1:1 Chromebooks: Frequently Asked Questions
1:1 Chromebooks in the Edmonds School District
About Google Apps for Education
Costs and Fees
Privacy and Security
Google Apps in the Classroom
Why Use Google Apps for Education
1:1 Chromebooks in the Edmonds School District
Why does the Edmonds 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.
The Chromebook needs little, if any maintenance. It is a completely web based device so there is no need for downloading or installing. The way a Chromebook operates reduces the need for technical support. Student work on the Chromebook automatically saves to the cloud in the student’s Google Drive. This makes it ideal considering Edmonds is a Google Apps school district.
How is one student’s Chromebook identified from another student?
All the Chromebooks are the same, so they look very much alike. However, each Chromebook will be tagged with a sticker with the student’s name and school on it. Additionally, district asset tags with bar codes will be on each device and each device has a serial number. The district keeps all that data so, if a Chromebook is misplaced, we can determine to whom it is assigned to get it back to the student. Any ID stickers that are on the Chromebook when issued must stay on the Chromebook. No additional markings of any kind (stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still district-owned property. Additional permanent markings on the device will be considered vandalism. Each carrying case will also have an ID card slot for student IDs.
Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?
Middle school and high school students (grades 7-12) will be allowed to take the Chromebooks home for school-related use. Chromebooks for elementary students (grades 3-6) will be kept at school. All students must have both a Chromebook Policy and Authorized Use Policy signed by themselves and a parent before they are issued a Chromebook.
My child forgot to charge their Chromebook before school. Now what?
Middle school and high school students are expected to charge their Chromebooks nightly at home and bring them to school fully charged. Your student may be without the Chromebook for the day. They may be able to charge the Chromebook in class or in the library.
Chromebooks in elementary schools (grades 3-6) will be kept in the classrooms and utilize charging stations.
If a student must take it to another room, how will they carry their Chromebook?
Chromebooks should never be transported while open as even gentle handling can damage the screen. Chromebooks should be safely closed and placed in their travel case before they are taken from classroom to classroom, or to and from school (middle and high school students only).
Where can you get an Internet connection if the wireless connection is not working?
The devices will only connect to the web with a wireless connection. If the district’s WiFi network is down during school, the Chromebooks will not have connectivity to the web. However, some features, such as access to the student’s Google Drive, will still work on a limited basis. The work that is done off-line will not be saved to the cloud until a wireless Internet connection is restored.
Public libraries serving the Edmonds School District have public WiFi access.
What login will students use to get into the device operating system?
Students will each have an email address that is their primary login and username. Students can change their password, but they cannot change their username. The district cannot recover passwords and students should remember them to ensure successful logins. If a student forgets their login they can ask their teacher or the school’s Para Tech to reset their password.
Can the Chromebooks be used with another username?
No. Students and staff cannot access a district-owned Chromebook with any other login other than their district-assigned email..Students should not login to any web-based service with a personal account; the Chromebook is for educational purposes only.
Can documents and bookmarks created on the Chromebook be accessed on another device?
If a student logs into another device with their school username (a PC laptop, a school lab computer, a loaner Chromebook, etc.) all of their information (bookmarks, emails, documents, applications, etc.) will be available to them on that device when using a Chrome browser.
Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?
Before each Chromebook device connects to the Internet, it must pass through district network firewalls and filters. This happens whether the device is browsing on campus on school-owned networks, or off campus using another WiFi router that is providing the Internet connection. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible.
What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?
While we do our best to stay on top of things, some websites are not blocked or are able to bypass our filters. Teachers and parents are encouraged to randomly check the browsing history of student Chromebooks on a regular basis. The district will also conduct random checks of student browsing histories. If you discover any inappropriate web activity, please contact your child’s teacher, building principal or assistant principal. Inappropriate web browsing is a violation of the district Authorized Use Policy and may result in disciplinary action.
What happens if the device is damaged or lost?
Students and parents will be responsible for district-owned technology that is issued to them, just as they are for other district-owned items such as textbooks, calculators, cameras, athletic equipment, or library books. The district will repair or replace the device, but students and parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices.
However, the liability on families/students can be reduced significantly by taking part in the Chromebook Insurance Program. For $30 (non-refundable) per year, per device, the Chromebook Insurance program will repair or replace the device at a significant savings to the student and his/her family. Students eligible for free/reduced lunch pay $10 (non-refundable) per year, per device.
Enrollment in the program is an option when signing the Chromebook Policy form.
See the table below for some cost comparisons:
Repair Without Chromebook Insurance With Chromebook Insurance Replace Chromebook $305 $0 Replace screen $70 $0 Replace keyboard/touchpad $125 $0 Replace power cable/charger $25 $0* Replace hinges $45 $0 Replace ESD District logo sleeve $25 $0* Other replacement parts Responsible for 100% of district cost Responsible for 50% of district cost
*Students with coverage can get one (1) power cord replacement and one (1) ESD District logo sleeve replacement per one (1) school year. Additional replacements for those items will be the responsibility of the student/family.
The standard warranty on the device is one year for manufacturing defects only and does not cover normal use wear-and-tear.
Can you print from the devices?
Digital online file sharing between staff and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way to distribute and turn in assignments without printing. It also saves on paper, ink and toner use, thereby saving the district money. There are ways to print from the Chromebooks, but it’s not encouraged or particularly easy. Most printing of schoolwork should be done at school. However, we are encouraging staff to try and limit printing of assignments going forward.
What if another student damages my student’s device?
In such cases, circumstances will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. School administration and the School Resource Officer may be involved if it is suspected to an intentional act or act of vandalism.
How would you go about repairing a laptop that is not functioning?
Damaged or non-functioning devices should be turned in to the school’s Chromebook technician (middle school and high school) or teacher (elementary schools) so a repair can be started. District technology staff members can repair many problems in-house, which may take a day or two. Other problems may require the devices being sent out for repair, which can take a several days or perhaps longer.
Students who are without their device due to repairs will be issued a loaner to use.
How much storage do students have?
Students using Chromebooks will have 16 gigabytes of storage on the machine, plus unlimited online “cloud” storage that is attached to their email and accessible via the Google Drive application. This should be more than enough space for class work each year.
What kind of applications are on the devices?
There are many educational apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of subject areas. The apps, which run in the Chrome browser, are downloadable through the Chrome Web Store. Only apps and extensions approved by the district can be downloaded by students.
What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?
A Chromebook can connect to:
- USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
- SIM cards
- SD cards
- External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
- Headphones, earbuds, microphones
How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?
Teachers will be using a learning management system (Canvas, Hapara, Google Classroom) to distribute and collect work from students. This allows students to submit any digital file on their Google Drive to their teacher.
What if a student is out of school for an extended period (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?
With the devices, it will become even easier for students to receive work from their teacher. Assignments, readings, and other resources can be placed online and shared with the student who is absent. The student can do the work online from home and submit it via the learning management system.
Will class lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?
Possibly. Some teachers are looking at different applications to video/audio record specific course lessons and make them available via the web. This would allow students to view recorded lessons and access related materials (handouts, presentations, etc.) online for review or for students who are out of school to not miss a thing. There may even be options for having courses stream live.
Can the devices be used at home?
Yes, if your home has a WiFi network, the devices will have the same filtered web access as they would at school.
If you don’t have a WiFi network at home, students can still use them, but in a limited capacity. Some applications will work “offline” (such as Google Drive) but content saved to the device will not be backed up online until it an Internet connection is available for the device.
Will devices be kept by students over summer?
No. Devices will be turned in at the end of the school year so the district can do maintenance on them. Devices will be re-issued at the start of the school year to continuing students. Devices issued to students who leave the district (move, graduate, etc.) will be reformatted and re-issued to other students on an as-needed basis.
How long should Chromebooks last?
Chromebooks have very few moving parts in them and generate very little heat. Therefore the life expectancy — so long as they are treated appropriately — is fairly significant. Five years or more is not unrealistic. Additionally, the devices have powerful processors, adequate memory, and automatically update the latest software and security features without anything needing to be done by the student.
Can the district track web history?
Yes. The district can track information on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites. Students should only visit sites that are approved by the district and those that are not in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network and device use.
Are other districts doing this?
Yes. We’ve been in contact with other districts around the country that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. Lake Stevens and Marysville are two such districts. There are districts all over the country/world that have gone one-to-one. Before our Chromebook launch, we’ve sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one districts, learning from them what’s worked well and how to avoid certain problems.
There are also online resources about one-to-one programs in K-12 schools and we are using tips and advice from those sources, as well.
What can you say about eTextbooks? Will they replace traditional texts?
There is a growing number of eTextbooks available for schools to use, whether they are viewed on Chromebooks, iPads, traditional laptops or other devices. eTexts are generally cheaper than hardcover textbooks, are updated at least annually (if not more often), are highly portable (multiple texts on one device that weighs less than three pounds), and highly interactive. eTextbooks aren’t just black letters on white screen. Often times, text is searchable, citable, linked to other resources, or chapters and lessons have learning activities, videos and photo galleries built right in. They are enhanced with audio, interactivity and multimedia, and they offer tremendous learning advantages to our students. We will still use traditional textbooks in the foreseeable future, but the shift to more eTextbooks will happen. Additionally, many of our curriculum pieces — including our new English and math curricula — have online and interactive components to go along with the more traditional classroom materials.
How can you prevent student copying and/or plagiarism?
There are ways within the software systems we have to check and see if work is copied between students. We are also looking at software to help prevent cheating from happening, too.
Will paper assignments become obsolete?
We can’t say we’ll never have paper or printed projects or work, but it will become less used as time goes on. This can add up to significant cost savings for the district by using less ink, toner and paper. That’s good for the environment, too.
Can parents use the Chromebooks?
When a student is logged into the Chromebook, parents can use them to check on student work, view their browsing history or connect with teachers through our Skyward parent portal or via the student’s email. The Chromebooks are not intended for personal use by the student or their parents.
Can my child opt out of having a Chromebook?
No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at the Edmonds School District and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it.
Can student work be transferred from their Chromebook to another device?
Student applications, emails, bookmarks, documents, presentations and all files saved in Google Drive while a student is logged in are available on any Chrome browser on any device when the student logs in with their district email address. The content will be the same on the Chromebook as it is, say, on a PC desktop computer, so long as student are using a Chrome browser and their email login.
Data can also be saved to a USB drive and transported between devices.
What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?
Since the applications run through the browser and online, there is little worry about having viruses infect the Chromebook’s software or hardware.
What will it cost to charge the Chromebook at home?
The electricity costs should be minimal to families over the school year, and the total cost is based on usage. Below is a formula to help you develop an estimate.
The device draws about 40 watts, according to the manufacturer's specifications.
To estimate electricity usage or kilowatt hours, use this formula:
(Wattage x Hours plugged in per day x number of days per year) / 1000 = kWh
Then multiply the answer by the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour in Snohomish County (about 9.879c). That is your estimate for the total annual cost.
If your child uses or charges his/her Chromebook at home (they charge while being used, too) every day after school for one hour, the annual cost to parents is about 80 cents.
(40 watts x 1 hour per day x 180 school days per year) / 1000 = 7.2 kWh
7.2 kWh x 9.879c = 71c
How has the Edmonds School District prepared for this initiative?
For several years the Edmonds School District has structured professional development around the effective integration of technology. Teachers have received training on a variety of topics including Web 2.0 online tools, Google Apps for Education and project driven instruction. Teachers will continue to receive appropriate professional development through the district’s new professional development academy which offers a variety of courses after school throughout the year.The Edmonds School District has also strengthened its wireless infrastructure over the past several years in order to accommodate a 1:1 program.
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.
In what ways will Chromebooks be used in the classroom?
It will be up to each member of the Edmonds School District faculty to determine how to incorporate Chromebooks into their curriculum. All teachers associated with the 1 to 1 program will participate in an initial Chromebook orientation session and will receive ongoing training.
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. In addition, students will receive regular instruction on Digital Citizenship to help them become more effective users of technology for learning.
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 digitally accessed via the Chromebook. This may require students to extend their screen time to meet course requirements.
Google Apps for Education: Frequently Asked Questions
About Google Apps for Education
What is Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education (GAfE) is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by the Edmonds School District (ESD). GAfE will provide the ability for students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school, work, or home, all within a secure “closed campus” online environment.
How will it be used?
Google Apps will provide the ability for students and teachers to store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school or home within a “closed campus” online environment. The use of these tools is optional, and intended to provide an approved and supportable alternative to “consumer” Google accounts.
What can my student/child do with Google Apps?
Students will have easy access to their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations within Google Docs. In addition, students will have additional storage for other files they may need to use between home and school. As the use of Google Apps continues, there may be other features that are added within Google Apps for Education. You will be informed about any significant changes to the tools your student is using in the secure environment.
Costs and Fees
How much is the district paying for this?
Google Apps for Education is free to the Edmonds School District.
What if I don’t have a computer, how is my child going to get to use it?
The use of Google Apps for Education is part of the instructional program and students have many opportunities to work in their Google Apps account during the school day. Because Google Apps for Education is safe and web based, it can be accessed from the public library or other places where computers are available.
Should I get my child their own computer?
The use of Google Apps for Education does not require students to have their own computer or any other personal device. That is an individual family decision.
How will my child access Google Apps for Education?
With teacher guidance, students must first activate their GAfE account and set their password from a computer at school. Once the student has an active account, they can login on any device by going to http://www.google.com and log in using his or her full GAfE mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password.
Will my child be required to access GAFE at home?
The instructional use of Google Apps for Education is optional, with decisions about GAfE in the classroom often made at the school level by teachers. Since GAfE is accessible from any device with access to the Internet, your child does have the opportunity to log in to his or her Google Apps account from home to access their information or work on their documents, and collaborate on shared documents with other students and/or their teacher.
Why can’t my child e-mail me with this account?
Google Apps is a “walled garden.” It will not allow students to send or receive email outside of the Google Apps domain. You will not be able to email your student at his or her @edmonds15.org address, nor will they be able to email you.
My child already has a Gmail account, why can't they use that one?
Google Apps Mail is one of the applications offered. Please be assured your student’s @edmonds15.org account will work only within our secured environment. In other words, your student will only be able to use this account for messaging within Google Apps. It will not allow him or her to send or receive email outside of our “walled garden.” You will not be able to email your student at his or her @edmonds15.org address, nor will he or she be able to email you.
Do these apps work on an iPad or other tablet?
Google Apps documents may be edited using a mobile browser.
Can parents use it?
Currently only employees and students can access Google Apps for Education.
Can I see what my child is doing on Google Apps?
Will there be a Parent View account? No there is not a Parent View account. Parents are encouraged to explore Google Apps with their children by logging in together. You will be able to have your student log in to his or her Google account at home and show you what they are currently working on in class, as well as items that have been “turned in” and commented on by the teacher.
Privacy and Security
Online security – How protected is my student from outside people?
The Edmonds School District takes security and privacy of student information very seriously. Google Apps is not accessible by anyone outside of the ESD, so your student will be able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.
What about Privacy?
What assurances has Google given that they will not collect data on my student?
The Edmonds School District has a signed agreement with Google based on the terms of this agreement. http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html (Please see Section 7). Google Apps for Education is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA.)
Who has access to my child’s account?
The Google Apps Terms of Service agreement with contractually ensures that our institution (students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on Apps when an administrator from grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use.
Does my child retain copyright of their creations?
The same copyright rules apply to content in GAfE that would apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner.
What protection will provide so that my child is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?
There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education. GAfE is an online collaboration tool that is accessed using a web browser and requires a login and password.
Google Apps in the Classroom
What apps are available and how can I expect my child’s teacher to use them?
Google Apps for Education will provide students with secure and easy online access to documents, spreadsheet, presentation and communication tools that can be accessed easily from home or school and enhance teacher and student collaboration in the classroom and beyond.
Teachers can use Google Docs to facilitate group projects and use the history tool to see the level of participation of each student in a group. Teachers will be able to give feedback to students directly in documents shared with a teacher. Turning in assignments will be as easy as sharing the file in Google Docs with the teacher, or by emailing it to the teacher through the student’s Google Apps Mail account.
What if another student deletes their work?
The owner is the only person who can delete a document. Once a document is deleted, no one can access it, including those with whom it was shared.
How will Google Apps reflect in their grade?
The use of Google Apps for Education will not in itself impact grades. Consult with your child’s teacher/s about individual class requirements.
Why is Google necessary for the students; can’t the teachers just answer the students’ questions?
The use of Google Apps for Education is another tool provides to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, apply critical thinking skills, and work creativity. Teachers will continue to answer students’ questions in the classroom. Google Apps for Education provide students an additional opportunity to ask a teacher question electronically, helping students learn to communication in a real world environment.
Why Use Google Apps for Education?
Why is the school system doing this?
"Digital Citizenship” and “21st Century Skills” are concepts which help teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship and 21st Century Skills are more than just a teaching tool; using these tools can be a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage.”
Why do students need an e-mail? Isn’t there another way to communicate?
Google Apps for Education is available in all schools. Schools can implement GAfE when they are ready. Providing students with a closed email address will allow for streamlined collaboration among their peers and teachers, and provides a consistent digital tool that can be accessed from home and at school. This will also allow email to become an instructional tool and allows students to participate in authentic online learning in a safe environment.
What is the value of Google Apps for Education (GAfE)?
Classroom collaboration, students and teachers can open and edit their documents quickly. No more distractions like USB keys, outdated file attachments, or confusing client software. Anytime, anywhere access Google Docs lets users be productive at school, at home, and even on their mobile phones. Because Google Docs runs in a web browser, students can work from almost any family computer without having to purchase new software. Easily upload and share files Google Docs works on PC, Mac, and Linux computers, and supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. Files stored on Google Docs are always accessible and backed-up online. Smarter commenting, better feedback Google Docs' intuitive commenting feature is ideal for instructor and collaborator feedback. Revision history allows users to review document edits over time.