Why are we doing this?
Our students need to gain the collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking skills required to compete in the 21st century. The importance of what you know is diminished by the importance of how you use this information. Technology provides a platform on which students can build these skills. Research shows that one to one programs:
- Improve student writing
- Increase teacher collaboration
- Allows for less group work and lecturing
- Increases student engagement and attendance
- Improves literacy response, analysis, and writing strategies
What device will the students be receiving?
Students in grades 7-12 will receive a Dell Chromebook 11 (model 3120) to use at home and at school. These Chromebooks are built for education use and are more rugged than normal Chromebooks.The students will receive the device, charger, carrying case, and shoulder strap. They will be responsible for extra peripherals, such as mice. The Chromebooks must always be used while in the case.
Students in grades K-6 will have access to Dell Chromebooks, Samsung Chromebooks, or Acer V5 laptops, depending on the classroom and grade level. These devices will not go home, but stay in the classrooms. Each classroom will have enough machines to cover every student.
What can students do with these devices?
Running Google Chrome, these laptops have access to almost unlimited resources and web applications available on the Internet. Examples include Google Docs and the KCS learning management system running on Moodle.
What about customization of the laptop?
Students will be able to make software changes to their laptop, for example, changing colors and background pictures. They will not be allowed to physically alter the appearance of the laptop.
My child already has a laptop, can it be used instead?
As long as it meets certain requirements, it will be allowed to be used. Please note that technical support will be limited in this situation. A computer with at least 2GB of RAM, 20GB of free disk space running Windows, Linux, or OS X can be used. As long as the device can run Google Chrome and has a physical keyboard it is acceptable for the Bring Your Own Device program.
Do I need Internet access at home?
Internet access is very beneficial for use with the laptops, but the requirement of access will depend on the activities assigned by the teacher. Projects requiring Internet access have been assigned in the past, so issues that may arise from the lack of Internet access should be mitigated.
The Chromebooks do work offline, so student work in the Google Drive apps would be minimally affected if internet access is unavailable.
What training will be offered?
At the parent meetings, introductory training in the usage of the device will be given in a large group setting. This will be supplemented by the technology department help desk which will post solutions to common problems. The tech department website located at https://tech.kentoncityschools.org/ will be used to post further training with the devices. In time, students will be given access to this website to post what they have learned.
How will you provide technology support for these devices?
The KCS technology department has been planning the support of a one to one program for since 2013. This has required a change in the management of all the computers at Kenton City Schools, but is now complete. Software management of the individual devices is done at the server level. The software also enforces consistency for the devices. Individual issues will be directed to the help desk to be dealt with by the to-be-formed student tech team or escalated further up on the support chain.
What happens to damaged devices?
Students will be responsible for covering the cost of damage to their laptops. This can be minimized by paying into the computer protection fund, which will cover the cost of the repair. Padded cases are provided to protect the laptops, which should never be removed from their case.
What is the computer protection fund?
The computer protection fund of $40 will cover one incidence of repair of the student’s laptop. Without paying into the fund, the student will be responsible for the full amount of the repair. This will be the same policy for students on free or reduced lunches, but the district will try to work with those families if the need arises. For the insurance fund to cover lost or stolen laptops a police report will need to be filed.