A Technology Handout for Parents.

 When things go wrong

During the school day, students can bring malfunctioning computers or iPads to the Taub Center on the second floor of the library for assistance.

Software related problems can often be resolved in person while the student waits. Sometimes, however, a problem is so severe, that it requires us to reset the device back to its original configuration and re-install all of the software. This process can take about three hours, and the student should plan to be without a computer while we work on it.

Hardware problems fall into one of two categories:

Students are issued loaner computers or iPads to use when computer repairs extend beyond a single school day.

If a student experiences technical problems at home, he or she can often make use of a different computer to get school work done. Assignments and handouts are usually posted on the school website, and students can download their own files from cloud-based backup.

Connecting Tablets to Home Networks and Printers

Our computers function the same way other computers do. People who are technically savvy should find that they connect to most home networks and printers without much difficulty.

Families requiring additional help with connectivity and printing problems in their homes can contact any one of a number of consumer-level technical support companies. We recommend Tech Made Simple. You can contact them at (908) 938-1532 or www.tmsUnited.com regarding services and fees.

Backup

It is critically important for students to regularly backup their data.

When students receive their computers, they are configured to synchronize local files to the student’s Google Drive account, iCloud account, or Microsoft SkyDrive account depending on which model device the student is using.

Students are limited to approximately 5GB of storage in these accounts not including documents stored in Google Docs format.

This should be enough space for their school documents, but they will quickly run out of space if they don’t manage it carefully or if they store music, pictures, and videos in their cloud-based backup folder.

Parents may wish to purchase additional storage space in iCloud (or other online services) to accommodate larger backup needs.

Parental Controls

There are many programs available to block access to various web sites and online activities. Some of these programs will also send pictures of a student’s screen and activity logs to a parent’s email address.

Our feeling about such programs is that they tend to work well to prevent accidental access to inappropriate content. They also work well when the student views them as a way to help him avoid distractions and focus on school work more effectively.

They can be defeated by tech savvy students who intentionally work to circumvent them, however. If a student is actively seeking out inappropriate material, there is no program that will prevent that from happening.

These types of programs should never be viewed as a substitute for good conversations with your child about appropriate online behavior and adequate supervision.

If a parent wishes to install parental control software, there are many sites on the web that can offer reviews of these types of tools and can point parents in the right direction.

We also strongly recommend that younger students work on their computers in areas of the house that are publicly visible. Young children should not be working online in unsupervised areas of the house.

Upon request, the Computer Services Department will configure an administrative account for parents on their child’s tablet. Please contact us at (201) 227-3177 if you would like to discuss this.