Option 2: The program purchases iPads and issues them to the student to use and care for during their time in the program. They maintain possession of and care for the iPad and any issued accessories while they are enrolled in the program. Upon graduation or withdrawal, they are expected to return the iPad and any accessories that were issued with it in a condition where they are able to reasonably be re-issued to another student. Any loss or damage is the responsibility of the student, and the program may place a hold on their account to cover the cost of genuine replacements. The hardware refresh cycle on iPads is four years, and your department would need to budget accordingly for this ongoing investment.
Shared Use Model
The shared use model is where things get more limited. Because of the privacy implications, we are required to impose content filters and restrictions on the iPads that limit what they're able to do and the content they can access. Depending on the needs of your program, there may be a content delivery model that allows you to use iPads in a shared fashion while allowing your students to access the materials they need. The following are some examples of approaches that have been taken to enable classroom content delivery without compromising student privacy:
- WebClips: If the students need to access certain documents or web content, Web Clips are essentially bookmarks to sites that can be deployed to iPads that can take users directly to content. Some have used them to link to YouTube videos for their program, or materials stored in their OneDrive or Google Drive. With this approach, your content would need its permissions to be set in such a way that authentication isn't required in order to access the content.
- KioskPro Plus: Kiosk Pro Plus ($49.99/iPad at the time of this writing) is a specialized, customizable browser that is able to be configured in such a way that would allow access to sites that would otherwise be restricted and provides much better protection of student privacy. The user experience is not identical to Safari, and it may not work for all needs. If you would like to look into this option further, contact the IT Service Desk to arrange for a demo.