FAQ for Chromebooks
What is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks operate on Google’s operating system; the Chrome operating system is built for (1) the web, (2) security and (3) Chromebooks.
What grades will be receiving a Chromebook?
Each student in Grades K-12 will receive a Lenovo N21, N22, N23, or 300e. Grades 6-12 will take home their devices each day. Grades 1-5 will leave theirs at school each day until Administration and Teachers agree that students are ready to take them home.
What items will the student receive?
Students will receive a Chromebook, Infocase (not 1st-4th Grade), strap for the case (not 1st-4th Grade), and charger. All items issue will be assigned to each student and will need to be returned at the end of the school year or upon transfer from the school. Failure to return any of these items would result in the student being charged.
What happens if my child accidentally damages the Chromebook?
Students and parents will be charged for Chromebook damage that is a result of misuse or abusive handling. Parents will be billed for parts and labor.
Student will cover any accidental damage or loss valued less than $50.00 per incident. In the event of accidental damage or loss greater than $50.00, the District will cover 60% of the amount of damage or loss and the student will be responsible for 40% of the amount of damage or loss per incident. Total value will be determined by the District at the the time of loss or damage. In no case shall the value be greater than the total cost to replace the item(s).
What happens if the Chromebook is stolen?
File a police report in case of theft or damage caused by fire (parents are required to fill this out with their student).
Can students use their own laptops or tablets instead of the district owned Chromebook?
The Chromebook is the required device chosen by USD 274. It will allow the school system to monitor student use at school and push out applications that students can use for classwork. While many other devices exist, USD 274 selected the Chromebook for numerous factors including its instructional use and versatility, long battery life, integration with Google Apps for Education, security, management tools, and cost. USD 274 issued Chromebooks will contain additional services and filters that non-district purchased Chromebooks will not.
Can students bring their own personal Chromebook to school?
The district-owned Chromebook is the required device chosen by USD 274. Each district owned Chromebook also has a Google Apps for Education license which can only be purchased for district owned units. This allows the district to enroll the device into the district administrative Google console. Through the console the district provides security of the user and device, access to the network, instructional app selection specific to the child, and safety controls for all students. A personally owned Chromebook will not have these features, nor will it connect to the district wireless network.
Are Chromebooks safe?
Yes! The district has been using Chromebooks since the 2015-16 school year, and have added some additional layers of safety and security with the implementation. As with any technology device, the safest way for students to use a computer is under the supervision of an adult. We also ensure that our students grow each year as digital citizens. Parents can learn about the digital citizenship and download age specific Internet safety resources here.
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:
When students take the Chromebooks home, they will be subject to the same Internet filter that protects the students in school. The “always on” content filtering blocks harmful and inappropriate websites no matter where the student accesses the Internet–from school, home, or overseas–the filter is always on!
Chromebooks have built-in anti-virus software that is always up-to-date.
What steps has the district taken to protect students from inappropriate content?
All student Chromebooks have a cloud-based filter, which restricts content both at school and away from school. The filter aligns with Board policy EHB as well as current legislation and restricts content that would be harmful to minors or illegal for minors. The filter restricts categories such as social networking, gambling, and provides safe searching for all students. It is important to remember that no filter is foolproof, but the district has thoroughly tested the filter and received multiple recommendations from other districts that are successfully using it. In addition, the content filter has other safety features designed to protect students online.
What if the Chromebook is not connecting to our home wireless network?
Unfortunately, the district technology staff can’t troubleshoot your home network. However, we can make sure the device is appropriately connecting to a wireless network. If we do show that the Chromebook has no problems connecting to a wireless router, we encourage you to read this information and then reach out to your Internet Service Provider for troubleshooting.
- Double check the authentication needed to connect to the wireless router and that it is being typed in correctly.
- Wireless routers have limits on the number of devices they can physically support. This can be as few as 15 in home grade equipment.
- Turn off other wireless devices in your house (don’t forget the game systems, TV’s, Cable/Satellite boxes, cell phones, etc) then reboot the router and see if the Chromebook can connect.
- Confirm there are enough IP addresses in the DHCP scope of your router. How to do this will be specific to your Router. Each devices on the network uses one.
- Research your Router to see how many devices the manufacturer says it should support concurrently connected.
- Take your device to another network (such as a friends house or a public place that offers it as a service) and confirm you are able to get the device to connect.
What if a parent or guardian does not want the device coming home?
The Chromebook is a learning device in the USD 274. The expectation is that all (7-12) students will be required to take the device home and charge it daily.
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.
How often does the Chromebook need to be charged?
Students are expected to fully charge the Chromebook each evening at home, which should provide sufficient battery life to use the device throughout the school day. Students should also try to preserve battery power during the school day by lowering the lid whenever the device is not in use.
Will students be able to charge their Chromebooks at school?
One of the strengths of the Chromebook is its 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.
Can students access the internet at home using their own internet provider?
Students may connect to any Wi-Fi network, whether at home or in a public place.
What if we do not have Internet access at home?
Google Docs allows 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. In offline mode, students can edit their documents and presentations.
What if the Chromebook needs service?
- Loaner Chromebooks may be issued to students when they leave their Chromebook for repair at the office after completing a Technology Repair Form.
- If repair is needed due to malicious damage, the school may refuse to provide a loaner Chromebook.
- Repaired Chromebooks will end up with the original factory image as first received. It is important that students keep their school data synced to cloud drives so documents and class projects will not be lost. Personal information that cannot be replaced should be kept at home on an external storage device.
What happens if my child’s Chromebook gets broken?
If your child's Chromebook gets broken, please have your child report it by filling out the Technology Repair Form immediately. USD 274 will handle all repair/replacement work. Please do not take your Chromebook to a third party vendor to have it replaced as this will void the warranty.
Can students personalize their Chromebook?
Chromebooks must remain free of any decorative writing, drawing, stickers, paint, tape, or labels that are not the property of USD 274 Oakley. Spot checks for compliance will be done by administration or OHS and OMS Teachers at any time. Students may add appropriate music, photos, and videos to their Chromebook. Personalized media are subject to inspection and must follow the USD 274 Oakley acceptable use policy.
What is the best way to clean the screen?
The Chromebook screen can be damaged if subjected to rough treatment. The screens are particularly sensitive to damage from excessive pressure on the screen.
- Do not lean on top of the Chromebook.
- Do not place anything near the Chromebook that could put pressure on the screen.
- Do not place anything in the carrying case that will press against the cover.
- Do not poke the screen. It is NOT a touch pad.
- Do not place anything on the keyboard before closing the lid (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks).
- Clean the screen with a soft, dry anti-static, or micro-fiber cloth. Do not use window cleaner or any type of liquid or water on the Chromebook. You can also purchase individually packaged pre-moistened eyeglass lens cleaning tissues to clean the screen which are relatively inexpensive.
Where should students store their Chromebooks when they are not in class (PE, lunch, practice, etc.)?
- When students are not monitoring their Chromebook, they should be stored in a dry, safe, indoor temperature. Nothing should be placed on top of the Chromebook, when in storage. The Chromebook should be charged at the beginning of each day.
- Storing Chromebooks at OHS and OMS Extra-Curricular Events: Students are responsible for securely storing their Chromebook during extra-curricular events.
- Chromebooks Left in Unsupervised / Unsecured Areas: Under no circumstance should a Chromebook be stored in unsupervised areas. Unsupervised areas include the school grounds and campus, the cafeteria, unlocked classrooms, library, locker rooms, dressing rooms, hallways, bathrooms, extra-curricular bus, in a car, or any other entity that is not securely locked or in which there is not supervision.
- Unsupervised Chromebooks will be confiscated by staff and taken to the Principal’s office. Disciplinary action may be taken for leaving a Chromebook in an unsupervised location.
Are textbooks being replaced with online textbooks?
In most instances, the District will continue using their current textbooks at this time. Several courses have access to online materials from the textbook companies and will be used where appropriate. Having a Chromebook will allow the teacher to utilize a broad range of online resources and materials.
Can I purchase my Chromebook when I graduate?
No, you will not be able to purchase the device when you graduate. It will be used for another student.
Do Chromebooks support Microsoft Office products?
- Chromebooks are designed to work seamlessly with Google Apps for Education products rather than Microsoft Office products. The district adopted Google Apps for Education in 2014 as an instructional platform and students and staff have had great success using all that Google Apps for Education. Work in the Google Apps for Education Suite can be downloaded for use in Microsoft Office, if needed.
- 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.
- At this time, Microsoft Office products will not disappear from business labs and staff machines. 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 for students in a business class to access if they need it for an assignment.
Will students be able to download and install software on their Chromebook?
No. At this time, Chromebooks do not support software installation. Rather than running traditional software, Chromebooks rely on web applications. USD 274 will make available various educational applications from the Chrome web store.
Will students be able to keep their Chromebooks over the summer?
No. Like other class materials, all Chromebooks will need to be returned at the end of the school year.
Can students print from their Chromebook?
- The use of Google Apps for Education encourages an environment of sharing information electronically instead of printing on paper. This is a cost savings as well as an eco-friendly move for the environment.
- The District recognizes there will be times when a student may need to print. Students can pull up Google Documents from any district desktop or laptop computer and have the ability to print.
What about curriculum software that will not work on a Chromebook?
The district will not be removing curriculum labs. We know there are some courses which require a specific curriculum software (i.e. CAD, Adobe Creative Suite 6, or Final Cut Pro 10, etc.) which currently do not run on Chromebooks. In those instances, students would continue to work on the software in the curriculum lab. We do know that software vendors continue to develop web based versions of their program which when released are available in the Chrome web store. For example, there is AutoCad 360 right now which may not be as feature rich, but could be used by many students if needed on the Chromebook.