Upper School 1:1 Laptop Program

The laptops have been distributed to the CFA class of 2015 and 2016!

The accidental damage form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Upper School 1:1 program FAQ

This FAQ will be updated as we get more information; please check back often.  If you have any questions not covered here, please call Brent Stimmel at 910-791-0287 ext 3402

What is a 1:1 program?
A 1:1 program means that every student has a laptop available for every class.  These laptops will be issued to 9th grade students in the fall and will be theirs to use throughout their CFA career.   Each year we will issue laptops to rising 9th graders so that after 4 years every student in our Upper School will have their own laptop.  

Why are we starting a 1:1 program at CFA?
We have been working over the past few years to dramatically increase the technology presence in all our classrooms.  We have outgrown our current method of lab and laptop carts and many teachers can not get computers as often as they would like.  We feel that issuing laptops to students is the next logical step because of the time involved with getting a class to a computer lab or getting the laptop cart to the classroom.  

Why 9th and 10th grade only?
We chose the 9th grade for a few reasons. The main reason is that most pilot laptop programs happened in the 9th grade.  This year, 9th grade Social Studies piloted an online program where much of the course and course material was online and the class had computers to use every day.  The 9th grade is also the beginning of the “final four” years before college.  Many colleges and universities require or suggest laptops for students and we feel this is just another advantage we can give to our students in preparing for college.

What about the rest of the Upper school?  
We currently have over 100 student computers in labs and on carts for the Upper School.  These computers will now be shared amongst the upper classmen only.  Not only will issuing laptops to the 9th grade increase their access to technology but it will free up the current Upper School computers to the rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.

My student already has a laptop. Can he/she use that?
Yes, families will be given the option to use the CFA-issued laptop or have the student use their own.  

If I choose to use my own laptop what are the specifications needed to be consistent with the CFA issued laptops ?
There are very few specifications, most any laptop will work. Students choosing to use their own laptop can use a Mac or a PC.  The only requirements will be that the laptop be in good working condition, have a reasonable battery life, and have installed either Chrome or Firefox web browsers.  The most important  requirement will be that student-owned computers be brought to class every day; the same as paper, pencil, and books.  

What kind of laptops will we use?
The laptops issued to students will be very similar to the 10” Netbooks we now have on several of our laptop carts on campus.  The exact computer has not yet been chosen, but we currently use the Asus brand Netbook.  This may or may not be the brand we use for the 9th grade laptop program because it will depend on pricing and availability at the time of purchase.

Why are we using Netbooks?
We are using Netbooks because they are portable and can easily fit into a backpack or large purse thereby eliminating the need for a separate laptop bag.  They have great battery life, and they do most everything a full-size laptop will do, just in a smaller package.  We have used many different kinds of computers in the classrooms over the past few years and we found that battery life makes all the difference in their usability.  

Why aren’t they getting iPads?
The main reason we are using small laptops instead of iPads is that while the iPad is an incredible device, it does not yet do all the things we currently use technology for in the classroom.  While this year our device of choice is Netbooks,  that doesn’t mean that as tablet computers develop more capabilities that we won’t reconsider the device choice.  Students who own iPads may still be able to use them for many things in the classroom if they choose, however, they will also still need a school laptop.

Do I get a credit if I opt not to get a laptop from CFA?
No, the laptops are being provided at no cost and therefore there is no credit for using your own.

Can I install my own programs on the schools laptop?
Yes, students can put programs of their choice on the school issued laptops provided they don’t undermine the functionality and security of the computers or violate the school's computer use policy.  If a student does mess up the computer, we will be able to quickly restore it back to it’s original configuration.

Can the students take the laptops home at night?
Yes, to be fully effective as a learning tool the laptops need to be available for homework as well as classwork.

Can the students take the laptops home during the summer?
Yes, students returning to CFA in the fall will have the option of taking them with them over the summer break.  Further details regarding this topic is forthcoming.

How will I get service for problems with my Netbook?
The technology department will fully service the school-owned laptops and will provide limited help and consultation with problems on student-owned equipment.

Will I be responsibility for loss or damage?
The short answer is yes. Any normal wear and tear will be covered by the school but if the laptop is lost, stolen, or damaged by negligence then the student will be responsible for replacement.  Families will have the option of purchasing an insurance protection plan each year to cover loss and damage or to pay the replacement value of the computer.  Details about the protection plan will be sent to parents if they choose this option.  The replacement cost will be roughly $300.

Won’t all these laptops be a distraction in the classroom?
The number one thing we hear from teachers is that they would like more access to computers in the classroom.  Our teachers are already comfortable teaching with laptops in the classroom.  The simple method we use to keep them from being a distraction is that there are times in class where laptops need to be open and times when all lids will need to be closed.  

Will textbooks be all online for 9th and 10th grade?
We are trying to use as many online resources as possible with the 9th grade next year. However, there are some books that are not yet available in digital form.  There will likely be fewer books, but we will still have traditional books - at least for the first few years of the program.  

Will the Internet be filtered on the Netbooks?
When students are on campus and using our network, the Internet will be filtered the same as it is now.  At home, however, Internet filtering is up to the parents, but we do provide instructions on how to filter your home Internet for free here.  http://opendns.com

What happens to the laptop when the student graduates?
We are still working out the details on this, but it is likely the student would have the option to purchase the device.
Aug 23, 2011, 9:52 AM