Why is the school deploying a Take Home 1-to-1 Chromebook Program in grades 10-11?
Emerging next generation curriculum is different from traditional textbook based curriculum by emphasizing collaborative learning experiences, demonstration of learning mastery using multiple methods (including non text based means), and use of online digital resources. In order to provide students access to this curriculum and learning strategies and to better prepare them for the digitally enhanced and information rich environment they will encounter in higher education and the modern workplace, the school recognizes that every student needs a school managed educational device both at school and at home. The most equitable, supportive, and cost-efficient way to provide this is through a take home 1-to-1 Chromebook program.
What devices will students be using?
Students Leasing a Device or Purchasing Outright will be using brand new Chromebook tablets. These are the latest models designed to be able to handle more intensive video-conferencing applications (such as an entire class in tile view) without overheating. The device has a garaged stylus “pen” as well as one embedded student-facing camera.
If I pay the full lease amount (KD 201) upfront, do I own the device outright?
At this time we do not have a plan to transfer ownership of the device to the student.
What does “school-managed” mean?
School-managed means that your device is enrolled in the school’s Google Chrome Management console. Enrollment requires a license to be purchased and assigned to a specific device. Once enrolled, the school can push out network access policies, filter web content, and manage apps and extensions. It also allows for additional web and content filtering. Enrollment in the school’s Google Chrome Management console is also an important part of protecting your student’s online/data privacy and assisting students in creating a positive digital footprint.
Can students use a personal account on a school-managed Chromebook?
Personal Google accounts (@gmail.com) can be used (after school hours) on all devices. Note that the school fully manages the user experience (including web filtering) regardless of which account is being used – personal or school-based. If they log in using a personal google account, their activities are still monitored and filtered for accessing potentially inappropriate materials. A personal account does not allow the use of any services that are normally blocked by the school.
When will students receive their devices?
Students in grades 10-11 will receive their device in early October.
Why did the school choose to go with a standardized school-managed Chromebook instead of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model at the high school?
The successful running of our school depends upon a safe, reliable internal network that is free from malware and other cyber threats. Any device that joins the network could corrupt the entire network without the user knowing that their personal device contains a virus, worm, or other malicious programming running in the background. Chromebooks issued by GBA are specifically designed to limit the web-surfing ability of the user in order to prevent them accessing dangerous websites. Our devices are equipped with protection software to minimize threats to our system that would impact all students and staff.
Further, we are an official Google School and the devices we provide will provide the best educational experience for our students with dedicated resources and access to the Google Suite of applications, including Google classroom, calendars, and many other resources.
There are several additional reasons for using a standardized Chromebook over a BYOD model:
- First and foremost is student safety. Chromebooks were specifically chosen because they are designed to be more secure than laptops, to resist hacking, and to prevent the introduction of malware. Since 2010, when Chromebooks were introduced, there have been no verifiable attacks on the Chrome operating system. For more information on the security of Chromebooks, please review the following article: https://www.androidcentral.com/what-makes-chromebook-so-secure. We manage all school Chromebooks to ensure only school-approved apps and extensions are accessible to students, web content is filtered, and teachers can monitor student use during class.
- Second is student experience. Chromebook were chosen for their robust design and functionality in the educational setting. Chromebooks were designed with student lifestyle in mind: transporting to and from school, in and out of backpacks, accidental bumps and drops, etc. Teachers can only remotely manage Chromebooks in a classroom setting in order to lock down the computer screen to the task at hand and to guarantee test security when completing online assessments. At the present time, teachers have the ability to monitor and manage what students have access to during class in order to keep them focused on the learning task at hand.
- Third, teachers should not be put into a position of having to provide tech support to a wide variety of device types to ensure that classwork can continue in the face of a tech problem with a personal device.
- Fourth, the school can ensure equity of access when all students are using a similar device. All students can easily be provided with the right software, the correct tools, and have similar user experiences without some students having a poor experience because their device did not have access to the right software tools.
- Finally, School Tech Staff cannot guarantee support and security for an unlimited number of different devices on a BYOD network.
What if my Chromebook is damaged or lost?
Students are fully responsible for damages/loss to their Chromebooks. This is your Chromebook and any damage resulting in the need for repair or replacement are at the expense of the parents. Examples include:
- Liquid/beverage spills on device.
- Deliberate damage, neglect or abuse caused by you or others you allow to use your Chromebook. This includes intentionally marking, defacing and/or abusing the Chromebook. Also damage caused by tampering with hardware components to alter school configurations.
- Avoid “decorating” your Chromebook in any way (no stickers, artwork, paint, drawing, etc.)
- Leaving the Chromebook unattended or failing to secure it per school recommendations
- Leaving the Chromebook in an unlocked car or any other unsecured area.
- Mysterious disappearance of the Chromebook – meaning the Chromebook user has no knowledge as to the place, time, or manner of the loss.
- Peeling/defacing the unique serial number identification number stickers on the device
- Students will immediately report any malfunctions or damage of the Chromebook to a classroom teacher, the school will provide first level technical support and if needed will refer the student to the Service Center. On loan devices are available with terms and conditions applied.
- There may be fees associated for repair of any damage or loss due to negligence, or careless treatment of the device. In this event, the student/parents will be responsible for any costs associated with repair or replacement of the device.
- The warranty does not cover the cost of losing the device or accessories such as the charger and the stylus and the replacement cost is as follows:
- Cost of replacing the Chromebook: 210 KD
- Cost of replacing the charger: 25 KD
- Cost of replacing the stylus: 15 KD
What if my student’s Chromebook needs tech support or servicing?
Procedure to open a service request with the Global Bilingual Academy Technology Department:
- All repair requests must be made to the GBA Technology Department through the ticketing system on the school website.
- If a student experiences an issue with their Chromebook while in class, they will notify the teacher of the issue.
- If a student has an issue with his/her Chromebook while at home, the student must submit a technology ticket on the following school day or go to the designated repair area.
- If the GBA Technology Department does not have an immediate solution, and the unit is inoperable, the student will be issued a loaner Chromebook, if available, to use during the school day until the problem with their Chromebook has been resolved.
- Students will be notified when their issue has been resolved. Service and repairs will be documented and reviewed to ensure the proper use and/or maintenance of the Chromebook.
- Excessive requests for service/repair are subject to review by the school administration.
Will my student be provided a loaner Chromebook if their device needs repair?
If the GBA Technology Department does not have an immediate solution, and the unit is inoperable, the student will be issued a loaner Chromebook, if available, to use during the school day until the problem with their Chromebook has been resolved.
What does the technology package include?
The school-approved technology package includes:
A Lenovo brand Chromebook configured to GBA teaching and learning specifications, with charging cord and a protective device carrying case. This includes the ability for the school to provide specialized programs, learning apps, a school email account, and electronic textbooks when available.
If we are using a personal device at home, can my student leave their school-managed device at school?
At this time, no. Our school site is not equipped to store and charge a device for every student.
Will students need to bring their Chromebook everyday?
Students will be expected to bring their charged Chromebook to school everyday.
Why is the typical lifespan of a school managed Chromebook four years?
While the physical Chromebook may last longer than four years, Google has predetermined a limited length of time under which a particular Chromebook model will receive software updates. Once it outlives this predetermined “age,” Google will no longer provide regular operating system updates which are required to maintain remote management features. This prevents the school from providing network access and utilizing classroom management and device monitoring software on those Chromebooks making them insufficient for school use. For more information on Google’s “end of life” policy with regards to managed Chromebooks, please see Google’s Automatic Update Expiration policy. The school has found that most Chromebooks will see enough wear and tear after four years that the older devices begin to struggle to provide a reasonable/reliable user experience. For most students, four years with one daily school device is a reasonable lifespan for that device. Some students who take sufficient care of their devices might see those devices lasting 5 or more years, but at some point it may not be in a remotely “manageable” state that the school requires.
Can my students access video streaming services with their Chromebook ?
If the students are logged into their Chromebooks from the school issued Google account (@gba.edu.kw), they are not able to access consumer retail video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime video at any time (both at school and at home). The school’s internet filtering policy prohibits retail video streaming services through the school’s network and school managed student devices.
Are there any health risks related to EMF radiation exposure when using a Chromebook?
Here is a link to a list of resources regarding the health risks associated with EMF radiation exposure: http://bit.ly/EMFhealthsafety