ECHS 1:1 Q&A
The 1:1 Chromebook Initiative scheduled for the 2017-2018 school year at Eau Claire High School is an exciting opportunity for us to move our teaching and learning forward with the integration of new technologies. It is also generating a lot of questions. This site will hopefully answer many of those, for all of the stakeholders. Also, this Q&A will change as it's updated with new questions, so stay tuned.
Can students use their own personal devices rather than the Chromebooks?
At this time, we are not allowing the use of student personal devices. While there are advantages to a BYOD initiative (where students bring their own devices to use), there are some pretty serious disadvantages, as well. With our 1:1 Chromebook initiative, we have made a decision to go in the direction of school-provided devices at this point in time.
Will students be able to share their Chromebooks?
Since each student will be assigned their own Chromebook to use, sharing them will be discouraged.
Will there be backups on days where students forget to bring their Chromebook or charge it?
Part of the value of this initiative is to help students learn responsibility for the tools necessary for growth (a life skill). Having said this, for students who fail to be responsible, there will be a VERY LIMITED number of "loaner" devices available.
Will they have unfiltered access at home? In other words, is the filter part of the wifi or the device itself?
The Chromebooks will be covered by a software that will filter, geolocate/track, and control the devices no matter where they are. It is the school district's responsibility to protect students using school devices no matter where they are, according to the Child Internet Protection Act of 2000. For more information about CIPA, please navigate to the FCC website.
What happens if a Chromebook is damaged or lost? If new parts, or whole devices, need to be issued, is there a waiting period? What would students use for class during this time?
While we certainly hope that damage and loss will be minimal, the devices are covered by a warranty from the manufacturer (HP) that will protect the devices in the event of accidental damage. In the event of loss, we will be able to track their location with GPS technology. Because HP will be receiving damaged devices from us and reissuing new devices in their place, a waiting period will be part of that process. Students should do their best to avoid having to discover how long that period will be.
Will the wi-fi be improved to accommodate for 200 students being online at the same time? (Does it need to be?)
Our current wireless infrastructure will be able to handle the amount of traffic. No improvements will be necessary.
How will students transport Chromebooks? Will there be carrying cases? Are teachers going to be more understanding of students having backpacks in class if they are being used to protect Chromebooks?
There are currently no plans to change the backpack policy. Each student will receive their Chromebook in THIS PROTECTIVE CASE. These cases will be allowed in the classrooms next year.
What are the consequences for leaving them at home frequently/not bringing them to class?
The consequences for failing to arrive at class prepared with a Chromebook will be handled in a similar fashion to the way in which students are currently being handled for arriving at class unprepared.
How will students be controlled/kept from using the Chromebooks for inappropriate things?
The Chromebook devices will be controlled by a software that will allow the Technology Director to control the devices at a very granular level. Additionally, the classroom teachers will have access to the same software to allow them to control the devices while they are in the classroom. Teachers will be receiving training to use this software to control student Chromebook use in the classroom.
Will other people in the home be able to use the Chromebook?
Our current Chromebook policies do not allow for users without an "eauclaireps.com" Google account to log in to a Chromebook. Because of this, the devices will not be able to be accessed by any generic Google account.
What will happen if students are sharing their Google accounts?
Sharing account credentials is a violation of the current Acceptable Use Policy. As a side note, all users in the school district will be signing new Acceptable Use Policy forms next year that have been approved by our legal team. As always, violations of the AUP are handled by the school administration.
How long will the Chromebooks last, and will there be $ to replace them or maintain them?
We expect that these Chromebooks will last 3-5 years. We already know that Google will not be supporting this particular model of Chromebook after January of 2022. Additionally, the warranty provided by the manufacturer will run out in the middle of 2020. So, we are probably looking at maintaining them in-house between 2020 and 2022, as they approach end-of-life.
How will teachers keep students on task and not using Chromebooks to distraction?
The Chromebook devices will be controlled by a software that will allow the teachers to control the devices while they are in the classroom. Teachers will be receiving training to use this software to control student Chromebook use in the classroom. The software will allow teachers to do such things as: screen monitoring, link sharing, device lock/eyes up front, URL history, screen recording, and student and teacher screen broadcasting.
What if students change their passwords and then cannot remember them?
As always, there is a self-service portal for requesting assistance with Google account credentials. Fortunately, the vast majority (more than 83%) of our high school students 1) know their account password, 2) have recently accessed their account, and 3) use their Google accounts appropriately.
What will the policy be for students loaning and losing another student's Chromebook?
Any student who is interested in the safety and security of their materials should avoid loaning their materials to someone else. If a student cares so little about being prepared for class that they need to borrow something from you, what are the chances that they will care highly about the safety and security of what they've borrowed from you. Shakespeare once wrote, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."
Will students receive earbuds or will they be responsible for them?
Students should purchase earbuds for themselves, if they don't already own them. Additionally, earbuds will be made available for purchase in the school store in the future. The school district will not be providing earbuds for students.
What is going to be the expectation for Chromebook charging responsibilities?
Students will be expected to charge their Chromebooks in their homes with the chargers that they will be given. The devices will hold a charge for an extended period of time throughout the school day, so students who come to school with a fully-charged Chromebook should not need to charge it at any point during the day. There will be a designated charging location in the front office for charging emergencies and for students who do not abuse the practice.
What steps will be taken to insure that students without home internet access will be able to complete assignments with their Chromebooks at home?
Google offers an offline mode inside most of their apps that will allow students to download materials to their Chromebooks, to then work on those assignments offline and then later upload their progress when the Chromebook comes back online. More information will be available on this functionality soon.
How will devices be assigned and then recollected as the initiative continues on?
The devices will be distributed every fall at the start of school and recollected every spring at the end of school. Currently, we are planning that students will have the same Chromebook year after year as they continue through their high school career.
Will the Chromebooks have identifying labels on them?
The Chromebooks will all have asset tags on them that are used for inventory purposes. These asset tags will include a simple four digit number that the students can memorize so that they will know which device belongs to them. In this way, no additional tagging of the Chromebook is necessary. Students will want to be in the practice of checking at multiple times throughout the school days to make sure that they have their Chromebook in their possession.