Westmount's One-to-One Laptop Program
After careful research we have decided that Westmount Charter School, as a whole, would benefit from several changes to the current laptop program.
Starting in September 2012, all students in Westmount Charter School from grades 6-12 will be expected to have a laptop. Grade 5’s will be joining the 1:1 MacBook program starting Term 2 (Jan/Feb 2013) of the 2012/13 school year.
The Middle School (gr 5-8) will be a 1:1 MacBook environment and in the High School (gr 9-12), students will have the option of choosing any device that best meets their needs, with a minimum standard expected at school. Westmount would like to focus its resources on improving the instructional resource and use of technology, rather than being consumed with the business of leasing. We will be concentrating our efforts on teacher training and student engagement in the appropriate and effective use of technology. Thus, we will be phasing out the lease program offered by Westmount Charter School, and liquidating our inventory.
The Laptop Initiative to date has been very successful and created unique learning opportunities on campus. However, in light of this success, there are some logistical realities of a new campus with grade 5-12, that have prompted us to re-examine the current program and re-evaluate how we can best meet student needs. In addition, we feel that we can expand the program to grade 5 students, to include them in the laptop program, given their proximity to and potential benefits of the technology program at the mid/high campus.
The Middle School will remain a 1:1 MacBook environment (MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) for several reasons. Most importantly the middle school teachers feel that maintaining a single OS environment is best at this young age as file format and compatibility issues are difficult for young students to comprehend. We also feel that young students require more support and directed learning and a single OS environment is best for this situation. The decision to continue with MacBooks also allows teachers to utilize Apple Remote Desktop to ensure students are on task and the user interface is simpler to navigate.
Grade 5 - 2012/2013
As mentioned above, a MacBook will be required by all grade 5 students in the 2012/13 school year starting in the second term, January 7, 2013.
The High School will migrate from the current 1:1 MacBook environment to having the opportunity to work on a laptop that has a platform they feel most comfortable using. This move is a reflection of the fact that in this age group many students are capable of controlling file formats without teacher assistance and trouble-shoot their own problems. We also recognize that our student population may be heading into very different post-secondary directions with differing technological requirements. This move will allow students to purchase a laptop better suited to their long-term plans. Our teaching staff will continue to use MacBooks; so all file submissions must be Mac compatible. Westmount will also provide a list of minimal requirements that will be expected for each laptop used within this framework.
School-owned MacBook and Leases
We currently have a large number of school-owned MacBooks leased to students, and we will continue to lease out the MacBooks
In the past, one of the advantages of the school leasing program was the fact that the cost was spread out over several years. While we can no longer offer this service there are other financing options available. Families will now have more flexibility to choose financing options that best suit their financial needs. If you are interested in financing options, please ask the Apple Staff at the Apple Store or via the Apple Online Store, through our parent portal.
Mr. Scott Ferg will be planning parent information and workshop nights to help prepare parents for the changes to the 1:1 program. Some of the topics that may be discussed will be Administrator/User Settings, Parental Controls and Social Media. Details of workshops will be in Westmount's Online Newsletter as they become finalized. If you feel there’s a subject you’d like covered please contact Mr. Ferg.
Student Laptop Agreement and Responsible Use, 2012-13: Mid Grades
Student Laptop Agreement and Responsible Use, 2012-13: High School
Student Laptop Program, Insurance and Responsible Use, 2012-13: School-Owned Laptops
Westmount's Administrative Procedure AP-342 re. Mid-High Student Responsible Use of Technology
To access the "Westmount Apple Online Store" page, click here:http://www.westmountcharter.com/myhome/default.asp and Login as a Family. Then click on the 'Westmount Online Apple Store' Link.
Link to Alberta Education's page regarding one-to-one laptop programs.
18 November 2012