Frequently Asked Questions – Mobile Access for Students
What if a student forgot to charge their laptop and the battery is dead?
One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to consistently (and constantly) remind students to charge the laptop at home every night. They are expected to bring the laptop to school charged every day. If they fail to do so, they may be able to borrow a spare power cable. Barring that, the student would have to charge their laptop in [location you may have extra power cables] and lose out on participation in the classroom laptop activities until the battery is charged.
What if my student forgot to bring the laptop to school?
If a student forgets to bring their laptop to school, the student may miss out on laptop-related instructional activities that day. Please help us help your student bring their laptop to/from school daily! Each school has a very small number of “loaner” devices. Priority for these loaners goes to students who experience equipment issues outside their control. When available, a student who forgot their laptop may be issued a “loaner” device by the school.
What happens if a student’s laptop is broken after check out?
The student will bring the broken laptop to Library to turn it in. A loaner/spare may be checked out on the spot to minimize loss of instructional time. The student is liable for loss or damage to the spare while it’s in his or her possession. Once the student’s original laptop is repaired, Library staff will notify the student to swap the loaner for the original laptop. If the damage is determined to have been caused by student negligence or abuse, there will be a fine assessed for the repair costs, as stated in the contract.
What if the laptop is stolen?
The loss needs to be reported to Sherrie Schneider/Main office ASAP. The student can then go to the Library to check out a loaner/spare until we settle the loss issue. It is critical that the student maintain good security for the laptop at all times! Please work with your student to reinforce the importance of taking care of the laptop.
My student is on a sports team and/or is taking PE. How will the laptop be kept secure?
PE and coaching staff will instruct students on the specific procedures this week. A secure location will be made available for students in PE and on athletic teams to keep laptops safe during those programs. Students should secure their devices in their athletic or PE lockers and ensure they are locked by double checking the padlock.
How will my student be protected from objectionable material?
Filtering software is installed on each laptop. Objectionable websites are screened out. However, no filtering system is perfect. Internet safety is taught to students to help them stay away from objectionable material as well as to stay safe online. The filtering software remains on the laptop when used at home, as well.
I don’t allow my student to have a password on their home computer so I can monitor its use. How can I know what my student is doing on the school computer?
Get the user name and password from your student. While we prohibit sharing passwords with unauthorized users, parents are explicitly authorized users. We encourage you to know what your student is doing on his or her school laptop.
Home Internet access is expensive. Are families required to provide Internet access at home?
No, we don’t require families to have Internet access, though it would be very helpful for students. You should know, however, about the Comcast Internet Essentials program, which provides basic Internet access to families with students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch. This program offers home Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax, with no activation fees, equipment rental fees or price increases. For more information visit InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.
I have other questions about the laptops. Who can I contact?
Please feel free to send DeAnna Kilga, associate principal an email with your question, and [he/she] will do [his/her] best to direct the question to the appropriate party (teacher, technology department, library).
Why can’t my student bring his/her own computer to school?
We have reviewed this possibility and have determined it is not feasible at this time, though it may be possible in the future. There are several reasons why we are providing the same computing devices to all students in school. They include safety, instruction, technical support and equity.
· Safety: we have installed web filters and have other safety precautions that help prevent students from accessing inappropriate or unsafe websites while at school or home. We can’t be sure that devices brought from home meet the same standard.
· Instruction: we have purchased and installed several different software packages on district laptops that will not be available on outside computers. The same software, and even the same version, will be on each district laptop, so teachers will be able to quickly and more efficiently teach entire classes and help individual students. Trying to teach a lesson with several different kinds of software and/or different versions of that software would be very difficult.
· Technical support: We can provide robust technical support through our technical support staff to a limited universe of computing devices. We can’t offer the same level of support to an unlimited universe of devices, which could lead to more computer downtime and lost learning opportunities. This practice is similar to the private sector, where employees are issued a company-owned device to ensure a predictable user experience and optimal technical support.
· Equity: some families cannot afford the latest computer or even a computer at all. If all students are using the same device, they can focus on what they are learning with the device, not on who has which device and what else is on it.
Can kids install printer drivers or connect with their home printer or do they have to accomplish it in a different way?
Students can install drivers and print to home printers. To install a printer at home in one dozen steps:
1. If your printer is a USB printer it may work just plug and play – try it
2. From the start button and selecting ‘Devices and Printers’
3. Click ‘Add Printer’ then ‘Add Local Printer’
4. Choose the correct port for your printer type (contact the manufacturer if you do not know) it is usually USB
5. Select the driver from the list – if it is not present you will have to download the driver – (see below)
6. Give the printer a name and select next
7. Do not share the printer and select next
8. Select ‘Set as Default’ printer if you want all jobs to print to this printer automatically and click ‘Finish.’
If the printer driver is not in the driver list you will have to download the driver:
A. Visit the web site of the manufacturer of your printer and download the driver. You must only download the ‘driver only’ version of the software as the device will not allow you to install print management software
B. Please note the location/folder you save the driver in
C. At step 5 above select ‘Have Disk’ and browse to the folder where you saved the driver and select the *.inf file – click next and continue with the steps above
Please note that wireless and network printers require additional steps and possibly software that are beyond the scope of this document and may require manufacturer tech support. Also please note again that students are not allowed to install software other than drivers on their computer so printers requiring print management software may not be compatible with the device.