• General Questions

    What is a Chromebook?

    • A Chromebook is a device meant for working online with Internet-based resources.  It has some ability to work offline with certain apps.  It is fast, light, and fairly inexpensive.  A battery life of 8 or more hours makes it an ideal device for students to use all school day.  Chromebooks use the Google Chrome operating system and Google's Apps for Education suite of tools.  

    Why did we choose to go with this device?

    • Key factors include:
      • Providing all 6-12 grade students with the opportunity to access electronic and web resources.
      • Integration with Google Apps for Education for daily coursework.
      • An integrated keyboard and trackpad making it easier for student to create online products.
      • Centralized management of the device through an enterprise management console at school.  This allows us to push out applications and tools to students. We can also use this to set "test mode" for various standardized testing.  
      • Chromebooks start up in 10 seconds or less and update themselves in the background so students can maximize their productive class time. 
      • Chromebooks can be locked and rendered unusable in case it is lost or stolen.
      • Files are saved online.  When working in offline mode, files are stored on the local machine and then synced when reconnected to the Internet again. Students should rarely, if ever, lose their work this way.  In addition, if a Chromebook stops working, another Chromebook may be substituted and the student would still have access to their files through Google Drive.
      • Additional storage is possible with a USB flash drive or SD card.  Students can pull in other work done on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems and still work with large files that do not store easily in the cloud. 

    Are businesses or colleges using the Chromebook?

    • Yes.  They are used in a wide variety of situations including personal computing, education, and business settings.

    Is the information on a Chromebook or in Google Apps for Education private, or will Google share our information?

    • Information in Google Apps for Education stays private and is not shared or sold in any way to protect the students.  See: http://www.google.com/edu/privacy.html  

    Are other districts using Chromebooks with their students?

    • Yes.  Holdrege, Axtell, and North Platte are just a few of the districts that have utilized Chromebooks.  

     
    How will students submit research papers and other formal works where formatting is vital?  Will MS Office remain a central feature in Eustis-Farnam Public Schools like it is in the business world?

    • The Google suite of tools has many of the same formatting tools as Microsoft Office.  MS Office will also be available in the computer lab and in the elementary carts and will continue to be taught in business classes.  MS Office online is also available to students free of charge, but they will need to set up a separate email account with Microsoft to use it.  
    • Schoology, an online learning management system that many of the teachers utilize, will allow students to submit work from Google Docs as well as other applications. 

     
    What exactly can Chromebooks do?  Can they run programs at all?

    • Chromebooks run web-based programs.  They also have a growing catalog of apps for special uses suck as photo and video editing, organizational tools, and games (educational and entertainment).  We are able to push out applications to students that will be used for course work.

    Technology Fee

    How much is the Chromebook fee?

    • The Chromebook, management software, and cases have a value of over $309.  The $30 insurance premium must be paid before a student may take a Chromebook home.  Only 8-12 grade students may take their Chromebook home.  6-7 grade students will leave their Chromebooks in the cart in their classrooms when not in use.

    Loss, Breakage, and Theft

    What is a student's Chromebook is stolen?

    • Yes, this may happen.  However, devices purchased through the district can be locked down so they cannot be used by anyone after it is stolen, making it worthless.  A Chromebook theft will be investigated and treated like any other district asset theft. 

    Who will be responsible for maintenance/IT support on them if something goes wrong? (malfunctioning software, virus, etc.)

    • The Chrome operating system will maintain itself and is not vulnerable to viruses at this point.  Students needing help with their Chromebooks may see the tech coordinator in the library.

    Whose responsibility is it if the Chromebook is damaged at school?

    • Students and parents may be held liable for ovbious neglect or misuse of the Chromebook like any other district property.

    Will the computers be labeled, or marked, in a way that would make it easy for someone to return a lost laptop? Also will these labels and or markings permanently affect the Chromebooks?

    • We will inventory and tag devices with library barcodes that have a Eustis-Farnam Public Schools label.  Students will be assigned a praticular device and the library system will be used to monitor who has each particular Chromebook.

    Student Use and Access

    Will there be spare Chromebooks in the event that a student has to bring a Chromebook in for repair?

    • Yes, some loaners will be available.

    Technical

    Where do students get tech support if they need it?

    • The tech coordinator is located in the library.  Each year there may be a student or two working as a tech aide in the library.  They are good resources for the "how to" side of things.

    What happens if a student breaks, loses a device, or it is stolen?

    • The situation will be assessed like other district assets or property.  

     
    Can the building support this many Chromebooks simultaneously?  Or if a student loses battery due to a late class, will there be charging stations?

    • Students will charge their Chromebooks overnight at home.  Battery life lasts through the day.  However, if a student knows he/she is going on a field trip or activity where he/she might be gone longer than 8 hours, then that student should plan ahead and bring their cord with them.  There will be places to charge Chromebooks as we don't anticipate a large number of students needing to charge at the same time. 

     
    How long will the battery last?

    • Batteries are rated to last at least eight hours of reasonable use.  In the event there is a malfunctioning battery, that is something that the tech coordinator can change out. 

    What will they connect to for wireless?

    • Students connect to a dedicated private wireless network at school.  
    • At home, students will need to connect their Chromebooks to their own wireless network.  
    • One note:  In certain remote locations and with certain low speed internet connections, students may find it difficult to complete and maintain a connection with their home internet.  

    How will 120 users affect the wifi network in addition to the current devices on the wifi network?

    • The wireless upgrades put in place in 2013 were designed to support this load.
       

    Will students be able to access non-web apps?

    • Google Drive and many other apps are available offline. Web pages can be saved ahead of time for offline viewing.

    How will printing to the variety of printers the school currently has be effected?

    • Students will have a couple of printer choices around the school they can print to when needed.  However, printing should decrease more as online resources and activites are incorporated. 
    • Students may set up their printer at home to work in Google Cloud print.  

    How will Chrome Web Apps from the Chrome App Store work?

    • Students will have a core suite of apps that we will manage centrally.  Students can also add approved apps from the store. Paid apps will be provided by the district.

    How will digital textbooks be used on the Chromebook? 

    • Many publishers offer digital textbooks side by side with their traditional book.  Students may utilize them where possible.
    • Note:  We have noticed that most students who previously had access to digital textbooks still preferred the traditional text in math classes.

    Is there a backup in case the system goes down?

    • All student's work is backed up to the cloud.  Students utilizing Google tools will automatically have all their changes saved.

     
    Will steps be taken to prevent computer viruses?

    • Chromebooks are built on a Linux infrastructure and have little risk of computer viruses.  The operating system automatically updates so it can patch any vulnerabilities that arise immediately.
    • Malware or compromised apps can be removed from all Chromebooks at an administrative level.

    Can the Chromebook support Adobe Flash to play animations in class?

    • No.  As of version 64 in 2018, Flash will no longer be supported. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will be ending Flash support in 2018 and other browsers will follow suit soon after.  Most websites have converted or in the process of converting to HTML5. 

     
    What happens if a student has technological difficulties or loses the Chromebook?  Is the information within, including notes, able to be backed up easily?  What if the Chromebook is damaged?

    • All of a student's work on a Chromebook is backed up to the cloud automatically.  If the Chromebook is damaged beyond repair when a student signs into a different Chromebook all of their information is automatically transferred.

     Classroom Issues

    Where should Chromebooks be stored during the day?

    • High school Chromebooks are best stored in their designated bag in a locker.
    • Junior high Chromebooks are best stored in the cart when not in use.

     
    Will teachers get Chromebooks too?

    • Teachers will keep their Macbook or their Windows PC and may use the Chrome browser to get a similar experience to what the students will have. As resfreshes are needed, we will be converting most staff to Chromebooks.

    Can the Chromebook enable a greater variety of classes with different content and levels?  Let more students get the attention they need to learn?

    • The Chromebook in combination with our Schoology.com learning management systems can be a part of that change.   As time goes on, we will be investigating more varieties of instructional resources.

    How will this affect the students ability to interact with each other?  How do you expect teacher to regulate what students do with the computers during class?

    • We will have tools in place to monitor student use.  Communication and collaboration are dependent on classroom activities.

    Can students and teachers collaborate with other schools around the world?

    • In certain cases, this is already happening.  Google Apps for Education and other web-based tools make this easier and more natural as students learn the ins and outs of the Chromebook.

    Will the students also be instructed in typing so that by the time they are doing papers they are fast and proficient?

    • Keyboarding classes are offered at Eustis-Farnam beginning in the 5th grade.  This will continue.  There are also free tutorials and typing games available on the Chromebook.

    Practices and Procedures

    Will students take the Chromebooks home? 

    • In 8-12th grade, students will take their Chromebook home nightly.  They should bring them back to school fully charged.
    • In K-7th grade, the Chromebooks will stay at the school locked in the carts overnight.  

     
    Can my student use their own Google account on the Chromebooks?

    • No.  Each student is assigned an EFPS Google account and that is the only account they can use to log into the Chromebook.  Once they are logged in, they can also access their personal accounts via a browser. 

    How does the school plan to limit the use of the Chromebooks to keep students focused on school?   How do I know my student will not be playing games all day and ignoring lessons?

    • This is a classroom management issue.  Strategies will be discussed with faculty.  Classroom activities should leave little time for game playing.