1:1 FAQ

Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about MKA's 1:1 learning program.

If they already own a laptop, are children able to use their own laptop?

No. A 1:1 learning program is successful when everyone, including teachers, works from an identical platform with identical software. This is analogous to students reading the same edition of a textbook or the same translation of a classical work.

Every faculty member and every student in grades 4-12 is required to use the same school-issued machine while in school.

What are the hardware and software specifics of the 1:1 Learning laptops?

MKA acquired all new 13" Macbook Pro Retina laptops at the start of the 2016 school year.

These machines will be utilized until the 19-20 school year and offer long-life battery technology and a durable unibody enclosure.

In addition, students receive an external hard drive (which will be theirs to keep after they leave MKA) and a protective case. They receive an extensive array of software, including iLife, Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office, and much more.

How is this paid for?

The cost for each laptop is absorbed into tuition, and there is coverage in case of accidental breakage or loss. Students have use of the computer for three years, after which new machines are issued.

Please note, families are liable for a $250 per incident deductible or the payment of all costs not covered by insurance in the event of damage to, loss of, or destruction of the computer, whichever is greater.

What support is there if a problem arises?

MKA has Apple-certified technicians on staff, educational technology coordinators at each campus, and specially trained Student Ed Tech Leaders (SETL) who help with problems that might arise.

In addition, there is a 24-hour online help desk where students can submit a repair ticket.

What happens if the laptop breaks?

MKA reservers a small pool of loaner machines available to students in the event that this occurs.

Additionally, the Middle and Upper School Tech Centers are places where students can bring laptops during the school day for solving routine and easy-to-fix problems.

Do students have access to enough power to use the laptop in class throughout the day?

Yes. Apple's Macbook Pro comes equipped with the latest in long-lasting battery technology that will enable students to use the computer for an entire school day if they practice proper power management techniques. There is information on the MKA Driver's Manual about ways to manage battery life.

Can students put their own music, etc. onto the school-issued laptop?

Yes. Students are allowed to use the computer for personal and recreational purposes that are in line with home practices and expectations as well as MKA's Acceptable Use Policy.

Students have the opportunity to earn administrative rights to the laptop to have greater control over the applications and settings. To learn more about this opportunity please visit the MKA Driver's Manual.

Is there anything students have to do prior to receiving a laptop?

All new students receive their laptops during orientation days just before the start of school. Communication about the dates and times for each grade will be sent with other campus mailings over the summer.

What training and help is available to students?

All students are always welcome to come to the Tech Center for help with projects or just to learn a new piece of software. In addition to trained faculty, Student Ed Tech Leaders are available to help peers with tech questions and issues.

New students receive basic training during orientation.

Does MKA monitor student laptop use at home?

No. When students are away from school, they will not be using MKA's network.

Students should read MKA's Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and Privacy Statement prior to receiving their computers and are be expected to use them responsibly.

How are issues of inappropriate usage handled?

Infractions of the Acceptable Use Policy are considered disciplinary issues and are handled accordingly on a case by case basis.

How does MKA ensure that any online applications/services are safe for student use?

MKA is very careful about what types of information we ask students to enter into any online platform. All faculty consult with the Educational Technology department prior to use. All tools are vetted to ensure that proper protocol is followed for the safety of students and protecting the privacy of information.

How are teachers taught how to teach using laptops?

MKA has a long tradition of extensive professional development, and faculty have been engaged in training for laptop use in the classroom since 2000.

Every summer, 70-80 teachers attended MKA's Technology Institute, a weeklong series of workshops and discussions about teaching, learning, and technology.

Other professional development opportunties and collaborative instructional design with the Educational Technology department takes place regurlary throughout the school year.

Are students able to keep their MKA laptop during vacations?

Yes. For the entire duration of the lease, it is "their" laptop.

With a school full of laptops, how do students keep track of their own?

Students are encouraged to personalize the top exterior of the protective cases with stickers.

Additionally, each individual laptop is labeled with the student's name on the bottom.

When students hand back their laptop at the end of the cycle, how does MKA handle any private information students may have entered on that machine?

All machines are securely erased prior to their return. This ensures that the data on the drives is overwritten with randomly-generated blocks of data, rendering it virtually unrecoverable.

All data is only retained by the student on the school-issued external back-up hard drive. This drive belongs to the student permanently.

How do students connect their laptop to their home wireless network?

Click here to view a brief video tutorial on connecting Apple Computers to your home wireless network.

Can Parental Controls be installed on a student's laptop?

No. Installing parental controls directly onto a student's school-issued laptop will interfere with the MKA Tech Department’s ability to maintain, manage, and support the hardware and software on the laptop and for your student to access resources during classes. In addition, it is the students and not parents who have administrative rights on these laptops.

If families are concerned about student's access to certain sites/material when  at home, they will need to install a network filter on the home network.

However, because no filtering devise is foolproof, there is no substitute for ongoing conversations with students about how they are using their laptops and the choices they make while navigating the internet.

Can a family member create an account on a student's MKA-issued laptop?

No. MKA students hold administrative rights to their school-issued laptops and MKA’s Acceptable Use Policy states that creating a secondary account is prohibited.

The reason for this is that adding an account can compromise the security of the laptop and MKA’s ability to support and maintain that laptop.

In addition, students are responsible for any actions taken on their school-issued laptop, which includes the creation of a secondary account and for any subsequent violation of the Acceptable Use Policy - be it knowingly or unwittingly - by a second user.

What web sites categories are filtered on MKA’s network?

MKA blocks websites and web-based services that the administration deem to pose a threat to the safety, security, and well-being of its community members, facilities, network, and resources.

Categories that are blocked include: pornography and sexually explicit material, criminal and illegal activities, weapons and extreme violence, computer hacking, spyware and malicious software, and certain video streaming sites.

MKA will continue to take precautions for this type of material on all equipment that is part of the school’s network.

When a student graduates or leaves MKA, what are the procedures for returning their laptop?

If a student is not returning to MKA for the following year, the student needs to return their laptop and power adaptor on or before the last day of classes.

More detailed information can be found on the "Leaving MKA" page of the web site.

How can I contact members of MKA’s Tech Department over the summer?

Either the Middle School or Upper School Tech Center will be open from 8:30-4:00 Monday through Thursday and from 8:30-1:00 on Friday. You may want to call ahead to find out which is open, but you can contact either Tech Center no matter what grade your child is in.

To reach Mike Alexander, Systems Technician, at the Middle School Tech Center:
973- 509-4597
malexander@mka.org

To reach Damien Barrett, Systems Technician, at the Upper School Tech Center:
973-842-2812
dbarrett@mka.org

What if a MKA-issued laptop needs repair during vacation or in the summer?

Please contact a member of the Tech Department immediately via phone or email (see above) or submit a help desk ticket.

Any additional instructions will be provided by a member of the Tech Department.

 

Please contact either Benjamin Goodrich, Director of Educational Technology at bgoodrich@mka.org or William Stites, Director of Technology at wstites@mka.org if you require further information.