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iAndover FAQ

Parents

My son is bringing his laptop to school for instructional purposes. Will he have access to things he normally does with district equipment?

Answer: Your son will have access to any of the web based software currently use (Google Docs, Aspen, databases, library search tools etc.). Software may run differently on different devices for varying reasons. You should consult your owner’s manual for software limitations.

As a parent, am I required to add additional software (virus protection, filter, tracking device etc.) to my child’s technology tool?

Answer: No. Currently we are not requiring any additional software for school use. Virus protection is always advised, but not required to participate in the pilot. A product called Absolute Software can be installed on the device to track the location in case of theft. While on the APS network, students will be monitored through the district’s filter, so there is no need for additional filtering software.

If my daughter’s laptop is stolen or damaged, what recourse can I take?

Answer: The district is not responsible for any damage or theft of student owned equipment. Installing tracking software like Absolute Software can help locate the equipment if it is stolen, and keeping track of the device’s serial number, model and type will be helpful as well. Theft or vandalism of any kind should be reported immediately to an administrator, so he/she can take the appropriate steps.

What is the policy on charging personally owned devices while at school?

Answer: It is recommended that personally owned devices come to school with a full charge. Students should be made aware that the school is not responsible to provide an opportunity or the necessary power to charge their device during the school day.

Securing Devices

As parents, you’re concerned about your child keeping his/her device safe. In a BYOD environment, devices are out in the open so students are more aware of their devices.

Schools will have a plan to help students keep their devices secured. Ultimately, though, students are responsible for lost, stolen and/or damaged personal electronic devices, just as they are for any other personal items they bring to school.

If you plan to send your student to school with a device, please consider purchasing a protective case. Also, some devices have a built-in locator that you should enable.

Why are we implementing a 1:1 Learning Initiative in Andover?

** Questions for the investigation stage of the 1:1 Learning Initiative **

What is the overall reason(s) for implementing a 1:1 learning initiative?

We believe that a 1-1 laptop learning environment will best support 21st century teaching and learning. The Student 1:1 Learning Initiative aims to enhance student learning by creating a personalized, student centered learning environment where every student has a laptop to use in school and at home. Students will leverage these tools in the classroom to learn how to collaborate, analyze data, and be effective members of a team.

Is there any research to support the implementation of a 1-1 laptop learning program?

Conclusions drawn from available research** is that the 1-1 learning experience provides many positive outcomes for students, staff, and the community. Among the outcomes mentioned most are:

      • Improve writing skills and depth of students research.
      • Increased student interest in learning and ownership of the learning process.
      • Improvement in student and staff attendance.
      • Reductions in student behavior problems.
      • increased parental interest in school activities.
      • Improved student and staff morale.
      • Reductions in lecture/presentation instruction and an increase in project based learning activities.

** Click here for research information

What’s the main benefit of a 1-1 learning initiative to the students and teachers?

The Student 1:1 Learning Initiative aims to enhance student learning by creating a personalized, student centered learning environment where every student has a laptop to use in school and at home. Students will leverage these tools in the classroom to learn how to collaborate, analyze data, and be effective members of a team.

Aligned with the studies from The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the Horizon Report, the district's 1:1 learning goals are:

  • To increase student engagement and productivity through personalized learning and equal access to technology
  • To extend and expand learning beyond the school day—anytime, anywhere learning
  • To provide authentic and relevant learning experiences
  • To increase student achievement and academic rigor
  • To promote inclusion by providing opportunities that level the playing field for children with disabilities in general education classrooms
  • To increase 21st century skill development in collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, digital literacy, and global awareness.

The 1:1 learning goals align and support our district goals:

  • Strategic Plan Focus Area 2: Technology Supported Learning
    • Digital Learning: APS students will be immersed in interactive technology rich classrooms that support instruction and student learning to prepare them for a society dominated by digital communication.

How will one to one help teachers and administrators?

One-to-One programs provide for a much richer learning environment.

Computers provide teachers much more flexibility in how they teach, providing opportunities for more personalized and differentiated instruction, reversed (flipped) lessons, collaborative projects, online study groups, flexible office hours, and hybrid (blended) courses to name a few.

Student computers allow teachers to take advantage of the Aspen Instructional Management System (IMS) which will empower teachers with a host of useful applications and tools:

      • One-to one increases instruction time by reducing the time associated using computer labs or laptop carts. It also ends logistical issues and removes the problem of trying to schedule learning around the availability of technology.
      • Online tests and quizzes which are graded automatically and provide students with instant feedback
      • Homework and class notes distributed online - no paper
      • Homework turned in, graded and returned to students online - no paper
      • Synchronous online study groups and/or one-on-one student help sessions
      • Increased home to school communication
      • Student ePortfolios

Does the computer take the place of the textbook?

While we are evaluating electronic textbooks and OER that will be used in place of printed ones, the cost associated with online textbooks is cost prohibited at this time.

We already have computer labs and laptop carts? Why do we need one-to-one?

With limited access to unreliable and outdated technology in both the middle and high school, teachers are forced to plan far ahead in order to use computers in their classrooms. Carts add additional problem because instructional time is wasted getting the cart from previous teachers, distributing and setting up the computers at the start of class and putting them away when class is over.

How does this program affect our special education students?

We believe that this program can have a positive impact on all our students, especially our special education students because technology offers many programs and tools that will support their needs and give them better access to the curriculum.

Most of these programs and tools are available for free and include the following:

      • A vast number of free on-line resources that can be used to enhance learning such as virtual math manipulative, virtual science labs, customized quiz and vocabulary building software, podcasts and numerous language learning resources, on-line primary documents from our national archives and much more.
      • Easy to use multi media tools that give students another way to demonstrate and share their understanding of content “show what they know”.
      • Built in accessibility features, especially featured on the Macbook. For example, with the built-in text to speech capability, you can highlight a block of text and a clear and understandable voice reads it back to you. Students with literacy challenges now can listen to, enjoy and comprehend text that they struggle to read on their own. Students with visual needs can use the built-in screen zoom feature on the Macbook. There are other powerful built-in features on the macbook, which aid students with hearing, and physical motor needs.
      • Multi-modal delivery methods are facilitated by the use of a computer for those students who have difficulty reading or those who have difficulty following then spoken word.
      • Technology can help meet the needs of different intelligences, different learning styles and different learning paces. Our 1-1 laptop learning will put these tools in the hands of every student for anywhere, anytime learning.

Training and Support

How will we be able to support all those laptops?

      • Technology support will be extremely important to the success of our 1 to 1 learning program. We have visited districts who have successful 1 to 1 laptop programs to understand how they manage support and incorporated what we have learned into our plan.
      • During school hours at a student-run “Innovation Lab and Student Help Desk” (currently at the high school)
      • Students & parents can also access the Apple Store Genius Bar for support needs/guidelines

What type of support/training will be offered to families?

Parents will have the opportunity to participate in training that will help them support their students 1:1 learning experience.

Security/Privacy Issues

How will you manage social networking (IM, Facebook, YouTube, Internet) and other distractions in the classroom?

The school network has a filtering system designed to block improper use.

Will there be content filters on the machines?

  • No, but there is an Internet filter at school
  • Parents are responsible for monitoring student use at home
  • Parents can load additional restrictions on their children’s machines

What about security/theft/damage?

Devices are the sole responsibility of the student. APS accepts not responsibility for the security or safety of the device. Students are responsible for the security of the device. Teachers and other staff will not store or hold onto devices. School technology support or teach will not support or repair student devices.

What is the policy on charging personally owned devices while at school?

It is recommended that personally owned devices come to school with a full charge. Students should be made aware that the school is not responsible to provide an opportunity or the necessary power to charge their device during the school day.

What apps/software will be used in the classroom?

APS does not provide or require apps or software for personally owned devices. Classroom lessons will be tailored for the technology that all students have access to. If possible, a student may choose to complete the same lesson on their personal device. The Internet browser built into the personally owned devices can be used to access the APS Google Apps for Education application.

What happens if the device breaks while in school?

The student will put the device away and take it home at the end of the school day where the student and parent can troubleshoot the device. APS has limited resources and cannot provide comprehensive support for the wide variety of devices allowed under this program.

**FAQ based on common questions asked - during our research