FAQs about Chromebooks

The North Carolina Leadership Academy

1:1 CHROMEBOOK (5th-12th Grade) FAQS

What grade levels will be required to have a chromebook?

5th - 12th grade

Can my child opt out of having a Chromebook?

No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at The North Carolina Leadership Academy and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it.

Will the school be selling chromebooks this year?

No, the school will not be selling chromebooks this coming year.

Where can I buy a chromebook?

Most major retailers ie: Amazon, Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy etc.. sell chromebooks.

What are the required specs a chromebook should have?

We recommend that the chromebook have the minimum specifications.

32GB eMMC storage
At least a dual core processor

All other features are personal preferences.   We recommend purchasing accidental damage warranty due to daily use and excessive wear and tear that we’ve seen.   

We purchased a chromebook… Now what?

Student owned Chromebooks will need to be registered with the school.  The student will need to pay a one-time $35 fee upon registration of the student owned Chromebook.

My child forgot to charge their Chromebook before school. Now what?

Middle school and high school students are expected to charge their Chromebooks nightly at home and bring them to school fully charged. If one is available, students who do not bring a charged Chromebook back to school may be issued a loaner device for the day, which cannot be taken home. Loaners may not be available and your student may be without the Chromebook for the day. They may be able to charge the Chromebook during a study hall.

If a student must take it to another room, how will they carry their Chromebook?

Chromebooks should never be transported while open as even gentle handling can damage the screen. Chromebooks should be safely closed before they are taken from classroom to classroom, or to and from school (middle and high school students only).

What login will students use to get into the device operating system?

Students will each have an email address that is their primary login and username. Students can change their password, but they cannot change their username. The school cannot recover passwords (only reset) and students should remember them to ensure successful logins.

Can parents use the Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are put into student mode from 6am to 3pm on weekdays which restricts students from only using school accounts to use the chromebook.  Personal accounts may be used on the device from 3pm to 6am and on weekends.

Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?

We do our best to ensure our child’s online experience is safe. Before each Chromebook device connects to the Internet, it must pass through school network firewalls and filters. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible while the students are on campus.

What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?

While we do our best to stay on top of things, some websites are not blocked or are able to bypass our filters. Teachers and parents are encouraged to randomly check the browsing history of student Chromebooks on a regular basis. Browsing histories cannot be deleted by the students. The school will also conduct random checks of student browsing histories. If you discover any inappropriate web activity, please contact your child’s teacher, grade-level principal or school principal. Inappropriate web browsing may result in disciplinary action.
How would you go about repairing a laptop that is not functioning?

Damaged or non-functioning chromebooks purchased from the school should be turned in to the IT department so a repair can be started. The school IT staff can repair many problems in-house, which may take a day or two. Other problems may require the devices being sent out for repair, which can take a several days or perhaps longer.

Students who are without their device due to repairs will be issued a loaner through to use during school only.

Can you Print from the devices?

Digital online file sharing between staff and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way to distribute and turn in assignments without printing. It also saves on paper, ink and toner use, thereby saving the school money. There are ways to print from the Chromebooks, but it’s not encouraged or particularly easy. Most printing of schoolwork should be done at school. However, we are encouraging staff to try and limit printing of assignments going forward.

What if another student damages my student’s device?

In such cases, circumstances will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. School administration may be involved if it is suspected to an intentional act or act of vandalism.

What kind of APPLICATIONS are on the devices?

There are thousands of apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of topics. The apps, which run in the Chrome browser, are downloadable through the Chrome Web Store.

Can students download apps?

Yes. Student access to the web store is limited.

What applications will be available on my child’s device?

Different applications will appear on student devices depending on what grade the student is in or what classes they are enrolled in. For instance, a student in high school may have different applications on their home screen than a student who is in middle school. The same goes for online textbooks.

What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?

A Chromebook can connect to:

USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
SD cards
External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
Headphones, earbuds, microphones

How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?

Google Drive, Google Classroom and Canvas have features built into it that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and even videos. Each item can be “shared” with a teacher prior to its due date. The teacher can then see the work on his or her own computer to review it or grade it for the student.

What if a student is out of school for an extended period (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?

With the devices, it will become even easier for students to receive work from their teacher. Assignments, readings, and other resources can be placed online and shared with the student who is absent. The student can do the work online from home and share it back with the teacher.

Will class lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?

Possibly. Some teachers are looking at different applications to video/audio record specific course lessons and make them available via the web. This would allow students to view recorded lessons and access related materials (handouts, presentations, etc.) online for review or for students who are out of school to not miss a thing. There may even be options for having courses stream live. At this point though, we’re still exploring.

Can the devices be used at home?

Yes, if your home has a WiFi network, the devices will have the same web access as they would at school.

If you don’t have a WiFi network at home, students can still use them, but in a limited capacity. Some applications will work “offline” (such as Google drive) but content saved to the device will not be backed up online until it an Internet connection is available for the device.

How long should Chromebooks last?

Chromebooks have very few moving parts in them and generate very little heat. Therefore the life expectancy — so long as they are treated appropriately — is fairly significant. Five years or more is not unrealistic. Additionally, the devices have powerful processors, adequate memory, and automatically update the latest software and security features without anything needing to be done by the student.

Can the school track web history?

Yes. The school can track information on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites when the student is logged into their school account. Students should only visit sites that are approved by the school and those that are not in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network and device use.

Are other schools doing this?

Yes. We’ve been in contact with other schools around the state that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. We’ve sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one schools, learning from them what’s worked well and how to avoid certain problems.

There are also online resources about one-to-one programs in K-12 schools and we are using tips and advice from those sources, as well.

What can you say about eTextbooks? Will they replace traditional texts?

There is a growing number of eTextbooks available for schools to use, whether they are viewed on Chromebooks, iPads, traditional laptops or other devices. eTexts are generally cheaper than hard-cover textbooks, are updated at least annually (if not more often), are highly portable (multiple texts one device that weighs less than three pounds), and highly interactive. eTextbooks aren’t just black letters on white screen. Often times, text is searchable, citable, linked to other resources, or chapters and lessons have learning activities, videos and photo galleries built right in. They are enhanced with audio, interactivity and multimedia, and they offer tremendous learning advantages to our students. We will still use traditional textbooks in the foreseeable future, but the shift to more eTextbooks will happen. Additionally, many of our curriculum pieces — including our new reading and math curriculum for elementary students — have online and interactive components to go along with the more traditional classroom materials.

How can you prevent student copying and/or plagiarism?

There are ways within the software systems we have to check and see if work is copied between students. We are also looking at software to help prevent cheating from happening, too.

Will paper assignments become obsolete?

We can’t say we’ll never have paper or printed projects or work, but it will become less used as time goes on. This can add up to significant cost savings for the school by using less ink, toner and paper. That’s good for the environment, too.

Can student work be transferred from their Chromebook to another device?

Student applications, emails, bookmarks, documents, presentations and just anything done in the Chrome browser while a student is logged in is available on another Chrome browser on another device when the student logs in with his or her school email address. The content will be the same on the Chromebook as it is, say, on a PC desktop computer, so long as student are using a Chrome browser and their email login.

Data can also be saved to a USB drive and transported between devices..

What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?

Since the applications run through the browser and online, there is little worry about having viruses infect the Chromebook’s software or hardware.

What will it cost to charge the Chromebook at home?

The electricity costs should be minimal to families over the school year, and the total cost is based on usage.