1:1 Laptop Program
What's the goal?
The Hamburg Area High School is excited to provide laptops for all students to use in school and at home. The 2010-2011 school year was used to pilot laptops with 9th graders. This allowed us to develop policies, troubleshoot technical issues, and plan for additional laptops. The program was then expanded to included 9th and 10th grade during the 2011-2012 school year. All students in grades 9-12 had the opportunity to receive a laptop at the start of the 2012-2013 school year as we fully implemented a 1:1 computing solution at the High School. The program will continue for all High School students in 2014-2015.
Why are we doing this?
We believe that a 1:1 laptop program will provide equal opportunity, continue the efforts of the Classrooms For the Future program, and help students develop the skills necessary for the 21st century. Today's students need to learn to work collaboratively, think critically, and use 21st century technologies to be productive and efficient.
What's the plan?
In order to make sure we are successful in implementing a 1:1 program, we know that there are many tasks to be completed. None of which can be accomplished overnight. To work out the logistics, we started with a pilot program in 9th grade during the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year. Laptops were gradually distributed to 9th graders each week. The 2011-2012 school year started with all 9th and 10th graders receiving a laptop. Finally, full implementation of 1:1 for all (approximately) 800 students in grades 9-12 occurred in the 2012-2013 school year. We feel that this approach of phasing the program in over time helped us make a smooth transition and insure the success of 1:1.
What equipment are we using?
Making sure that the technology would suit our needs was a critical piece in the planning. We reviewed both PC and Mac laptops for functionality and price. The result? The Lenovo ultraportable. This device was smaller and much lighter than a full-size laptop but had a bigger screen than a mini/netbook and a full-size keyboard. The laptops have built-in speakers, a microphone, webcam, trackpoint, touchpad, and come with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013.
What should parents and students do?
Students and parents should discuss the responsibility that comes with having a laptop. We will set expectations for use and care at school. It is suggested that parents also set expectations and guidelines for using the laptop at home. Each family has the option to keep the laptop at school or take it home.