Student 1 to 1 FAQ
Why do the parents have to purchase the laptops for the children?
Technology at ASFM is seen as a tool for learning and just as we don’t provide pencils, notebooks, binders, etc, we do not believe in providing the laptop. Our survey of students in 2011 showed that 73% of students already own a laptop and 66.3% of students own Apple laptops. ASFM did not think it was in the best interest of the community to charge an additional tuition fee to families to provide laptops to families that had already made that investment. We also believe in the importance of ownership as well as personalization. We want student to become comfortable using the technology they own as a tool. A school provided devices limits students to a specific device and limits on the types of programs and personal files that can be kept on the system.
Why is it a 1 to 1 Laptop program instead of a 1 to 1 iPad Program?
Though the iPad is a tremendous tool for learning with a variety of benefits towards education, it is unable to fully support the needs of our classrooms. ASFM has work for several years preparing their teachers, curriculum, and infrastructure for increased technology integration. Many of the tools that we have found to be the most beneficial to student learning are unfortunately not supported by the iOS platform. Tools such as Google Docs, Geometer’s Sketch Pad, BrainPop, Prezi, Wolfram Alpha Demonstration Project, Aleks, etc. may have versions of their products, but do not fulfill the needs of our demanding curriculum that we pride ourselves on providing.
Our vision as a school is to empower our students as creators of content and not just consumers of the internet. We believe that students learn best by doing, publishing, and sharing with the world and as of now, we don’t feel that the iPad is the most efficient tool for achieving this vision at the middle and high school level. We recognize its potential of many apps available, but with the latest OS X, students will be able to have almost the best of both worlds.
Why does it have to be an Apple Laptop?
The most critical step for success in a 1 to 1 program is providing teachers with the access and training years in advance of the beginning the 1 to 1 classroom environment environment. Apple products have always been the educational tool at ASFM, since the first computer that was purchased for the school we have only used this platform. Because of this legacy, our teachers are Apple users and have built lessons based on the ease of the iLife tools, the interactivity of iBook software as well as a variety of other tools for creatively producing examples of content knowledge. Their experience with the Apple platform allows them to quickly and easily guide students to answers about the technical devices, so that time is not taken away from what is most important, the curriculum. In addition to quick classroom troubleshooting, our IT staff are Apple certified technicians and having a variety of platforms for them to attend to would slow down our ability to support classrooms and once again take away from the world class education we are continuing to provide.
The most critical step for success in a 1 to 1 program is providing teachers with the access and training years in advance of beginning the 1 to 1 classroom environment. Apple products have always been the educational tool at ASFM, since the first computer ever purchased for the school we have only used this platform. Because of this legacy, our teachers as Apple users and have built lessons based on the ease of several Apple tools. The Apple iLife Suite, which comes standard on all Apple laptops, provides unparalleled opportunities for students to create multimedia works to support and demonstrate their curricular knowledge. In addition the iBook Authoring software, which is unavailable on other platforms, will allow students to generate digital textbooks for their own use or for our elementary students to benefit from. The teachers' experience with the Apple platform allows them to quickly and easily guide students to answers about the technical devices, so that time is not taken away from what is most important, the curriculum. In addition to quick classroom troubleshooting, our IT staff are Apple certified technicians which will allow them to more efficiently support this platform. It is for these reasons that we require that all ASFM 1 to 1 laptops are an Apple product. The age of the device is not important as long as it meets our System Requirements.
Why is OS X Lion or higher the required operating system?
OS X Lion provides a variety of benefits for our 1 to 1 program. Without Lion, students would not have access to the free cloud based "Find My Device" service. This service will pinpoint the location of any stolen laptop and is able to be tracked.
In addition to the added safety features of the Lion OS, this operating system also allows for easy download and installation of apps for the Mac laptops. Similar to the App Store found on iDevices, you can search for and purchase a variety of apps to keep your computer up to date. One of the apps that we are very excited about using for the laptop pilot program is the iBook Author app. Seventh grade students will be able to write digital textbooks that can then be shared with and viewed on iPads. We are looking forward to our seventh graders creating resources for our younger students at the elementary campus that are using iPads in the classroom.
What if my child’s laptop breaks?
For minor troubleshooting issues with wireless access, the ASFM IT team will work with students to ensure that their daily use of technology runs smoothly. With larger or chronic technical issues, families and students are responsible for maintenance and repair of their laptop. We also suggest that all families invest in the Apple Protection Plan and check with their home insurance provider to ensure the laptop is covered if it should be stolen. See our Protecting Your Laptop page to learn more.
If the device becomes damaged and is unable to fulfill the needs of the classroom, ASFM requires that it be fixed in a timely fashion. When a device is being serviced, families should ask for an Service Order receipt. A student can show their Service Order Receipt here at school and we will provide a temporary replacement, however, students will not be permitted to take the ASFM provided replacement home with them. If the device cannot be repaired or recovered, the family is expected to replace the device. To avoid loss of information and important files, we encourage families to invest in an external hard drive for backing up content stored on their laptop.
Why did ASFM choose to start at grade 7 with the 1 to 1 program?
Though sixth grade is our first grade level in our MSHS building, we believed that the large load of new responsibilities for children entering middle school would only be compounded by the additional responsibility of implementing and caring for a laptop as a required educational tool.
Our seventh grade teaching team and curriculum has made considerable strides towards utilizing technology as a tool in the classroom. This starting point also correlates well with the projected age of three years for a laptop and our transition into the Bach Program at our high school.
We do have plans to grow the program once we have collected important data and input from our 2012-2013 7th grade pilot program. Growth of this program will be based on what we deem best for the educational experience for all students.