Northwestern Lehigh School District
One-to-One Laptop Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need one-to-one learning?
In order to engage and challenge today’s learners, the school environment must reflect the complexity of the modern world. One-to-one learning allows each student to experience this kind of learning environment that is rich in digital media, with instant access to resources all over the world, and support critical thinking skills. Students at NWLSD will experience a dynamic environment on a daily basis and, in turn, become lifelong learners who are active, knowledgeable and creative.
Why are we getting Apple computers when a majority of the world uses Microsoft products?
Apple products run software options that are very similar to the Microsoft Suite of Products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint so the students are learning the same software skills regardless of the operating system choice. Our initiative is about helping students develop 21st century skills, where creativity and expression help them engage in their coursework and demonstrate mastery of the curriculum. Apple consistently refines their computers, their software and the services we need to help us as educators, and create exciting and stimulating learning opportunities for our students.
Will there be training for students?
Yes, all students will participate in an orientation before the laptops are issued. Student training is ongoing throughout the year.
May students purchase their own laptop bag?
No, all laptops must be carried in the District issued protective sleeve at all times. They are encouraged to purchase a hard case for the MacBook Air 11” to prevent scratches or damage when not in the sleeve. If they do so, they must continue to use the protective sleeve provided by the District when the laptop is not in use.
Will students be able to use their laptops on school buses?
No, use of a laptop while on a bus constitutes a safety hazard.
If a student’s laptop charger and/or bag are lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace them?
In the event that laptop accessories are stolen or lost, students should report the lost items to the Technical Help Desk or high school office immediately. Students will be charged for the cost of the replacement if the accessory cannot be found.
What will students do with their laptops during Fitness classes, while at LCTI, and during after-school activities?
Students are responsible for the care and security of their laptop. Students will carry the laptop in a protective sleeve to all classes on the NWLSD campus. Secure laptop storage carts are available to protect the laptops during fitness classes, and also allow students to charge the laptop. The size of the laptop also lends itself well to securing the laptop in the student lockers on a short-term basis. They must be hung by the strap from the hook. DO NOT put the laptop on the bottom of your locker. Students who do not take their laptop home each night will be assigned a location in the tech help room in which to store the laptop. Students are not encouraged to store/secure their laptop in their car or truck for any length of time.
What about insurance against theft or breakage through carelessness?
The laptop computer is very portable and very valuable, making it an attractive target for thieves. Therefore, Northwestern Lehigh School District requires a laptop insurance premium for all students taking their laptop off the NWLSD campus. The fee covers theft, accidental damage and surge damage. Students will be responsible for paying the additional charge of the deductible for EACH theft, loss or damage claim. If students do not pay the fee, they will not be permitted to take their school issued computer off the NWLSD campus. Dishonest, negligent, fraudulent, vandalism, intentional or criminal acts will not be covered under the Insurance. Laptop accessories (sleeve and charger) are not covered by insurance.
Will students be given a new battery if one would go bad?
The laptop battery will be replaced by the manufacturer for defects under the warranty agreement for the first year. Students are responsible for charging their battery and proper battery maintenance. After the first year, a new battery would be an insurance claim that would require a deductible payment.
How long will the laptop batteries last? What happens if a student’s laptop battery runs out?
Laptop battery life depends greatly on how the laptop is used. Students will be trained in strategies to maximize battery life. A typical battery charge on the MacBook laptop lasts over 6 hours. Students have the opportunity in some classrooms to “plug-in” and charge throughout the day. Students are expected to enter school each day with a full charge on their MacBook laptop battery.
Will students be able to install software on the laptop?
No, students installing software on a school-owned computer is a direct violation of the NWLSD Computer Policy. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined. All of the software necessary to integrate the laptop technology into the curriculum is installed prior to the laptop being issued to the student. Security monitoring software is used on all of the computers to assure that additional software is not downloaded on the laptops. Students will be able to install printer drivers for home printers if necessary.
Will students be able to e-mail, chat and play games on their laptops?
Students may not use personal e-mail, IM chat and/or play online games while connected to the District network. However, the District allows students to use their District issued e-mail to communicate about school assignments. Although personal e-mail and IM chat are not permitted on the District network, students may, with parent permission, use those applications at home. Parents have the ability to request the home filtering option be removed.
Can a student use their iPod or digital camera with the laptop? Can students load music and photos on the computer?
Yes, students may connect their iPod music player or digital camera to their laptop. Students should check with the maintenance help desk first. Students will also be allotted a certain amount of drive space on their laptop to load music and digital pictures they have obtained legally. Students will not be able to “back-up” their music and photos to District servers.
Can students use their own accessories with the laptop?
The laptop comes with 2 USB ports, a Thunderbolt port, and an SD card reader. Students wanting to use their own accessories (USB mouse, keyboard, digital camera, iPod, headphones, etc.) with the laptop should check with the technical help desk first.
Can a student use their laptop computer over the summer?
No. All laptops will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning and software installation purposes. The Apple One-to-One initiative allows for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings.
Will the NWLSD provide maintenance on the student laptop computers?
Yes. The Technical Services Help Desk staff will coordinate maintenance for students. Students enrolled at NWLSD will be covered by a maintenance agreement for items described in the Apple MacBook warranty agreement for a period of one year from the receipt of the laptop.
What will students do without a computer in their classes if their laptop unit is being repaired or replaced?
Northwestern Lehigh High School will stock a limited number of laptop computers that can be loaned out to students for students with computers being repaired. This will minimize “down-time” for students.
Do students need a printer at home?
Students do not need to own a printer since printers are located near classrooms and in the library. For those students who want to connect to a USB printer at home with the school laptop may do so if the proper printer driver is installed on the laptop. If they don’t, they can visit the technical help desk to assist them.
Will there be facilities to back up the files students create on their laptops?
Yes. All students are provided with a district Google account with unlimited data storage. Students are responsible to backup all school documents on a regular basis.
What will the school do to help prevent students from going to inappropriate sites while at school?
The NWLSD has a software/hardware product that is designed to help monitor all Internet sites students might attempt to access at school. This software/hardware blocks inappropriate sites and also logs a history of every site that each user opens. Students who attempt to find inappropriate sites will be disciplined. The current NWLSD content filter meets federal CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) guidelines.
What will the school do to help prevent students from going to inappropriate sites while at home?
The NWLSD does have a limited filtering software on the computer for home use. The filtering is less restrictive than the filter used while at school. It is designed to filter out specific pornographic, hostile, terroristic, or weapons related content. Parents may opt-out of the limited home filtering by completing the Remove the Home Filtering Option form to request to opt-out of the filtering option on your child’s laptop computer. Parents and guardians are advised to always monitor web usage when the laptop computer is at home even if they choose the filtering option.
What about computer viruses?
A virus that is written for the Windows Operating System (Windows XP, 7, and 8) cannot infect the Macintosh operating system.
Will all teachers be expected to use the laptops with students?
All staff members have both a laptop and the training to support its use with students as well as its integration with the curriculum. The District recognizes that part of having this new tool is determining when and how to use it appropriately. For example, we don’t want math students typing out complex math calculations that could be done quickly by hand. The point is not to use a laptop as often as possible, but to use the tools the laptop and network provide to improve learning.
Will students be able to use the laptops for Internet access at home? What if a student does not have Internet access at home?
The MacBook laptops are equipped with an Airport wireless card. If parents have a home wireless network, students may connect via Airport. Parents will be responsible for monitoring student Internet access at home. Internet access at home will not be mandatory.