1:1 Devices – Frequently Asked Questions
Is it compulsory to purchase a device for my child?
Participation in the scheme is compulsory for all students joining Queenswood in Year 7 in September 2022. This will be extended to include those entering Year 7, Year 9 and Year 10 in September 2023.
NEW My daughter will start Year 9 or 10 in September 2023, but she has broken or lost her current device. Am I able to purchase a Queenswood Chromebook in advance of the full rollout?
Yes, we will be happy to help you with this. Please contact [email protected] and we can facilitate your purchase through our educational partner.
Who owns the device?
Once you have paid for your child’s device through our partner, Edde Education, the device is yours. As part of the purchase you will be asked to sign up to a device usage policy on behalf of your child. You agree that the device will be managed by Queenswood for the duration of your child’s education at this school.
What happens if my child leaves Queenswood?
As the device has been paid in full, it is yours to keep. All management software installed by Queenswood would be removed at this point.
UPDATED Can I simply purchase the device myself from a retailer?
Sourcing the device centrally through Edde Education allows Queenswood to properly manage the device, purchase educational applications and extensions and push this out to all pupils which will maximise the security and educational potential of this device. It is not possible to do this on an unmanaged device. It also allows us to monitor device usage to ensure that the learning environment is secure and productive. Finally, it allows us to ensure the device is covered by an appropriate insurance policy. For these reasons, you must purchase the device through our partner, Edde Education.
UPDATED My child already has a device. Can they use this instead?
Teaching staff at Queenswood have been specifically trained to ensure learning opportunities are maximised on the Chromebook device. We have chosen this device as it allows the school to ensure separation of educational and personal content, reinforcing the rigour of the learning environment. The long battery life of the Chromebook means that a full day of lessons should be possible without the need for charging during the day. A single device also allows more effective support and better control over misuse. As lesson content and schemes of work are updated in the coming months and years, more and more content that is specific to Chromebook devices (for example activities based on Google Play Apps, or for which a touchscreen with stylus is required) will be built into our lesson planning, and as such devices from other manufacturers or ecosystems will be incompatible with the lesson content. For these reasons, you must purchase the Chromebook through our partner, Edde Education.
NEW I can source the device myself cheaper elsewhere.
The school has sourced the devices from a reputable supplier at a good price with guarantees on the quantity required and within our agreed timescales. Technology prices are inherently volatile, subject to currency variations and supply chain issues. There will be situations where an individual can purchase the device cheaper from a single supplier, the school is unable to mitigate or match this and in most cases these short term special offers are for limited quantities of devices and there is no option to set up an account for payment.
My child is on a bursary. What help is available?
Students who attend Queenswood on a bursary will be given commensurate help to pay for the cost of the device.
NEW Why should parents have to pay for this device when it is a requirement like a school desk? Why is it not being provided for free like other schools have done?
The school generates revenue from several sources but the vast majority is through fee income. It would be possible for the devices to appear to be “free” were the costs rolled into the fees, as some schools have done, but until the entire school is using these devices it is fairer to ask parents to contribute towards the cost of a device their child will own when they leave the school. As the pupil will own the device, it should be thought of as being more akin to a blazer, or a pen.
NEW What was the procedure for procuring this device?
Having conducted our due diligence on the exact device we wished to purchase, multiple suppliers were approached for quotes. We were able to further negotiate for a direct from manufacturer price given the significant size of our purchase, all the while price checking ourselves against comparable online suppliers. Technology prices are inherently volatile and subject to occasional discounting by retailers on small quantities of devices. Queenswood is not making any money from this device purchase and has never intended to do so. In fact, price variations that have occurred some time after we negotiated our purchase will see Queenswood make a contribution to the cost of each device.
UPDATED What is the rationale for choosing this specific device?
We have thought carefully about the merits of various devices before choosing the Chromebook. The key advantages of this device are long battery life, touchscreen, digital inking pen, flawless integration with our existing Google Classroom platform, physical robustness, software security, resilience to viruses and the familiarity of staff with how to best leverage this device towards better learning outcomes. The fanless design and cloud based OS also provide additional longevity that will provide an extended service life. The near instantaneous boot time and lack of time consuming software updates means that students will be ready to begin their lesson in a prompt and purposeful fashion, maximising the time they spend learning.
We carefully considered alternatives from the Apple and Windows ecosystems but these devices were deemed to not offer such an optimal combination of these features when balanced against their higher cost.
NEW What is the exact spec of the device?
The device chosen is an Asus CX5 Chromebook. The specification includes 14 inch FHD touchscreen, 11th gen Intel i3 processor, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, USB C connectivity and stowable rechargeable stylus. We have chosen this particular device following extensive research and feel it represents the optimal combination of functionality, battery life and portability.
NEW What is the weight of the device?
The device weighs 1.4kg. In future a standardised device will allow a wider rollout of electronic textbooks which will hopefully reduce the overall weight a student is carrying around with them.
NEW Does this mean I will have to purchase another device in addition to the Queenswood Chromebook for my child’s personal use?
Whilst the primary Google profile on the Chromebook will be a Queenswood profile and managed by Queenswood, enabling all of the advantages this entails, additional personal profiles can be added to the device which can be accessed out of school hours. These personal profiles are at parental discretion and would be unmonitored by Queenswood.
NEW Will the school supply software for the devices?
The devices will be pre-loaded with a suite of apps that we believe will be beneficial to establishing an engaging and immersive digital learning environment. These apps will be managed centrally by Queenswood and pupils will only be able to download pre approved apps onto their device.
NEW Are we limiting ourselves by buying Chromebooks?
Queenswood has been using the Google educational ecosystem for the past 7 years, and its use is already deeply embedded in our practice. Queenswood students are already using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to great effect. Google Classroom continues to be the frontrunner in the EdTech/VLE market and an equivalent product which allows content aggregation, detailed feedback and collaborative working along with virtual educational opportunities is simply not available as a single product from the other large players in this market. The Chromebook will allow us to take advantage of this system to a greater degree and we therefore see this move not as a limiting factor, but an opportunity.
UPDATED Is the device insured?
When you purchase the device through our partner, Edde Education, you will be asked to purchase an insurance policy through them. The key features of this insurance policy are that it covers the device against accidental damage, malicious damage, theft, flood and fire damage. Cover is provided worldwide and with no excess to pay. The full details of this insurance policy can be found on the Edde Education website. It is essential that your child's device is covered by an appropriate insurance policy, as the school cannot pay for the cost of any repairs that may be required. If a claim is required, it will be made by parents directly through Edde. NB The device must be kept in its supplied case at all times when in transit in order to be covered by the insurance policy. Loss of the device is not covered by the insurance policy and it is important that the device is cared for properly in school and stored in a locker when it is not in use. Insurance policies of differing duration will be offered so you can select one of appropriate length.
UPDATED I have my own home insurance policy – can I use this instead of purchasing another policy?
It is unlikely that your home insurance policy will cover the use of an educational device at Queenswood and cover it sufficiently against many of the minor mishaps that are reasonably possible to occur at school. As we move forwards with the 1:1 device programme and increase the integration of educational technology into our curriculum it is essential to pupil progress that every pupil has access to a functioning chromebook at all times. For this reason you must purchase the Edde Education insurance policy.
NEW How will you ensure my child does not fall behind if an insurance claim or repair is required?
The school will keep a small bank of identical devices which can be borrowed by pupils who are awaiting the repair of their own 1:1 device. This loan device remains the property of Queenswood and must be checked in and out of the IT support office at the beginning and end of each school day.
What evidence is there to support the use of personal devices in the classroom?
At Queenswood we are incredibly proud of the progress we have made in embedding technological usage and skills in our curriculum across the age range. We are constantly striving to build on this progress, and as such have closely reviewed the findings from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) which demonstrate a clear link between personal devices and improvements in metacognition, collaborative learning and feedback.
What technical support will be available to my child during the school day?
The IT team at Queenswood have been trained to provide support on this specific device. They will provide first line technical support to your child. If they are unable to help with technical support, a bank of spare devices will be available for students to use during school hours as a backup until their own device can be fully repaired. These backup devices must be returned to the IT department at the end of each school day and must not be taken home.
UPDATED Will charging points be available for the device?
Pupils are expected to charge their device overnight and arrive each morning with a fully charged device. The Chromebook has been chosen specifically due to its extremely long battery life. A sanction system will be in place if students consistently fail to charge their device. Limited charging facilities are available at Queenswood but the onus will be on the pupil to arrive each day with a fully charged device. In the unlikely event that a pupil arrives with a fully charged device and that device then does not last a day's use, limited charging facilities will be available.
How will you prevent device misuse that may prevent my child from learning?
Having a unified device will help the IT team at Queenswood to control the usage of the device. Chat functionality and social media will be restricted centrally and usage of the device will be restricted solely to education. Classroom teachers are trained in how to control the usage of personal devices properly to mitigate any misuse and we will follow the School Behaviour Policy. It is important to note that your child's school device profile will be monitored through a safeguarding application called Securus throughout the year, including when not on the school network. They will be able to set up a personal profile on the device for non educational use out of school, this is at parental discretion and we cannot monitor this.
NEW Why do students all have to have the same device when security can be achieved in other ways?
Whilst this may be true for some organisations, schools face unique challenges and regulations in monitoring the use of personal devices. This also ignores the key advantages of a single device beyond the security aspect, namely the enormous teaching and learning benefits of being able to build a robust curriculum around a single device that students and staff are familiar with, trained on, and will always be fully compatible with all lesson content. There are many other examples of uniformity of our expectations of students in the school and this is an extension of the expectation made in good faith to try to increase the educational benefits of devices in the classroom.
UPDATED Have you considered the impact of personal devices on written work, particularly in the light of handwritten exams?
Yes, this has been considered. In order to maintain writing skills, some lesson time will be dedicated to completing handwritten tasks. All mock exams will still be handwritten (unless an access arrangement allowing typing exists), as will many other pieces of work. By blending hand written work with device based tasks, we are able to extract the benefits of personal devices whilst protecting these key skills. The device has a touchscreen and a pen which can be used for e-inking. The likelihood is that increasingly in the future examinations will be sat on devices, hence the move to a 1:1 device allows us to prepare for that eventuality.
I am worried about my child developing RSI or neck injuries due to prolonged device usage. What will be done to mitigate this?
The adoption of Personal Device at Queenswood is part of a much longer term blending of technology into our teaching and learning. Over many years of device usage in classrooms, we have not seen any increase in either RSI or neck injuries. We do not envisage that devices will be used in every lesson or indeed for the entirety of a single lesson, so plenty of screen breaks will be built into the day. We will of course keep this under constant review as student welfare is at the centre of everything we do at Queenswood.
I am worried about disruption to sleep patterns caused by excessive device usage. What will be done to mitigate this?
The students will be given specific training on healthy device usage as part of their induction programme. As a general rule for all parents, we would advise that electronic devices are switched off at least 1 hour before the pupil goes to bed. This includes the Queenswood Chromebook.