Next Generation Learning Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is LVUSD doing this?
There are many reasons why LVUSD has committed to this project, all of which keep student learning as the key focus. We are not doing this because it is neat or flashy; we are doing this because we sincerely feel that it is in the best interest of our students to become proficient in the use of technology to enhance their learning and to communicate and collaborate in an ethical and safe manner. The Common Core Standards both explicitly and implicitly require students in all grades to use technology to research, collaborate, and create original works. Additionally, the end-of-the-year California State Assessments begin in third grade and are administered entirely on a computer. Using technology throughout the year in an authentic manner will better prepare our students for this new generation of assessments.
Why were third, sixth, and ninth grades chosen?
Third, sixth, and ninth grades are, generally, natural times of transition, making them logical points in time to introduce and/or replace technology. The Forward Learning Plan presumes about a three year life span for devices, so these grades logically fit that timeline. Students will purchase or checkout a device at these grade levels and continue to use the same device throughout each three year time span, after which time a newer, more up-to-date device will be introduced.
How and why was the device chosen?
LVUSD has a Technology Committee which is comprised of administrators, teachers from various grades, students, media specialist, the district's Chief Technology Officer, as well as LVUSD parents and PFA representatives. After many meetings, discussions, and research, the committee settled on this device as it most evenly balanced durability, functionality, and cost effectiveness.
Why can't my student just use their personal Macbook/Windows/Other device?
The current program requires that all students carry with them and use the District-standard laptop at school for a number of reasons, including the following:
- By providing a consistent device for every student, we can ensure that all students have the same applications and capabilities to complete their schoolwork, as well as to learn how to use the technology both in class and from their peers.
- Consistent technology enables us to provide effective on-campus support should a problem arise - something that we would be unable to provide in a free-for-all technology environment.
- District laptops have an (nearly) instant reset function, which enables students to solve problems with their laptop's software or configuration at the press of a button, all without losing any of their work, which helps to eliminate in-classroom problems and downtime.
- Teachers will be trained on managing an environment with consistent technology, capabilities, and access, which will help to ensure the effectiveness of technology-based classroom activities and encourage them to utilize technology more regularly.
- State assessments, which schools will begin implementing throughout the 2015/16 school year require special "secure" software that we are unable to install on personal computers.We can "push" out software and updates to District-standard computers, should the need arise, which we will be unable to do for personal computers.
All that said, we are still an open campus and will allow students to bring any device they would like to school as well, should they wish to. Teachers will, however, expect that all students have their standard device with them to use for classroom activities and assessments.
If I choose to purchase a device, how much will this cost me?
The device will cost approximately $300. See the Laptop Purchase Program page for details.
What if the device breaks?
The devices come with a two year warranty and LVUSD has plans to create repair stations at the local schools. In addition, the District's insurance partner, Worth Avenue Group offers insurance coverage for accidental breakage, theft, power surge, vandalism, etc.
What if I don't want my student to participate?
You are not required to purchase a device for your student, but all third through twelfth grade teachers at LVUSD will be using technology to better engage and instruct their students. If a student does not have a device, he/she will use a school-owned device.
Can my student take the device home?
Yes. If you purchase a device for your student, it will be theirs to use (and decorate) for the length of its usable life - estimated at about three years. If your student checks out a school-owned device, they may take it home, however over long breaks such as Winter and Spring break they will be expected to turn it in to the school. Each year, they will be issued a device from the school's inventory, not necessarily the same one as the prior year.
Will they use the laptop for everything?
No. The laptop will not replace the teacher or the traditional hands-on activities that also make learning fun and relevant. The teachers will carefully plan the lessons that make use of the laptops but they will also be available for 'on demand' discovery and teachable moments. Just as your student doesn't use a pencil for every learning activity at LVUSD, neither will they use the laptop for every learning activity.
Will the students still learn cursive?
Yes. Under the California Common Core State Standards, all sixth grade students in California will still learn cursive writing.
What if my student doesn't know how to type?
Students in all grades at LVUSD will learn and practice proper keyboarding techniques with the hope that they will become moderately proficient keyboardists by their fifth grade year.
What will happen next year when my student moves to their next grade?
If you purchase a laptop for your student, they will take it with them to their next grade. Students who check out school laptops will be issued a device from the school's existing inventory.