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FAQ for the roll-out of the Personal Learning Devices

Q1. Can my child not purchase the device?

Every student is required to have a device for teaching and learning purposes and is encouraged to purchase one through the school via MOE’s bulk tender. Students are encouraged to use the device model prescribed by the school, as the uniformity of systems and software would ensure a smooth learning experience for everyone. The device purchased through the school will come with the necessary warranty and insurance as well.

Students who do not wish to purchase a device because they already have their own devices will have to check if the device is compatible to the school’s learning systems (iPad 8th generation and above). These devices must also be installed with the school’s Device Management Application (DMA) software to manage the student’s access and usage.

Q2. My child loaned a device from the school for Home-Based Learning (HBL). Can he/she continue to use the loaned device instead of purchasing a new one?

Students are encouraged to use the device model prescribed by the school under the PLD initiative, as the uniformity of systems and software would ensure a smooth learning experience for them. The devices will be used both in and out of class. In class, the devices will be used to support learning of the curriculum subjects independently or collaboratively. Beyond the classroom, students will be able to use the device for home-based learning.

Devices purchased under the PLD initiative belong to the students, and they can continue to use the devices after graduation. For students who are receiving financial assistance, they will be provided additional subsidies such that their out-of-pocket expenses for the device will be zero.

Q3.    Do all students in a school have to use the same device? What about students who opt out of using the school-selected device and wish to use their own? How will this affect their learning? 

Students are encouraged to use the model prescribed by the school for a smooth learning experience. If students wish to use their own device, the device must meet the necessary specifications stated by the school. They must also be willing to allow the school to install the school’s Device Management Application software to manage the device, similar to all school-selected devices when used in school If parents have questions about the devices, they can approach their child’s teachers or school leaders for assistance.

Q4. What happens to the device after my child graduates?

The school will uninstall the DMA from the device upon students’ graduation, and students will have full control and personal ownership over their device afterwards. If the student’s device needs to be installed with DMA in JC/MI, it can be reinstated.

Q5. Will the devices and SLS resources replace textbooks?

With the devices, students can now access curriculum-aligned resources in the SLS both in and outside of class at their own pace, to complement their learning. The devices and SLS resources will not replace textbooks, as textbooks are currently designed as curriculum-aligned references for students.

Q6. Will my child need to purchase software for their devices? If so, can these be paid for with Edusave?

The school may prescribe software that support the teaching and learning requirements. However, Edusave cannot be used for purchase of software (and relevant licences).

To support the development of digital literacy, MOE will also be rolling out the following applications in the Personal Learning Devices in early 2021: Google Suite for Education, Microsoft Office productivity suite which includes only Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote & Publisher, and Zoom.

Q7. What is the expected weight of the device? Are there concerns that it may be too heavy for students to carry to and from their home on a daily basis?

MOE has taken factors such as size and weight of the devices into consideration when preparing the tender specifications for the Bulk Tender.

Q8.        Will my child be allowed to store the device in school overnight? Where will students store their devices when they go for recess or PE lessons?

Students should bring home the device at the end of the school day so that they can utilise them for learning at home and ensure that the device is charged for lessons the next day. Students are expected to secure their devices in their own lockers when they go for recess or PE lessons. 

Q9.    How frequently will the devices be used in class? Is there a recommended limit to screen time in class?

There is no recommended screen time as it depends very much on the nature of the activity. According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (2016), there is no one-size-fits-all approach to limiting the amount of screen time for teenagers. The academy recommends that screen time takes into consideration a child’s developmental stage, how the technology is used, the quality of the content and design of the material. Schools will design their learning programmes to ensure that the students’ use of PLDs is balanced in relation to other activities and modes of learning.
Teachers will also continue to ensure that the amount of assignments set (both online and offline) is guided by the school’s homework policy.

Q10.     Can parents approach the tenderer to make separate purchases?

No. The purchase of PLDs, and peripheral accessories, e.g., headphones and screens, riding on the MOE Device Bulk Tender has to be made through the schools. The schools will make their professional decisions on the suitable specifications of the device model and accessories that best meets their teaching and learning requirements.

Q11.     If my child is using his/her own device (i.e. not procured from the school), will he/she receive technical support from the school?

For software and classroom teaching issues, all students will receive support from the school’s ICT team, regardless of whether the device is purchased through the school. For hardware related issues, the student will need to resolve these with the vendor from which the device was purchased from. For school purchased iPads, students will need to go to the appointed Apple Service Centre for repairs.

Data Protection

Q12. How will my child/ward’s data be used in the PLD and IT Applications?

IT Applications. For the IT Applications (student iCON, Microsoft ProPlus and Zoom), the school will use your child/ward’s personal data such as his/her name, birth certificate number and class to set up user accounts. This data will also be used for the purposes of authenticating and verifying user identity, troubleshooting and facilitating system improvements. In addition, the commercial providers of these platforms (e.g. Google, Microsoft) will collect and deal with user data generated by your child/ward’s use of these applications. The collection use and disclosure of such data are governed by the commercial provider’s terms of use, which can be found here: 

• Microsoft Pro Plus: https://portal.office.com/commerce/mosa.aspx 
• Zoom: https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/schools-privacy-statement.html

Q13. Where will the data collected by DMA and IT Applications for NDLP be stored? 

All user data which is collected by MOE will be stored in secure servers managed by the respective vendors of our systems. The Government has put in place strong personal data protection laws and policies to safeguard sensitive data collected by public agencies such as MOE. 
Please refer to this website for more information on these laws and policies: 

Terms of Purchase
Q14. Where can I find the full terms of purchase of the PLD?

 Parents/guardians will be purchasing the PLD directly from the vendor, not MOE. This is pursuant to a bulk tender agreement between MOE and the vendor. The tender documents set out the full terms and conditions of such a purchase, and can be found at this website: https://go.gov.sg/pldtermsandconditions