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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

FAQ


Q: What are the goals for this initiative?

A:

  • Provide digital access for all students
  • Support parents and guardians with tools, resources & strategies to manage technology use in their home
  • Prepare students with essential digital literacy skills to choose and use technology for learning
  • Create interdisciplinary connections through rigorous, engaging, and meaningful instructional strategies
  • Promote and facilitate student critical thinking, creativity and innovation for lifelong learning
  • Cultivate leadership, collaboration and teamwork through digital communication and productivity tools

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the technology related policies?

A: If you have questions about technology related policies, please contact George Frazier, Director of Information Systems at 610-645-1925 or frazier@lmsd.org.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the instructional uses of One to One computers?

A: If you have questions about the instructional uses of One to One computers, please contact Brian Cote, Director of Curriculum/Instruction and Professional Learning at 610-645-1941 or coteb@lmsd.org.

Q: If I select Agreement for Use of Laptop (Version B) - for use on campus only, do I need to purchase insurance for the laptop?

A: Although parents/guardians can decline the insurance premium, students and parents/guardians may be held financially responsible for damage or loss of the laptop while in possession, custody, or control of the student. Laptops without a paid insurance premium are not permitted off of campus.

Q: Can homeowners insurance or personal insurance be used in lieu of the District provided insurance?

A: You may not substitute homeowners or other personal insurance for District-procured Laptop insurance.

Q: We received multiple copies of the Agreement for Laptop Use form. How many copies do we need to return to school?

A: Only one copy of form Version A or form Version B needs to be returned to school.

Q: What will students do with their laptops during Physical Education classes and after school activities?

A: Students will be responsible for the care and security of their laptop. The size of the laptop lends itself well to securing the laptop in the student lockers on a short-term basis when securely locked. Students should not store their laptop in a car for any extended length of time. If a laptop is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should not be visible - preferably locked inside a trunk.

Q: Will students be able to use their laptops on school buses?

A: No, use of a laptop while on a bus would constitute a safety hazard.

Q: What about insurance against theft or breakage through carelessness?

A: Please review laptop insurance information available at the laptop insurance webpage.

Q: Will students have to purchase a laptop bag to carry the laptop in?

A: All laptops must be carried in the district-provided cover at all times. It is recommended that students purchase a backpack with a dedicated laptop compartment to aid in the protection of the laptop against damage.

Q: If the accessories to a student's laptop are lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace them?

A: In the event that laptop accessories are stolen, or lost, students should report the lost items to the appropriate Assistant Principals' office. The current cost to replace specific accessories is: AC adapter & power cord - $79.00.

Q: Will students be given a new battery if one would go bad?

A: The laptop battery will be replaced by the manufacturer for defects under the warranty agreement. Students will be responsible for charging their battery and proper battery maintenance.

Q: Will students be able to install software on the laptop?

A: No, students installing software on school owned computers is a direct violation of policy 137, DISTRICT-ISSUED LAPTOPS: STUDENT USE, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined. All of the software necessary to integrate the laptop into the curriculum will be installed when the laptop is issued to the student.

Q: Can a student use their iPod, digital camera or other accessories with the laptop? Can students load music and photos on the computer?

A: Yes, students may connect their iPod music player,digital camera, or other accessories to their issued computer. Students will also be allotted a certain amount of drive space on their laptop to load music and digital pictures they have obtained legally. Students will not be able to "back-up" their music and photos to district servers unless part of an academic project.

Q: Can a student use their laptop computer over the summer?

A: No. All laptops will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation purposes. The summer process provides for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings.

Q: Will the LMSD provide maintenance on the student laptop computers?

A: Yes. The LMSD Information Systems Department staff will coordinate and provide maintenance for students.

Q: Do students need a printer at home?

A: No. Students need not own a printer since printers will be located throughout the high school buildings. In order for a student to add a printer, the printer must be a USB printer. Wireless printing is not supported.

Students should attach the printer to a USB port on the laptop, and then open the app they would like print from, for instance Microsoft Word. Then go to File, Print, select the drop down menu next to printer, and then select Add Printer. The next dialogue box will allow the selection of the attached USB printer; then select Add, and then students should be able to print to the attached printer.

Many models are supported, including most models from Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Ricoh, Xerox purchased prior to June 2014.

Q: Will there be facilities to back up the files students create on their laptops?

A: Yes. Students will be trained to periodically backup school files, and back up of their work will be their responsibility. Students will be able to back up most files to a network file server. Students will also be able to retrieve files from teacher "shared folders," as well as hand in files to teachers' "hand-in" or drop folders. Student home directories have a 1GB limit and should not be used for uncompressed multimedia files and projects (e.g., iMovie and GarageBand projects in progress). Such projects should be stored locally and backed up periodically to larger-capacity DVDs, and, when projects are completed, should be exported to a compressed file format.

Q: Will students be able to access their files saved to the network file servers?

A: Yes. Students can access their files from off campus by logging into Myfiles at http://myfiles.lmsd.org.

Q: What will the school do to help prevent students from going to inappropriate sites?

A: Although students are primarily responsible for the use of the laptop and district provided technology resources, the District has installed blocking software designed to protect students from obscene material, child pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors (as defined by the Children's Internet Protection Act) when accessing the Internet through the one to one laptop. An authorized administrator may disable the technology protection measure if needed for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. The current LMSD content filter meets Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) guidelines.

Q: What about computer viruses?

A: Antivirus software is installed on the 1 to 1 computers.

Q: Will there be training for students?

A: Students must complete the designated one to one and Internet training. This training shall include educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response.

Q: What will students do without a computer in their classes if their laptop unit is being repaired or replaced?

A: Lower Merion and Harriton High Schools will stock a limited number of laptop computers that can be loaned out to students. This will minimize "down-time" for students.

Q: Will there be training for parents?

A: Training for parents will be provided through a number of evening sessions. They will be scheduled early in the year. There will also be online resources for parents. In the meantime, iSafe is a great site for information to help parents engage students in conversations about safety and responsibility online whether at school or at home or elsewhere.

Q: Will all teachers be expected to use the laptops with students?

A: All staff will have both a laptop and the training to support its use with students as well as its integration with the curriculum. However, we also know, at this point in time, that some subjects are much better supported than others with online and software resources. The district also recognizes that part of having this new tool is determining when and how to use it appropriately. For example, you don't want math students typing out solutions to math problems that should be done quickly by hand. So the district expects to see significant, but appropriate, use of the laptops. The point is not to use a laptop as often as possible, but to use the tools the laptop and network provide that improve learning. There will be opportunities for professional development so that teachers can continue to incorporate emerging technologies.

Q: Will students be able to use the laptops for Internet access at home? What if a student does not have Internet access at home?

A: The district currently supports two model laptops, Macbooks and Macbook Airs. Models for students are based on graduation year, though they may get a different model if they need a temporary loaner.

The MacBook laptops will be equipped with an Ethernet card, and an Airport wireless card. If parents are using a dialup Internet service provider (ISP) that does not require the use of any specialized software, the laptops can be configured to use this connection with the purchase of an additional USB modem. If parents have a home network, students may connect via Ethernet or Airport (if the network is wireless).

The Macbook Air laptops are equipped with an Airport wireless card. If parents are using a dialup Internet service provider (ISP) that does not require the use of any specialized software, the laptops can be configured to use this connection with the purchase of an additional USB modem. If parents have a home wireless network, students may connect via Airport. If connection via Ethernet is required, laptops can be configured to use this with the purchase of an additional USB or thunderbolt adapter.

Parents will be responsible for monitoring student Internet access at home. Parents are advised to learn about and make use of any appropriate parental controls available through their home Internet Service Provider. A portion of the parent training will instruct parents how to check Internet history on the laptop for those students who use the Internet at home. Internet access at home will not be mandatory.

Q: What if a student already has another model or brand of laptop computer?

A: Students will be required to use the school district issued laptop for school purposes. This is necessary to ensure that students have a computer that gives them network capability and the ability to run the software that students will need in their classes. For these reasons, other computers will not be used on the Lower Merion School District network.

Q: How will this initiative be evaluated?

A: A number of different instruments will be used to collect data to evaluate effective implementation of the program and to what extent we are achieving the goals of the program. The District will continuously review this data as it is collected and make implementation adjustments as needed. A report will be made to the School Board summarizing the data and progress toward program goals each year. However, it is expected that it will take at least several years to obtain significant, observable results on our educational goals.

Q: Will a student have the same laptop while they are in high school?

A: Yes. Student laptops will be collected at the end of each school year for any required service and to be re-imaged during the summer, and students will receive the same laptop at the start of the following school year. Students will be reminded that the laptop is the property of the school district, and that they are responsible for proper care as indicated in further detail in the student handbook.

Q: What do I do if the green iSight camera light turns on by itself or remains on after the camera is used?

A: Questions and concerns regarding the green light located next to the Apple Macintosh iSight camera continue to arise, particularly the green iSight camera light turning on by itself or remaining on after the camera is used. Be assured that the security software has been completely removed from all laptops so the light in no way indicates the presence of security software. There is a publicly available Apple knowledge based article explaining how to trouble shoot issues with the iSight camera at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2090. Nonetheless, any student issued a LMSD Macintosh laptop and experiencing issues with the iSight camera should bring the laptop to the high school's Tech Center so that the issue can be corrected.

Q: What do I do if I suspect my laptop is missing or stolen?

A: If a Laptop is missing or suspected stolen, the student must report this immediately to the Assistant Principal in their building. To report a Laptop missing or stolen on campus during the school day, the student must contact the Assistant Principal by phone, electronic mail or by visiting that office. To report a Laptop missing or stolen after school hours, the student must email laptopfaq@lmsd.org or leave a voice mail at 610-645-1925. If the Laptop is suspected to be stolen while off campus, then the student and/or parent/guardian must also make a report directly to the police.