FAQ for OOPS 1:1 Program

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1 FAQ for OOPS 1:1 Program How often will the laptop be used during school time? The laptop will not replace the use of all the tools we currently use in class like books, pen and paper. The laptop is a companion device. The advantage of the laptop is its use for research, communicating and creativity. Students and teachers will need to find a balance so that they are using the right materials for the task required. Can students bring their own laptops from home instead? Students will not be able to bring their own laptop to school instead of the laptop supplied as part of the program. Home laptops are not configured to the school network, can be a source of viruses and are often not enabled with the licensed software. Home laptops cannot use the school image due to licensing arrangements and maintenance issues may not be resolved in an appropriate time frame. Where will the laptop be stored during recess and lunchtimes? When the device is not in use, students will keep their laptops securely locked in each classroom. Students should keep their laptops in a safe and secure place as determined by their parents while at home. Laptops are not to be taken outside during recess or lunchtime breaks unless under the supervision or direction of a teacher. An unattended laptop found around buildings or school grounds will be picked up by a staff member and treated as a lost item. This may incur a penalty such as confiscation of the laptop for a period of time as unattended laptops invite theft and/or damage. Who is going to handle warranties and repairs? The Thinkplus protection warranty provides the school with on-site next business day response for three years. It is a comprehensive warranty that covers most repairs that occur in a school environment. What happens with theft and non-warranty repairs? If the laptop is intentionally damaged, lost or stolen and said damage is not covered by the manufacturer s warranty, the principal of the school may determine that the student must pay to the school the cost of repairing the damage or if necessary the costs of replacing the device.

2 Will extended use of the laptop be harmful to the eyes? Like all technical devices with backlit screens it is important to manage and monitor daily 'screen time' and find a balance that works for you. The laptop can be adjusted for brightness to suit personal preferences. Not all school related work will be completed on the laptop so there will always be a balance at school and it is important to be aware of this at home. Will the student files on the laptops be private? Students can expect their laptops to be periodically inspected and monitored for appropriate usage. School personnel may request access to the browser history and/or caches as well as any and all files belonging to the student resident on the laptops as well as stored on the school servers. Students and parents need to be aware that files stored locally on the laptops or on school servers are not private. What software will be on the laptops? The DEECD has researched and designed a standard image for school computers, which incorporates both DEECD-licensed and free open source software. It is envisaged that this comprehensive software will meet the needs of students over the life of the laptop; however the school and students may load additional software to meet their needs subject to appropriate copyright and licensing laws. What about flat batteries? Will students plug in in the classrooms? Students are expected to charge the laptop overnight and to bring it fully charged to school each day, leaving the charger at home. Students will not be permitted to charge their laptop at school. The laptop battery lasts approximately eight hours before needing recharging; this will be sufficient for student use during the school day. What does it mean to reimage a laptop? Reimaging a computer wipes out everything on the laptop and installs a new software image. The laptop is set up again, just like the first time the student received it. The restore feature the school is purchasing will allow students to reimage their machine at school when there is a problem. This feature will save and restore student-generated work but it is the responsibility of the student to backup and restore any of their documents, music, pictures, software programs and home network settings on a regular basis. Transfer of Information and Backing Up: The school will look to establish student ICT leaders within the school to assist students in backing up work and managing the restore function. Students may benefit from purchasing a USB, external hard drive or accessing cloud computing storage to back up their work on a regular basis. 2

3 How will teachers be trained and supported? Teachers have completed the epotential ICT Capabilities Survey and set ICT professional learning goals as a result. Peer support is a strong element for success and teachers will be involved in mentoring and coaching each other to complement their growing ICT capabilities. Students are also encouraged to show leadership in the classroom in supporting their teachers and classmates when learning about ICT. What impact will this have upon consumables such as paper and printers etc.? We believe that personal devices can actually relieve the need for extra printing. Given that the device is personal and is for the use of a sole student at home and at school, the student is able to share and display their work in a digital format more often. Printing often occurs because students are sharing devices. Students print so that they have hard evidence of their learning to share with others and to free up the computer for the next student to work on. Digital presentation can be a more engaging and cost effective way to share work. How can students access the internet from home? Home internet connection is not supplied by the school or DEECD. There is no mandated expectation that internet access is available at home. If there is an existing internet provision at home, the laptop is able to be configured for access. How can Laptops be used at home? Examples of home use for which internet access would be required include: using online collaborative websites such as class blogs, wikis and potential online conferences using student if available using online resources such as digital learning objects located in DigiLearn completion of home tasks using online resources. Examples of home use for which internet access would not be required include: using any of the Microsoft applications or open source software provided using any subject-specific software working with word documents, audio, picture or video files on the laptop. What about safe internet use? Teachers will supervise students as they would for any learning activity as they create and maintain a safe, comfortable and learning-focused classroom. Students will continue to be bound by the guidelines outlined in our ICT Acceptable use policy. Appropriate use of the internet service within the DEECD network is closely monitored by a filtering system. This does not apply to use of laptops outside of the school network. Education and support are important for maintaining acceptable use of technology. It is important that teachers, students and parents share the responsibility to ensure safe and responsible use of technology at all times. 3

4 Student laptops will be installed with spyware software Symantec to guard against computer viruses. The school monitors usage at school, but who monitors it at home? That is the responsibility of the parents. When off school grounds, parents have full authority to monitor laptop usage. Examples of this include: encourage use in a family room or public area and not in the bedroom restrict use at certain times of the evening or weekend and examine the documents and other contents of the laptop. Can students install their own software? This is a personal device, school-owned with a parent contribution. Software may be installed where students hold appropriate licences. It is the student s responsibility to ensure that there is enough hard drive space and RAM available to engage in all educational requirements. Music and movies will be allowed for academic and recreational reasons, provided copyright obligations are met. Downloading music, games and videos from the internet during school hours is prohibited except when directed by a teacher. The national Copyright Advisory Group (CAG) has developed the Smartcopying Website to provide a comprehensive guide to copyright issues affecting Australian schools. DEECD also has information on copyright and intellectual property on its website: Personal games / music etc are not to be played during school hours unless under the direction and approval of a teacher. If a game or scenario software is used by a class for academic purposes, the school will purchase licences and install the software for student use. Failure to adhere to this rule may incur access privileges being removed. What about peripherals? External mouse, speakers, USB s etc.? Students are welcome to purchase and use peripherals for home use provided the laptop is returned to original settings upon the end of the lease. One of the benefits of this device is it s portability. For this reason we would discourage too many extras being used at school. Our experience suggests that students in years 4-6 generally have little problem using the in built mouse and track pads on Think Pads. Permanent changes to the laptop, such as engraving, marking, painting or drawing will not be permitted as the laptops may be used by more than one family during its lifetime at the school. However students will be able to personalise the software interface and background. Will children be safe carrying laptops? Overseas research has shown that insurance companies have reported very few incidents while students travel to and from school. Students should be specifically warned not to take the laptops out in public, and to carry them in the protective cover provided, which should be placed within their school bags. 4

5 Are these laptops going to add to the heavy loads students carry from home to school? We believe the Lenovo laptop chosen is light enough for students to carry without incurring problems. The laptop will alleviate the need for students to carry much in the way of extra books, reducing the weight of other items students need to carry to school. Bags should be carried using both straps over the shoulders and correctly adjusted to evenly distribute the weight of school bags. The laptop should not be packed into the bottom of an oversized backpack with other books and items, because this can lead to a compression fracture of the screen. What if my question isn t answered here? We welcome input from our parents and would be grateful for any constructive feedback or additional questions. In conclusion, detailed research and planning has gone into the creation of this program. Our focus is on the potential of these connected and mobile tools for learning. If we get stuck trying to make the device only replicate current practice then we will only see a small amount of its capability. The rapid evolution of technology is challenging educators to rethink the role of technology to support and enhance learning. We are aiming for a deeper understanding for our learners and providing them with the tools and skills they need to construct powerful learning. 5

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