Q: What is 1:1 computing?
A: 1:1 literally refers to the ratio of computing devices to students. This school year every student attending Waldwick High School will be issued a Chromebook as part of their mandatory instructional materials. The Chromebook will serve as their personal computing device. When students are in class, the device is in their immediate proximity and is used regularly for instruction, learning, and collaborating. All activities that use this device, inside and outside of school, will be subject to school policy, specifically the Acceptable Use Policy.
Q: What is a Chromebook?
A: A Chromebook is a computing device that operates with the Google Chrome Operating System (Chrome OS). These devices have been used at Waldwick with increasing regularity over the past year. These devices afford students both the ability to “surf the net” for information (consumption device) as well as produce and collaborate on documents, research, and projects (production device).
Q: What do you want to accomplish with this technology?
A: Put simply, we want to improve student learning and increase their college and career readiness. To do this we will use the Chromebooks to enhance student engagement through the increase of collaboration and inquiry. Students will now have fingertip access to data, information, and resources beyond compare.
Students can use technology to work together or with experts, like an English class using Skype or Google Plus to talk to an author, or a science class interacting with a veterinarian at the zoo. This initiative will break down the barriers of time and space. Learning, collaborating, and productive academic growth can take place anytime, anywhere!
Not to be viewed simply as a tool, our 1:1 Chromebook deployment will expand, invigorate, and evolve our learning environment. All of this fits with all our district efforts to prepare confident students with 21st century skills ready to use when they graduate our school.
Q: Why did Waldwick choose Chromebooks over other devices?
A: In choosing a device that every student attending Waldwick HS would use, we were looking for something that would seamlessly fit with the successes of our existing platforms and infrastructure.
Like many other K12 and higher education institutions, Waldwick migrated its e-mail system to Gmail. The change took place over the summer and provided a cost effective, flexible, manageable e-mail solution. As part of the migrations we included the rest of the “Google
Apps For Education” (GAFE) suite. The Google Apps Suite has been incredibly successful in creating more effective classroom lessons as well as efficient building management and effective collaboration. While we still have our Apple iPads and Windows desktops, specifically the Chromebooks were a better fit as student’s primary device.
We have been piloting Chromebook with teachers and have found the platform to be flexible, collaborative, intuitive, and ultimately, extremely functional for evolving their classroom environment.
Important to this discussion is the compatibility of any device with the upcoming PARCC assessments, a 26 state assessment replacing HSPA in 2015 that will be taken on a computer. Until recently, iPads and other tablet devices were not PARCC approved devices. While some tablets are now PARCC approved (click here to see the PARCC specifications), they must also include a separate keyboard. This presents several significant management issues. Chromebooks since their deployment, have met all the criteria for PARCC readiness. This is important. Using the same devices for instruction that students will use for testing provides a familiarity and comfortability when taking these very important tests; it provides a ‘home court’ advantage by allowing teachers to mirror the very interactive and individual medium of the PARCC assessments.
Q: Does my child have to take his or her Chromebook home every night?
A: Students are required to come to class everyday prepared with a charged device just as they would a textbook, notebook, and pen / pencil. Think of the Chromebook as a textbook. The Chromebook, like a textbook, will be the responsibility of the student. It is recommended that the Chromebook be taken home every night. Anything a student does via their Waldwick e-mail account (Google Doc’s, presentations, notes, etc...) can be accessed by using the Chrome browser on any internet ready device within your home. If you need to download the Chrome Browser please click here. It is free and takes only a few minutes.
Q: What if my son / daughter’s Chromebook is damaged?
A: Families can opt to insure the Chromebook through Waldwick School District. Insurance is NOT mandatory.
If you opt out of our insurance plan, the full cost of any damage or loss would be the responsibility of the parent/guardian/student. The cost to replace a Chromebook is $330.
Q: How much is the insurance and what does it cover?
A: The non-refundable fee for each school year will be $25*.
Q: What is Covered by Damage Protection
A: The damage protection agreement provides coverage for 1 incident of accidental damage. Covered damage includes but not limited to drops, cracks, liquid spills, power surge and any other damage that it caused by accident. After 2 incidents, the student would be responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacement and would no longer be permitted to take the Chromebook home.
Q: How will Waldwick define “damage” to a device?
A: “Damaged” is defined as hardware or software breakage that hinders the operation or functionality of the device while being used within the parameters of the Acceptable Use Policy. Damage that occurs through neglect, misuse, or use outside the parameters of the AUP will be the responsibility of the student.
Q: What are its limitations to the insurance fee?
A: Deliberate neglect or misuse to the Chromebook is not covered by the damage protection agreement. As stated in Policy 7523 School District Provided Technology Devices to Pupils, “any district-owned property that is misused, or neglected is the responsibility of the parent/guardian/student.” The cost of replacement is $330. Protective covers and power chargers are not covered by the agreement. In these incidents, students are responsible for the cost of replacement. If a student is issued a loaner Chromebook, loaners are not covered under this agreement. Students would pay the full cost of damage or loss on any loaner devices.
Q: I want the insurance, how do I pay for it?
A: The Waldwick School District is currently accepting online payments through PaySchools.
Q: What if I want to buy my own Chromebook and refuse the school’s device?
A: To preserve instructional consistency and the integrity of our infrastructure, we currently are not allowing personal devices into the building. Again, the best analogy is to think of the Chromebook as a textbook. All students are issued a textbook which is then the responsibility of the student for that school year. Students do not have the option of buying a new textbook in place of receiving a school issued textbook.
Q: If I have two or more children, will I receive a discounted price?
A: The protection plan charge is per device. If you have a financial hardship, please talk with a school administrator about a payment plan.
Q: What happens if my child forgets his / her Chromebook for class?
A: Should a student forget their device, the teacher will note it as they would any other item that is necessary for successful class participation. Students will have the option of accessing a limited number of “loaner” devices for that day. Loaner devices will be available in the RTO.
Q: My son/daughter will be a Senior. If they don’t use their $25 insurance fee, will it be refunded?
A: No. Just like any other insurance (i.e. car or house) the insurance is nonrefundable.