1:1 Laptop Program
SFS’s vision for the integration of technology in learning is that it will:
Enable our students to master 21st century skills for a constantly changing world, be curriculum driven, and prepare students to be ethical learners, who are self-monitoring, self-modifying, self-managing, self-evaluating, and self-directing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions regarding the laptop program
At SFS, we realize the idea of using laptops on a 1:1 basis for all students may seem daunting if your child has never had the responsibility of looking after their own, or using one to learn in a classroom setting.
Laptop Care & Security
Why has Seoul Foreign School decided to have a 1 to 1 program?
There are many reasons that schools implement a 1 to 1 program.
At SFS we have 4 major aims of the program. These are to:
- Improve student academic achievement through the use of technology
- Assure equity in access to digital resources
- Prepare students for their future
- Enhance teaching and transform the quality of teaching
What are the future plans for the 1:1 program?
The SFS plan for the future is to migrate the program from grade 4 through grade 12, at the same time we are looking at how best to implement one to one personal devices in the Elementary grades. This year we have 1-to-1 laptops in Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and British School Years 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Is there any evidence that learning using a laptop increases teaching over traditional teaching methods?
There is qualitative and quantitative research showing considerable improvement in classroom practice for students using laptop computers, and there is significant evidence that computer-mediated and media-rich learning environments enrich the learning experience and deepen understanding. (Some excellent video case studies are available see or e-mail the ET office for more info.) In addition, evidence supports a well-implemented laptop initiative in an inquiry-based learning environment – the foundation of the IB program.
Research from a long-term study of laptop initiatives shows a number of results, including increased independent inquiry-based learning
- Higher level instructional feedback
- Greater integration of subject areas
- Higher level of sustained writing
- More student discussion
- More performance assessment
- Increased hands-on learning
There is also evidence that students develop and practice unique meta-cognitive processes within a laptop environment, and that students engaged in properly developed laptop programs benefit academically and socially from the experience. Additional research indicates that:
- quality of writing improves
- classroom discussion increases
- quality of submitted work improves
- collaborative expertise improves
- organization improves
- motivation and commitment to work improves
- responses to learning situations improve
Apple Computers‘s own studies have concluded that “1:1 laptop initiatives like those in the state of Maine and Henrico County Public Schools continue to confirm the importance of technology in increasing student achievement and students’ sense of self. Schools involved in the laptop initiative are experiencing overall better academic performance than they did without the technology. When students feel better about learning, achievement increases.”
What are the 21st Century Skills that Students will be focusing on?
As defined by Metiri Group, our one to one laptop, project consultants.
Creativity is defined at two important levels: that which is culturally significant, and that which is personally or organizationally significant. Both hold great value. Human social, emotional, and intellectual development has been driven by creativity. Perhaps more than any other human quality, creativity has left permanent and lasting marks on cultures worldwide – and it is at the very heart of the knowledge-based age. In order to be creative at the cultural or organizational level, one must first be an expert in that field, something few of students are at their young ages. Creativity in K-12 students is typically at the personal level.
Teaming and collaboration refer to the abilities to cooperate as a member of a highly successful group, to interact smoothly with others and to work together with one or more people to achieve a goal. In the business and education sectors, a growing appreciation of the value of cooperation and collaboration tempers the previous emphasis on competition and individualism. Succeeding in a knowledge-based society, in which decision-making takes place across organizational levels, requires teaming and collaboration skills.
“Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome.”
Critical thinking is often used as an umbrella concept that includes many of the other kinds of thinking listed below. The key is that the critical thinker does not just make decisions. He or she uses specific strategies to ensure that their decisions are of the highest quality and as close to objective truth as possible.
Problem solving is usually described as the process of designing a solution that gets you from where you are to some other desired state or objective. Problem solving, while included in virtually all thinking frameworks as a discrete skill, also exists as a separate construct in specific content areas. For example, mathematical problem solving is described by NCTM as “…engaging in a task for which the solution is not known in advance. Good problem solvers have a “mathematical disposition”–they analyze situations carefully in mathematical terms and naturally come to pose problems based on situations they see.” Scientific problem solving, too, has a specific slant and is usually defined in terms of the scientific method; observation, hypothesis, testing, modification or confirmation. Problem solving is an approach defined as central in fields as disparate as painting and improvisational theater as well. The National Standards for Arts Education includes the following:
“Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently…”
Creative thinking is the process of generating responses or solutions that meet two criteria: originality and functionality. Edward deBono, the author of the CORT thinking skills program mentioned earlier, defines creative thinking as “lateral thinking.” Lateral thinking refers to thinking that is concerned with generating as many new ideas as possible. As deBono puts it, “Vertical thinking is concerned with digging the same hole deeper. Lateral thinking is concerned with digging the hole somewhere else.”
The concept of creativity as a personal quality has been promoted and developed by cognitive scientists to the point where we have included creativity as a separate skill area in our model.
Decision making is usually defined as selecting the best possibility from a number of alternatives. Diane Halpern describes four components of decision making. These include:
- Formulation or refinement of the problem
- Generating alternatives
- Evaluating alternatives
- Identifying a solution
Beyond this simple list there lies another level of more specific skills that students must master in order to become effective thinkers. What those are, specifically, depends on the framework that you adopt. Here are a few samples from well-designed frameworks with specific skills.
There is wide acceptance of the fact the students today will face a world of rapid change and only those who are able to learn independently and adapt to those changes will thrive in this environment. In recent surveys of business leaders regarding characteristics that are most needed and valued in their employees, the ability to learn on one’s own is always near the top of the list. This ability to set goals, work independently towards the accomplishment of those goals and accurately evaluate the products of your work is referred to as self-direction.
Media and Visual Literacy:
Media and Visual Literacy is the ability to interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video using both conventional and 21st century media in ways that advance thinking, decision-making, communication, and learning. To “interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video,” it is necessary to understand the four basic ways in which people are impacted by visuals: emotional, psychological, physiological, and cognitive. Knowing how to evoke such reactions is required if one is to become an informed consumer, user, and producer of visuals.
The Cognitive: The combination of the text, graphics, and images in ways can enable the viewer to ‘see’ the message or story presented through visual media. This is the visual explanation of the media.
The Emotional: Visual images trigger emotions and common experiences that words alone do not. According to Donald Hoffman, the eye creates what we see according to a set of definite rules. Understanding these rules enables the writer to communicate more effectively with audiences. Ann Barry, in Visual Intelligence, discusses how emotions can be provoked by changes in camera angles: “A frame that depicts the viewpoint looking down from above, for example, signals detachment; the view from below evokes a feeling of smallness and fear; an eye-level view suggests realism…the frame itself evokes a perceptual response: a narrow panel creates a sense of confinement; a wide frame suggests a space to move”
The Physiological: Visuals in still or animated forms sometimes evoke viewers physically. In video format the physical reaction is often due to the nature of the cuts, the motion, or other visceral factors (e.g., motion sickness from a video of a rollercoaster).
Psychological (The Gestalt): The gestalt is the ability of humans to weave discrete artifacts into a whole, to take in multiple images (or a series of images) and see the whole.
Global Awareness is the recognition and understanding of interrelationships among international organizations, nation-states, public and private economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and individuals across the globe. Students who are globally aware are knowledgeable about the connectedness of the nations of the world historically, politically, economically, technologically, socially, linguistically and ecologically. Understand that these interconnections can have both positive benefits and negative consequences. Understand the role of the United States in international policies and international relations. Are able to recognize, analyze and evaluate major trends in global relations and the interconnections of these trends with both their local and national communities. Understand how national cultural differences impact the interpretation of events at the global level. Understand the impact of ideology and culture on national decisions about access to and use of technology. Participate in the global society by staying current with international news and by participating in the democratic process.
Does my child have to have a Laptop?
Yes, from August 2013 all students at SFS in ES G4, G5, BS Y6, Y7, Y8, Y9 and all MS and HS grades are required to have an approved laptop. The school recommendation for students’ computers should provide three years of solid use.
What is the battery life? How can I charge my computer?
Today’s modern laptops have battery life spans of 4 – 6 hours of use. It is common for the computer to run for approximately four hours without the need for charging. Electrical drops for students to plug in their laptops are provided. These are located in high traffic and social gathering areas as well as 1 -1 classrooms.
Students will need to have their laptop’s power supply at school. It is vitally important that students remember to bring the laptop to school and they do so with a fully charged battery.
Can my MAC laptop be made to dual boot to Windows 8.1 or MAC OS?
Yes, but in order for you to boot to Windows on a Mac you must purchase a copy of Windows 8.1. The IT office cannot assist with the installation or troubleshooting after installation.
Can the SFS network handle the load of every student and teacher using a laptop and connecting to the Internet?
The school has invested heavily in infrastructure and continues to make upgrades to ensure that the network will be able to cope with the demands of all the students and staff laptops that require network access.
Can other members of my family use my laptop?
Parents have the ownership rights to the computer, but we advise that only one child uses their school laptop.
Does this mean my child will be carrying around a laptop?
Yes. A durable computer bag is a must, this is very important in the basic protection of the laptop. Many choose to use a computer sleeve or case in addition.
How should the Computer be transported to and from school?
It is highly recommended a computer bag be purchased which will provide enough storage for the student’s school supplies as well as their laptop and accessories.
How protective is a carry bag?
A laptop bag is designed with protection in mind. It has reinforced sides and is padded for protection. Students should not replace the bag with one of their own and other items should not be placed in the laptops bag. This may damage the screen which is the most expensive part of the laptop.
My child is carrying a laptop plus all their textbooks? That could get quite heavy.
While there is additional weight with the laptop, the laptop bag will have a shoulder strap to distribute its weight. Additionally, teachers will be now have the option of using more digital content than they could have previously, making the text book less necessary for every class period.
If you have concerns about the weight your young child is carrying, you might consider providing a small bag with wheels much like carry-on bags used when flying. Also please have your child consider what books they will actually need to carry between school and home.
What happens if a student forgets to bring the laptop to school?
The school does not have loaner computers for students that forget to bring their computer to school.
What instruction will my child receive concerning safe use of their laptop and the Internet?
Teachers have planned many lessons around the practical and safe use of a laptop. Also they have age appropriate lessons lessons on digital citizenship, which will include topics like cyber-bullying, Internet predators, and much more on how to stay safe while still enjoying the use of all Internet services.
What steps should I take to keep the computer my student uses secure?
Parents should record the model and serial number of the computer they purchase. This can be easily accomplished by taking a picture of the serial number as well as the sales receipt.
Can my child leave the computer at school? Will it be secure?
Students may leave the computer at school, a secure storage spot is provided for all students. Parents may want to provide their child with a computer cable lock, for times when students are off campus or leaving the computer in an insecure place.
How will my child learn to use the laptop?
Students will be given some introductory lessons on how to use the Computer at the start of the year. There is always a transition time that is associated with the changeover to the Computer and its operating system. Students will then be shown how to use subject specific programs and develop skills within their various subject areas.
Will teachers use the computers for every class and every day?
Currently teachers at these grades are using computers about 20% of the time. In most cases there has been an increase in 1-1 laptop classrooms to about 30-40% of the time. Teachers will only use technology when that technology provides a high quality, rich resource that enhances the learning and provides 21st Century Skills.
How will students use the laptop in their class(es)?
A list of the many ways a laptop can be used in a classroom can be exhaustive. What follows is simply a summary of examples:
- A vast resource for additional information other than what a teacher and a book provides in a traditional classroom.
- The ability to quickly download teacher handouts from a school online resource thereby saving the time, expense and the destruction of the world’s trees.
- The ability for students to expand the walls of their classroom and include other students and experts in the field in online educational discourse.
- The ability to visualize Mathematical applications through the use of school provided Math software providing students with a more thorough understanding of concepts presented in class.
- The ability to directly upload data from their heart rate monitors in P.E. class and import it into graph making programs giving them a visualization of their progress.
- The ability to simultaneously write documents with students through the use of an online wiki thereby also providing the ability for peer--editing of written work.
- The ability for students to quickly have their work shown on the classroom’s projection unit.
How will students submit work completed on the computer?
Students will be able to access their work, readings and notes via email, as well as the Internet using their blogs, wikis and other tools. They also have access to cloud printers that allow them to produce quality prints in color and B&W at their convenience.
Will my child’s eyes be adversely affected by looking at a laptop screen all day at school?
Your child will not be using the laptop in every class so there will be ample downtime in which your child’s eyes will be able to rest. In order to avoid eye-strain, the school will include instruction in proper use of the laptop including the proper distance to best view the screen and the setting up of the proper screen resolution and viewing angle.
Will I be able to use the Internet from home on my Computer?
Yes, the school will not be placing any restrictions on the parent owned machines. It will be the parent’s responsibility to provide any needed technical assistance to connect to resources outside the SFS campus.
What is covered with the new purchase warranty?
Apple Computers are covered for one year for all manufactured defects. They are not covered for misuse or loss.
What technical support will be available for the student while at school?
SFS has an IT office with trained technical support staff that can support all issues. If repairs are necessary the IT office can facilitate the process or provide help with out of warranty hardware through the computers’ qualified vendors.
What happens if my laptop is broken or under repair?
If a student computer is broken, the school will provide “loaner” computers that can be used for the period of time that the computer is not useable. The school can help facilitate with repair options for those computers that are purchased through the school and its vendors, and advise, facilitate out of warranty repairs.
Parents are ultimately responsible for repairing their computer in a timely manner. Currently, a student will check out and check in loaner laptops daily with a maximum use of a loaner for 4 calendar days. Loaner computers must be checked in and out of the IT office daily. You can read our Loaner Laptop Guidelines here.
My child dropped the laptop. What should we do?
If there is any damage to the laptop; students should not attempt to fix it themselves. They should bring it to the school’s IT Office to obtain options for repairing. Attempting to repair the laptop yourself or outside the laptops warrantee agreement may void the warranty.
Does SFS provide any kind of theft or breakage insurance?
SFS cannot provide insurance to parents for parent owned student computers. Many homeowners/rental policies do provide some level of insurance. Parents should check with their insurance carrier to verify coverage.
What happens if my laptop is lost or stolen?
If the laptop is lost, every attempt by the student should be made to recover it. If it has been left in a taxi, then the taxi company should be immediately contacted. As with other student property coats, phones, etc., and school books the parents will be responsible if the item is lost or stolen. This means the student will need to purchase another laptop to use for school.