How will the devices be used in classes?
- Accessing online versions of textbooks and other documents;
- Accessing web-based tools and using the Internet to complete research;
- Using dedicated software/applications to complete subject tasks (e.g. Schoology, Microsoft Teams);
- Creating audio and/or video presentations;
- Using Microsoft Office applications to create and edit documents;
- Downloading documents, such as homework and/or reading passages; and
- Using collaborative spaces to enhance communication among students and educators.
Why are we using devices?
In addition to the devices giving us the ability to be fully remote during the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are many other benefits to the use of 1:1 technology for students:
- Critical thinking and Reasoning: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
- Information Literacy: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
- Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
- Self-direction: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
- Invention: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
How and where should devices be stored/cared for at home?
With our extreme temperatures, please never leave the Laptop/iPad in a vehicle. Families need to develop a convenient, safe place to charge the Laptop/iPad each night. Students are expected to arrive at school each day with a fully charged Laptop/iPad. Encourage your child to treat the Laptop/iPad with extreme care. Laptops/iPads should not be left on the floor or near heating sources. The laptop/iPad can be cleaned with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean the Laptop/iPad. Avoid getting any liquids on the Laptop/iPad. If liquid is spilled on the Laptop/iPad, immediately power down the device and contact the technology department.
Will all teachers be expected to use the laptop computers or iPads with students every day in every class?
All teachers have a laptop computer and/or iPad and the training to support its use as a learning tool. It is also important to realize that some subjects lend themselves more to the use of technology than others. As the Bridger Virtual Learning Academy continues to grow, the District recognizes that teachers will develop new strategies and skills to best determine when and how to use technology. The expectation is not to use the device as often as possible, but to use it when it enhances or improves the learning process. The District expects to see increased, appropriate use of technology from both teachers and students. Teachers and administrators will continue to participate in professional development to further their understanding of effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
What are the teacher expectations for the devices in class?
Students will be expected to bring a fully-charged device to school each day. Students are encouraged to use technology to assist with and enhance their learning. Students and teachers need to work together to create a learning environment which is safe for everyone and supports academic achievement and success.
Will there be training for students?
Students and teachers have been using computers in each grade level for many years. Students and teachers are familiar with the devices and many of the software programs. Rather than taking computer classes to learn all of the features of a software program, the District philosophy is for students to learn software as it is needed to complete various projects. Teachers will build short lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using software. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about particular software applications.
What if we don’t want a school-issued device?
Just as students are required to use classroom textbooks and print material, lab equipment, and other instructional resources, all students will need the laptop or iPad to be a successful and prepared participant in our school. Technology serves as an engaging tool to help students become career and college ready in the 21st century. Students may not opt out of the program.
What about students who already have a laptop or iPad at home?
An important component of the 1:1 device rollout is the equal access to technology resources it grants to all Ambridge Area School District students in Grade Pre-K through Grade 12. While some students have computers and other digital devices at home, most students do not have the educational software programs that will be included on the school-issued devices.
Are students and families responsible for the device?
Yes. Our students are competent and worthy of our trust; we trust that they will act responsibly and maturely with such important personal learning devices. Students will be responsible for the care, security and safety of the device. Schools that have implemented successful 1:1 programs typically report a deep sense of student technology ownership and stewardship.
Who owns the device?
The device is the property of Ambridge Area School District and on loan to students, just like textbooks and other learning materials. Students will be expected to care for the laptop and/or iPad as they would other district issued school supplies and materials.
Can students leave their device at school?
No, students are to transport their devices to and from school daily, as their device will become an integral learning tool both at home and in school. Students are expected to bring their device fully charged at the start of each day.
Will students be able to use their devices on the school bus?
No. Use of laptops or iPads on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.
Will AASD provide service/support for the laptop computers and iPads?
Yes. The Technology Department and support technicians will provide maintenance on all laptop computers and iPads.
What is the procedure if a device needs repair?
The Technology Department will be responsible for the repair of laptop computers and iPads. All repair requests need to be submitted to the Ambridge Area School District Helpdesk by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 724.266.2833 x4357.
What will students do with their device during Physical Education classes or lunch?
Students are responsible for the care and security of their devices. The size of the device is appropriate to secure it in the student lockers on a short-term basis. Elementary students should leave their iPads in their desk or cubby. Students should not store the laptop or iPad in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a device is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.
Will students be able to use their device for Internet access at home?
The iPads and laptop computers are equipped with wireless capabilities. If parents have a home network, students can connect the laptop computer to the network through the wireless network. While Internet filtering will be enforced on the laptop and iPad regardless of location, parents are advised to monitor student Internet usage at home. Student devices are also able to connect to the Internet using open wireless networks in the community. Parents should determine appropriate use of open wireless networks with their student(s).
Will the district have schools open after hours in case my student wants to use the wireless to do homework?
Outdoor wireless access points are located in all of the school buildings. The outdoor wireless network is available to students in the parking lot and surrounding areas close to the building.
What if I do not have Internet Access in my home?
Ambridge Area School District is offering the Comcast Essentials program to families who qualify. Letters will be mailed to those families who answered “No Internet” on our parent surveys who qualify under the guidelines of the program. If you do not receive a letter, and you think you qualify, please contact your building principal. More information will be distributed about the program as it becomes available to the district.
What do I do if we are moving or I have to withdraw my child from the District?
When a student is withdrawn from school the device and charger must be returned to Ambridge Area School District. If the laptop/iPad and accessories are not returned, Ambridge Area School District will contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities to recover the device.
Do the devices come with a protective cover, or do parents need to purchase something?
All of the iPads will come in a case. The case needs to remain on the device at all times. This case is the approved case by Apple and needs to remain on the device for warranty purposes. The laptops (6-12 grade) do not come with a case. If your student attends the middle school, you are able to purchase a case if you choose. However, if your student attends the high school no additional casing is allowed. This is due to the high school’s security protocols and the need for students to being the school year with the issued clear bag.
Should students bring power cords to school?
No, students should bring a fully-charged device to school and leave their power cords at home.
What if my child loses the power cord or case?
If your child loses the power cord or case, please contact the Technology Department. Replacements cables are available for a fee determined by the manufacturer.
Can my child upload games or apps on his/her device?
Only the district can upload software and applications on the student devices.
Will the devices be filtered?
Yes. The devices are filtered in the same way both at school and at home as per the Board Approved Responsible Use Policy #815. Despite every effort for supervision and filtering, all users and their parents/guardians are advised that access to the Internet may include the potential for access to inappropriate materials for school-aged students. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the network and avoid these sites.
How will the devices be labeled?
Each device will have an identification label, which will include the asset tag number, serial number, student email address, and student ID number.
Will the district provide insurance for the devices?
The district is currently exploring insurance options. More information will be sent to the parents as soon as it is available.
Will students need to create their own Apple ID?
No, the district has issued managed Apple ID’s for elementary students. Students will use their Office 365 credentials (network email address and password) to log into their Apple ID. Although we provide a district issued Apple ID, the district is not currently using any apps that require the students to be logged into the Apple ID.
Can I use Bluetooth headphones with my iPad?
Yes. Students should be able to pair their headphones with the iPads.
Will I have access to Notability?
Students in grades 4 and 5 will have access to the Notability app.
Can I download my own apps?
No. The district manages the app deployment for the iPads. Teachers can request apps to be pushed to the student devices remotely. However, the Self Service portal is available for student to download additional apps that the district already manages.
Can I use my home printer with the student iPad?
The District does not have the ability to support home printing; however, you may be able to use Apple AirPrint. More information about AirPrint available on Apple’s website: About AirPrint
Can I use my home printer with the student laptop?
The District does not have the ability to support home printing, but if your home printer does not require software or drivers to be installed, then it is possible that the student’s device will be compatible.
How do I connect my laptop to my Wi-Fi at home?
Here is a support document from Microsoft: Connect to a Wi-Fi network in Windows 10