Westlake High School’s iPad App | The Chap App
Despite the tough times in education, one local high school is making a big high tech investment, equipping its students with iPads.
Juniors and seniors at Westlake High School will each have a school issued iPad to take notes, read textbooks, do research and even perfect their band routines.
-KEYE News, Austin, TX
As part of the Westlake Initiative For Innovation program, juniors and seniors will be given iPads to use for several of their textbooks. The school district purchased 1,605 iPads recently for $770,000, according to district Communications Director Claudia McWhorter.
-Westlake Picayune, Westlake Hills, TX
As a student and iOS developer currently attending Westlake High School, I see the WiFi (Westlake Initiative for Innovation) program as an unparalleled opportunity to release an iPad application to serve the Westlake community. With 1,600+ iPads (soon to be 2,600+ when freshman and sophomores receive theirs) circulating the school buildings, constantly connected to the internet, and with users’ unrelenting desire for new information, an iPad app specifically developed for students at WHS seems appropriate.
There are many features built into The Chap App, however, the initial idea was to make the information on the current school website (whschaps.com) more easily and readily accessible from an iPad. Currently, the website requires users to hover over certain areas to expose drop down menus. Nevertheless, when students hover their finger over the iPad screen, the menus fail to appear… 84 Media looks to solve this problem with The Chap App.
Another purpose of The Chap App is to provide easy access to Skyward Family Access. Skyward is the “Industry leading student, finance, and human resources administrative software exclusively for K-12 school districts.”, and Eanes ISD unitizes Skyward across many of the campuses, including Westlake. What does this mean for students, teachers, and parents? All will be able to open The Chap App, and with a single tap, enter their username and password, and be logged into the Skyward system.
A unique feature implemented in The Chap App is the frequent background communication between the app and 84M servers. This open line of communication will allow new information, such as altered bell schedules, sporting event cancellations, etc., to be pushed to the entire campus in a matter of seconds. One drawback to this feature is that the app will only function when connected to a Wifi or 3G network. Having said that, Westlake High School is inundated with school-managed wireless internet and students can stay online throughout the entire campus .
Many other features of the app include: interactive bell schedules, school files and student-signed contracts, access to staff resources (all WHS staff received iPads too!), school news and links, a school-wide chat room, teacher websites, as well as iPad help and FAQ.
The Chap App is free to download and is now live on the Apple App Store.
Thomas McNair, President
84 Media, LLC