General programme information
How do I ensure my child gets the most out of being part of a 1-to-1 laptop program?
The 1-to-1 environment can sometimes blur the boundaries between school and home. Families need to accept that the 1-to-1 device will have some influence on home life. Clearly communicating your expectations for how the device is used at home is crucial. The sample parent child agreement below could be a useful tool to help you clarify and clearly communicate your expectations with your child. Please feel free to modify the agreement to your family's own preferences.
Can we buy the laptop from any retailer?
Yes, parents are welcome to purchase a laptop from any retailer. To receive an educational discount from Apple, a school certificate (Schulbescheinigung) can be obtained from the main office in the senior school.
What happens when my child forgets his/her laptop at home?
The school has a small pool of MacBooks available to loan to students in cases deemed necessary.
Does my child need to bring a laptop to school every day?
Yes, the laptop is an essential learning tool used to research, communicate, organise and create. Students should bring a fully-charged, fully operational laptop to every class.
In addition to a laptop computer, does my child need any other devices?
Yes, students need a set of headphones for watching educational videos and a 32 GB USB memory stick to transfer large files between their laptops and the school's iMac computers. Students also need an external HDD for backup up their machines.
Where do students get technical help?
The school employs a full time laptop technician who helps students with general technical troubles. We also have a student tech-team that provides in-class support for less serious issues that can be fixed on the spot.
What software do students need?
All required software will be supplied by the school. Students should be able to install this software on their own computers.
Laptop use at school
Will students have a safe place to store laptops during times when the laptops are not used like lunch and assembly?
Every student has a locker to lock away their belongings. Laptops should be locked in lockers whenever they are not needed.
Will students be allowed to use their laptops during breaks?
Students are allowed to use their laptops for school work in the library, and for socialising and playing games in a teacher-supervised room. Laptop use is not permitted in any unsupervised places.
How will using a laptop at school affect students' face-to-face communication and social skills?
When using laptops, students and teachers still engage in social, collaborative learning experiences. Collaboration and communication will happen online and face-to-face depending on the task. We want students to develop both digital and face-to-face social skills.
Will students be able to charge their laptops at school?
Under normal circumstances, no. Modern laptops have good enough battery life and should last a whole school day without charging. Students should bring the laptop to school fully charged and conserve the battery as much as possible. In emergencies charging stations are available in the library for students to charge laptops during breaks.
Will students do all their work on a laptop?
No, laptops facilitate a collaborative, social learning environment where digital and analog tools are blended to engage students for understanding.
How will the school ensure the safety of students when using the internet at school?
The school's Internet connection is protected by a Sophos UTM. We subscribe to a service that filters and blocks dangerous and inappropriate content. Sophos web filtering is trusted by many other international school and provides a very good level of protection. However, we still believe that education is the best tool for keeping students safe on the web. Internet Safety is one of the themes of Digital Citizenship, which is integrated into our curriculum. The Digital Citizenship Agreement (in the Student/Parent Handbook) gives firm guidelines for safe online behaviour.
Laptop use at home
Does my child need to use his/her laptop at home?
Yes, sometimes students will need to use their laptops for schoolwork at home. This could be in the form of reading, researching, watching videos, completing online exercises or writing up projects. While it is a good idea to ensure that children get enough time away from a computer screen and take regular breaks while working on a computer, setting strict limits on "computer time" might negatively affect the student's learning. We encourage parents to have conversations with their children about what they are doing on the computer and how it benefits their learning.
How should my child's laptop connect to the Internet?
Most modern home routers have a built-in Wireless network through which your child's laptop can connect to the Internet.
Can we use parental controls on our child's laptop?
Mac OS and Windows provide tools for parents to control certain aspects of their children's computer. However, we encourage parents to use these only as a last resort.
Does my child need an Internet connection at home?
Yes, students will need an Internet connection at home in order to access many of the learning resources used at school. Many of the projects students work on are online and students need an Internet connection to do research.
How will I ensure my child stays safe when using the Internet at home?
All children are different. Setting clear, age appropriate, personalised boundaries and regularly discussing them with your child is important. Talk to your child about their online experiences and review the boundaries regularly. There are many ways of exerting technical control, but often non-technical measures prove to be more effective. Keeping the laptop in a family room while charging in the evening is a good idea. Agreeing on a time when the laptop needs to be locked away for the night might be a good idea.
Does the school's insurance cover the laptop?
No, the laptop is not covered by the school's insurance. Families own the laptop and it should be covered by the family's own insurance plan
Where can we buy an insurance policy for my child's laptop?
Many German insurance companies provide Guarantee Insurance (Garantieversicherung). Guarantee Insurance is meant to supplement a laptop's manufacturer guarantee and pays for repairs not covered by it. One company that offers guarantee insurance is Ergo Direkt. Click here for more information.
What is the best way of insuring the laptop?
Most insurance companies in Germany will allow you to add specified additional items to your existing household insurance policy. Please contact your insurance broker and ask about adding a specified laptop onto your policy.
Who is liable if my child's laptop is damaged by another child?
The school will not mediate in situations where one child damages another child's laptop. Students are only allowed to use their laptops in areas supervised by an adult. The supervising adult can provide a report of the incident upon request. It is advisable to purchase personal liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) for your child which would cover the costs if he or she accidentally damages another child's property.