Teacher Laptops - Top 10 Questions Answered

TeacherLaptopTop10w

Dear Staff,

The last email I sent to all staff about teacher laptops generated an avalanche of thank yous and cheers. We are very excited to be distributing tools and technology that will better meet your needs as a classroom educator. Below is more detailed information about the upcoming laptop distributions.

  1. What kind of laptop will teachers receive?
    • A 13” MacBook Air with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage.
  2. What will happen to the Mac minis currently on teachers’ desks?
    • The Mac minis will be used for sorely needed computer lab replacements. Any remaining Mac minis will be equitably redistributed across the district based upon student count.
  3. IMG_4061Who will receive laptops?
    • All teachers providing direct classroom instruction and guidance counselors will receive laptops, including itinerant teachers.
  4. Can we purchase our existing computers when we receive the new laptops (personal purchase)?
    • Sorry, school district equipment such as computers, cannot be directly purchased. However, some school district equipment (not limited to technology) is publicly auctioned.
  5. Will DTS provide a DVD drive, external keyboard, mouse, 10-key number pad? What if I think screen size will be an issue?
    • We are pleased to provide teachers with state of the art laptop computers. All external or additional devices, including external keyboards, monitors, mice, DVD drives, etc. must be obtained from some other funding source, such as building funds or grants.
  6. Will we be able to keep our thin clients/Mac minis in addition to the new laptop?
    • Sorry, similar to the Mac minis, the thin clients are also badly needed in numerous locations around the district.
  7. Will the MacBooks have AirServer?
    • Yes, the MacBooks will have AirServer installed. Please note that most elementary schools will not have the network upgrades necessary to use AirServer at the time the laptops are distributed. We are striving to activate that functionality as soon as possible because we know how important this is to teachers.
  8. Will cables will be provided to connect to the projector?
    • Yes.
  9. IMG_4063Can I install my own software?
    • There are two ways to install software without assistance from DTS. First, when teachers receive their new laptop, they will be shown how to use a System Preference to install the most commonly used software. Second, teachers will be offered the choice of having administrative rights on their laptop when they receive it, which will allow for unassisted software installation. There are some pros and cons to this level of access and we want to ensure teachers fully understand the situation before choosing this path.
  10. Is DTS going to take away the laptop I currently use?
    • DTS is interested in providing our staff with the best possible technology and dependable service. We also want to maximize previous investments in technology in a responsible manner.  That said, DTS will not “take away” your old laptop. However, please understand that if your laptop is more than five years old, the cost to repair it outstrips the value. So the best thing for you to do is move to the new laptop ASAP and know that when your old laptop breaks it will likely be recycled. Furthermore, your school administration may have plans to repurpose your current laptop in other ways in your building. When old equipment with resale value is returned to DTS, any cost recovered from the equipment is returned to SVVSD’s general fund.

Thank you,

Joe McBreen
Chief Technology Officer

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