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Help Desk

ChromeBook Q&A Session on Wednesday 16th October, 2013

If you didn't get a chance to go to the meeting on the 16th we have provided you with a summary of the questions and the relevant answers. As more questions are answered we will post them here and send an update via School Communicator.
Any further questions can be directed to Mike Kingsford via email at mkingsford@tcc.wa.edu.au or via phone on 9455 1607.

Questions:

When do our orders have to be placed by to ensure delivery to TCC in time for Day 1, 2014?

Orders received by the 22nd November are guaranteed for delivery by Day 1, 2014

Why Chromebooks and what is the life of the units?

The decision to use ChromeBooks isn’t a simple one line answer because there are a few different factors that have been considered. Some of the key factors are the cost of the unit, the battery life and the functionality.
 
The cost of a typical ChromeBook is about half the cost of a budget laptop and about a third of an Apple MacBook Air 11”.
 
The battery life of the Samsung ChromeBook selected is around 6.5 hours. This contrasts extremely favourably with budget laptops and other ChromeBook models that are available in Australia at this time. The amount of time that a laptop can run on a single charge is important because the students can rely on it to be available during their whole school day.
 
The functionality of the ChromeBook was determined to meet 90% of the needs of a student at Thornlie Christian College. The other 10% will continue to be met by the computer resources that are available inside the College.
 
The expected lifespan of the Samsung ChromeBook is at least 2 years in-line with the warranty provided.

Do you need wifi connection at home or is it totally built in the Chromebook?

Many of the core applications on a Google ChromeBook can run without an Internet connection. Having said that, pretty much all modern computers are designed with the intention of running best with an Internet connection.
An Internet connection is required for online research and collaboration.

Does Chromebook refer to the hardware or the software?

The ChromeBook refers to the hardware. The software being used is the Chrome Web Browser which provides access to the Google Apps environment and other web resources.

Do we have to buy the Chromebooks from Computelec?

Yes. The College has an agreement with Computelec to provide a web portal for parents to purchase the Chromebooks. Computelec has 18 years experience in providing for schools and negotiating with suppliers such as Samsung. The Chromebooks will be delivered to the College and will include the Management Licence and a 2 year warranty. The Chromebook will also come prepackaged with a ‘skin’ showing the College logo, the student’s name and the Warranty date.

Are there payment options/plans in place?
Is there any discount if you have more than one child?
Are you able to purchase the Chromebooks by adding the cost to our fees?  

The web portal for online purchasing through Computelec will have repayment options. While there are sibling discounts for College school fees the Chromebooks are required for each individual student much like their uniform or textbooks. Computelec are handling the purchasing processes and so Chromebooks are not part of the College school fees and so cannot be added to the account. Families facing financial hardship should contact the College Business Manager, Mr Geoff Edwards.

Who pays for insurance against theft and accidental breakage?
Will the Chromebooks have a protective case?

Presently, with the Bring Your Own Devices in Years 10-12, we encourage parents to check with your Home and Contents Insurer to see if the unit would be covered under that policy whilst the device is at school QBE will also offer an optional insurance cover on the parent portal which you can decide whether or not to purchase.
Again, on the parent portal where the Chrome Book will be purchased, options of a sleeve or a protective case are available. 

Do we still need to purchase textbooks?
Will the Chromebook replace textbooks and workbooks?
Will text books be available as ebooks through the Chromebook?

Students will still require textbooks and workbooks in both the primary and secondary school. Some texts will no longer be required, some with be replaced by ebooks but most will still be needed.
Our teachers are preparing next year’s booklists. There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not ebooks replace textbooks such as whether or not publishers have an e-version of the text, the suitability of the e-book for the curriculum and student learning needs. These factors will vary across year groups and subject areas.

Why start with Year 3?
How will this affect development of motor skills?

The College will continue to help our students develop motor and other important skills. We are committed to ensuring our students are being equipped appropriately with the skills they need in all aspects of their development.
Our consultation and research has led us to conclude that students entering Year 3 are at an age where they can begin to take advantage of the new learning opportunities that the Chromebook provides. Our teachers are trained to recognise the variations in student development and they will introduce the Chromebook to enhance learning for their students in ways that are developmentally appropriate. 

Will Microsoft or Mac software (or both) be used on the Chromebooks?
How does Google docs identify with Word (Windows) and Pages (Mac)?

The ChromeBooks can use software written specifically for them or any resource available on the Internet. Most software to be used on the device will be free and is installed from the Google App Store. The free software that comes with the device includes productivity applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.
Antivirus products won’t be required for the ChromeBooks.

Why is TCC not using Macbooks throughout all high school years?

Cost
Manageability
A technology that didn’t exist when many schools started their laptop programs
We’re keeping our IT Labs whereas some other schools dismantled them and later regretted the decision.

Will you have the internet capacity for 500 plus users? Will there be a problem with loading time?

The current Internet speed of the College is 20 Mbit for downloading and uploading. This is being increased to 100 Mbit in mid December for the new year. By comparison, a typical home Internet connection is 10 Mbit for downloading and 1 Mbit for uploading.
 
The College’s current Internet usage can be seen in the graph below with 400 computers on campus. An additional 500 units will increase the device numbers by 125% and our bandwidth is being increased by 400%.

 

Where will the Chromebooks be stored during the day and do they need to be brought home everyday?

Primary school students will  keep their Chromebooks in the classroom during the day. They will not be left in their bags. Secondary school students will be able to store them in their locker when not required. Generally, all students will be required to take them home at the end of the school day. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to store Chromebooks or any other valuables in their locker overnight.

What happens if the Chromebook runs out of battery or breaks down?

The Library will hold a bank of Chromebooks that will provide short term loan units should the student’s ChromeBook be unavailable. 

How will the charging of the batteries be managed?

Students will be responsible for the charging of their Chromebooks and will need to ensure their Chromebook is fully charged before coming to school. If a student does forget, they will be able to borrow a unit from the library while their unit is charging. The student will then collect their device later in the day and continue their school day. 

Will there be a course for parents?

We will be providing training for parents. These will be held in the evening on dates still to be determined.The training will focus on the Chromebooks and Internet safety. 

Who owns the Chromebooks?
Once a student leaves TCC are the Chromebooks still theirs and how easily can they be wiped and new apps loaded?

When a ChromeBook is no longer being used at Thornlie Christian College the student will retain ownership of the device and the management software will be removed. This will revert the unit to being a standard ChromeBook. The skin being put onto the ChromeBook can be removed. 

What happens to the Chromebook when Year 9 students go onto Year 10?
Will Chromebooks be suitable for students in Year 10 - 12 as a BYOD?

Students will be able to use their Chromebooks as their BYOD in Years 10-12 if they so choose. 

How is the advertising attached to  email restricted and monitored?

The email service being provided to the students is a closed system. They students can email each other and the staff but no email can come into or leave from the system. This means that no SPAM can be received.
Additionally, the web browser extension Adblock is being installed as a default. The extension will block almost all advertisements on Internet web pages.