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, is my child be able to use his/her own laptop?

No. A 1:1 learning program is successful when everyone, including teachers, works from an identical platform with identical software. This is analagous 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 Air Laptops at the start of the 2013 school year. These are the machines that will be utilized until the 16-17 school year. These machines 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 CS6, 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, parents 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 my child encounters a problem?

MKA has Apple-certified technicians on staff, educational technology coordinators at each campus, and specially trained student "laptop leaders" to help with problems that might arise. In addition, there is a 24-hour online help desk where you can submit a repair ticket, as well as access to Atomic Learning, an extensive resource for technology questions.

What happens if my child's 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 Air 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 my child 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 my child has 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.

My child doesn't have great basic tech skills. Are they able to get training and help?

New students receive basic training during orientation. 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, ]students from the Student Tech Laptop Leadership group) are available to help peers with tech questions and issues.

If my child is using an MKA computer, does that mean that MKA is monitoring their use of it at home?

No. When students are away from school, they will not be using MKA's network. Just as is the case now, students will have read MKA's Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and Privacy Statement prior to receiving their computers and will be expected to use them responsibly.

How are issues of inappropriate usage handled?

In the same way that they are now. Infractions of the AUP are considered disiplinary issues and are handled accordingly on a case by case basis.

How can I be sure that any social media application a teacher may ask my child to use is safe?

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 ensure that all tools are vetted and that proper protocol is followed for ensuring the safety and 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.

Is my child 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 exterioir of the protective cases with stickers. Additionally, each individual laptop is labeled with the student's name on the bottom.

When my child hands back their laptop at the end of the lease, how do we know any private information they may have entered on that machine will be secure?

All leased machines are securely erased prior to their return to Apple. 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 I connect the Laptop to my home wireless network?

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

Can I install Parental Controls on my child’s laptop? (Cisco Valet)

No. Installing parental controls directly onto your child’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 child to access resources during classes. In addition, it is the students and not parents who have administrative rights on these laptops. If you are concerned about your child's access to certain sites/material when they are at home, you will need to install a network filter on your home network.

While we do not recommend or support any specific product, we have demonstrated the Cisco Valet during parent meetings as an example of this type of device. If you are interested in the Cisco Valet you can find more information on their web site: http://home.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/valet/ . However, because no filtering devise is foolproof, there is no substitute for ongoing conversations with your children about how they are using their laptops and the choices they make while navigating the internet.

Can I create my own account on my child’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 of 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?

Montclair Kimberley Academy 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.

If my child is graduating from/leaving MKA, what are the proceedures for returning their laptop?

If your student is not returning to MKA for the following year, the student needs to return their laptops and power adaptor on or before the last day of classes. Students will be contacted via Grade Deans and advisors about the specific details for having the laptops inspected and then ultimately turned in.

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

To reach Damien Barrett, Systems Technician, at the Upper School Tech Center:

What should I do if my child’s MKA-issued laptop needs repair over the summer?

If the problem is physical damage to the laptop like a cracked screen, broken hinge or water spill, you must contact one of MKA’s Tech Centers to arrange to get it repaired.

If the problem is not due to physical damage, like the computer will not start up, you may either take to the computer an Apple Store or to one of MKA’s Tech Centers for repair. If you do take the laptop to an Apple Store, please contact Mike or Damien know by email.

Please contact Mr. Ben Goodrich, Director of Educational Technology at bgoodrich@mka.org if you require further information.