Frequently Asked Questions2017-06-29T13:14:05-05:00

PPS 1-1 FAQs

What is a Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:32:59-05:00

Even though Chromebooks may look like traditional laptops, they are different in several ways. They run a Google operating system, rather than Windows or Mac OS, which is a much cleaner and simpler interface. These devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most application and document storage being housed in the “cloud,” but can be used offline. Chromebooks update regularly when connected to the Internet, boot up in under 10 seconds, and have a long battery-life that will easily get our students through a day or two of learning. Because they are Google-based, students will be able to easily use all our Google Suite programs, including Google Docs and Google Sheets, which are the Google versions of Microsoft’s Word and Excel programs. The advantage to the Google tools is their ability to foster sharing and collaboration for group projects.

What comes with a Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:32:59-05:00

Each student will receive a Chromebook and charger. It is up to each individual student to provide a carrying case. Each student also has access to our Google Suite of applications, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, and other online resources provided by Portage Public Schools.

What if my child breaks or loses their Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:32:59-05:00

Often the first question from any parent who has seen their student drop their phone or expensive electronic device is – what if it breaks? Students are responsible for any district-issued property, including textbooks, calculators, lab equipment, technology, etc. Therefore, students are responsible for any damage to or loss of the Chromebook. If damage or loss has occurred, students must file a report with the Main Office within one school day in the event of loss/theft/damage/equipment failure . In the event of a lost or stolen device, the device will be disabled and will not be able to be re-enabled until it is returned to the PPS tech department.

Why does my child need a Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:33:40-05:00

In order to prepare our students to be college and career ready, they need to be proficient in a variety of technology-based skills by the time they leave PPS. Some of these skills include keyboarding, research, content creation, collaboration, and digital communication. Beyond these skills, the Chromebooks also allow students to access their curriculum after school hours, collaborate with their peers on projects, and receive and review instruction even when they are not physically at school. Teachers also have Chromebooks, and classroom instruction will increasingly be a blend of technology-enhanced and person-to-person instruction.

How can I support my student at home?2017-06-27T09:32:59-05:00

There are several things you can do to support your student at home.

  • Designate a location in your home where your student can do homework.
  • Encourage your student to keep their devices out of their bedrooms. This encourages better sleep and reduces the nighttime distraction the device may cause.
  • Designate a charging location for your student’s Chromebook so they can charge their device each night and be ready to use it for learning the next day.
  • Provide a “safe” location to store the device when not in use. The Chromebooks are durable, but they rarely survive spills, being stepped on, dropped, crushed, used as a tray to stack items on, etc.
  • Encourage balanced use of technology
We are leaving PPS – what do we do with the device?2017-06-27T09:32:59-05:00

During the school year, devices will be turned in to the school’s office. In the summer, devices will be handed in to the technology department at the administration building. When a student is no longer enrolled at Portage Public Schools, the device will be disabled.

How should I clean the screen?2017-06-27T09:32:58-05:00

Make sure you Do Not clean the LCD screen with a window cleaner that contains Alcohol. Use LCD cleaner like Endust for Electronic Screen Cleaner which at Walmart it’s about $5.89 plus tax. Just make sure it is safe for LCD screens and please do not use the LCD cleaner on the keyboard for the keyboard just use a dry lint free rag.

Will there be restrictions on what websites students can visit?2017-06-27T09:32:58-05:00

Yes – whether on-site or offsite, student Chromebooks will have active content filtering. As no web-filtering technology is perfect, Portage Public Schools cannot guarantee all inappropriate content will be blocked, however.

What if the Chromebook is lost or stolen on school grounds?2017-06-27T09:37:44-05:00

We would treat this no differently than if the Chromebook is lost or stolen off school grounds. As per the acceptable use agreement, the student is responsible at all times.

Will the use of Chromebooks be monitored?2017-06-27T09:32:58-05:00

In general, we do keep logs of student activity within their Portage provided computer accounts. However, it is not possible to monitor all usage on networks outside of Portage Public Schools.

When will other grade levels receive Chromebooks?2017-09-25T11:31:07-05:00

2017-2018 7th and 8th graders will be assigned Chromebooks when they reach the 9th grade. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to provide individual Chromebooks to the 2017-2018 juniors or seniors. These students will still have access to cart-based Chromebooks while at school.

Will elementary students be issued Chromebooks?2017-06-27T09:36:34-05:00

Elementary students have access to Chromebooks via classroom carts. They are not assigned a Chromebook for outside of school use.

How long will students keep the Chromebooks?2017-06-27T09:35:35-05:00

Middle school students return Chromebooks at the end of 8th grade, high school students upon graduation. All students are expected to return Chromebooks to PPS should they withdraw prior to those events.

My student already has a computer for school use. Do they have to have a Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:40:23-05:00

Our educational programming is designed so that any device can be used. The only limitations on non-PPS issued devices are printing, screen-sharing, and a requirement that our guest wireless network be used.

Will the amount of student screen-time on the Chromebook be limited?2017-06-27T09:32:58-05:00

There will not be software restrictions on screen-time. We’ve worked closely with teachers to develop and adopt best practices for school use. At home, we believe each family should be allowed to make their own choice in this matter. Technology team members with children typically set aside a charging area in a common area for device storage and ready monitoring, limiting recreational screen time to approximately one hour per day or less.

Will these Chromebooks replace textbooks?2017-06-27T09:41:17-05:00

While more and more education resources are available online each day, it is not the goal of this 1-1 program to serve as a replacement for textbooks. While the number will certainly decline with time, we do not believe textbooks will go away in the foreseeable future.

Will there be an option to purchase the Chromebook?2017-06-27T09:38:24-05:00

There is not a purchase option.

How has network capacity been increased to support all of these devices?2017-06-27T09:44:24-05:00

Since 2015, we’ve increased network capacity anywhere from 10 to 40 times depending on the size of the school and number of devices planned for roll-out. We’ve also deployed nearly 500 next-generation access points capable of handling over 100 concurrent connections each. Our network topology is designed to support three devices per person.

Still have questions?

Contact the Portage Public Schools Help Desk