1:1 Technology Program » FAQs


Nicholas Senn High School 1:1 Chromebook Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Why 1:1 Computing?

The purpose of the Nicholas Senn High School 1:1 Chromebook Program is to prepare students for their future, a global digital world where they will be expected to use information and technology in the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Students leverage mobile computing at school and at home for their coursework, research, and collaboration. Integration of technology in the classroom expands the possibilities of teaching and learning.

How will this help my child as a student?

Integrating technology into the classroom will extend the learning experience beyond the confines of the classroom by leveraging technology to solve problems, gather and evaluate information, and disseminate work efficiently. Technology allows for immediate feedback to both students and instructor about student understanding during direct instruction and classwork, enabling the instructor to optimize learning experiences for students in real time. One-to-one computing facilitates student focus and attentiveness in class through learning that is either self-paced and individualized or collaborative and cooperative.

How will they be using technology in class?

In class and at home, students are provided with digital spaces for collaboration. This allows for seamless transitions from classwork to homework, whether class collaborators live across the street or across town. We find this is a huge benefit, as students can't always meet easily to work on projects or have other commitments with sports, clubs, jobs, etc.

In Algebra, teachers provide audio/visual lectures. In flipped classroom lectures, students have the ability to replay portions of lectures in order to better understand complex processes. In Physics, students have access to interactive modeling software that enables them to understand abstract concepts in mechanics, replaying interactions with different variables to arrive at a deeper understanding of concepts. In English and Social Science, students are given texts in a manner that is more interactive than mindless copying of prepared notes.

Finally, as high-stakes assessments are increasingly being administered online, the skill of navigating computer-based assessments is becoming increasingly valuable. Strategies and methods are markedly different.

The more experience students have with computer-based assessments, the more accurately the assessment will measure their knowledge, as opposed to measuring their lack of familiarity with the test format.

Will this eliminate the personal touch of teaching?

Not at all! Our goal is to have the students equipped with a tool that increases engagement and achievement, and individualizes student’s learning experiences. Teachers recognize that technology integration is only one of the many tools they can and should utilize in the design and implementation of lessons. The relationship between teacher and student is an important one and will not be replaced by the use of computers in the classroom.

Will having computers make the students isolated?

Studies show that students involved in 1:1 computing programs increase communication with teachers and other students. They also increase their teamwork skills. The computers also lend themselves to enhancing projects done as a group.

Will computers in the classroom be distracting?

Computers are a tool that must be managed, just like pen and paper. The teacher is in control of the class and at any time can tell students to close the screens in order to have their full attention.

Will this enable cheating or plagiarism?

All computers will have software installed that allows teacher monitoring of the computers during class time. This monitoring is a huge deterrent to misuse. Also, many classes already require students to submit any written work to Turnitin.com, an online plagiarism service to which Nicholas Senn High School subscribes. Cheating and plagiarism are always considered very serious offenses and are dealt with according to the CPS Student Code of Conduct. Senn High School will continue to help students understand and apply responsible and ethical standards in their work.


Is there a cost participate in the program?

There will be no cost to participate in the 1:1 Chromebook program. Student and Parent(s)/Guardian(s) shall bear the risk of loss for a lost, stolen, or damaged computer or accessories due to accident, neglect or negligence.

See the Repairs/Replacements/Damages section on page 8 for a list of costs.

Is this just a program to buy a computer through the school?

No. The school owns the computer. Students participating in this program will be given a computer that they will use in their classes for instruction. Beyond mere note-taking, the use of the computer is incorporated into all aspects of the class: classwork, homework, & assessment. Students develop 21st century skills, collaborating with students around the corner and around the world.

Why would I want my child to spend more time on the computer?

In the past, intensive users of technology were stereotyped as loners. Today, we understand that digital spaces are social spaces; thus, intensive users of technology are extremely social today. In the future, students will interact socially and professionally in ways that are difficult to imagine. In this program, students have the opportunity to practice digital social skills within the context of supervised regular school work. Habits acquired in this environment are translatable to future social and professional situations

What do you mean when you say 21st century skills?

One example is the issue of information layering. In a paper world, we tend to think in a linear way, a succession of pages of static text. Digitally, information is increasingly being layered. Becoming skilled in the layering of information in digital texts is increasingly becoming a crucial academic and professional competency. 1:1 Chromebook programs are built around the idea of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.

Since my child uses technology all of the time, doesn’t she already have these skills?

All around us, we see many people passively using technology to move pictures around, watch videos, and send snippets of text. In response to a growing number of people using technology to passively consume, the definition of digital literacy is evolving. Today, digital literacy describes technology users who are able to produce, rather than just consume; to be digitally literate means more than simply using a computer, it means using technology to solve problems.

I just bought a computer. Why can’t my child just use that?

Chicago Public Schools only allows personal computers on our guest wireless network. For security reasons, computers on the CPS guest wireless system cannot access any resource behind the CPS firewall. Personal computers will not have access to the school website, school email, network files or additional class management systems.

What if there is a problem with this computer?

Students receive on-site, real-time tech support at Nicholas Senn High School. If the technology department can't immediately fix the students computer we will give them a spare replacement computer. Furthermore, the fact that the technology support is school-based, your son or daughter assumes the responsibility of resolving issues, becoming more self- assured and independent in the process. There is no other warranty program that provides the scope of these services.

What is included?

A Chromebook computer, AC adapter/power supply, manufacturer warranty and on-site tech support.

Why is this better than buying whatever computer I want from another retailer?

If you purchase your own computer, you may not connect to the CPS network at school. Unfortunately, you are only allowed to connect to the school’s guest wireless network per Chicago Public Schools security policy. The guest wireless network does not have access to CPS mail, files or our class management software which are all needed for instruction, even in non-1:1 classes. Additionally, no other warranty will provide on-site service and a spare computer while yours is being fixed. No calling an 800 number for support. Your son or daughter simply comes to the Technology Department Office when they have time.

What happens if the computer does not work or is accidentally damaged?

Computers obtained through Nicholas Senn High School come with a manufacturer warranty which covers any hardware-related problems due to manufacturer’s defect. The Nicholas Senn High School Technology Department will coordinate hardware repairs with the manufacturer. While the machine is being repaired, the student will be given a replacement computer. The Technology Help Desk will be open before, during, and after school, on school days.

Student and Parent(s) shall bear the risk of loss for a lost, stolen, or damaged computer or accessories due to accident, neglect or negligence from the date the student receives the computer until the return of the computer to Nicholas Senn High School, and shall be liable to Nicholas Senn High School for the replacement cost and other damages caused by such loss, theft, or damage due to accident, neglect or negligence as set forth in the Nicholas Senn High School Student Chromebook Program Consent Form not covered by manufacturer’s warranty as specified and further described in the Nicholas Senn High School Liability Document. Nicholas Senn High School strongly recommends parents personally insure the computer on their own personal homeowners or renters policy as a rider, if necessary, to cover these costs. Repair of a computer that is accidentally damaged - dropped, spilled on, zapped by an electrical surge, etc. (what is referred to as "end user damage") - will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

The costs to replace miscellaneous parts that are damaged by the user, lost or stolen:

  • AC Power Adapter: $20.00
  • Chromebook: $225.00
  • Screen: $50.00
  • Keyboard: $75.00
  • Battery: $30.00

If a repair is software related, the computer will be restored to its original software configuration free of charge.

Hardware upgrades or modifications to the computer are not allowed. Should modifications be made to the computer, such modifications will become the property of Nicholas Senn High School.

Nicholas Senn High School has the right to restore the computer to its original state whenever we feel it is appropriate and necessary. Anything that is loaded on the local drive will be deleted. Students are responsible for backing up their files to a USB flash drive or external hard drive provided by the student.

Just to make sure, if there is a problem that is due to manufacturer defect, do I have to pay?

All repair of defective hardware is covered under the manufacturer's warranty and is of no cost to you.

If I drop the unit and crack the screen or spill water on it, do I have to pay?

All end-user damage and accidental damage is 100% the responsibility of the family.

What if the computer is lost, stolen or destroyed?

The Manufacturer Warranty does not cover theft or total destruction of the computer due to accident or neglect. If your computer is stolen, complete a police report with your local police department. In the case of either loss or theft, contact your insurance company to file a claim. If your computer is lost, stolen or destroyed, please bring it to the attention of the Technology Department immediately by e-mailing the Technology Coordinator with the student name, parent name, parent contact information, insurance company contact information and in the case of theft, a copy of the police report or police record number.  Parents are advised to add the computer, as a rider if necessary, on their own homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy to cover this. The student is responsible for the computer while it is in his/her possession.

Who will own the computer?

CPS and Nicholas Senn High School own the computer.


What are my responsibilities?

Participation in the Nicholas Senn High School Student Chromebook Program is a privilege that fosters great power. With great power comes great responsibility. Students and their families are responsible for keeping the computer safe and in working order and your CPS network credentials secure. DO NOT share your CPS network username and password with others. Parents must remember while the primary function of the computer is school work and students may be expected to complete homework on the computer in your home, YOUR rules apply to this computer. You the parent are responsible for setting expectations and limitations for use at home. Families should discuss appropriate and inappropriate websites, online safety and how to best monitor student use at home. We will discuss these topics more in our online training modules.

What are acceptable uses of this and all [School Name]/CPS technology?

The Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”) Student Acceptable Use of the CPS Network Policy (AUP) sets forth the standards governing CPS students’ use of the CPS Electronic Network Related Technologies and Access (“CPS Network”) system. This policy also sets forth the rules under which student authorized users may continue their access to and use of these resources. This policy promotes the ethical, legal, and school-related use of the CPS Network and ensures CPS compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The CPS AUP (Addendum A) must be read and will be agreed to by signing the attached Consent Form.

What happens if the student breaks the guidelines of the AUP?

Failure to abide by this policy may subject the student to corrective action according to the CPS Student Code of Conduct as deemed appropriate by the Technology Director and the Dean of Students.


Will this make the backpacks heavier?

Senn High School will be introducing e-texts, digital resources and online curriculum throughout the upcoming years. Some classes will also use a physical textbook with the computer. Use of the computer as a notebook will help to eliminate many of the binders, papers, books, and colored pens the students now carry in their backpacks.

Will I need an internet connection?

Yes. Internet access is available at Nicholas Senn High School and at all Chicago Public Libraries (see http://www.chipublib.org/aboutcpl/wifi.php for more information). If your child is eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, you may qualify for Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program. Visit http://www.internetessentials.com for more information.

Will textbooks be available online?

We will be introducing e-text, digital resources and online curriculum throughout the year. Some classes will also use the physical textbook with the computer.

Will the computers be used in each class every day?

We do not promote the use of technology for technology's sake. The computer provides spontaneous, active learning through Internet research, data collection and analysis, and collaboration. Use of the computer in class will depend on the content area and the appropriateness of technology for the lesson being taught. It is expected that the type and frequency of use will vary according to the curriculum. Students will also take advantage of the anywhere-anytime learning possibilities of the computer as well as using it outside of the classroom environment

Can my child bring the computer home at night and on weekends?

Yes. The computer is for the student’s use at school and at home. All data and personal software is the responsibility of the student.

How will the computer connect to the school’s wireless network?

The computer has a built-in wireless networking card that will connect to Nicholas Senn High School school-wide secure wireless network.

How will the computer connect to home networks?

Computers will connect to standard 802.11b, g or n wireless networks at home. Please refer to your home internet service provider for more information.

What about battery life?

The computer has a primary battery that has an expected life of 7-9 hours. Students are required to plug in their computers each night so that they will have fully charged batteries for the next school day.


Can you help me setup my home printer, wireless, network connection, etc.?

No. We cannot be responsible for support for any devices or networks outside of the school. You may want to call a local fee for service Tech Support Company such as Geek Squad for assistance with home tech services.

What happens to my child’s files if something happens to the computer or hard drive, for example?

Students are responsible for their data. Students have Unlimited storage available via CPS’ Google Apps for Education account and should save their files to this space on the cloud so it is accessible from any computer or device that can connect to the internet.