January 20/14 Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: Attendance Management / iPad Safety / Budget

F. New Business / Notice of Motions

F.1 iPad Safety

Resolution2013-11-Adopted Resolution-Wifi-Switch-iPad-final 1Resolution2013-11-Adopted Resolution-Wifi-Switch-iPad-final 2Resolution2013-11-Adopted Resolution-Wifi-Switch-iPad-final 3

2013_destination_letter_bcsta_re_resolutions_2013.1_2013.2_2013.3_2013.6_2013.9_2013.11 12013_destination_letter_bcsta_re_resolutions_2013.1_2013.2_2013.3_2013.6_2013.9_2013.11 2

BCSTA has not yet publicized  any steps to address the issue as requested, and at this point it appears that  SD61 has lost an opportunity to demonstrate  leadership in providing the safety warnings.

  • SD61 senior administration noted that “most” of the iPads in use in SD612 classrooms are iPad 2, and have only Wifi connection, not cellular 3G,  so that negates most of  the cautions in this motion: “The majority of the iPads that we have in our schools are 2nd generation iPads; however many schools have recently begun to purchase the newer models such as the iPad Air – and the iPad mini.  Regardless of the model that schools are using, none of the school iPads have 3G capacity – that is, all of the iPads that are puchased have Wi-Fi capability only.”

The device teardowns and measurements below indicate that it is incorrect to assume that the radiation risk of WiFi transmission is always lower than 3G transmission. The Specific Absorption Rate of iPad on WiFi transmission is sometimes equal to or higher than 3G cellular transmission.

Specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field; although, it can also refer to absorption of other forms of energy by tissue, including ultrasound. It is defined as the power absorbed per mass of tissue and has units of watts per kilogram (W/kg)”. [ Additional information can be found at SafeInSchool.]

iPad (1st Generation):
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iPad 2 3G+WiFi:
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iPad 2 WiFi-only:
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iPad 3 WiFi+3G:
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iPad 3 WiFi-only:
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iPad 4:

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iPad 4: 
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iPad Air:
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iPad Mini A1490:
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  • Microwave emission from a WiFi-enabled iPad is even more continuous than from a 3G iPad.   The  meter in this video detects 10Mhz-8Ghz frequencies, so both 3G and WiFi are within the range it’s intended to measure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVJI-0YogGo
  • Measurements were taken using an Electrosmog meter (10 Mhz – 8 Ghz) http://lessemf.com/rf.html#489 and an Acoustimeter (200 Mhz-8Ghz) for Radio Frequency /microwave measurement.

McNally: iPad Safety Defeated   For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr  Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, McEvoy, Orcherton   (motion below)

a) i. That the Board ensure that all K-5 classrooms with wifi capability have simplified iPad safety requirements posted where students can read them, and
ii.that the instructions are clearly interpreted in drawings for non-readers;
iii. that the classroom teacher review these safety requirements with students as needed and if unsafe operation of the iPad is noted, and
iv. that all school personnel who will be working with students and iPads be given a copy of the iPad safety information below:

School Staff Information:

  • Exposure to Radio Frequency Energy:   iPad contains radio transmitters and receivers. When on, iPad sends and receives radio frequency (RF)  energy through its antenna. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® antennas are located behind the screen to the left of the Home button, and behind  the Apple logo. iPad has been tested and meets the SAR exposure requirements for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operation. A cellular antenna is located at the top edge of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, when oriented with the Home button at the bottom. For optimal  mobile device performance and to be sure that human exposure to RF energy does not exceed the FCC, IC, and European Union guidelines,  always follow these instructions and precautions: Orient the device in portrait mode with the Home button at the bottom of the display, or in landscape mode with the cellular antenna (located under the black  edge at the top of the device) away from your body or other objects .
  • Electronic  Interference: The wireless transmitters and electrical circuits in iPad Wi-Fi + 3G may cause interference in other electronic equipment. If you have any reason to suspect that interference is taking place, turn iPad off immediately (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, and then slide the onscreen slider)
  • Medical Devices: iPad contains radios that emit electromagnetic fields….[which] may interfere with pacemakers or other medical devices. If you wear a pacemaker maintain at least 6 inches (approximately 15 cm) of separation between your pacemaker and iPad….iPad has magnets along the left edge of the device and on the right side of the front glass which may interfere with …medical devices.
  • Medical conditions:  If you have any medical condition that you believe could be affected by iPad (for example, seizures, blackouts, eyestrain or headaches),  consult with your physician prior to using iPad.
  • Seizures, Blackouts, and Eyestrain : A small percentage of people may be susceptible to blackouts or seizures (even if they have never had one before) when exposed to flashing lights or light patterns such as when playing games or watching video. If you have experienced seizures or blackouts or have a family history of such occurrences, you should consult a physician before playing games or watching videos on your iPad. Discontinue use of iPad and consult a physician if you experience headaches, blackouts, seizures, convulsion, eye or muscle twitching, loss of awareness, involuntary movement, or disorientation. To reduce risk of headaches, blackouts, seizures, and eyestrain, avoid prolonged use, hold iPad some distance from your eyes, use iPad in a well-lit room, and take frequent breaks.
  • Glass Parts: The outside cover of the iPad screen is made of glass. This glass could break if iPad is dropped on a hard surface or receives a substantial impact. If the glass chips or cracks, do not touch or attempt to remove the broken glass and stop using iPad.

b) That the Board ensure all middle school classrooms have summarized points from the iPad safety section in the manual posted in every classroom, and that the classroom teacher supervising operation of iPads review the safety information as needed / when unsafe operation is observed.

  • Proposed summary:  If you hold the ipad in Portrait mode with the short edges at the top and bottom,  keep the Home button at the bottom. If you hold the iPad in Landscape mode with the long edges on the top and bottom, hold the iPad so the the cellular antenna (located under the black  edge at the top of the device) is away from your body. Use the iPad on  a table top. Do not hold it against your body.

c) That high school classrooms have the iPad safety information from the applicable manual  posted and visible to students, and that it be brought to students’ attention by the classroom teacher as needed.

d) That any information posted in classrooms and / or provided to teachers regarding safe operation of iPads be sent to parents by the Administration of every school in which wifi is used.

e) That the link to videos of recorded  iPad emissions on the SafeInSchool site be provided to parents by school Principals.

About Diane McNally