Read more about our laptop program within the High School.
- What parents need to know
- What students need to know
- What teachers need to know
- To increase student participation in selecting resources and tools to support their own learning
- To enable routine, anytime access to digital resources, Mellon Library subscription databases, collaboration tools, and student work
- To help ASL integrate the TILM (Technology, Information Literacy, and Media) standards into the High School curriculum
- To increase engagement and discussion of positive and appropriate technology use, including a community agreement about Digital Citizenship and Standards at ASL
How does the 1:1 program improve student learning?
ASL believes that academically useful implementation of technology can enable increased choice, innovation, differentiation and collaboration in student learning. The anytime/anywhere aspect of 1:1 laptops opens doors to new uses during the school day, and increase engagement with the topics of ethical and positive uses of technology. As a school, we also believe that the lifelong skills of confident technology use are increasingly expected in higher education and future careers. Anytime access to technology provides new ways for students and teachers to interact, collaborate and share ideas. Online writing and research can be a springboard for further discussion and improved interaction in the classroom. For example, students who rarely join in-class discussions may make the strongest contributions to an online discussion or blog, and then their ideas can be referenced in class to enable them to share their ideas further. Additionally, the use of online content sources can increase time for rich discussions in the classroom.
- All students should bring a reliable, fully charged MacBook to school each day
- ASL will provide licensed copies of Microsoft Office 365, Adobe CC, Geometer's Sketchpad, and Vernier Logger Pro Science software at no cost to students
- The High School Technology Office will facilitate MacBook repairs by providing loaners for up to two weeks and a drop off, quote, repair and return system (see details)
- ASL will provide year-long loaner MacBooks to students on financial aid
- High School seniors have the option to lease MacBooks from ASL for one year (£250 fee, see information)
What is expected from parents?
Many parents are interested in information about social networking and balanced, positive uses of technology at home. As part of this program, ASL shares information from Commonsense Media and other sources about making thoughtful and deliberate choices about technology and media use. Learn more in our HS Code of Conduct and HS student responsible use agreement.
Why Macs? Why not PCs?
The HS faculty requested that the program standardize on the Mac operating system so that in-class questions and applications would have more uniformity and be familiar to the faculty themselves. For example, for a video project, it can be assumed that all students would use and receive support to use iMovie as opposed to an additional range of PC video editing tools. This focus allows us to build on the student Mac OS knowledge gained in the MS 1:1 program, and we also have some intended uses that require Macintosh-only software (including DiLL software for World Languages).
In terms of technology, we have found the Macintosh operating system to be less susceptible to viruses and malware. Also, by focusing on one platform (several models of MacBooks and the later versions of the Mac OS), we can improve the depth of our technical support and repair service. Providing similar support to all types of Windows laptops and versions of Windows operating systems is more difficult (mostly due to variations in hardware and software).
Why not iPads?
Unfortunately, the iPad models currently available are not academically viable for the requirements of our courses. iPads lack the capability to support several fundamental programs that are necessary for course work, and they would put students at an educational disadvantage if they cannot fully engage in the academic experience the teacher has laid out for the course.
How does the HS 1:1 compare with the MS 1:1 program?
The key difference is that the laptops are family-owned instead of school-owned. This means that the laptops are not turned in for the summer, and students are local administrators and can install software of their choice. It also means that one computer can be used to serve both home and school needs, and that students have a larger responsibility to care for their own computers.
What software is provided, and will families need to buy additional software?
ASL provides licenses and installation software for Microsoft Office 365, Adobe CC, Geometer’s Sketchpad and Vernier LoggerPro. ASL is working on ways to deliver specific applications and licenses for students to use on their own computers.
A number of important applications used by ASL are web-based (Haiku, Google Suite for Education, Veracross, WordPress, PearDeck and others), and they do not require software installs or purchased licenses. At this point, there are no anticipated applications that will need to be purchased by families for the program.
If a laptop breaks, do we have support with repairs?
Our HS Technology Support Specialist is happy to take an initial look at student machines. We also provide an optional service system for students who wish to drop off their laptop and receive a quote for repairs through our school-approved repair company, Amsys (see details). Loaner MacBooks are provided to any student who needs one when personal machines need repairs (up to two weeks).
Will financial aid be available?
Yes. Financial aid, in the form of a loaner computer, is available to help offset the cost of buying a laptop. Families interested in this option should contact the Admissions Office. ASL welcomes all financial aid inquiries, whether or not the family currently receives aid, and holds all information in strict confidence.
Do families have to buy brand new MacBooks or a specific model? What happens if a MacBook does not last four years for all of high school?
Any reliable MacBook will fulfill the needs of the program. Using a new MacBook is not necessary. The 13-inch MacBook Air is the recommended model but others are acceptable also (see information).
Depending on use and care, some MacBooks may last only three years instead of four. We offer a one-year laptop lease to High School seniors, so that the students who need a MacBook just for the senior year have the option to lease one from ASL for £250 instead of buying a new MacBook. MacBooks in this program will be used for three years, so some students may receive a new MacBook while others may receive one that is up to two years old.
What is expected from students?
The expectation is that students will come to school with a fully charged, reliable MacBook.
Are laptops used in every class?
In most HS classes, students will have the option to use technology when appropriate. The preference of some students to use laptops for note-taking and other routine uses will be respected, but there will be times when faculty will ask all students to comply with a “lids down” or “no laptops for this next activity” request. It is also a goal that all faculty will incorporate the TILM (Technology, Information Literacy and Media) standards when creating or revising curricular units.
How often should students use laptops in our classes? Is there a minimum requirement?
The frequency and amount of laptop use in HS classes will fluctuate according to different project work and assignments. There is no minimal requirement, but there is an expectation that all students who prefer to take notes and organize their work using laptops will be allowed to do so (with the exception of in-class writing or other activities that will require handwriting or other paper-based work) and faculty always consider the best ways to provide instruction, whether digital or analog. It is a goal to allow routine and basic uses throughout the day, and work toward deliberate and thoughtful integration to increasing achieve the TILM standards.
How are students held accountable for responsible use of their laptops?
Teachers always have the option to say "lids down" to ensure that all student attention is focused and undivided. In a 1:1 environment when laptops are being used, it is necessary to circulate and ensure that the laptops are being used for productive work. Students who use their laptops irresponsibly in a class will be held accountable. Irresponsible uses that violate the HS Code of Conduct will be handled in the same way as non-digital, real-life violations and have the same consequences.
All HS students are expected to be knowledgeable of and agree to the HS responsible use agreement concerning safe, ethical and respectful uses of technology.