The Chromebook 1-to-1 program in WDMCS issues each student from PreKindergarten to 12th grade 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. Tight integration with Google tools such as Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as our Learning Managment System known as Canvas make Chromebooks the perfect fit for our school district.
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 becoming digital. Assigning a device to each student helps 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 Statewide Assessment of Student Progress Testing (ISASP) and the American College Testing (ACT) are examples 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 applications 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. There is no reason a student would be without a Chromebook, even if theirs is damaged and being repaired.
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 device warranty first, then through the district's accidental damage insurance. 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 not cover it. 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 is $235 for the entire set (Chromebook, charger and case, if applicable)
If you lose just the charger, it’s $20.
If you lose the carrying case, it's $20.
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. See your child's teacher or librarian for more information on your school's policies.
Using the Chromebook at home
Can students connect the devices to their home WiFi or to any other WiFi besides school?
Yes, students are able to connect and access other wireless networks outside of school including their homes, friend's homes, and public wifi.
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.
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. The student should contact their teacher during the next school day. Canvas and Google Docs are all web-based services, so if something is damaged on an evening or weekend and you have access to another device, you can use any other internet-connected device and log in to your resources until you get back to school to have the non-working device evaluated.
Can students connect to their printer at home?
Yes. The Chromebook connects to home printers. Many times the Chromebook will just "see" the printer on your home network. However, because each printer is different, you would have to see your printer's instructions in order to know how to connect.
Is it possible for 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 on our Web Filtering page.
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 on our Web Filtering page.
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 be 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.