Proper Computer Care *Includes your responsibilities, this is required reading for all students and parents!

BYO Laptop Program Outline

Grade 7 to Grade 9 Bring Your Own Laptop Program
This page serves as a general introduction to our 'Bring Your Own 1-1 Laptop' initiative for our Senior, Grade 7 to 9 students.
There is a commitment on the part of parents to provide laptops for their children. There is also a commitment on the part of our teachers and administration to make sure that we will provide a current, challenging, and resource-rich learning environment for our students.

1. Do I need a new Laptop?

We have a laptop, do we need to buy a new one?
No, but you must be prepared to have your child take it to school every day. Also, it should be portable, light in weight, in good working condition, and have wireless internet capabilities. Your Laptop or Netbook needs to meet the minimum requirements below.

2. Who Pays?

Who is paying for the computers?
Portable computers will be purchased and owned by families.

Cost?

I don't have a portable computer. How do I get one and how much will it cost?
You can choose to purchase any computer you wish as long as it meets the minimum specifications listed below. Some laptops are more durable than others and some laptops are easier to service in China. We chose the Lenovo S10 to update teacher desktop computers. These are durable, made and easy to service in China, and well priced at around 3,000RMB. It would be realistic to find a Netbook or Laptop for 3,000 to 7,000RMB depending on what features and upgrades you would like to get above and beyond our minimum specifications.

3. Specifications

What are the minimum specifications for a computer?
See the table below. If your current device meets these specifications, or if you upgrade it to these specifications, you do not have to purchase a new computer. We do not consider the Apple iPad, or mobile/phone devices as meeting our minimum requirements.

Note that these are minimum specifications. If you are purchasing a new device and wish to have your child to be able to use it for several years, we recommend a faster processor, additional memory, and 802.11n wireless.
BYO-Laptop-Requirements-2010-11.jpg

4. Accessories

Are there any expected or suggested accessories? Yes.

Expected

• headset or ear buds (for private listening)
• protective portable computer sleeve or backpack with a computer compartment (to protect it better)
• external hard drive for backing up files (learning to perform regular back-ups and how to restore from a backup are very important skills. This is for home use, not to bring to school)
• Combination lock for lockers (to secure laptops when not in use)

Strongly suggested

• additional AC power adapter (in case you want to have one at school and one at home)
• high capacity battery (if available)
• micro-fiber cleaning cloth to remove fingerprints on the screen
Other suggestions
• an extended warranty (if available, and affordable)
• theft and hazard insurance (if available, and affordable)

5. Training?

Will students receive any special training on how to use their computer?
Yes. They will be required to demonstrate proficiency in using their computers. Also, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) will be provided throughout the year.
Above and beyond safety concerns and training, we will also be placing high expectations on appropriate use. The workload for students is significant. Off-task behavior of any kind is often self-correcting, and when it isn't there will be escalating levels of logical consequences. It will not take students long to figure out our expectations and we are confident that they will be respectful and honourable in their use of their computers.

6. Computer Use

Will my child be expected to use his/her computer both at school and at home?
Yes. One of the goals of the portable computer program is universal access. This means access to the learning tools on the computer at home and school. Some homework assignments will require you to use your computer while other assignments will not.
Some will require the internet and some will not. Please note that computers are tools for learning at school, they will compliment and enhance what we do, they will not replace other tools.
We will guide and monitor computer use at school and parents will still need to guide and monitor use at home. (See my first Parents as Partners: Questions & Advice article, 'Children and Computer Time' at the bottom of the Parents as Partners page.)

7. Internet at home?

Will I need to have wireless Internet access at home?
No. You should have Internet access, but this can be accomplished by plugging your computer into your current Ethernet port on your cable or DSL connection.

8. Software

My own:

Can I install software on my computer?
Yes. You have administrative rights to your computer and may install your own applications, provided that such applications do not violate the school's acceptable use policy.

For school:

What software do I need on my computer?
• anti-virus software is required for all computers (even if your computer is relatively immune from viruses, you can transmit viruses to other users)
• word processor, presentation, and spreadsheet suite (e.g., Open Office , Microsoft Office, Apple Computer's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers)
• web browser (e.g., Firefox , Safari, Google Chrome, IE)
• We will require students to have a minimum set of open source software (for example:
Open Office) and free applications. We will have clear instructions available and also offer assistance in order for students to install the free and open source software that we will be using.
• Throughout the year other software or software updates will be required, and will be made available or downloaded. Learning how to update a computer is an important skill to learn as well as something that is necessary for the health of your computer. You will be instructed on how to install updates during boot camp. We will always offer technical support and our assistance when this is required.
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9. Computer care

Lifespan

How long can I expect my computer to last?
The typical life expectancy of a portable computer is three to four years, depending on how well it is cared for by the user. We recommend that you try to get at least four years of use out of a computer. Under regular use, computer batteries tend to last between two and three years. Be prepared to purchase a replacement battery one time over the lifespan of the computer.

Care

How can my computer be protected from damage, loss, or theft during the day?
• You are required to place an identifying name tag on your computer.
• You may store your computer in your locker or keep it with you in your backpack or book bag. The computer is at risk for damage or theft when not locked-up or in your possession.
• We recommend that you use a sleeve to protect the computer while in your backpack or book bag.
• Computers that are left unattended may be confiscated by any employee and secured in Mr. Truss' office. Parents will be notified whenever a computer is confiscated.

10. Benefits

Will the use of computers affect my child's learning?
Yes... in a good way!
Some of you may ask, "What about learning the basics, like Reading, Writing, Math and Science, and in an International School, English Language Learning?"
A 21st Century learning model starts and ends with these subjects! The use of technology in the classroom is to provide current, interactive and collaborative tools to help students communicate better and demonstrate their creativity while improving speaking, reading and writing, as well as learning in Math, Science and other key subject areas. Our technology goal is to enhance and enrich the great learning experiences students already get at our school, not to replace those experiences. We already have students from many parts of the world at our school, but now we can truly bring an interactive, global learning experience into our classrooms as well.
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