My child already has a personal Chromebook. May (s)he use that instead of a district-assigned one during the school day?
A lot of thought and planning went into our 1:1 Technology Initiative. We began by increasing our Internet bandwidth, wireless access point coverage/density, and network infrastructure. This process occurred before we were able to provide students with district issued devices, but in careful preparation for it. During this time we allowed students to bring in their own device since we had the wireless network to support it but were not ready to issue every student a technology device.
Now that we are able to provide district issued Chromebooks for all of our Bobby’s Run and Middle School students, we will not be allowing students in 4th – 8th grade to bring in their own device. We spoke with many other districts implementing a 1:1 program, and this stance is a common practice to avoid too many liability issues involved with allowing student-owned devices to be brought into school.
How is one student’s Chromebook identified from another student?
Within each grade level, all of the Chromebooks are the same, so they look very much alike. However, each Chromebook will be tagged with a sticker with the student’s name and their homeroom teacher’s name on it. Additionally, the device’s serial number with bar code will be on each Chromebook. The district records all of that data in Genesis, so if a Chromebook is misplaced, we can determine who it is assigned to get it back to the student user. Any ID stickers that are on the Chromebook, when issued, must stay on the Chromebook. No additional permanent markings of any kind (stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still district-owned property. Additional permanent markings on the device will be considered vandalism.
In the Lumberton Middle School, each Chromebook will be accompanied by a carrying case. The carrying case may be personalized. The carrying case should be used at all times when transporting the Chromebook.
In the Bobby’s Run School, Chromebooks will be in a Chromebook charging cart and there will be a cart assigned to each general education classroom location. Since Chromebooks will not be transported between classes or home, a carrying case is not required.
Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?
After a successful pilot year of the 8th grade students taking the Chromebooks home for school-related use, we have decided to continue this and also open it to all grades in the Lumberton Middle School. 6th, 7th and 8th grade students will be assigned a specific Chromebook for the school year and they will bring it to school every morning and return home with it every afternoon. It is our expectation that every morning, the Chromebooks come in to school fully charged from the night before.
Bobby’s Run students will not be assigned individual Chromebooks to carry from class to class, but instead find carts filled with Chromebooks in each of their classes.
For the Lumberton Middle School Chromebook take home model, the signed Technology Policies/Regulations Acknowledgement Form, signed Anti-Big Brother Form, and the completed Chromebook Damage Protection Plan Form must be submitted to the district before a Chromebook will be issued to the student. Chromebook distribution afternoon/evening dates for late August, early September of 2017 will be shared with parents/guardians in early August 2017.
In addition, all 4th – 8th grade students will be required to submit a parent/guardian signed Anti-Big Brother Form before Chromebooks may be used.
May we opt to have our child leave their district assigned Chromebook at school?
While we do allow for this option, we encourage all of our middle school students to take advantage of the 24/7 access to technology. Your child’s teachers are planning and assigning homework knowing that their students have uncontested access to a device that evening or on the weekend/vacation. If a family opts to have their child leave the Chromebook at school we hope a home device will be made available so the student will not be hindered in completing their school work.
In addition, the Chromebook liability will not be waived for families who opt to leave the Chromebook at school. Students are still responsible for the Chromebook since they will be transporting it within the school building during the day. The liability and insurance plan options will be exactly the same for leave at school Chromebooks as take home Chromebooks.
If we opt for the leave at school Chromebook model, how does that work?
The district will provide a secure and centralized location where there will be a charging station for the Chromebook. At the beginning of the school day, your child will go to that location and pick up their charged Chromebook for use during the school day. At the end of the final school period for that day, your child will be allowed to take their Chromebook back to the secure location and plug it into the charging station for the evening. This daily procedure repeats throughout the school year. In addition, adults will be assigned to this secure location in the morning and afternoon, on a daily basis, to assist with any issues that may arise.
If we opt for the leave at school Chromebook model, but change our minds during the year, may we switch? And vice-versa?
Absolutely. Since the paperwork and liability is the same for both models, it is simply a procedural change. Simply notify the middle school main office of the request for change and we will take care of the rest. Please notify us through a written request (e-mail is preferred) from the parent/guardian.
If my child accidentally damages the Chromebook who is responsible?
In accordance with Policy 5513: Care of School Property, students are responsible for the proper care of school property and the school supplies and equipment entrusted to his/her use. Students and parents will be responsible for district-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other district-owned items such as text books, calculators, athletic equipment, or library books. The Lumberton Township Public Schools recognizes that there is a need to protect the investment by both the district and the student/parent. If the device is damaged, the district will repair or replace it, but students/parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices.
The district offers a low cost and comprehensive insurance plan to protect against accidents. Click here to learn more about the Chromebook damage protection options. Please note that the insurance plan has no deductible for the first occurrence/claim only. Subsequent occurrences/claims within that same school calendar year will necessitate a $30 co-payment from the parent/guardian.
My child forgot to charge their Chromebook before school. Now what?
A charger and a protective carrying case will be supplied with each Chromebook. Therefore, Lumberton Middle School students are expected to charge their Chromebooks nightly at home and bring them to school fully charged. If one is available, students who do not bring a charged Chromebook back to school may be issued a loaner device for the day, which cannot be taken home. Keep in mind that we have a limited supply of loaner Chromebooks and if a loaner is not available, your child may be without a Chromebook for the day.
Chromebooks in the Bobby’s Run School will be kept in the classrooms and utilize charging stations or charging carts.
If a student must take it to another room, how will they carry their Chromebook?
Chromebooks should never be transported while open as even gentle handling in the wrong location of the Chromebook can damage the screen. Chromebooks should be safely closed and placed in their carrying case before they are taken from classroom to classroom or to and from school. The cases provided will have a handle and room for the Chromebook to be safely secured.
Furthermore, we recommend that the student not overstuff their Chromebook cases in the main slot or pocket of the transport case. We have experienced situations where this has caused Chromebook damage. Chargers should be left at home and other school supplies or personal items should not be stuffed into the main slot or pocket. In addition, we recommend a fixed location for the Chromebook charger so your child gets into a routine of charging their Chromebook every evening and not hunting around for where it was last left.
Where can you get an Internet connection if the building’s wireless connection is not working?
The devices will only connect to the web wirelessly. If the district’s WiFi network is down during school, the Chromebooks will not have connectivity to the web. However, there are still desktop computers in the classrooms, computer labs, and libraries where the students can access Google Drive and Google Classroom to continue their work in this unlikely circumstance.
What login will students use to get into the device operating system?
Students will each have an email address that is their primary login and username. Although their login looks like an e-mail address, they cannot e-mail internally or externally using this login account. Students can change their password, but they cannot change their username. The district cannot recover passwords and students should remember them to ensure successful logins.
Can the Chromebooks be used with another username?
No. Students and staff cannot access a district-owned Chromebook with any other login other than their district-assigned Google username. For example, students will not be able log in to their personal Gmail account on a district-provided Chromebook. However, if a student logs into another device (a PC laptop, a school lab computer, a loaner Chromebook, etc.), with their school provided Google username, all of their information (bookmarks, emails, documents, applications, etc.) will be available to them on that device when using a Chrome browser.
Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?
We do our best to ensure our students’ online experience is safe. The district has purchased GoGuardian Admin (https://www.goguardian.com/admin.html) to filter web activity, monitor appropriate app usage, supply assistance with theft recovery, and provide constant protection in and out of the school building. GoGuardian protects and monitors based on the user account login. Therefore, when the student logs into his or her district managed Google account, using any device (chromebook, desktop computer, laptop computer, personal handheld devices), both in and out of school, the software provides Internet/app filtering/monitoring to protect your child. If your child is using the Chromebook at school, at home or at a public library, their session will always be filtered by our web filtering before they can see or access web content. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible.
What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?
While we do our best to stay on top of things, some websites are not blocked or are able to bypass our filters. Teachers and parents are encouraged to proactively monitor the use of the Chromebooks on a regular basis. If you discover any inappropriate web activity, please contact your child’s teacher, building principal or vice-principal. Inappropriate web browsing is a violation of the district Authorized Use Policy and may result in disciplinary action.
Teachers will be employing the use of GoGuardian Teacher https://www.goguardian.com/teacher.html to assist with enhanced lesson delivery as well as real-time monitoring of student use of the Chromebook. GoGuardian Teacher provides our teachers the ability to see what their students are doing (ie – what apps they have open & what websites they are browsing), without even looking at the student’s physical Chromebook screen!
What happens if the device is damaged or lost?
Please refer to the Chromebook Damage Protection Plan Options Form for details. Your responsibility and liability will depend on the Damage Protection Plan you originally selected.
Can you print from the devices?
Digital online file sharing between staff and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way to distribute and turn in assignments without printing. It also saves on paper, ink and toner use, thereby saving the district money. There are ways to print from the Chromebooks, but it’s not encouraged or particularly easy. Most printing of schoolwork should be done at school. However, we are encouraging staff to try and limit printing of assignments going forward.
What if another student damages my student’s device?
In such cases, circumstances will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. School administration may be involved if it is suspected to have been an intentional act or act of vandalism.
How would you go about repairing a laptop that is not functioning?
Damaged or non-functioning devices should be turned in to the student’s library with a completed Incident Repair Form so a repair can be started. District technology staff members can repair many problems in-house, which are typically resolved on the same day. Other problems may require the devices to be sent out for repair, which can take several weeks or perhaps longer. In the event that your child’s Chromebook is sent out for repair, the student will be issued a long term loaner to use as a replacement until their originally assigned Chromebook is repaired. Furthermore, the long term loaner Chromebook may be taken home unless otherwise determined by school administration.
If I originally chose to pay for repairs out-of-pocket, do the repair fees need to be paid up front?
Paying for repairs is preferred to be done up front, but in certain situations arrangements can be made for payment plans so students can continue using a Chromebook.
How much storage do students have?
Google provides students with unlimited storage in Google Drive.
What applications will be available on my child’s device?
There are thousands of Google apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of topics. However, as a default, all apps are blocked and only educational apps requested by district educators will be allowed for download via the Google Play Store.
Can students download apps?
No. Student access to the web store is limited.
What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?
The following peripherals may be connected to the Chromebook:
- USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
- External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
- Headphones, earbuds, microphones
How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?
Students will join the Google Classrooms of their respective teachers. This app for education was specifically designed for teachers to be able to share assignments with their students, and for each student to get his or her own individual copy. Teachers can also post announcements, check for understanding by asking questions and attach valuable resources like web hyperlinks, related PDFs and YouTube videos.
In addition, Google Drive has features built into it that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and even videos. Each item can be “shared” with a teacher prior to its due date. The teacher can then see the work on his or her own computer to review it or grade it for the student.
What if a student is out of school for an extended period (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?
With the devices, it will become even easier for students to receive work from their teacher. Assignments, readings, and other resources can be placed online and shared, via Google Classroom, with the student who is absent. The student can do the work online from home and share it back with the teacher.
Will class lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?
Possibly. Some teachers are looking at different applications to video/audio record specific course lessons and make them available via the web. This would allow students to view recorded lessons and access related materials (handouts, presentations, etc.) online for review or for students who are out of school to not miss a thing. At this point though, we’re still exploring.
Can the devices be used at home?
Yes, if your home has a standard WiFi network, the devices will have the same filtered web access as they would at school. Simply add your home WiFi network to the device and log in as you normally do at school.
If you don’t have a standard WiFi network at home, a cellular hotspot will provide the same experience. However, with this type of connection, please be aware that your cellular data will be used and data rates from your cellular provider will apply.
Affordable Internet at home for eligible families can be found here: https://www.internetessentials.com/
The Lumberton School District does not endorse any of the websites provided above and it is simply informational for you to do your own research.
Will devices be kept by students over summer?
No. Devices will be turned in at the end of the school year so the district can perform maintenance on them. Devices will be re-issued at the start of the school year to continuing students. Devices issued to students who leave the district (move, graduate, etc.) will be reformatted and re-issued to other students on an as-needed basis.
How long should Chromebooks last?
Chromebooks have very few moving parts in them and generate very little heat. Therefore the life expectancy — so long as they are treated appropriately — is fairly significant. Five years or more is not unrealistic. Additionally, the devices have powerful processors, adequate memory, and automatically update the latest software and security features without anything needing to be done by the student.
Can the district track web history?
Yes. The district can track information on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites. Students should only visit sites that are approved by the district and those that are not in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network and device use.
Are other districts doing this?
Yes. We’ve been in contact with other districts around the state that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. Howell Township is one such district. Before our Chromebook launch, we sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one districts, learning from them what’s worked well and how to avoid certain problems.
What can you say about eTextbooks? Will they replace traditional texts?
There is a growing number of eTextbooks available for schools to use, whether they are viewed on Chromebooks, iPads, traditional laptops or other devices. eTexts are generally cheaper than hard-cover textbooks, are updated at least annually (if not more often), are highly portable (multiple texts one device that weighs less than three pounds), and highly interactive. eTextbooks aren’t just black letters on white screen. Often times, text is searchable, citable, linked to other resources, or chapters and lessons have learning activities, videos and photo galleries built right in. They are enhanced with audio, interactivity and multimedia, and they offer tremendous learning advantages to our students. We will still use traditional textbooks in the foreseeable future, but the shift to more eTextbooks will happen. Additionally, many of our curriculum pieces — including our new reading and math curriculum for elementary students — have online and interactive components to go along with the more traditional classroom materials.
Will paper assignments become obsolete?
We can’t say we’ll never have paper or printed projects or work, but it will become less used as time goes on. This can add up to significant cost savings for the district by using less ink, toner and paper. That’s good for the environment, too.
Can parents use the Chromebooks?
When a student is logged into the Chromebook, parents can use them to check on student work, view their browsing history, or review student information through our Genesis parent portal. The Chromebooks are not intended for personal use for the student or their parents.
Can my child opt out of having a Chromebook?
No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at the Lumberton District and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it.
Can student work be transferred from their Chromebook to another device?
Student applications, bookmarks, documents, presentations and just about anything done in Google Drive is available on another Chromebook because this data resides in the Google Cloud. The content will be the same on the Chromebook as it is, say, on a desktop computer, so long as the student is using a Chrome browser and their district supplied login account.
What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?
Since the applications run through the browser and online, there is little worry about having viruses infect the Chromebook’s software or hardware. However, we do employ GoGuardian Admin to provide protection against this remote possibility.
Since my child’s data & browsing history is in the Google Cloud, is it protected & private?
Google has made privacy and security commitments to education and they can be found here. https://www.google.com/edu/trust/
What will occur at the Lumberton Middle School Chromebook distribution sessions?
Last year was our first year with the take home Chromebook model for 8th grade students. We spent some time reviewing “why”, “who” and “what” during the information session. At the end of each session, we collected signed forms, insurance payment, and parents/guardians left with their child’s district assigned Chromebook.
This year, 2017-18, we hope to streamline this a bit since we will be distributing over 500 Chromebooks to our middle school students. Details have not been finalized, but you will be receiving a “save the dates” e-mail in late July. In addition, we hope to share more details about the distribution sessions in early August.
For now, please save one of the following dates and plan to attend:
August 22, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:30pm in the Performing Arts Center
August 24, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:30pm in the Performing Arts Center
August 30, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:30pm in the Performing Arts Center
September 5, 2017 from 4:00 – 5:30pm in the Performing Arts Center
2016-17 (last year) forms – may change
Parents/guardians will receive a Chromebook Parent/Student Manual, which will include district policies and regulations surrounding this technology initiative as well as other relevant forms. After the brief presentation, you will be asked to submit 3 forms: 1) Signed Anti-Big Brother Form, 2) Signed Chromebook Polices/Regulations Acknowledgement Form, and 3) Completed Chromebook Damage Protection Plan Options Form with an option selected. If you chose the district insurance, a check or money order in the amount of $36 will also be collected. With these items fully completed, you and your child will leave with their district-assigned Chromebook, power adapter, and protective carrying case.
What if I cannot attend?
We are hopeful you will be able to attend one of the offered sessions. In the case you are unable to do so, you will be asked to make an appointment with the middle school principal, Mr. Pete Defeo’s replacement (To Be Determined), to receive the information, turn in the forms (make payment, if necessary), and receive the Chromebook.