Technology at Darlington

Darlington School
Academics

Frequently Asked Questions

General Technology

Does the school sell laptops to parents?
No. For 2016-2017, students in grades 1-5 are provided iPad Air tablets and students in grades 6–12 are provided MacBook Air laptops. Details on the devices we use at school can be found on our hardware and software page.
What technology is available to students?
In addition to the technology integration program in grades Pre-K to 12, Darlington encourages the use of technology throughout the school. A laptop cart is also available to teachers in grades PK-5 and iPad carts are available in Pre-K and Kindergarten.
What if I have problems with a personal device such as laptop or mobile device?
The Darlington I.T. Office can help with connection issues to the School's network, Internet, servers, and printers. We can also offer advise for other issues but cannot make general repairs or provide involved software assistance (i.e. virus removal, system recovery, corrupt files, etc.). If a repair is needed, we can recommend a local computer repair vendor.
How do I connect to the Internet with my personal laptop or mobile device?
The school network has wireless access points in all buildings which provide network connections. The network is secured and requires a network key for access. If you bring your own computer to school, visit the I.T. Office for connection instructions.
Where is the I.T. Office located?
The I.T. Office is located on the first floor of the McCallie-Kennedy Library for grades 9-12 and in the Yancey Library of Thatcher Hall for PK-8.
Where do I save my files, projects, and assignments?
Students and faculty are provided with unlimited cloud storage through their School Google Apps account. This can be used to store documents, any projects, and pending research. We recommend USB flash drives or hard drives for storing or backing up personal files. Personal data should always be backed up in case the laptop needs some type of repair. The I.T. Office is not responsible for backing up student data.
What operating systems does the school support?
We can support most operating systems on our network, with the most popular being Mac OS X. Mobile devices also work well on our network.

Technology Integration Program Grades 4–12

Can I load other software on the iPad or MacBook?
Yes. Using technology for educational and personal uses is important. For parents paying a technology fee, we want the school-provided device to be the only one your student will need. However, as a tool for your education, it is of the highest importance that you protect your laptop and maintain its stability. Adding anything to your laptop can affect its stability. We therefore suggest that you exercise careful judgment before installing software or hardware that may disrupt your computer use or violate the school's technology acceptable use policy. When a School-provided tablet or laptop is brought in for service and the I.T. Office determines the problem is software-related, the machine will be restored to the point it was first received. In this case, any additional software loaded on the machine will have to be reinstalled by the student. Also any personal data will have to be restored by the student.
If my student brings his own iPad or laptop, can the technology fee be refunded?
No. The technology fee offsets the cost of not only the device, but also things like software, support, maintenance, insurance, loaners, networking, etc. which help insure each student can be as productive as possible and teachers can rely on each student's device working alike.
Is the technology fee a one-time fee for 3 years or should we expect this each year?
The technology fee is an annual fee. The fee is used to offset many costs associated with the program, including the cost of the device over its lifetime, software, insurance, wireless access, Internet service, support, and maintenance. Devices are currently replaced after three years of service.
I am concerned that the iPad/MacBook Pro is the only source of textbook we will have. Is there a policy regarding issues with power failures or negligent service providers?
There is no policy per se regarding the impact of power failures and loss of Internet access at home as it relates to homework or school work, the assumption being that these services will be available. Many activities would continue to be performed without power or Internet if a student has a charged device. Otherwise, our teachers are very understanding when responsible students have technical issues at home. One of the 21st century skills we aim to teach our students is how to cope with technical problems, make alternative plans, and plan ahead for contingencies!
Is the purpose of laptops to move to all electronic textbooks and assignments? I don’t see the cost of textbook rights included in the fee explanation, nor is there a requirement to purchase textbooks as in previous years. Is the cost of electronic texts now in our tuition, or will there be an additional charge later on?
The main purpose of integrating technology into the curriculum is to better prepare our students to be 21st century citizens, support creation, and provide access to educational information. The technology integration introduction gives a good overview of our many uses of technology. Having access to more materials electronically is definitely a part of that. All students pay a Curriculum Fee which covers digital textbooks and most other required learning resources. The fee is $100 for grades PK–5 and $200 for grades 6–12, and is paid for during online enrollment. The School is always looking for the best way to provide the best learning resources to its students and teachers.
Does the cost for insurance stay the same even though my student is a 6th grader, and will only have the computer for one year?
The technology fee is fixed and helps offset insurance costs. The fee is evaluated annually and may change depending on the device being provided, software needs, and other expenses like insurance.
Can students use this computer over the summer?
Current students reenrolled in good standing for the following year will be able to take the device home for use over the summer. For students changing devices from one year to the next (i.e. rising 5th graders moving from an iPad to a MacBook), they will receive the new device before summer. More details on how that will work will be provided when we get closer to the end of school! New students will receive their device at the beginning of school.
Will students be able to download songs on their school computer to sync with their iPhone or iPod?
Yes. Students must use an AppleID corresponding to their Darlington e-mail address. Students who already have an AppleID can either change their AppleID e-mail to Darlington's or create a second account. Most find it easier to change. Students are allowed and encouraged to use their device for personal use, within the limits of the school's policy (outlined in the Rules of the Road) and the parent's rules.
Are students able to watch Netflix on their device at school if hooked up to the parents account and be able to Skype with others?
Yes, outside of the school day and established study hall hours. During the school day and study halls, though, computers should only be used for educational purposes only at the direction of their teachers.
Why did the school choose to go with a 64GB iPad instead of a 32GB model?
The decision to go with a 64GB iPad instead of 32GB was a direct result of our experience with the first three-year cycle of our device program. Most students hit the 32GB limit of those devices, but not just for personal reasons. When it is used for school projects (and video recording can use substantial space) as well as personal uses, the device filled up fast. Apps are also increasingly sophisticated and therefore larger. The same is true for some textbooks. We expect that demand for space just to grow, so to insure we acquired a device that would last for at least three years, upgrading to the next size up was a minimum requirement.
Why did the school choose to go with a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook Pro?
This decision was also influenced by our experience with the first three-year cycle of our device program along with feedback from students and teachers. The number one support issue with those MacBook Pros was faulty hard drives followed by broken screens. MacBook Airs with their solid state hard drives and plastic screens have proven far more reliable while still performing at a level our teachers and students demand. Although there was some initial concern regarding no longer having a DVD drive, that has proven over the past year to be far less needed than previously just because technology has evolved away from DVDs. Finally, our students and teachers have especially liked the lighter and smaller form factor as they carry the device with them throughout the day.
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