What is a Chromebook? Why did we pick this device?
A Chromebook is a laptop device meant primarily for working with internet-based resources, but also allows offline access for a variety of tasks. It is fast and light making it easy to use and carry around. The device is relatively inexpensive compared to other technologies on the market, easy to support, and provides 8+ hours of battery life. It connects with Google’s suite of applications which are used by every student and staff member in Melrose schools. The key factors affecting the selection included:
- The ability of a Chromebook to natively and seamlessly integrate with Google Suite for Education (GSfE) known as, “G Suite,” or, “G Suite for Education” which is our platform in Melrose Schools for communication and collaboration
- Its integrated keyboard and mouse, which makes creating documents, spreadsheets, homework etc., easier for many students
- Its battery life lasts longer than eight hours, allowing students to work through an entire school day without charging
- The ability to manage the device and monitor student use at school through an enterprise management console (We can also use this tool to put the device into a "test mode" to comply with a variety of online-based assessment tools, including online state standardized tests.)
- The ability for Chromebook software to update independently, removing the difficult and time-consuming maintenance aspect associated with owning a device
- The ability to lock anyone out of a stolen or lost Chromebook, thus making it unusable and serving as a deterrent for theft
- The ability to provide all of our students within a grade level the same opportunity to access select electronic textbooks as well as the vast array of resources on the Web
- Its full-featured browser for working on the internet
- The ability to have all of the work produced on a Chromebook backed up to the cloud via GSfE, while also permitting internal storage (as a result, a student will rarely lose their work, and if their device stops working, another Chromebook can be substituted and the student can continue working as if they were on their original device.)
- The ability to add on external storage like USB flash drives (This gives students the ability to work on files stored on the external storage like Word or Excel documents, as well as very large documents that can be difficult to use directly from the internet or GSfE drive storage.)
- The effectiveness of the device, particularly its integration with GSfE
Are we able to keep the Chromebook if we leave the school District?
- Yes, if you purchased your device, then you own it. If the district purchases the device for you, the district retains the ownership of the device. Thus, the device is returned when the student is no longer enrolled in Melrose and given back to the school at the completion of your education in MPS.
- Students will need to return the Chromebook at the end of every school year.
- If you have purchased a device through an assistance program, you will need to purchase the device for a dollar at the end of your lease term. Families are responsible for paying the sales tax on the Chromebook.
- Students, receiving free lunch, are provided a Chromebook on loan while enrolled in the MPS. If they wish to purchase a Chromebook, families can choose to enroll n the 50% reduction plan. At the end of their enrollment or end of the lease term (last payment), families can choose to purchase the device for $1.
- Students, who receive a 25% reduction in cost, can also purchase the Chromebook for 1$ at the end of their enrollment or end of the lease term (last payment).
Is the personal information stored on a Chromebook or in G Suite for Education private? Will Google sell or share our information?
Will students be expected to use this only for school related activities? What about using Instagram or Twitter?
- Students can access any web-based resource at school that is allowed through the school's internet filter. When they are at home, logged on through their personal Gmail or other account, parents will determine what their child can access. The district has turned on “SafeSearch” for all student accounts. This is a Google web filter that screens out sexually explicit content, including video and images.
Is my child protected from harmful or sexually explicit content on the internet?
- When students are logged into Google with their GSfE account (firstname.lastname@example.org), they are subject to the SafeSearch content filter which we have turned on for all student accounts.
- When students are on the MPS network, they are subject to both SafeSearch and district web filters.
- When a student logs into a Chromebook or Chrome browser with a Gmail account that is not a melroseschools.com account (e.g. email@example.com), SafeSearch may not apply to their searches or content. Outside of school, we can ensure that filtering is appropriate only when a student uses his/her melroseschools.com account.