1:1 Technology Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions
Student Use & Responsibility
Funding & Costs
WHAT IS A CHROMEBOOK?
A Chromebook has a traditional physical shape of a laptop but does not run a traditional operating system (think Windows). Chromebooks run Google's operating system; the Chrome operating system is built for (1) the web, (2) security and (3) Chromebooks. Advertised specs vary from model to model. Lightweight and long battery life are a staple of each model.
WHAT MODEL CHROMEBOOK WILL STUDENTS RECEIVE?
Students will be receiving an HP G4 EE Chromebook. Click here for more information.
ARE CHROMEBOOKS SAFE?
Yes! There are many layers of safety and security involved with our 1:1 Initiative. The safest way to use a computer is under the supervision of an adult. We also ensure that our students grow each year as digital citizens. Technology helps us to increase our levels of safety and security, too. Here are a few ways our technology helps to increase student safety and security:
WILL STUDENTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO USE A MOUSE WITH A CHROMEBOOK?
Yes. Students will be able to use a mouse with their Chromebook. Chromebooks have USB ports so any USB-compatible mouse will work. Wilmington City Schools will not be providing mice for student chromebooks.
DO CHROMEBOOKS SUPPORT FLASH?
Adobe Flash Player is directly integrated with Google Chrome and enabled by default. Available updates for Adobe Flash Player are automatically included in Chrome system updates. While Chrome supports Flash, it does not support other plug-ins like Java and Silverlight.
DO CHROMEBOOKS SUPPORT MICROSOFT OFFICE PRODUCTS?
Chromebooks are designed to work seamlessly with Google Apps for Education products rather than Microsoft Office products. While this may seem like a drastic change, Wilmington City Schools is using Google Apps for Education for several key reasons:
1. The computer skills that students learn on a Chromebook are easily transferable to Microsoft Office products. Google Docs are very similar to Microsoft Office products. (See the graphic to the right.) The look may vary, but the ways in which each tool can be used are the same. Therefore, the skills that are learned using Google Apps for Education can be quickly and easily transferred to other types of software such as Microsoft Office.
2. The use of Google Apps is becoming more and more prevalent. Currently, there are 120 million users of Google Drive and more than 5 million businesses and institutions using Google Apps. Furthermore, industry experts predict that up to 50 percent of all businesses will use Google Apps by the end of the decade. Click here to see an article by CNNMoney describing the increased prevalence of Google Apps. With the rapid changes in technology, it is essential that students develop skills that can be easily transferred to new and emerging technologies.
3. Google Apps for Education provides students with anytime, anywhere access. Google products are available from any machine at any time. Because Google Docs are cloud-based, students will have access to their work even if they do not have access to their Chromebook. Unlike Microsoft products, parents will not need to purchase any software. By logging in to Wilmington's Google Domain, students will be able to access their work from any device with Internet access. Students who do not have access to the Internet can still complete their work in
4. Microsoft Office products will not disappear. There will still be computer labs equipped with Microsoft Office in Wilmington City Schools. If a specific course requires the use of Microsoft Office, then students will have access to the needed software in school. Microsoft Office is available as a Web App through the Chrome Store.
WILL THE CHROMEBOOK REPLACE TEXTBOOKS?
No, students will have still utilize textbooks as a resource. As we began replacing textbooks we will always look for interactive technology as a companion to the textbook. Learning is enhanced by having access to technology along with using informational text that continues to exist in textbooks.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO TAKE THEIR CHROMEBOOKS HOME WITH THEM?
Yes. The Chromebook is a deliberate effort to expand learning beyond the boundaries and schedule of school, it is vital that they be used at home. This also helps us extend the formal learning community to include parents, siblings and other people important in the lives of each student.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR CHROMEBOOKS OVER THE SUMMER?
No. Chromebooks will need to be returned at the end of the school year.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL SOFTWARE ON THEIR CHROMEBOOK?
No. Chromebooks do not support software installation. Rather than running traditional software, Chromebooks rely on web applications. Wilmington City Schools will install or make available various educational applications from the Chrome web store.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO ADD APPS FROM THE CHROME WEB STORE?
There are numerous apps and extensions that can be added to Chrome. They are listed under Wilmington City Schools in the web store. Some apps have a cost and will not be provided by Wilmington City Schools.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO CHARGE THEIR CHROMEBOOKS AT SCHOOL?
One of the strengths of the Chromebook is the exceptional battery length. When fully charged, the Chromebook battery should last the entire school day. Chromebooks should be charged nightly at home so students can bring a fully charged device to school each day. The school will provide options for charging the Chromebook.
CAN STUDENTS PERSONALIZE THEIR CHROMEBOOK?
Students are not able to personalize their Chromebook with stickers, skins, covers, etc. WCS will provide a case for all student Chromebooks.
I’M WORRIED MY COMPUTER WILL GET STOLEN. HOW IS THE DISTRICT GOING TO HELP ME KEEP MY COMPUTER SAFE?
The high school administration will communicate building-specific safety and security plans in parent meetings and/or communication through the district website. Computer safety will also be reviewed with students during the first days of school. Any issue of theft concerning a district device will result in a report being filed with the Wilmington Police Department. We do have the ability to track student devices while at school, as long as they are registered on our network.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD FORGETS HIS OR HER CHROMEBOOK?
The Chromebook will play an integral role in classroom instruction, so it is extremely important that students bring their Chromebooks to class every day. The Chromebook will become part of a student's necessary classroom supplies similar to a pencil and notebook paper.
If a student forgets his or her Chromebook, they will be able to check out a loaner Chromebook from the Cane Tech Squad Helpdesk.
WHAT IF WE DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME?
Google Docs allow the user to work in offline mode so students can complete classwork at home, even without internet access. Files are saved locally to the Chromebook, then automatically updated the next time a wireless connection is detected. So a student can start a project at school and finish it at home, even without an Internet connection. When the student returns to school the next day, anything he or she worked on at home will be automatically updated to their Google Drive. Offline mode must be enabled before students can use it. Click Here for Instructions on how to turn on offline mode.
HOW CAN I CONNECT TO A NETWORK WHEN I'M NOT AT SCHOOL?
I have a wireless network at home. How do I access it on my Chromebook?
1. Log in to the chromebook
2. Click the profile picture in the bottom right of the screen
3. Click Settings
4. The first setting drop down menu is for a connection - click the drop down menu and select the network.
Some networks may require acceptance of terms of service (Panera, Libraries, etc.).
Some networks may require a password to join - enter the password to establish a connection.
5.After entering credentials, the chromebook will be successfully connected to the internet.
WILL MY CHILD BE ABLE TO OPT OUT?
Chromebooks will play an integral role in classroom instruction. Students will need to use their Chromebooks in order to be a successful participant in our learning community. Parents do not exclude their students from other essential instructional activities. Similarly, we strongly encourage parents to allow their children to use Chromebooks. However, if parents have objections to Chromebook use, they should contact the administration at their child's school.
WILL WCSD FILTERS BE ACTIVE OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?
Yes. Filters are put in place by Wilmington City Schools and they will be active outside school. Most students will use their Chromebook responsibly, and our emphasis on using computers is not idle web surfing. While the filters will be active outside school, a highly qualified teacher or parent nearby is the best filter.
DO PARENTS HAVE ACCESS TO GOOGLE APPS FOR EDUCATION?
Only students, faculty and staff can access Google Apps for Education. Parents are encouraged to explore and work with their child online and with Google Apps for Education. Because Google Apps for Education is web based, all students, faculty and staff can access their account anytime anywhere. There is no such thing as a "parent account" with Google Apps for Education.
If you would like more information, click here to learn more.
WHEN WILL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RECEIVE CHROMEBOOKS?
Plans call for high school students to receive Chromebooks in the fall of 2016.
IS THERE INSURANCE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE TO COVER THE COST OF REPAIRS AND/OR REPLACEMENT?
No. The district will cover repairs due to manufacturer's defects. Parents/students are responsible for covering the cost due to damage, loss or theft.
CAN MY CHILD USE HIS/HER OWN PERSONAL CASE INSTEAD OF THE DISTRICT PROVIDED CASE?
In order to insure the most protection possible, students are required to use the district provided, always-on case.
CAN THE DEVICE BE SHARED WITH FAMILY FOR PERSONAL OR OTHER EDUCATIONAL USE?
The device is to be used for educational purposes only by the student to whom it is issued.
WILL STUDENTS STILL HAVE TEXTBOOKS?
Yes. Chromebooks will not replace traditional textbooks as another resource for students.
WILL THERE BE A FEE FOR THE CHROMEBOOK?
Similar to other school districts that allow students to take computers home, Wilmington City Schools is charging a mobile device fee. The mobile device technology fee is $50 per student per year.
WILL I HAVE TO PAY A CHROMEBOOK FEE EVERY YEAR?
Yes. The mobile device technology fee will be $50 per student per year.
HOW CAN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AFFORD TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH A DEVICE?
Wilmington City Schools plans to increase access to student computers within the scope of the approved budget and capital improvement plan. This is possible by purchasing and supporting fewer traditional desktop computers and acquiring lower-cost, highly functional student devices.