Welcome to the Mid-Peninsula High School Technology Information Page
We have endeavoured to create a page that will help answer your questions with regard to your student bringing his/her own laptop/netbook computer next year. Please scroll down this page for our Statement of Technology and FAQ. Please let us know if you have further questions.
Mid-Peninsula High School Statement of Technology
At Mid-Peninsula High School we believe that education is an important part of a person's life, not just during high school, but throughout one's entire life. As a community for learning we believe that incorporating the understanding and use of technology as part of every day living is important to help support students in our goal to create learning in a stimulating and safe environment while empowering them to reach their full academic and social potential.
We firmly believe that the curriculum should drive the technology. Technology should not drive the curriculum. We plan to work as a community to create good technology habits and promote life-long learning through the use of the available technology and to learn to grow and change as technology changes as part of a learning process.
Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year all Mid-Peninsula High School students have been required to bring their own laptop or netbook computer (referred to as computers in the rest of this document) to school for use during the school day. It is the expectation that all students will do this and that computers will be available, fully charged during their classes. Families are expected to provide a computer for their student, including any extra power sources, antivirus, or peripherals that the family desires. While students may not use their computers in every class, it is anticipated that as we normalize this process that teachers will be using them more and more frequently. During the day while not in class students may use their computers in an appropriate manner as long as it does not break the acceptable usage policy for the school.
Students will be required to have LanSchool on their computers. This is a program that enables teachers' to monitor students' computers as well as providing technology to enable teachers and students to use computers to share and collaborate within the classroom. LanSchool will ONLY work on-site at the school, it will NOT work outside of our facility.
LanSchool will be provided by Mid-Peninsula High School and installed after Orientation or during the first week of school. For questions about LanSchool please contact Anne Marie or check their website at: http://www.stone-ware.com/lanschool. Please be aware that we are not implementing all of the features. Again, contact Anne Marie with any questions that you have.
Many families already have a laptop for their student. It is not required for the family to purchase a new laptop as long as the one that the student has meets the basic requirements (please see FAQ below).
Frequently Asked Questions:
17. How can my computer be protected from damage, loss, or theft during the day?
Any laptop or netbook, Windows or Mac, that meets the minimum requirements is acceptable. Tablets are not acceptable for regular school work. Chromebooks are acceptable EXCEPT if planning on pursuing Music Theory (software requires MAC or Windows)
We highly recommend a netbook. Netbooks are small and light. They are great for Internet and yet have limited uses for heavy gaming (fewer distractions for those concerned about this). Netbooks are also very inexpensive.
Not if your computer meets the minimum specifications listed in this document. If it does not meet the minimum specifications you may upgrade your computer or purchase a new one. Students may bring Apple or Microsoft operating systems, or a Chromebook (unless planning on taking Music Theory - requires Apple/Windows OS). LINUX is not compatible at this time nor are tablets (android or Apple).
You are free to purchase any computer or netbook as long as it meets the minimum specifications. For PC’s Best Buy and Dell (online) are good places to purchase. If you are interested in a Mac you can purchase these either online via Mac or at an Apple store. The cost will depend upon your configuration.
Currently we do not for PCs. Dell and Apple both offer student discounts for computers.
See the table below. If your current device meets these specifications, or if you upgrade it to these specifications, you do not have to purchase a new computer. Only Microsoft or Apple operating systems are accepted at this time. Linux is not compatible with some of our software nor are tablets. Chromebooks ARE acceptable (unless taking Music Theory)
a) An extended warranty (preferably with accidental damage).
b) Theft and hazard insurance (usually available on a home insurance policy).
c) External CD/DVD to create backup disks and load software (if not on computer).
d) High capacity/extended battery if available.
e) Additional AC power adapter if you’d like one for home and one for school.
f) Headset/ear buds.
g) Protective sleeve or case.
h) Cleaning cloth (microfiber).
Laptop computers will be purchased and owned by families.
Families that cannot afford a computer should contact the Head of School, Doug Thompson (email@example.com, 650-321-1991) to discuss your financial situation.
The expected life of a computer is three to four years. Transportation and daily use subject laptop computers to hazards, and even the best cared for machines will begin to fail. If your student enters as a freshman, it is hoped that the computer will last the entire four years that he/she is at Mid-Peninsula. However, it might be necessary due to natural wear and tear to replace the computer.
Incoming freshmen will receive training in study skills class. Older students will receive training per the determination of the Core teacher. Students may request time with the Director of Technology to go over “care and feeding” that can help to keep their units in good running order.
Yes. One of the benefits of the laptop/netbook computer is that it is portable. This means that it should be available at home and school. Some classes may require homework that will need the computer.
No. You do not need wireless Internet at home. Please be certain you’re your laptop/netbook has an Ethernet port if you have wired access at home. If you have no Internet access at home please check the website for a map of local free wireless access in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area. Please be aware that many McDonald’s and Starbuck’s now offer free WiFi.
It is your computer and you may install software. You should be an administrator on your own computer and may install your own applications and use them provided that they do not violate the school’s acceptable use policy.
a) LanSchool (a classroom monitoring/sharing software provided by MPHS)
b) You need antivirus.
c) You need Chrome (the Google browser free online download).
d) Some teachers’ may require Smart Notebook. This is licensed by Mid-Peninsula and will be provided in class.
e) Music Theory students will be required to download provided software.
a) You should keep a record of your computer make/model/serial number at home for identification purposes.
b) You should place an identifying name tag on your computer with first and last names.
c) You should keep your netbook/laptop with you, in your backpack, during the day.
d) Use a protective sleeve/cover/case for your netbook/laptop.
e) Netbooks/laptops left unattended may be confiscated by staff. They will be returned to the student per the identifying tag. Parents may be notified if this is a regular occurrence.
Theft of a laptop is a legitimate concern. We suggest that families determine if their homeowner’s policy will cover the theft of a laptop. Families may purchase theft insurance on their own through companies such as Safeware or Student Insurance Partners.
We recommend that you purchase an extended warranty for your computer at the time that you buy the computer.
If the computer breaks it should be brought to the Director of Technology who will attempt to diagnose and fix the problem if possible. If not, a computer will be loaned to the student with the understanding that the student will get his/her computer repaired as soon as possible.
The Director of Technology will also recommend the next steps to be taken towards fixing the computer which may include sitting with the student and contacting the manufacturer.
MPHS hopes to implement a student helpdesk service to be available during break and lunch.
All school work at Mid-Peninsula High School should be done using our Google Apps. Google Apps backs up files. If you have personal files on the netbook/laptop you might consider a regular backup for those files.
It is expected that you will come to school with a fully charged battery. If you need to charge your battery during class, power strips will be available. You are expected to use your battery power in a way that you can conserve the amount that you need for an entire day.
It is recommended that you purchase an extended use battery.
An extra battery is always helpful. Careful monitoring of your battery use during the day should be sufficient and provide battery power for about 2 years. Batteries are expensive. There should be sufficient access to power strips to recharge during the day if you find it necessary.
This can be true; however, as we move forward the intent is to provide more access to text books using digital formats. This may also be a reason to choose a netbook rather than a laptop as they are much lighter.
Your laptop may be used anywhere in the building. Please remember that you must adhere to all rules even during break, Core, and lunch. All computer use is subject to our usage policy.
You may listen to any music or video that is on your computer. You should do so with earphones/headphones only. You may not stream (play off of the Internet) music or videos. During class time this will be at the teacher’s discretion.
MPHS faculty receives regular training to use our on-site systems as well as Google Apps training. There are regular opportunities for attending conferences and workshops which also pertain to using technology on campus. The Director of Technology works directly with teachers to support the computers in the classroom.
Currently the majority of our teachers use computers regularly. How often computers are used will depend on the teacher and curriculum. As more digital texts and website offerings become available, there will be even more usage.
As computers are currently being used in classrooms now, and teachers are able to monitor classroom activity, we do not anticipate major issues with inappropriate use of computers in school. Issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis as with any disciplinary issue at Mid-Peninsula.
We are also requiring access to install LanSchool on all student computers. LanSchool is a software that allows for laptop monitoring by the teacher as well as providing a host of other services available to the teacher, such as limiting accessibility to programs, providing online tests, and sharing what is being viewed on one monitor with the entire class. This software does NOT work outside of the school. It is strictly for on-site use.
Forgetting your computer is tantamount to forgetting your homework and will be treated in the same manner. Teachers may base grades and credit on homework, and forgetting your computer may compromise grade/credit. If a student regularly forgets his/her computer, further action might be taken.
Some of our computers on our carts are ready to be retired. Others that are not may be kept as loaners for students who have broken computers. The EC will continue to have desktop computers focusing on assistive technology.