Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to BYOT. Should you have a question that is not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If my child brings a computer to school, will they have wide-open access to the internet?
- No. If your child brings a laptop to school, the internet access we provide is heavily filtered. They will not be able to access Facebook, for example, or other sites identified as inappropriate. We filter out categories by adult content, gambling, illegal/questionable, chat and online communities, fantasy sports, bad reputation/proxy/hacking sites, online shopping, alcohol, dating, and other sites that have been identified as not in-keeping with our code of conduct.
- Please note: If you provide mobile hot spots for your child (for example, through your cell phone provider), these are not controlled by the school and provide unfiltered access to the internet for anyone who connects to it AND are prohibited for use in school.
Who is responsible for my child’s computer while it is at school?
- As with any personal property brought to school, your child is solely responsible for its handling and care. To that end, we cannot provide any maintenance or support for your equipment. If your child is having difficulty connecting to the internet, we can provide some basic troubleshooting assistance, but any maintenance, updates or repair are the sole responsibility of the owner of the equipment. Students will be expected to secure their technology when not in use. The school cannot be held liable for any theft or damage of equipment brought onto school property.
What if we cannot afford to provide a computer for our child/children?
- The school will provide equipment for the day, in school, for students who do not have their own access for class (this would include students who simply forgot to bring it). We are also committed to ensure no child’s instruction is limited by a lack of technology. Parents who cannot afford a computer for their child/children should contact the school's Principal or their Guidance Counselor directly to discuss options.
What if my child does not bring his/her computer to school?
- Currently, if students have not brought a computer to school for whatever reason, they should go to the library at the start of the day and borrow one for that day in school. Students have access to their school network drive for any files they might need to save and access from home, or they can use email, thumb drives or cloud applications to store files between school and home. Students will find that working on their own computers makes the transition between home and school more seamless. However, we do realize there are times when it simply is not possible to bring their computer to school. We will gladly work with our students to cover these situations.
What is recommended to purchase?
- (Please note, if you have a functioning laptop at home that is in working condition and has wireless capabilities, this should be sufficient. It is not expected that you purchase new equipment.)
- Your decision will ultimately be a personal one based on your preferences and needs. We are a Windows-based school, so your most compatible machine to what we have will be a Windows-based system. However, it is completely your decision if you opt to purchase an Apple brand computer or a Chromebook.
How long should a purchased laptop last?
- In our experience, it depends on the care given to the computer and the quality of the computer, but you should expect a laptop, being used daily, to last at least 3 years. It definitely could last 4 years, depending on care. Regardless, you most likely will want to plan on replacing the battery after year 2. Many extended warranties will cover the battery, but talk to the place where you are purchasing it to verify (it sometimes will depend on the brand and the type of warranty). You may also want to consider an accidental damage warranty that could cover expensive breaks not caused by normal wear and tear.
Is anything else recommended?
- Any accessory purchases are at your discretion. Some people may opt to purchase additional tablet pens or batteries.
- It is recommended that you purchase a laptop sleeve or case to cushion the laptop in a backpack, or to protect it when carrying it separately.
- Students should be encouraged to backup or save files to a cloud-based account (like Google drive or dropbox), not simply save files to the local machine, to have a safe place for critical files (although simply sending important files to themselves on email is often sufficient backup for their purposes).
- Headsets or earbuds are good additional items to have.
- It is your choice to purchase extended warranties or accidental damage warranties. You may also check with your home insurance to see if your laptop would be covered in the event of theft.
What about software?
- As a district, we use Microsoft Office products for our word processing, spreadsheet usage and presentation software as well as Google's Suite of cloud-based tools and storage. Students of Indian Hill Schools are able to download and install Microsoft Office for free on up to 5 laptops in their household (including the one they bring to school). This license is good for as long as they are a student at Indian Hill.
- Virus protection software is always recommended, and Microsoft AntiVirus software is available for free online (and comes already installed on current Windows systems). Most other software needed is available for free through the internet.
Will students be using their computers every day in every class?
- Students will use their computers to support and enhance their learning and as directed by the learning opportunities of the class. For some students, this will mean taking notes during class, taking online tests, online research, as well as using it as directed for activities, for others this may mean simply using it as required in the lesson. Not every lesson every day will use technology. However, it is helpful for students to have access to their computers as questions arise and for just-in-time learning.
Why has Indian Hill School District decided to move in this direction with every student having their own computer in class?
- From our study of 1:1 schools, we found that technology empowers students. In student hands, guided by an informed teacher, it further enhances, enriches and personalizes the student’s learning experience. In the schools we visited, we witnessed, and it was reported, that students were more organized, had more choice (and subsequently more ownership of their learning), were more engaged in problem solving and analysis, and applying their learning. The technology further supported the learning of each student individually. We want this learning environment for all of our students to adequately prepare them for their future.
If financial assistance is needed for participation in this program, who is the contact person?
If you are looking for assistance with acquiring a computer for your child, contact your Building Principal or Guidance Counselor directly.