FAQs


 

FAQ

What is TL2020?

Teaching and Learning 2020 (TL2020) is an initiative of the Salisbury Township School District located in Allentown, PA. TL2020 is the next phase in the development of teaching and learning in our district that started with TL2014. TL2020 builds on our successes at transforming teaching and learning through technology. The initiative offers increased learning opportunities by providing a personal computing device for each student (1:1), Kindergarten through Grade 12.

  • Kindergarten and Grade 1 – iPad Mini – available in school
  • Grade 2 – Grade 5 – Macbook Pro – available in school
  • Grade 6 – Grade 12 – Macbook Pro – available in school and at home

You can read more about the initiative on the About TL2020 page.

What are the goals of TL2020?

TL2020 has as its stated goals:

Why does every student need a personal computing device?

Today’s learners live in a dynamic, technology-rich world where they are creators, producers, researchers and thinkers. In order to fully engage with our students, the educational environment must mirror the world in which our students live now and will navigate in the future. Providing a personal computing device for every student K-12 will help create dynamic learning experiences for students and teachers. Students are more engaged in their learning with technology and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in higher education and the work force.

Why use Apple technology?

The TL2020 initiative is about preparing students with 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving. Apple technology provides software integrated into the digital device operating system to support dynamic learning interactions. There is no need for the District to purchase additional software. From a financial perspective, Apple technology makes sense for education. Because of integrated software, total cost of ownership (TCO) is less than comparable PC or Android devices. Additionally, maintenance, service and support costs are lower, and Apple technology retains far greater value over time than similar PC laptops. Because Apple technology retains value, the District will reap significant financial benefit in the future when it sells back Apple technology to roll into a new lease agreement. This benefit does not currently exist with PC laptops. Finally, Apple Inc. has demonstrated a commitment to education, providing the District with invaluable opportunities to partner and grow with experts within the education division. Using Apple technology benefits Salisbury Township School District educationally and financially.

Who can I contact if I have questions about TL2014?

Students and parents/guardians should contact the school principal – Salisbury High School Principal, Ms Heather Morningstar (610-797-4107); Salisbury Middle School Principal, Mr. Robert Cassidy (610-791-0830); Harry S Truman Elementary School, Mrs. Barbara Samide (610-791-2800); Western Salisbury Elementary School, Mrs. Grace Hartman (610-797-1688).

If you have questions about technology policies or the TL2020.org web site, please contact Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss,  Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning or Mr. Chris Smith, Coordinator of Technology, at 610-797-2062.

Will students be able to take laptops home with them?

All students in the Middle School and High School will have the opportunity to use a laptop computer in school and at home. Laptop computers are a classroom educational resource much like the calculator, textbook and paper resources were in the 20th century. We cannot expect our students to continue their learning or work without giving them access to the tools they need to work. Families will be required to pay an insurance premium prior to taking the laptop computer home.

Elementary students will have access to a digital device (K-1: iPad Mini; Grades 2-5: MacBook Pro) in school. Devices will remain in school, stored in secure carts after school hours. There is no insurance fee for families of elementary school students.

Will student have to purchase a laptop bag?

All laptops must be carried in the District-provided padded laptop (or reasonable substitute) sleeve at all times. Students should transport the laptop computer in the sleeve inside their own book bag or backpack to aid in protection against damage. Elementary students will store computers in secure carts when not in use. Cases will be provided for iPad Minis, and they will be stored in secure carts when not in use.

Will students be able to use their laptop computers on the school bus?

No. Use of laptop computers on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.

Will STSD provide maintenance on the laptop computers?

Yes. The Technology Department and computer technicians will coordinate and provide maintenance on all laptop computers.

What about students who already have a laptop at home?

An important component of TL2020 is the equal access to technology resources it grants to all Salisbury Township School District students, Kindergarten through Grade 12. While some students have computers and other digital devices at home, most students do not have the educational software programs that will be included on the laptop computers.

What happens if a laptop computer is lost or stolen?

All laptop computers will be insured by the District. The insurance premium is $50 per student with a $50 deductible for damage and a $250 deductible for theft or loss. The deductible is charged for each incident and is in addition to the insurance premium. Families who participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program will have the option to forgo the insurance premium cost yet still have the laptop computer covered under the insurance agreement. However, families in the Free and Reduced lunch program will be required to pay the deductible of $50 for each damage claim and $250 for each theft or loss claim. Uninsured laptop computers are not permitted to leave the middle or high schools. Parents may not substitute homeowners or other personal insurance for District laptop computer insurance.

It is the student’s responsibility to report a lost or stolen laptop to the Assistant Principal and local law enforcement, if appropriate. Specific procedures are outlined in the document Agreement for Laptop Use. Read the Insurance Information section of this site to learn what is and is not covered by insurance.

What is the procedure if a digital device needs repair?

The Computer Technician in each school will be responsible for the repair of laptop computers and iPad Minis. It is the responsibility of students to contact the Computer Technician when requesting repairs. Students can do this by stopping by the computer technician’s office.

What will students do without a digital device if it is being repaired?

There will be a limited number of laptop computers and iPad Minis available for loan while a repair is being completed.

If the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace?

In the event the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, the student must report the occurrence to the Assistant Principal. The current cost to replace the charger is $75. For ease of tracking, the serial number of each power cord has been recorded for each student. When using the power cord/charger in school, students should take care to secure the cord when finished.

What will students do with their digital device during Physical Education classes, lunch and after school activities?

At the elementary level, devices will be stored in secure carts when not in use. Students at the secondary level are responsible for the care and security of the laptop computers. Students will carry the laptop computer in the padded sleeve, provided by the District. The size of the laptop computer lends itself well to securing it in student lockers on a short-term basis. Students should not store the laptop computer in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a laptop computer is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.

How will appropriate use of digital devices be monitored at school and at home?

Although students are personally responsible for the use of the laptop computers and the District computer network, the District does use filtering software designed to protect students from obscene material, child pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors (as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA) when accessing the Internet through the District network. An administrator or teacher may deactivate the filter if needed for bona fide research or other educational purposes. However, website filtering is a function of the District network and does not automatically limit access when connected to the Internet by means other than the District network. To address filtering concerns off campus, parents may opt-in to a mirrored filtering option that mirrors in-school filtering at home. Access the Home Filtering Option Form on the Documents and Forms page to request mirrored filtering on your child’s laptop computer.  Parents/guardians are advised to always monitor web usage when the laptop computer is used at home.

What are the consequences for inappropriate use?

Student use of laptop computers is  governed by School Board Policy No. 815: Acceptable Use of Technology and the Internet and School Board Policy No. 224: Care of School Property. Misuse or inappropriate use or treatment of any school-owned digital device or any accessories will result in discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Will students have access to Microsoft Office software?

No. Students and teachers will be using iWork and Falcon Apps (Google Apps for Education) as their productivity suite – word processing, presentation, spreadsheet software. Students and faculty have had access to these tools for several years. To purchase Microsoft Office for each laptop computer would be prohibitively expensive. The skills students need to develop with productivity software can be developed with iWork and Falcon Apps just as well as with Microsoft Office.

Will students be able to install software on the laptop computer?

No. Installing software on District computers is not permitted by School Board Policy No. 815: Acceptable Use of Technology and the Internet. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook. All necessary software will be installed when the laptop computers are distributed to students prior to the start of the school year.

Will secondary students be able to use the laptop computers for Internet access at home?

The laptop computers are equipped with an Ethernet card and an Airport wireless card (802.11n). If parents have a home network, students can connect the laptop computer to the network through Ethernet (Ethernet cable) or Airport (wireless network). Parents are responsible for monitoring student Internet usage at home. Parents are advised to learn about and make use of any appropriate parental controls available through the home Internet Service Provider (ISP). Parent workshops will be offered throughout the year, including information on how to track Internet history. Internet access at home is optional and not required. Student laptop computers are also able to connect to the Internet using open wireless networks in the community. However, these are inherently less secure and activity cannot be easily monitored. Parents should determine appropriate use of open wireless networks with their student(s). The District has compiled a list of local businesses/organizations offering open wireless access. To view this list, please visit the Local Wireless Hotspots page on this site.

What if students do not have internet access at home?

The District has compiled a list of local businesses/organizations offering open wireless access. To view this list, please visit the Local Wireless Hotspots page on this site.

Will there be training for students?

Students and teachers have been using MacBook laptop computers in each grade level for the past six years. Students and teachers are familiar with the Mac operating system and many of the software programs. Rather than taking computer classes to learn all the features of a software program, the District philosophy is for students to learn software as it is needed to complete various projects. Teachers will build short tutorials into lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using software. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about a particular software.

How will students save work they create on their laptop computer?

All work should be completed locally on the laptop computer and backed up on Google Drive in Falcon Apps. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly back-up critical files. The District assumes no responsibility for lost work due to computer issues such as a hard drive crash.  Students must remember to back-up critical work frequently! Students may also consider using personal back-up devices such as thumb drives or external hard drives. Remember: Students are responsible for their own data back-up! Learn how to back up file using Google Drive  on the page Backing Up Data to Google Drive on Falcon Apps.

Will students be provided with an email address?

Yes. Student will have access to email through Falcon Apps and the salisburysd.org domain. Many students have accessed email through Falcon Apps in previous school years. All students received login and password information previously. Those new to Falcon Apps can learn more about email and all the available Google apps by visiting the Falcon Apps page.

Can students use an iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera with the laptop computer? Can students load music and photos on the computer?

Yes. Students may connect their iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera to their issued computer. Students will also be able to store legally obtained music and digital photos on the laptop computer.

Can a student use their own accessories with the laptop computer?

Yes. The laptop is equipped with two USB ports, a Thunderbolt port and one Firewire port.

Do students need to have a printer at home?

Students do not need to own a printer since print services will be available in various locations throughout the school. For those students who want to connect to a USB printer at home with the laptop computer, many printer drivers are already pre-installed on the laptop computer. Students may set up their home printer to work with the laptop computer. However, depending on the printer brand and age, it may or may not work. Remember, all students can share files electronically with teachers and fellow students through AirDrop and Falcon Apps. If you experience difficulties connecting a home printer, via USB or wirelessly, please contact your computer technician.

Can students use the laptop computer over the summer?

No, at this time. All laptop computers will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation. The summer process provides for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings. Since the laptop computers will be re-imaged, critical data will need to be backed-up prior to turning the laptop in for the summer. Students and parents/guardians will be informed of summer collection procedures near the end of each school year.

Will all teachers be expected to use the laptop computers with students?

All staff have a laptop computer and the training to support its use as a learning tool. It is also important to realize that some subjects lend themselves more to use of technology than others. As the initiative develops, the District recognizes that teachers will develop new strategies and skills to best determine when and how to use technology. The expectation is not to use the laptop computer as often as possible, but to use it when it improves learning. The District expects to see increased appropriate use from both teachers and students. Teachers and administrators will continue to participate in professional development to further develop an understanding of effective use of technology in teaching and learning.

How will TL2020 be evaluated?

Many different instruments (surveys; classroom observations; focus groups with teachers, students, principals and parents; classroom walkthroughs) will be used to collect data as was done with TL2014. Data will be regularly analyzed to determine the effectiveness of implementation and progress toward the goals of TL2020. A report will be provided annually to the school board and community summarizing the progress of the initiative. The TL2020.org web site will also serve as a tool to track incremental progress of the initiative.

Will a student have the same laptop computer while they move to the next grade?

Yes. Student laptop computers will be collected at the end of each school year for required service and re-imaging. Students will receive the same laptop at the start of the following school year.

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