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What is TL2014?

Teaching and Learning 2014 (TL2014) is an initiative of the Salisbury Township School District located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Started in September 2011, TL2014 is designed to bring to life, by June 2014, our vision for education in the 21st century. You can read more about the initiative on the About Us page.

What are the goals of TL2014?

The TL2014 initiative will accelerate the process of providing our students with the knowledge and skills necessary for post-secondary success – the work force or higher education – in the 21st century. TL2014 has as its goals:

  • Increased learning opportunities for the development of critical 21st century skills: critical thinking and problem solving, effective oral and written communication, collaboration, creativity and curiosity, adaptability, organization, initiative and entrepreneurialism.
  • Increased opportunities for student engagement in a dynamic, technology-rich learning environment.
  • Increased opportunities for project-based and challenge-based learning, mirroring real-world work force and higher education environments.
  • Increased opportunities for differentiation and individualized instruction through the use of technology.
  • Increased opportunities for reading and writing in new formats and modes common in the 21st century.

Why does every student need a personal laptop computer?

Today’s learners live in a dynamic, technology-rich world where they are creators, producers, researchers and thinkers. In order to fully engage with our students, the educational environment must mirror the world in which our students live now and will navigate in the future. Providing a personal computing device for every student will help create dynamic learning experiences for students and teachers. Students are more engaged in their learning with technology and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in higher education and the work force.

What will this cost?

While TL2014 increases the learning opportunities for all our students, it also provides significant cost savings to the District taxpayer. The District will realize savings with a new lease agreement than if it maintained the older, more costly, computer replacement cycle, estimated at $300,000 annually. The annual cost of the lease agreement is $239,000 for each of the next four years, resulting in an annual savings to Salisbury taxpayers in excess of $60,000. The District anticipates it will also save money through ancillary benefits such as accessing e-textbooks rather than purchasing individual textbooks, reducing paper usage, and reducing printing and toner cartridge costs. TL2014 is a win for students and a win for taxpayers. The School Board and leadership team are to be commended on achieving this balance in challenging economic and political times.

Why use Apple technology?

The TL2014 initiative is about preparing students with 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving. Apple technology provides software integrated into the computer operating system to support dynamic learning interactions. There is no need for the District to purchase additional software. From a financial perspective, Apple technology makes sense for education. Because of integrated software, total cost of ownership (TCO) is less than comparable PC laptops. Additionally, maintenance, service and support costs are lower, and Apple technology retains far greater value over time than similar PC laptops. Because Apple technology retains value, the District will reap significant financial benefit in the future when it sells back Apple technology to roll into a new lease agreement. This benefit does not currently exist with PC laptops. Finally, Apple Inc. has demonstrated a commitment to education, providing the District with invaluable opportunities to partner and grow with experts within the education division. Using Apple technology benefits Salisbury Township School District educationally and financially.

Who can I contact if I have questions about TL2014?

Students and parents/guardians should contact the school principal – Salisbury High School Principal, Ms Heather Morningstar (610-797-4107); or Salisbury Middle School Principal, Mr. Robert Cassidy (610-791-0830). If you have questions about technology policies or the web site, please contact Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss,  Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, at 610-797-2062.

Will students be able to take laptops home with them?

Yes. All students in the Middle School and High School will have the opportunity to use a laptop computer in school and at home. Laptop computers are a classroom educational resource much like the calculator, textbook and paper resources were in the 20th century. We cannot expect our students to continue their learning or work without giving them access to the tools they need to work. Families will be required to pay an insurance premium prior to taking the laptop computer home.

Will student have to purchase a laptop bag?

All laptops must be carried in the District-provided padded laptop (or reasonable substitute) sleeve at all times. Students should transport the laptop computer in the sleeve inside their own book bag or backpack to aid in protection against damage.

Will students be able to use their laptop computers on the school bus?

No. Use of laptop computers on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.

Will STSD provide maintenance on the laptop computers?

Yes. The Technology Department and Computer Technicians will coordinate and provide maintenance on all laptop computers.

What about students who already have a laptop at home?

An important component of TL2014 is the equal access to technology resources it grants to all Salisbury Middle School and High School students. While some students have computers at home, most students do not have the educational software programs that will be included on the laptop computers. Without access to laptop computers for home use, students are not able to effectively continue project work or learning after school hours.

What happens if a laptop computer is lost or stolen?

All laptop computers will be insured by the District. The insurance premium is $50 per student with a $50 deductible for damage and a $250 deductible for theft or loss. The deductible is charged for each incident and is in addition to the insurance premium. Families who participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program will have the option to forgo the insurance premium cost yet still have the laptop computer covered under the insurance agreement. However, families in the Free and Reduced lunch program will be required to pay the deductible of $50 for each damage claim and $250 for each theft or loss claim. Uninsured laptop computers are not permitted to leave the school. Parents may not substitute homeowners or other personal insurance for District laptop computer insurance.

It is the student’s responsibility to report a lost or stolen laptop to the Assistant Principal and local law enforcement, if appropriate. Specific procedures are outlined in the document Agreement for Laptop Use. Read the Insurance Information section of this site to learn what is and is not covered by insurance.

What is the procedure if a laptop computer needs repair?

The Computer Technician in each school will be responsible for the repair of laptops. It is the responsibility of students to contact the Computer Technician when requesting repairs. Students can do this by stopping by the Computer Technician’s office.

What will students do without a laptop computer if the laptop computer is being repaired?

There will be a limited number of laptop computers available for loan while a laptop computer is being repaired.

If the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace?

In the event the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, the student must report the occurrence to the Assistant Principal. The current cost to replace the charger is $72. For ease of tracking, the serial number of each power cord has been recorded for each student. When using the power cord/charger in school, students should take care to secure the cord when finished.

What will students do with their laptop computer during Physical Education classes, lunch and after school activities?

Students are responsible for the care and security of their laptop computer. Students will carry the laptop computer in the padded sleeve, provided by the District. The size of the laptop computer lends itself well to securing it in student lockers on a short-term basis. Students should not store the laptop computer in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a laptop computer is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.

How will appropriate use of the laptop computers at school and at home be monitored?

Although students are personally responsible for the use of the laptop computers and the District computer network, the District does use filtering software designed to protect students from obscene material, child pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors (as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA) when accessing the Internet through the District network. An administrator or teacher may deactivate the filter if needed for bona fide research or other educational purposes. However, website filtering is a function of the District network and does not automatically limit access when connected to the Internet by means other than the District network. To address filtering concerns off campus, parents may opt-in to a mirrored filtering option that mirrors in-school filtering at home. Access the Home Filtering Option Form on the Documents and Forms page to request mirrored filtering on your child’s laptop computer.  Parents/guardians are advised to always monitor web usage when the laptop computer is used at home.

What are the consequences for inappropriate use?

Student use of laptop computers is  governed by School Board Policy No. 815: Acceptable Use of Technology and the Internet and School Board Policy No. 224: Care of School Property. Misuse or inappropriate use or treatment of a laptop computer or any accessories will result in discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Will the laptop computers come with Microsoft Office software?

No. Students and teachers will be using iWork and Falcon Apps (Google Apps for Education) as their productivity suite – word processing, presentation, spreadsheet software. Students and faculty have had access to these tools for several years. To purchase Microsoft Office for each laptop computer would be prohibitively expensive. The skills students need to develop with productivity software can be developed with iWork and Falcon Apps just as well as with Microsoft Office.

Will students be able to install software on the laptop computer?

No. Installing software on District computers is not permitted by School Board Policy No. 815: Acceptable Use of Technology and the Internet. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook. All necessary software will be installed when the laptop computers are distributed to students prior to the start of the school year.

Will students be able to use the laptop computers for Internet access at home?

The laptop computers are equipped with an Ethernet card and an Airport wireless card (802.11b/g). If parents have a home network, students can connect the laptop computer to the network through Ethernet (Ethernet cable) or Airport (wireless network). Parents are responsible for monitoring student Internet usage at home. Parents are advised to learn about and make use of any appropriate parental controls available through the home Internet Service Provider (ISP). Parent workshops will be offered throughout the year, including information on how to track Internet history. Internet access at home is optional and not required. Student laptop computers are also able to connect to the Internet using open wireless networks in the community. However, these are inherently less secure and activity cannot be easily monitored. Parents should determine appropriate use of open wireless networks with their student(s). The District has compiled a list of local businesses/organizations offering open wireless access. To view this list, please visit the Local Wireless Hotspots page on this site.

What if students do not have internet access at home?

The District has compiled a list of local businesses/organizations offering open wireless access. To view this list, please visit the Local Wireless Hotspots page on this site. In addition, the District is studying options to provide evening access to school libraries where internet access would be available.

Will there be training for students?

Students and teachers have been using Macbook laptop computers in each grade level for the past five years. Students and teachers are familiar with the Mac operating system and many of the software programs. Rather than taking computer classes to learn all the features of a software program, the District philosophy is for students to learn software as it is needed to complete various projects. Teachers will build short tutorials into lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using software. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about a particular software.

How will students save work they create on their laptop computer?

Students will be provided with storage space on the District servers.  All work should be completed locally on the laptop computer and backed up to the District server on a regular basis when in school. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly back-up critical files. The District assumes no responsibility for lost work due to computer issues such as a hard drive crash.  Students must remember to back-up critical work frequently! Students may also consider using personal back-up devices such as thumb drives or external hard drives. Remember: Students are responsible for their own data back-up!

Will students be provided with an email address?

Yes. Student will have access to email through Falcon Apps and the domain. Many students have accessed email through Falcon Apps in previous school years. All students received login and password information previously. Those new to Falcon Apps can learn more about email and all the available Google apps by visiting the STSD Technology Help Site.

Can students use an iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera with the laptop computer? Can students load music and photos on the computer?

Yes. Students may connect their iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera to their issued computer. Students will also be able to store legally obtained music and digital photos on the laptop computer. While all students will be allotted data storage space through the District network, music, photos and movies, unless part of a completed project, should not be backed-up on District servers.

Can a student use their own accessories with the laptop computer?

Yes. The laptop is equipped with two USB ports and one Firewire port.

Do students need to have a printer at home?

Students do not need to own a printer since print services will be available in various locations throughout the school. For those students who want to connect to a USB printer at home with the laptop computer, many printer drivers are already pre-installed on the laptop computer. Students may set up their home printer to work with the laptop computer. However, depending on the printer brand and age, it may or may not work. We expect printing to be significantly reduced as a result of this initiative. Remember, all students can share files electronically with teachers and fellow students. If you experience difficulties connecting a home printer, via USB or wirelessly, please contact your computer technician.

Can students use the laptop computer over the summer?

No. All laptop computers will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation. The summer process provides for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings. Since the laptop computers will be re-imaged, critical data will need to be backed-up on District servers or your own personal storage device (i.e. thumb drive, external hard drive) prior to turning the laptop in for the summer. Students and parents/guardians will be informed of summer collection procedures near the end of each school year.

Will all teachers be expected to use the laptop computers with students?

All staff have a laptop computer and the training to support its use as a learning tool. It is also important to realize that some subjects lend themselves more to use of technology than others. As the initiative develops, the District recognizes that teachers will develop new strategies and skills to best determine when and how to use technology. The expectation is not to use the laptop computer as often as possible, but to use it when it improves learning. The District expects to see increased appropriate use from both teachers and students. Teachers and administrators will continue to participate in professional development to further develop an understanding of effective use of technology in teaching and learning.

How will TL2014 be evaluated?

Many different instruments (surveys; classroom observations; focus groups with teachers, students, principals and parents) will be used to collect data. Data will be regularly analyzed to determine the effectiveness of implementation and progress toward the goals of TL2014. A report will be provided annually to the school board and community summarizing the progress of the initiative. The web site will also serve as a tool to track incremental progress of the initiative. It is expected to take three years to fully realize the goals of the initiative.

Will a student have the same laptop computer while they are in Middle School/High School?

Yes. Student laptop computers will be collected at the end of each school year for required service and re-imaging. Students will receive the same laptop at the start of the following school year.

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