Why laptops for Upper School Students?
Porter-Gaud understands that students need to have a deep understanding across all subjects areas to succeed at the next level. While we feel that we have been doing this for years, we also need to continue to adapt and add new skills. Skills that include creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. We feel that technology has become a tool that will assist our teachers and students in grasping these skills of 21st century.
Which grades will get laptops?
we are starting the program in the fall of 2015 by providing laptops to the incoming freshmen class.
How will they be used?
Each class and grade will have specific uses for these devices. For example, these devices will utilized as a research tool, for creating projects, a communication hub, an organizer, a digital backpack and more. The teachers will be very clear in terms of how the device will be used in and out of the class.
Who owns the laptop and why?
The school has full ownership of the devices. The most important part of this initiative is to focus on teaching and learning. With the school owning the device, it allows us to manage what is on it and what is not. It also helps the teacher to know that every device will have a consistent set of configurations and software packages. This will also cut down tremendously on the repair costs and/or replacement of a device that is having technical issues.
What are the laptop specs?
MacBook Air 11-inch
1.4GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
128GB Flash Storage
Why Macbook Air Laptops?
After careful research, we believe that all students utilizing an identical device facilitates a better learning environment. A vision for our technology department is that the devices fade into the background so that the focus is education, not the device. We believe this goal can best be reached when all students are working from one identical, coherent platform. To help meet these goals, we have chosen Apple devices because they offer superior benefits for education and schools. Our research of other schools and our teachers who have used Macbooks for the last three years helped us confirm the benefits of Apple devices for education. With a 1:1 iPad program in the Lower and Middle School, this would also allow for a clean transition for laptops in the US.
Can students take the laptop home?
How much do I owe for the laptop?
Tuition includes the cost of the device, software, a case and battery charger.
How will backups be handled?
We will direct students to save any work to their Google Drive. We have been a Google Apps for Education for over 6 years, our students are comfortable using their services, and they provide unlimited storage. This will also give students access to their work on other devices.
Will all their books be on the laptop?
No, we will continue to look at digital resources that fit our curriculum.
Will there be any training for my child?
We will have workshops and orientation in August and September to make sure they understand how to use the technology as well as understand what is appropriate and inappropriate.
What happens if the laptop is damaged?
In order to have the Device repaired, the Student will take the Device to the tech support office in the Middle School computer lab. Under no circumstance should the Student take the Device to a third party repair location, including the Apple Store. The device will be assessed, and if further repair is required, a loaner Macbook will be issued to the Student. The Student’s Device will be repaired in-house or sent out for repair. The Tech Support Department will contact the student and parents to inform them that a repair is being done. There will be a $50 deductible for repairs. There will also be replacement charges for broken/lost chargers and cases.
How will Porter-Gaud handle misuse of technology?
We will make it very clear what is expected of a student's technology use. The links below include the Acceptable Use Policy and Laptop User Agreement.
- Acceptable Use Policy (coming soon)
- Laptop User Agreement (coming soon)
- Laptop Charges (coming soon)
It is important for us to focus on teaching and learning. To do this effectively, we must do everything we can to remove any obstacles. One way to remove a big obstacle when integrating technology is to give every student the same device. With this being said, we are requiring our students to use our devices and not their own personal devices.
There is much more that comes with each device other than the hardware itself. This will cut down on repair costs and/or replacement of a device that is having technical issues. And because we own the device, we can install important software on each device, offer free tech support/troubleshooting, and guarantee that each student has a working device while at Porter-Gaud.
Will there be virus and internet filtering software on the devices?
Porter-Gaud has an internet filter that will filter inappropriate sites both on campus and off campus and virus software to protect against viruses. The filter filters websites based on the category that our system assigns. There will be different levels of filtering based on time and location. By offering this filtering service, we are making an effort to protect students no matter where they are using the laptop. Please be aware that it is impossible to filter or restrict access to all sites that may contain questionable information.
Will they be able to install their own software on the device?
Yes and no. These devices are designed for education and our goal is to prevent software from being installed that will take away from that goal. Student accounts on the devices will not be administrators to help prevent them from installing inappropriate software. The devices will come be configured with the necessary software for the school year. If a student wishes to install software, they must fill out a form to request it to be installed. If the Technology Department approves the software is educational, we will make it available to download and install.