BCSD students and parents/guardians will be asked to sign off on a Chromebook agreement before they will be issued a device. We will have a rollout night for each grade level that will be required to obtain a Chromebook. During rollout night, we will have the student and parent/guardian will be asked to go through mini-courses that talk about online safety, care of the Chromebook and digital citizenship. Most of the questions below will be addressed in this agreement, but here are some answers to your burning questions.
What if a student forgets his/her laptop?
Students will bring the Chromebook to school every day. The BCSD Chromebooks are being provided to enhance the educational experience at BCSD. If a student forgets the BCSD Chromebook, he/she will be unable to participate fully in that day’s activities in the classroom. We do not have enough Chromebooks to loan them out to students who forget theirs at home. If a student forgets their Chromebook at home, they will not have it for the day. All work assigned and completed on the Chromebook is the responsibility of the student.
What if it isn’t charged?
Students will charge the Chromebook nightly and will begin each day with a fully charged battery.The BCSD Chromebook needs to be fully charged for each day as there will be limited capability for students to charge it during the school day due to space and electrical constraints. Students should be careful when plugging in the power cord. The Chromebook should be charged in a location which is both secure and safe so no damage will be accidentally done to the Chromebook when it is charging.
What if a student breaks it?
BCSD will assume the liability of accidental damage to all Chromebooks. Any damage that is either on purpose or malicious will incur a penalty determined by BCSD. If the Chromebook is lost or stolen, a replacement fee for the entire $280 will be assessed to the student.
Is there enough bandwidth?
Ballard Middle School underwent an entire network upgrade in July of 2014 to prepare for the density of a Chromebook deployment. This summer the Middle School wireless system will be upgraded to handle the density and fill in the coverage gaps that currently exist. Ballard Community School District overall
bandwidth will be increased from 50MB to 100MB specifically for this deployment.
Are there enough power outlets?
Please see answer to question “What if it isn’t charged?”
Who is responsible for monitoring online activity?
The BCSD chromebooks will be filtered through the district web filter whether they are at school, or home on a personal network. Like any filter, it is not a perfect science. Standard classroom management will need to be used to deter any abuse of online activity. Digital Citizenship will also become a big part of our overall
curriculum. Parents and students will be required to go through this lesson and sign the agreement described earlier when we have our roll-out celebration night at Ballard Middle School.
Would the Chromebooks be turned in at the end of each year?
We haven’t finalized this part of the rollout. After visiting with the folks from Council Bluffs, who were the first in Iowa to roll out Chromebooks in a 1:1 setting, they allow their students to keep them all year long. We are thinking at this point, that we would follow that same procedure. We are likely looking at a year four or five replacement cycle, but we don’t know at this point how they will hold up.
Will the Chromebooks be filtered so as to block at school and home?
Per Federal Law regarding children’s safety and in accordance with the Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) enacted in 2000, Ballard Schools will filter internet access for any and all district devices. Filtering will block pornography and other harmful content. We plan to use our filtering appliance to filter the devices on our network, and while they are at home.
Please know that we will do our best efforts to filter the devices from harmful content, but no filtering appliance is perfect. Students will always attempt to circumvent filters and at times will succeed. Sites and apps appear by the hundreds daily that aid students in these efforts. We do our best faith efforts to block these as they come to our attention, but there will never be a better substitute for close supervision of a
child using an internet connected device.
Ballard Chromebook deployment night will include required sessions for parents/guardians and students on internet safety and digital citizenship. Students that do not have a guardian attend the sessions to sign the agreement will not be issued a device.
Can I connect an external mouse to the Chromebook?
Yes, the Dell Chromebook 11 has two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and an SD Media Card Reader slot through which you can connect external devices. Most USB devices and memory cards will install easily and automatically when plugged in. This includes:
- USB keys
- SD memory cards
- MemoryStick memory cards
- A USB mouse (or a wireless dongle for USB mouse)
- A USB keyboard (or a wireless dongle for USB keyboard)
Note: Some keyboards which require software to perform extra functions may not have full functionality in Google Chrome OS. External hard disk drives with USB interface The Chrome Operating System does not have device drivers for other devices such as printers. In order to use a printer with Google Chrome OS, the printer must be Cloud Ready which means it can print files from cloud storage.
What if we don’t have WIFI at home?
In 2014, the Ballard Community School District conducted a “Clarity” survey to determine our needs in regards to technology. The survey results indicated the 94% of our families have internet access at home. We obviously know that a small portion of our homes do not have internet access. For those families who do not have internet access, the students can work on their assignments in offline mode. They still have access to the documents stored in the cloud that are synchronized to their device. Offline mode can be enabled in Google Drive. Families without internet access might also consider visiting the Huxley or Slater Public Libraries. Both locations have internet access available to the general public. They would be excellent locations for students wanting to complete homework online.
Won’t the device overheat if kept in the case?
The Classmate InfoCase that we have chosen for our Chromebooks is specifically designed for the Dell 11 Chromebook. The vents that allow the device to cool when in use are on the side of the device. Students should never remove the devices from their case. When the case is closed, the device is placed in an off mode that requires little to no power. Because of this, the device will not overheat in the case.