General Chromebook FAQs

  • Why did District 47 choose Chromebooks?

    After piloting a variety of mobile technology device carts (i.e., Chromebooks, iPads, PC laptops) the Technology Services department determined that the Google Chromebook is the device that will provide the most comprehensive technology solution for students and teachers at District 47. This device allows District 47 teachers to support students while using the device at school and push out applications that students will use for course work. Factors that led to the decision to use Chromebooks include but are not limited to: integration with Google Apps for Education, curriculum integration, management tools, integrated keyboard, ease of maintenance, 8+hour battery life, cost, and pilot performance during the Spring of 2016.

    When will the Chromebooks be distributed to students?

    Chromebooks will be distributed to all incoming 6th graders at the start of the school year. Students who transfer to District 47 will receive their Chromebooks within the first few days after they begin classes.

    What happens with the Chromebooks once received by students?

    Once issued, the Chromebook becomes the responsibility of the student. Students will be expected to follow the Chromebook User Guidelines as well as the Acceptable Use Policy.

    What will be the cost to students/families?

    The projected cost of the Chromebook, management software, and District-issued protective case is approximately $300. District 47 will share the purchase cost with student families who are issued Chromebooks. The annual technology fee ($60 - 2019-2020) for students will reflect this cost. At the end of 8th grade, provided all District fees are paid in full, the District will transfer ownership of the chromebook to the student.

    Can a student use a Chromebook case of their own rather than the one issued by the District?   

    The protective cases that have been purchased by the District for use with the Chromebooks have been tested and meet durability standards. Other cases may not adequately protect the device and are discouraged. 

    What about families that qualify for school fee waivers?

    Students whose families qualify for fee waivers at District 47 will be issued a Chromebook on loan at no cost. The device remains the property of District 47.

    Will this decrease textbooks/materials costs?

    The availability of textbooks in electronic format may help bring costs down, but this is not the driving force behind the 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative. District 47 is looking to transition to the increased use of digital textbooks and content whenever possible.

    What happens with the Chromebooks if a student leaves or transfers out of District 47?

    Students who transfer out of District 47 prior to graduation, or leave District 47 for any reason prior to graduation, must return the district issued Chromebook to District 47 at the time of exit. There will be no refund of technology and activity fees paid.

    Can a student transfer ownership of the device to another student (sibling, friend) after leaving the District? 

    Students cannot transfer the device to another student after leaving the District.  The District want to ensure that all devices are less than three years old, in good working condition, and assigned to the students in Synergy (Student Management System).  

    What happens if I have multiple children in middle school?    

    Each student requires his or her own device as it will be integrated into the daily curriculum. Siblings will not be able to share devices. 

    How are students expected to use the Chromebooks during the school day?

    The Chromebooks are an integral part of the core curriculum and can also be used for encore classes where appropriate.  The Chromebooks have a feature that allows teachers to check on student use, live, in the classroom and to determine appropriate use of the device. There will be little time for recreational usage during classes.

    Are teachers required to use Chromebooks in class?

    Teachers are encouraged to integrate technology into their classroom instruction if it will benefit student learning and achieve the educational outcomes. The curriculum will guide how the device is used. The Chromebook is a tool that can be used to enhance learning experiences. 

    Can a student bring his/her own device to use in class?

    No. All students will be issued a Chromebook that is configured to the District 47 network, and all devices must comply with the District 47 Acceptable Use Policy. The use of multiple devices that operate differently and with an endless combination of configurations would make it quite challenging for teachers to plan and implement lessons. In addition, the district issued Chromebook will be configured to allow for over the air installation of apps, extensions, and bookmarks, as well as software that allows for teachers to monitor usage during class.

    Can a student bring his/her own Chromebook to use in class?

    No. Please see above. All devices must be configured to the District 47 network.

    Can families opt out of a Chromebook?

    No. All students will be required to use a district issued Chromebook for their academic studies. These devices will be integral to classroom instruction, and without a device, students will be unable to fully participate in classroom activities and assignments. Just as textbooks are required for class today, a Chromebook will be required for use in class in the future.

    Will the school be able to filter the Internet when the student is off campus?

    District 47 is in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and maintains a content filter and firewall for all Internet enabled computers and equipment. Regardless of physical location (at school, at home, in a public space with WiFi service), the Chromebooks will have all Internet traffic monitored and filtered by the district. Additionally, we ask for parent support and cooperation in monitoring student online activity outside of District 47.  District 47 also is in compliance with COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act).  The primary goal of COPPA is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online.  The Rule was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. For this reason, websites and in particular social media sites, that require students to have an online account and share personal information are prohibited on the Chromebooks without parental consent.  As most of our students are under the age of 13, non-educational social media sites (twitter, facebook, other...) will be blocked. 

    What happens to my data if I lose my Chromebook?

    Very little information is stored on the Chromebook. A student’s documents, emails, apps, and extensions will be associated to their student Google Drive profile, which is accessible from any computer that has access to the Internet. It will be very important that students do not share passwords with other students. This is the best way for them to protect their privacy.

    What if students do not have wireless Internet at home?

    Chromebooks have capabilities for offline use. This includes the ability to access Gmail and Google Drive. In addition, free public wireless (WiFi) is available in many locations. Various internet service providers offer discounted plans at a small fee for families with students who qualify to receive free or reduced lunch.  
    More information can be found here. (NOTE: District 47 is providing this list of providers as a resource. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by District 47. Specific questions regarding any services provided should be directed to the appropriate business).

    What happens if the student loses their Chromebook or if the Chromebook is stolen?

    Students must immediately report lost or stolen Chromebooks to the Mobile Technician. Once a Chromebook is reported lost or stolen, the device will be locked down so that it cannot be used by anyone. The Chromebook can be unlocked if returned to District 47.

    Will the District offer insurance that can be purchased?

    The District is providing warranty coverage as part of the technology fee.  The warranty coverage would cover drops, break, spills, normal wear/tear, and hardware failure. The only items not covered are AC adapters, lost or stolen devices, and batteries outside of the first year due to them being a consumable.  If a device/charger is lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair, then the student will be charged.  See below for more details regarding when students would be charged for repair / replacement.

    What happens if the student damages or loses their Chromebook?  Is there a point when a parent would be charged for damage?

    While the new Chromebooks come with a protective case and students have been provided with instructions for proper care, we understand that, occasionally, incidences of damage or loss may occur. Below you will find information about the process involved and costs associated wtih repair and/or replacement.
    Reporting Loss or Damage. In case of loss or damage to a Chromebook, students should notify the Mobile Tech Center in their building. A report of damage or loss will then be recorded on a student incident log and families will be notified once a repair or replacement has been made. Note: One of the most common causes of damage is from placing objects inside the Chromebook and then closing the case, which has caused a number of screens to crack. As a general rule, students should refrain from placing objects on top of the keyboard or in between the keyboard and screen.
    Costs. Over a period of three years or their middle school career, students will be provided one Chromebook repair free of charge. Any additional repairs will be the parents’ responsibility. While a Chromebook is being repaired or replaced, a loaner Chromebook will be provided to the student. Students are responsible for the loaner Chromebook so it must be treated with the same care, as any damage or loss to it will be handled in the same manner. For more information about repair and replacement and the costs associated with each, please see the table below. Please note that loss or damage to a charger will be tracked separately from Chromebooks.
    Chromebook Repair / Replacement Costs - Beginning with 2018-2019 School Year (6th Grade Class)
    Damage 1st Incident 2nd Incident 3rd Incident Additional Incidents
    Chromebook No Charge $30 $60 $60
    Lost/Stolen 1st Incident 2nd Incident Additional Incidents  
    Chromebook $100 $200 $200   

    Replacement chargers can be purchased online, the District does not sell replacement chargers:

    Acer/Dell Replacement Charger - USB Type C

    Dell Replacement Charger - AC Adapter (Circle End)

    After collecting damage and repair data during the first two years of the Chromebook program, we have modified the incident cost structure.  The classes of 2019 and 2020 will be grandfathered into the original cost structure listed below.

    Chromebook Repair / Replacement Cost

    Will teachers receive additional training for the 1:1 digital learning initiative?

    All teachers will be required to attend a series of professional development workshops organized by District 47. There also will be opportunities to attend optional training sessions in the district. District 47 has developed several training sessions and will be supporting teachers throughout the year via various methods, including in person workshops and iCoach modeling and team teaching.

    Will students receive training after they are issued a Chromebook?

    Students will receive training when they receive their Chromebooks. There will be additional resources available online and accessible immediately upon powering on the Chromebook. 

    What are the security/privacy issues with each device?

    Very little information is stored on the Chromebook. A student’s documents, emails, apps, and extensions will be associated to their student Google Drive profile, which is accessible from any computer that has access to the Internet.  Students can e-mail their teachers or other students within the domain, but cannot send or receive e-mail to persons outside of the District. Students do not have access to Google Hangouts (Chat).  The same rules apply to student's google calendars.  If parents wish to have access to their student's e-mail or calendar, they can request the password from their student.

    Can teachers take the Chromebook away if students are misusing/not paying attention in class?  

    Yes. Having classroom routines and procedures regarding proper Chromebook usage will be key to minimizing these behaviors. It should not be treated any differently than other disruptive or disrespectful behaviors.

    Will the Chromebooks be housed at school or travel back and forth from home/school?

    Chromebooks will not be housed at school. It will be the student’s responsibility to transport their device to and from school, and to charge it every night. The student is responsible for ensuring the device is charged for each school day.  If the student knows cannot bring the device straight home (For example, they need to attend an after school event/activity where their backpack not be near them), they can secure the device in their locker until such time that they can retrieve it.  The Chromebook should always be in their possession or secured in a locker.  

    Are there any exceptions to the Chromebook 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative?

    Exceptions may be made for students with Individualized Education (IEP's) or Section 504 Plans.  These exceptions may include device type and or size depending on the accommodations needed for the students.

    What if we do not have Wifi or Internet at home?

    If you do not have Wifi or Internet at your home, your student can still work offline and then sync back with the google cloud when they return to school.  For this to work, students will need to install an application / extension while they are at the school, so they can use the application at home without internet connection.

    How do I setup my child's chromebook to print at home?

    To print at home, students will need to connect to Wifi and the printer must be Chromebook Cloud Print enabled.   See the following link for more information:  

    Will students be taking the Chromebook home during the summer (grades 6 and 7)?