The Chromebook 1-to-1 program in WDMCS issues each student a Chromebook for use with their academic studies. Chromebooks have become incredibly popular in schools across the country, largely because of their low cost and ability to meet the needs of students at all grade levels.
What does 1:1 mean?
It means that each student receives a Chromebook device to use for school work. Rather than checking out a device when needed, or instead of going to a lab to use computers, the devices are being assigned to each individual student. Grades PK-2 leave the devices at school, while grades 3-12 take the devices home each night.
When do students receive a device?
PK-6 students turn in their devices at the end of each school year. Grades 7-11 keep their devices over the summer and return with them in the fall. New students to the district receive their Chromebook from their school library when they begin classes.
Does this mean everything is going electronic and all books and paper are going away?
No, this does not mean that everything is going electronic. We’ll still have books, along with paper/pencil activities. Of course, as you would expect, each year we will see more and more resources become digital. Assigning a device to each student will help ensure that all students have access to the digital resources that are available.
My child already has their own laptop. Can they choose to use their own device instead?
Yes, your family can choose to send your own personal laptop for your student, as personal devices have always been allowed at our schools. In fact, your student can also elect to take the school Chromebook AND also choose to bring their personal device when needed. Although, it's important to know that some testing applications only exist on the Chromebook for test security reasons. Yearly Iowa Statwide Assessment Testing, ISASP is one example of this. For this reason, each student will need a school issued device at some point in the year.
My child would prefer to just use their own cell phone or tablet. Is this OK?
Many of application and online assessment systems require the use of a full keyboard, so no, a cell phone or tablet would not be a good fit.
Do families have to pay to use the Chromebook?
The school district pays for the purchase and upkeep of the Chromebooks and families are NOT asked to contribute to the cost. If you choose to bring your own personal device, then the cost of that device and all repair/maintenance is your responsibility.
What happens when something breaks or there’s a problem?
Students can take the device to their classroom teacher or school librarian, who will instruct them on where to take the device for assistance. All schools have spare Chromebooks available, so that students can use a spare device while their original device is out for repair.
Under what scenarios are families financially responsible for damage to the Chromebook?
When a device is broken, the district will seek to repair it through the devices warranty first, then through the district's accidental damage insurance. Basically, this means there are potentially three ways in which a family may be financially responsible for damages/loss of the Chromebook:
- If it is lost (as damage insurance doesn’t cover physically losing it)
- If it is damaged intentionally
- If it is damaged numerous times in a short time period, then the damage insurance may expire. (for example, if you turn in your Chromebook for repair every week, the insurance may deny the claim since it’s the same exact device in a short time period)
If it is lost, how much is the total replacement cost?
Replacement cost (effective for 2021-2022 school year) is $235. If you lose just the charger, it’s $20 or just the carry case, it's also $20.
Is there a help desk that students can call for assistance outside of school hours?
Sorry, our district is not staffed for night or weekend hours.
What if a student doesn’t have Internet at home? Can they do anything with the device?
Even without Internet access, Chromebooks still have the ability to use the traditional Google tools offline, such as writing in Google Docs or preparing presentations in Google Slides. Chromebooks also have an offline feature where students can download work ahead of time so they can work offline.
Can students connect the devices to their home WiFi or to any other WiFi besides school?
Yes, students who take a Chromebook will be able to connect and access other wireless networks outside of school.
Can students print from their Chromebook at school?
Printing is determined by each school building, as they determine whether printing can be done, how much is allowed, etc.
Can students connect to their printer at home?
Yes. The Chromebook will connect to home printers.
Is it possible a parent to set up additional restrictions/controls for their child’s device?
Yes, parent/guardians can set up additional restrictions for usage outside of school. Detailed information is available here.
As a parent, I would like to review what my child has been doing online. Is that possible?
Yes, all district Chromebooks are equipped with web filtering and parents will have access to the history of their child’s device. Detailed information is available here.
What tips or suggestions do you have for helping to control screen time at home for the Chromebook?
Our recommendation: Put the Chromebook to bed, but not in the bedroom. For example: Leave the charger for the Chromebook on the countertop in the kitchen and make a family rule that the Chromebook must on the kitchen counter at a specific time, so that it can be charged and ready for school the next day. Not only does this help keep it charged, but it helps keep the device in an open area.