Why does MVL believe that a 1:1 technology initiative is important?

The mission of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School is training students for Christian lives on earth and for eternity. We want to provide our students with educational opportunities through the use of traditional, experiential, and creative instructional practices to ensure that all students become inquisitive, lifelong learners with the 21st century skills necessary to be successful.

21st century skills encompass the six C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity & Innovation, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Community & Citizenship, and Compassion & Character. Our faculty members are committed to providing educational experiences that will prepare students to lead successful lives after graduation, which includes incorporating technology responsibly, efficiently, and effectively.

Research supports that through personalized learning students are demonstrating significant gains in math and reading. Technology and online learning have proven to:
Increase student engagement and positively affect performance;
Extend learning beyond the classroom, and
promote critical thinking.
Integrating technology across all curriculums will encourage individual learning and growth, create active learners, facilitate peer collaboration, and offer project based learning experiences as we prepare our children for the 21st century.

Why Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are web-based devices designed around accessing the Internet through a web browser. They boot in seven seconds and resume instantly—eliminating time wasted with traditional computer startup and network connection. Long battery life (8-9 hours) means Chromebooks last an entire school day. Chromebooks are lighter and smaller than traditional laptops, but provide larger screens than the average tablet. They require little maintenance and are much lower in cost than iPads or laptops. Each Chromebook is managed by MVL and we restrict access to non-education sites and apps using 3rd party software from GoGuardian and our school web filter.

As part of our online learning, students have been using Google Workspace to collaborate with peers and share work with teachers in many classes. Applications, school work, and settings are stored in the cloud and are available anywhere the student has Internet access. There is no special training required: If you know how to use the Web, you know how to use a Chromebook. Users may have to familiarize themselves with key strokes as shortcuts.

The tight integration between Chromebooks and Google Workspace, ease of use, battery life and low total cost of ownership make Chromebooks the best choice for student devices.

Chromebooks can seamlessly access Google Workspace apps like Docs, Slides, and Sheets, as well as hundreds of other apps available in the Chrome Web Store. All students have the same device, eliminating the “haves and have nots”. And teachers don’t have to troubleshoot multiple devices in the classroom.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a web­-based productivity suite of applications that Google hosts on their own servers and makes available to schools for free. Google provides these applications as a “service,” rather than as software you have to download and install. To access these applications, you simply use a web browser on any computer that is connected to the Internet. These applications have much of the same functionality found in the Microsoft Office suite, but were built from the ground up to be accessible over the internet so that they can be used with no special software and just access to the Internet.

Access to services from anywhere, at anytime – A key benefit of the Google­ hosted solution is that we can access files, email, contacts, and calendar from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, from anywhere in the world. Anytime, anywhere access with Google Workspace provides users the ability to be productive at school, home, or even on their mobile devices. Because Google Workspace only requires a web browser, students can work from almost any family computer without having to purchase new software.

Real Time collaboration – Google Workspace was built for collaboration and makes it very easy for students to work in groups and with teachers on the same documents in real time. Students and teachers can easily upload files from their home computer and share with any MVLHS account holder.

Safe and Secure – Google Workspace provides a safe and secure online environment by respecting and ensuring the privacy of students. Google Apps for Education does not sell information to third parties. Please see this site for more details, https://www.google.com/edu/trust/.

Ease of Use – With Google Workspace, students no longer have to worry about saving files, storing files on a USB key, attaching and sending files by email. Google Workspace also supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. Files stored on Google Drive are always accessible and backed-up online. Google Workspace’s commenting feature is ideal for teacher and collaborator’s feedback on documents and/or presentations. Revision history allows users to review document edits over time and revert changes.

Lifespan: 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 long compared to laptops. Google dictates when Chromebooks become unsupported by setting an “auto-expiration date” to each model of Chromebook. Device models reaching their auto-expiration date will be pulled from circulation and replaced with devices that are still supported. On average a new model Chromebook can expect to receive updates from five to eight years.

Logging in: What logins will students use to get into their Chromebooks?

Regardless of locations, students will each have a school email address that is their primary login and username.

Is it possible to opt out of the 1:1 Chromebook Program?

No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at MVL. It should be considered as essential to the educational process as a textbook and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it. MVL has taken appropriate steps to provide students with a safe environment while using the device.

Can parents use the Chromebooks?

When a student is logged into the Chromebook, parents can use them to check on student work, view their browsing history or connect with teachers through an approved app or via email. The Chromebooks are NOT at any time intended for personal use for the student, other family members, or their parents.

Personal Google Accounts: Can the Chromebooks be used with a non-MVL username?

No. Students and staff cannot access an MVL-owned Chromebook with any other login other than their MVL assigned email.

However, if a student logs into another device (home computer’s Chrome browser, smartphone Google app, etc) with their school Google Workspace username all of their information (bookmarks, emails, documents, presentations, applications, etc.) will be available to them on that device when using a Chrome browser.

Privacy: What about Privacy?

Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information. The Board of Directors recognizes the need to comply with the legal state and federal requirements regarding the confidentiality, access to and amendment of student records. The procedures for the confidentiality of student records shall be consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, and its implementing and revised regulations, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Minnesota General Statutes.

Google Workspace is governed by detailed privacy policy and security measures which Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School has reviewed and is satisfied they appropriately protect the privacy of its users of these tools. Under our Terms of Service Agreement with Google, they are obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Additional information about Google Workspace security & privacy may be found here.

Do Chromebooks come with Internet Filtering Software?

MVL Chromebooks will use the school’s WiFi to access the internet, which is filtered. While at home, the Chromebooks will be filtered based on a MVL provided filtering and monitoring system.

Will student activity be filtered/monitored?

Yes. By using the school network web filter and a Chromebook-based filtering and monitoring system, information can be tracked on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites both in and out of school. Students should only visit sites that are appropriate, related to their education, and not in violation of the Chromebook Guidelines Handbook and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network and device use.

The Google management system of the Chromebook allows MVL to use a filtering system on the Chromebook to monitor and block websites and suspicious activity while the students use the Chromebook. This protection will be in place whether the student is at MVL or at home.

While MVL’s internet filter are useful tools and offer some protection against questionable content, teachers and parents also play a key role in monitoring student online activity.

During the school day, teachers have the ability to monitor student activity. Teachers also have the option of restricting what sites are and aren’t allowed beyond the regular parameters of the web filter to keep students on task. At home, the devices are still protected by the web filter which will attempt to block inappropriate content, but teachers have no access to the student devices at that time. If someone reports a student viewing inappropriate content, the Director of Technology can review the tracking logs and possibly make changes to settings that decide if a site is blocked or allowed.

Will Chromebooks be kept by students over summer?

In most cases, yes. MVL plans on allowing students to keep their devices over the summer to use with summer work. If a family elects not to keep a device over the summer, they can check it in at the Media Center at the end of the year and the device will be returned to them once school begins.

MVL may need to collect devices at the end of the academic year in some cases in order to stay compliant with Google’s device auto-expiration policy. Parents will be notified before the summer if the devices need to be collected.

Will MVL provide any accessories for the Chromebook?

All students will be provided a charger for the device. Students are encouraged to purchase a protective sleeve for their Chromebook to better protect it. Chromebook screens are fairly sensitive and the protective case makes a big difference. A decent protective sleeve can be found for under $15 online. If a student wishes to use a mouse instead of the Chromebook trackpad, they will have to provide their own USB wired or wireless mouse. The students will also have to provide their own earbuds to use with the Chromebook when listening to audio on the Chromebook.

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

With 1:1 Chromebooks, 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, through Google or another app.

Submitting Work: How can students submit work or assignments via their Chromebooks?

Google Drive has features built into it that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and 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 provide feedback or grade it for the student. Students can make revisions and teachers can follow changes using the revision history feature.

Will students be given guidelines or expectations for the Chromebook?

All students and parents will sign MVL’s Chromebook Guidelines Handbook and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) before receiving his or her Chromebook. Failure to adhere to this policy could result in disciplinary action. Students who are negligent with their device may also be financially liable to fix or replace the Chromebook.

In what ways will Chromebooks be used in the classroom?

Teachers will integrate Chromebooks into classroom instruction using a variety of proven and emerging methods. Teachers will receive ongoing training on ways to best utilize these devices to maximize students’ critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Students will be encouraged to use the many Google Apps available to assist with time management and studying, as well as using their device for research and collaboration with peers.

Can the Chromebook be taken home?

Yes, students are expected to take their Chromebook home every night and charge the device. Students should use the device at home to work on class assignments and research. Students are expected to return to school with the Chromebook fully charged every day.

Can the Chromebook be used if we do not have internet access at home?

Chromebooks connect to the web wirelessly. However, some features of a Chromebook, such as Google Docs, are accessible even without Internet access via an “offline” mode.

Additionally, a Chromebook can connect to:
USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
SIM cards
SD cards
External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
Headphones, earbuds, microphones

Is it necessary to have a printer at home?

No, it is not necessary to have a printer at home. Students are able to electronically share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations created through Google Apps directly with peers and teachers. Should students find it necessary to print, they may do so at the school Media Center. Limiting printing is part of MVL’s goal to be fiscally and environmentally responsible.

Can a Chromebook be brought from home, or is use of the MVL provided Chromebook required?

MVL owned Chromebooks are managed by MVL to assign software, and provide wireless security and web filtering. We cannot provide these essential services to devices not owned by MVL and therefore privately-owned Chromebooks cannot be used at school as part of this program.

*Please note: As part of rolling out this program, MVL will allow sophomores, juniors, and seniors in certain circumstances to bring in their own devices that meet certain requirements during the 2022-23, and 2023-2024 school years in order to save MVL parents the cost of a new Chromebook.

Who is responsible for the Chromebook?

Students and parents will be responsible for MVL-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other MVL-owned items such as textbooks, calculators, cameras, athletic equipment or library books. MVL will repair or replace the device, but students and parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices.

In such cases where a student is suspected of damaging another student’s Chromebook, investigations will be carried out by school administration to determine if it was an intentional act of vandalism.

Viruses: What about viruses getting onto the Chromebook?

Since the applications run through the online browser, there is little worry about having viruses infect the Chromebook’s software or hardware. However, it is still important to practice good digital citizenship with respect to what links you click and how you assess the authenticity of the sites you visit.

Identification: How is one student’s Chromebook identified from another?

All the Chromebooks are the same, so they look very much alike. Every Chromebook will be labeled in some way that will allow each one to be easily identified and each device has a serial number. The school will keep all of that data, so if a Chromebook is misplaced, we can determine who it is assigned to get it back to the student user.

Any ID stickers or labels that are on the Chromebook when issued must stay on the Chromebook. No additional permanent markings of any kind (stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still school-owned property.

Additional permanent markings on the device will be considered vandalism.

What Happens If…

The Chromebook isn’t charged?

Students are expected to have their school owned Chromebook fully charged in school at the beginning of each day. A fully charged Chromebook will be able to last the entire school day.

In the case of a dead battery, students may make use of charging stations located in classrooms or in common areas at the teacher’s discretion. Do not leave your device unattended. MVL is not responsible for loss or theft of a device left unattended. The charging stations are not meant for students who simply forgot to charge their Chromebook at home. Student issued chargers should be left at home because of their propensity to be stolen.

The Chromebook is left at home?

If a student forgets a Chromebook at home, parents may drop off student Chromebooks at the MVL Main Office. There will also be a limited number of devices (dependent on availability) that may be loaned to the student by the MVL Technology department at a cost of $2 per day. Abuse of this policy may result in further discipline at the discretion of the MVL Director of Technology and MVL Administrator.

The Chromebook is broken?

If the Chromebook is broken students will bring the device to the MVL Technology Department and fill out a tech ticket. While the Chromebook is being repaired, they will be given a loaner (if available). If the student does not have a protection plan, the cost of repairs must be paid prior to fixing the device.

The Chromebook is stolen?

In the case of a stolen device, students or parents must present a police report to the school’s principal within 72 hours of the theft. Lost devices are not covered by the protection plan. Students will be charged no more than $325 for a lost Chromebook.

The student no longer attends MVL?

Chromebooks are the property of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School. Should your student leave the district, the Chromebook must be returned to school.