If every student has their own computer, does this mean they will no longer use pencils, paper, and books?
What if the computer breaks and needs to be repaired, or becomes inoperable due to software or hardware failure
Will students be required to purchase Microsoft Office?
Will the school teach students how to use, maintain, and update their own computers?
Will students be required to go online at home?
Will student computers be monitored while on campus?
Will St. John’s provide Internet filtering?
What if the battery runs out during school?
What about printing?
Can we purchase an iPad instead of a laptop?
What about the security of my student's device during the day?
Using technology such as laptops and electronic devices does not mean that we never use conventional tools like paper, pens, and print books. There will be times when using these traditional technologies are the most appropriate way of meeting learning goals. However, our goal in allowing students to access our network on their own devices will be to increase their Digital Age Learning skills, giving each student confidence and competence in using technology appropriately in order to assist their learning and development.
If a device breaks during the school day, students will be told to put it away and take it home at the end of the day. It is the responsibility of the parent and the student to maintain and if necessary pay to have student laptops repaired. We strongly recommend purchasing an extended warranty and possibly even student laptop insurance to protect against repair/replacement costs. The school currently has laptop computers available in the case of a “learning emergency” which students can use, but the sole responsibility for maintaining functionality is on the student and the family.
No. To help students learn to work online and collaboratively, we make use of cloud based tools such of Google Apps for documents and presentations. Students who need software to work on documents offline can download and install free Open Office. (http://www.openoffice.org/). There are "offline options" for Chromebook users that students can use if Internet access is not available.
St. John’s teachers will be able to assist students and show them how to use web tools required for class activities and projects. While there will be times where they may also have time to assist our students in providing some tips and direction in the maintenance and updating of their devices, the ultimate responsibility will rest with the student and their parents/guardians. Support from a local retailer at the student’s cost may be necessary for support with software installation, virus protection software or repairs/upgrades.
Many of the tools and resources used at school are “online” resources which require an Internet connection in order to work. Students who are unable to get online at home may have to come to school early or stay late in order to get their work done. We strongly recommend a home Internet connection. Here are some of the online tools students need to access away from school: St. John’s Google Apps, Online Textbooks or learning resources, Discovery Education, St. John School web site, to name a few.
Each device used on our network must be registered with our information technology team. At the beginning of the year, students will provide their devices MAC Address (network identification address) so it can be identified on our school wireless network. We have the ability to generate reports identifying which devices have attempted to access blocked material, as well as see which websites have been most visited by our student body.
Students who connect to the Internet at school will be protected from inappropriate content via our Internet firewall which contains a content filter. This filter will only work while students are connected to St. John’s network. It is the parents responsibility to monitor their child’s Internet use at home. We encourage families to provide Internet filtering at home or install software to guard or monitor student use away from school. Once a quarter, St. John will provide learning opportunities for parents about what options are available to them with regards to things like home content filtering and/or strategies for safe Internet use.
Students are required to have their devices fully charged for the start of each school day. A student that comes to school with a dead battery is just as unprepared as a student who forgets their book or their pen or pencil.
Student devices will be required to have an expected battery life of 6 hours or more. For most students this will be enough to get them through the school day. If a student's device is critically low on power they may charge them during non-use times (lunch, recess, etc.). Our goal is to create a learning environment free of cords which might cause a safety hazard or disrupt the flow of class.
Student laptops will not be able to access printers at school. In most cases, homework will be “handed in” digitally, thus not needing to be printed. If a project requires printing, then it must be done on your home printer or shared/emailed to the appropriate individuals on campus with the ability to print. In some cases, if a home printer is not working, it may be acceptable to send the document to the teacher for printing.
While the best user experience for most of the school's web-based services is the laptop, many students have found the iPad, or comparable tablet device, to be very useful. Not all digital devices are the same and nor do they all have the same ability to access ALL of the various types of content on the Internet. Currently, there are several online tools and activities students may be expected to use at school that will not work on an iPad. Students may be expected to access online textbooks, resources, or other web tools (like Glogster & Prezi), which require Adobe Flash. Currently, Flash is not supported on the iPad. Our St. John Google Apps require a full desktop version of a web browser for complete functionality and live collaboration. The iPad only supports a limited “mobile” version of Google Apps. This may change in the future, but for now an iPad will need additional apps to fully support the student learning experience here at St. John.
There may be times during the day when students choose to lock their device in their school locker (lunch, recess, etc.). Students will be responsible for purchasing a combination lock for their own locker (combinations must be provided to the homeroom teacher). Students are always encouraged to take their device home in the evenings and over the weekends.