Parent/Guardian Chromebook FAQs
Why does Morris School District believe that a 1:1 program is important?
The need for consistent access is a priority. Technology is mentioned in 78 Common Core standards. Vital to achieving expectations established by the Common Core is for students to be literate by 21st Century standards. In addition to the traditional view of literacy our students must be information, media and visually literate. Constant access allows for these important contemporary literacies to flourish in classrooms.
Chromebooks represent a new space in technology. This space is between mobile options such as the iPad and the portable space anchored by laptops. The Chromebook needs little, if any maintenance. It is a web based device so there is no need for downloading or installing software and/or updates. The way a Chromebook operates reduces the need for technical support. Student work on the Chromebook automatically saves to the cloud and in particular the Google cloud. This makes it ideal considering MSD is a Google Apps school district.
How has Frelinghuysen Middle School prepared for this initiative?
For several years FMS has structured professional development around the effective integration of technology. Teachers have received training on a variety of topics including but not limited to various Web 2.0 tools, Chrome, Google Apps for Education, PBL development, iDISCOVER research process, etc. Additionally during the summer of 2013, a week-long work session for 7th- 9th grade teachers enveloped and developed learning experiences that encompass collaboration, creation, critical thinking, and 21st century skills FMS has also strengthened (and continues to reevaluate) its wireless infrastructure over the past several years in order to accommodate the needs of the 1:1 program.
How did we get the funds for this initiative? The district’s 1:1 initiative is being funded through school choice and via the local budget.
Who owns these Chromebooks—the students or the school? What happens if my child breaks or loses his or her Chromebook?
Chromebooks that are issued as part of the 1:1 program are the property of the Morris School District; each 7th & 8th grade student will be issued a Chromebook by the school district and will have access to that device 24/7. Stakeholders will have to adhere to both Morris School District and the middle school’s policies governing the use of technology. This also includes potential damage. The District has purchased insurance for all Chromebook devices. Insurance will cover the following: screen damage, liquid immersion, theft (A Police report must be filed), and mechanical issues. However, the insurance will not cover student loss of a Chromebook. Additionally, students will be responsible for paying nominal fee(s) based upon the issue and frequency of occurrence. The District will be responsible for purchasing apps and e-materials. Through the Google Apps dashboard applications and system updates will be pushed out for students via their FMS Google Apps Accounts.
The Morris School District believes that an Internet connected device will be a required resource for our students as they enroll in college and or enter the professional arena. With this belief in mind, the District believes that students should learn how to effectively manage a device. Students are responsible for the Chromebook’s general care and content accessed through the device.
Who is responsible for updating the device (software and applications)?
The Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, updates itself automatically. Students do not need to manually update their Chromebooks. Chromebooks use the principle of “defense in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection against viruses and malware, including data encryption and verified boot. By logging in with their school email account Chromebooks seamlessly integrate with the Google Apps for Education suite of productivity and collaboration tools. This suite includes Google Docs (word processing), Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, and Forms. Students are allowed to install appropriate Chrome web apps and extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Students are responsible for the web apps and extensions they install on their Chromebooks. Inappropriate material will result in disciplinary action.
Will FMS supply my child with any Chromebook accessories, such as a protective case?
The school will provide protective cases for all students along with a charger.
In what ways will Chromebooks be used in the classroom?
It will be up to each member of the FMS faculty to determine how to incorporate Chromebooks into his or her curriculum. All teachers associated will participate in an initial Chromebook orientation session and will receive ongoing training. Even though each instructor has discretion over the ways in which they will implement Chromebooks, there are a core set of outcomes connected to the Chromebook initiative posted on the school’s website.
What training and/or support will my child receive?
During the roll-out, students will receive training on appropriate use and technical capabilities, along with their Chromebook. In particular, there will be training on how to access the Google Apps suite and Chrome web store. Additionally, over the summer any rising 6th grader or "new student to FMS" will participate in an online class created by the FMS TechSquad that will focus on the following topics: Acceptable Use, Care and Use of 1:1 Devices, Digital Safety and Digital Citizenship. Finally, students in the 6th grade will participate in marking period course that helps them Navigate Digital Systems within the district but also focus on and apply elements of digital citizenship.
As a parent, what kinds of limits should I set on my child’s “screen time”? How does the Chromebook affect my rules at home?
We hope that our 1:1 Chromebook program will help students learn and maintain good digital habits that will last a lifetime. Any rules that you have about computer use or Internet access should apply equally to your child’s Chromebook use. However, please keep in mind that more class content will be digitized accessed via the Chromebook. This may require students to extend their screen time to meet course requirements.
Will there be Internet filters on the Chromebooks? How will these works when my child has to do research for projects or assignments on the Internet at home?
The Chromebook initiative is a joint partnership between the school, students, and their parents. The devices will be subject to the same Acceptable Use Policy restrictions and discipline procedures applied to all other technology infractions. The school’s wifi filters inappropriate content. At home, we encourage parents to work together with their children to monitor the access to inappropriate content and to provide their own filtering process if needed.
What if I still have questions?
If you still have questions…
- Visit the Chromebook page on FMS's website for further information such as announcements, FAQs, tutorials, etc.
- Attend one of our Chromebook meetings (Check the Daily Bulletin for dates and times).
- Maintain communication with your child or children about what they are currently working in their classes.