Why 1:1 Chromebooks?
Technology is an integral part of the culture in South Colonie schools. Teachers are using technology to enhance students’ learning experiences and understanding of the world. Students, in turn, get to expand their ability to communicate, create, collaborate and think critically through innovative lessons, assignments and projects. The South Colonie Chromebook 1:1 technology initiative aligns with the district’s culture and mission by providing students in grades 9-12 with regular, equitable access to digital learning tools in school and at home. The plan is to provide access to other grade levels throughout the district with access to Chromebooks via mobile carts and Google Classroom features through the use of desktop computers.
Why were grades 9-12 chosen for this initiative?
Year 3 of the 1:1 take-home technology initiative currently covers four grade levels (grades 9-12) to allow for a four-year replacement cycle, based on reasonable expectations for a Chromebook. That means a student starting in grade 9 will retain the Chromebook for all four years while at the high school. With each entering freshman class, we will continue to expand the program so that by the fall of 2018, all high school students will be assigned a Chromebook. The student will reuse his or her previously assigned Chromebook during grades 10-12. At the lower grades, the district will continue to use Chromebooks on mobile carts to provide access to the technology and assist them as they transition to a take-home computer model when entering the high school.
Does every student receive a Chromebook in grades 9-12?
Yes, a Chromebook will be issued to every South Colonie student enrolled at Colonie Central High School in grades 9-12. The Chromebook becomes a student’s responsibility once it is issued. Certain circumstances (e.g., attendance, discipline, unauthorized uses) may dictate situations where students may not bring a device home.
What does it cost a student to receive a Chromebook?
There is a $25 rental/insurance fee to receive a district-issued Chromebook. Fee waivers may be granted for students qualifying for free/reduced lunch eligibility. Students are responsible if their assigned Chromebook is damaged, lost or stolen – the same policy as for textbooks – in which case incident fees range on a sliding scale from $0 for a first incident up to $200 for a full replacement if lost/stolen.
How will schools distribute Chromebooks to students?
Beginning in the spring, 8th-grade students must take part in an annual orientation and registration after which they will receive their Chromebooks. The orientation will include instruction on proper care and handling of a student’s device as well as reminders about digital citizenship, school expectations and appropriate use. 8th graders will then retain their Chromebook and use it for all four years at the high school. New entrants during the summer will register and pick up their devices at the high school.
Can students use their own devices at school instead of receiving a district-issued Chromebook?
No, students must use a district-issued Chromebook while in school. This allows the school to better manage all the devices and apps that students are using. It also ensures equitable, consistent access to digital learning tools among all students. Students may choose to not bring their devices home. However, the assigned device is still their responsibility, and it must be charged and ready to use every school day.
What should a student do if a Chromebook gets damaged?
If a Chromebook is damaged, report all Chromebook issues to the Technology Help Desk located in the library or open access lab. All repairs must be performed by authorized personnel within the district. Colonie Central High School may also host student help desks staffed by students trained to help maintain Chromebooks.
What should a student do if a Chromebook is lost or stolen?
If a Chromebook is lost or stolen, the student must report the incident to their grade level principal within 24 hours of the incident. The student must also pay charges associated with replacing the lost or stolen Chromebook and/or accessories as follows: Chromebook = up to $200 including charger, charger only = $35.
If a Chromebook is broken or missing, what can a student do to avoid falling behind?
The district will have a small supply of loaner Chromebooks, which students can borrow from their school media center/library during the school day only. Loaner Chromebooks are not allowed home and must be returned to the school media center/library at the end of each school day.
Will students have unfiltered internet access when Chromebooks are connected to home WiFi?
No, a student’s Chromebook will be filtered whenever it accesses any WiFi connection as long as they are signed in using their South Colonie account. All internet traffic must travel back through the district content filter to access any web content.
How will students use a Chromebook at home if they don’t have internet access?
Assigned Chromebooks allow the district to provide “offline” access so that students can still access Google Docs, Slides and Sheets when they are not connected to the internet. Other web-based resources do, however, require internet access.
Do I need a case for my Chromebook?
Assigned Chromebooks are the responsibility of the student to protect and maintain. Depending on how rough you are with the Chromebook will determine if a case is necessary. There are multiple manufacturers of cases so please be sure that the case/sleeve you choose will fit the model Chromebook assigned.