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Parents' Frequently Asked Questions

We strongly urge you to label your computer and charger in some way that is permanent before bringing it to school.

Q: Why do you have a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) program?

A: As an educational tool, laptops provide flexibility for teachers, instant access to information, and support for diverse learning styles. We have found that:
Integrating technology improves student enthusiasm toward learning
Implementing new teaching practices improves student achievement
Students develop responsibility and lifelong technical skills in caring for a laptop
Communication and opportunities for ‘Just-in-time’ learning are improved with a laptop

Q: Will there be parent information meetings?

A: The technology department will be available during a variety of meetings to support parents questions regarding the ISL BYOL program. Here are some events where the technology department can provide information and answer questions.

April 21st & 22nd: Parent Teacher Conferences
August 2015: New Parent Orientation

Q: Who will purchase the Laptops?

A: Families purchase and own the laptop outright. Each incoming Middle and High School student (Grades 6-12) is required to have her or his own laptop. We have made arrangements for you to purchase such a laptop at a special rate from Capital should you so choose. If you already own a laptop, you can use this instead of purchasing a new machine as long as your current laptop meets ISL requirements.

Q: Do I need insurance for the laptop?

A: YES! While we will be working with students to teach them responsibility, inevitably, accidents do occur. You will want to make certain that the laptop is covered in your home insurance. If you have questions about this, please contact your insurance company.

Q: Can a student use a tablet/iPad instead of a laptop for this program?

A: No, tablets/iPads do not meet the device requirements. Tablets are great learning tools, but may be utilized only as a supplementary device due to limitations that may prevent full participation in class assignments in which technology is required.

Q: What if my child already has a laptop computer?

A: Laptops are acceptable as long as the laptop meets the minimum requirements as stated in the letter send to families in March of 2015.
The minimum specification for a laptop:

  • 2 GHz processing speed
  • 256 GB HD space
  • WiFi capable
  • 4GB RAM
  • less than 3 years old

Q: Can we go out and buy our own laptop at any store?

A: Yes, of course you can choose to purchase a laptop anywhere, from any company. Please just make certain that it meets the minimum requirement for a laptop for this program.

Q: What other schools are using 1 to 1 Laptops in our European Region?

A: Laptop programs are becoming increasingly common in Europe, and around the world. Currently the American School of Warsaw, the Munich International School, the American School of the Hague, Zurich International School, the American School of London and the American School of Milan all have laptop programs in their Schools. Our IT Department is in close communication with several of these school’s IT Departments, and all schools have been very collaborative and proactive in sharing resources, information and supporting each other’s programs.

Q: What about battery life and charging?

A: Students will be expected to bring their laptops fully charged every day, and are expected to recharge them at home. This will help students better manage the use of their laptops.

Q: What about viruses and spyware?

A: Viruses and spyware exist on all operating systems. If you would like to purchase anti-virus software, there are a number of options available for purchase online. We recommend Kaspersky, McAfee or Norton. We recommend free products from Avast, AVG and Secunia. It is important to keep software, plugins and virus definitions up to date on all devices. This helps protect your child, your home network, and the school’s network.

Q: What about inappropriate use of technology?

A: Students will be held accountable for everything listed in the ISL Acceptable Use Agreement.

Q: Where do the laptops go when not in use?

A: Students are expected to leave their laptops in their lockers between classes or if they are inappropriate carried cases, backpacks, or bags.

Q: Is it okay to bring the power adaptor from home to use at school?

A: Yes. We encourage students to bring both their laptops and chargers. We will create areas where students can charge their laptops, however, the areas and time to charge up will be limited. We are currently working on prototypes for charging stations.

Q: How much time will be spent on laptops in the classroom?

A: A blend of traditional and digital learning is key to a quality education in today’s world. The laptops are to be used as a tool. The amount of time the students use the laptops in class and for homework will vary from class to class.

Q: What if a student experiences problems with their computer?

A: If a problem is beyond the scope of the student’s knowledge, then IT Support is available for advice. If the laptop needs servicing or repair, IT Support can recommend a local servicing company.

Q: Do you need to buy any specific software the laptop being used?

A: Every ISL student is issued a Google account as part of the Google Apps for Education. Students are encouraged to use Google Apps to create, collaborate, and share work with peers and teachers. If a course requires the use of a specific application, devices with those applications will be made available to them. However, we recommend that students purchase antivirus software. Please refer to the question above about viruses and spyware.

Q: What are the minimum specification expected for my laptop?

A:

  • 2 GHz processing speed
  • 256 GB HD space
  • WiFi capable
  • 4GB RAM
  • less than 3 years old

Q: Do you have a list of family- and kid-friendly websites?

A:

  • Family Friendly Sites - www.familyfriendlysites.com
  • Kid Friendly Sites - www.linkopedia.com/kids.html
  • www.kidsites.com/sites-fun/online-games-kids.htm
  • www.ala.org/gwstemplate.cfm?section=greatwebsites&template=/cfapps/gws/default.cfm
  • Kid Friendly Resources - http://www1.center.k12.mo.us/edtech/resources/kidfriendly.html
  • The Discovery School - http://school.discovery.com
  • Family Fun - http://familyfun.go.com/
  • Scholastic - www.scholastic.com/
  • Websites for Children - http://nyacklibrary.org/childrenscorner/websites
  • Kids.gov - www.kids.gov
  • A great website: http://www.connectsafely.org/safety-tips-and-advice.html