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#1 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if anyone's kids are required to carry a laptop to and from school.  What have been your experiences?  How about damage?  Do you have insurance on them?  Do they have problems with the weight of them (and if so, do they use a roller bag?).  Things I need to know in advance?

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#2 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nobody?  Um... O.K.  Guess I'm solo on this.  I'm sure we'll figure it out.

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#3 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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My kids uses one in school per his request and it it is on his IEP.

 

No insurance . We jut bought a cheap one.  He has a neoprene sleeve and put it inside his backpack

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#4 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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the kids don't bring their own laptops here, they are provided from the school. They stay at the school.  The kids are assigned one & they are responsible for it's care while they are using it, but they are used by all the kids in the school.

 

If we had to bring one ourselves, you bet there'd be insurance on them.  A laptop would be easy to steal.

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#5 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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You can get a laptop lock. Insurance costs do not always worth it. You can get a great machine for $300 now

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#6 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 02:42 AM
 
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My son is homeschooled but he has his own laptop and it goes many places with him.  I've never had a problem with him and his laptop- he's had it going on 2 years now and hes going to be 11.

 

OP- If I remember correctly your child goes to a private school.  Many private schools around here provide electronics for students but hold the parents/students accountable for any damages (as do public schools).  Some schools require students and families to provide these on their own but with certain requirements so the students can all log on to the school server, everyone has the same operating system, the same word processor software etc.   

 

I would guess if your school is starting to require electronics they have a group buying plan, similar to uniforms where by xx/xx/xx date all orders must be in for $xxx.xx price type of thing from xyz company.

 

I do not have insurance on kiddo's laptop (or mine).  Kiddo has the same software as mine and the house has wireless.  Kiddo is able to go to the library with his laptop and has no problem getting on to the server there, same with the local sandwich shoppe/ Starbucks type place.  We both have laptop bags, I have a shoulder bag and DS has a backpack that is made for laptops.  I am due for a new battery but after 3 yrs that's not too bad.  I think I paid around $600 for mine and less than $350 for DS.  Mine was a price match at Best Buy and DS was a sale at Staples.

 

I also have a NookColor that has wireless as does my phone.  There is no shortage of internet capabilities around here.

 

Has the school given you any parameters for what they want?

 

Forgot to add, the electronics are covered under my renters policy.  I think it was an extra $10/year.  (This covers theft)  Both computers came with a 1 yr warranty from the manufacturer.


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#7 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses.  Zebra - you got it right.  And yes, we do have guidelines.  They are requiring Apple MacBooks.  She'll need it next year and we are saving now to buy it.  I hadn't thought to check and see if we could get a rider on our homeowner's insurance (or that it may already be covered), so that helps Zebra.  I will definitely look into that.

 

Right now I need to get dd a new backpack and was wanting something that would protect the laptop well.  A neoprene sleeve seems reasonable enough.  They are not allowed to leave them at school.  With the MacBook, the battery is integrated, so they have to bring it home to recharge every night.  So, on top of everything else she carts back and forth to school, this is going to add yet more weight, so we need to get a roller backpack, I think.  Any suggestions?

 

We actually bought a laptop for her a year ago, so were a little dismayed that this has come up.  However, my laptop is 7 years old (but still working... albeit slowly), so we're just going to hand down her laptop to me and she'll get the MacBook.  We don't have insurance on our current laptops, but the school is suggesting it, so I wasn't sure if it would be worth it.  I hadn't thought of all of the possibilities of what can happen to them, so thank you for your comment about it possibly being stolen, Carrie.

 

Again, thanks to all for your comments!!

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#8 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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How old is your daughter? In terms of how much weight can she carry and how responsible would she be with it?

 

A laptop required for school?! Wow! Is this common? DD is still in kindergarten, we are not in the U.S. DD is allowed to play little educational games on the table computer, they are not allowed to touch my macbook - ever? (They killed two laptops, at least financially by taking the letters of - the repair would have been more expensive than a new laptop)


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#9 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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Wow, my ds is in high school and is not required to bring a laptop to and from school. The school understands that not every family can afford a computer and so has a system in place to ensure all students have fair computer and internet access and bussing after school. They certainly don't have the expectation that every child will have a $1000 personal laptop that will be lugged to and from school every day. Elementary aged school children certainly are not required to have a personal computer and the school also allows ample time for students who don't have computers at home to complete assignments in class or during breaks if absolutely necessary.

 

Does your daughter attend a private school?

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#10 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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A few of the private schools here require laptops, but the textbooks are loaded on them, so they actually have less to carry. No heavy books to cart back and forth! Also, at these schools it is part of the tuition.

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#11 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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I also know a few private schools that have a universal laptop policy. They have group purchasing plans for better pricing, but it's not mandatory to participate. At ps, my dc have a few friends who have used personal laptops because of IEPs. I think they have used neoprene sleeves for protection and carried them in their backpacks. If you must invest in an expensive model, then insurance is a good idea. 

 

Roller backpacks can be clumsy and awkward. It's been a few years (my dc are in high school now), but I'm pretty sure that roller backpacks were not allowed at one middle school because they were considered a hazard in crowded hallways. Maybe they were allowed, but definitely there were complaints. They are also pretty much useless in snow and ice. Since the roller assembly adds weight, they were actually less functional during winter months than a regular backpack. I don't know what kind of weather you have, but it's a consideration.

 

 

 

 

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#12 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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Why on earth would they require a macbook?  What's wrong with any other cheaper brand?

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#13 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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ds's school has a program in place where they provide every student with a laptop that they can use from 6th grade through graduation. they have to turn it in over the summer for upgrades and repair. the school carries insurance on all of them but the parents are required to pay for damages that are not covered, like replacing charge cords. they supply a padded carry case for them too. it cut down on the books he had to carry by half. so his bag is not loaded anymore. they ran into big problems the first year with unapproved internet access etc, so they had to restrict alot of stuff on them.


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#14 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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There are many more programs that run off of macs than Pcs. (I don't have a mac, but I was on a textbook adoption committee and this is what we were told)

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#15 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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I think it's odd that they are requiring a Mac.  Also, can they not leave the laptops at school, then?  I would have just got a cheapie $200 ish netbook if it were my kid... but I guess that's not good enough for that particular school.  Many schools (usually middle, high, and colleges) only use Mac's, but, they are bought by the school and remain in the labs/classrooms.

 

Are you thinking about a macbook air? That would be light enough and small enough to fit in the laptop sleeve most higher quality backpacks have.  My DS has a nice OGIO brand bag that would adequately protect a laptop.  It doesn't roll, though. Even my cheaper LL Bean messenger bag has a spot for a laptop. I'm not sure what extra weight you are talking about - the batteries last many hours, so a charger/cord wouldn't even be needed at school. The macbook air is lightweight - less than many textbooks.


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#16 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Drummer's Wife... dd's backpack is already heavy without the computer.  She takes her lunch in a stainless steel lunchbox has a water bottle (and the water adds weight), gym clothes, and all of the rest of her school work.  The extra weight I'm talking about is the computer itself adding to her already heavy backpack.  I will check out that link.  Thank you!

 

Yes, the MacBook is required (I asked about an iPad and they said it's not powerful enough to do what they plan, but have not asked about a MacBook air).  Yes, it's private school.  Yes, we buy the machine and the child owns it and keeps it (over the summer, etc.).  It's not part of tuition but is required.  They want to go with one platform and have a standard set of software that will be installed by the school (yes Lioness, there will be some restrictions, but as this is new, dh and I *are* curious how they are going to enforce that).

 

Thanks again, all.

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#17 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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theft is the main reason I suggested the insurance would be a good idea.  

 

I get the use of macs in schools.  There are so many educational apps that they can get.  Our division had ipods that the classes can sign out & a couple of ipads.  They have netbooks for all schools & compared to a mac they suck.  for school use there is just no comparison.

 

apple always has back to school deals for students.

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#18 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

theft is the main reason I suggested the insurance would be a good idea.  

 

I get the use of macs in schools.  There are so many educational apps that they can get.  Our division had ipods that the classes can sign out & a couple of ipads.  They have netbooks for all schools & compared to a mac they suck.  for school use there is just no comparison.

 

apple always has back to school deals for students.



Thanks Carrie.  So it sounds like it is best to wait until the beginning of school next year to purchase.  That works out well, anyway.  We're going to put a little back each month for it with dd participating.  We want her to not think of it as just another pad of paper in her backpack, but to realize it's an expensive piece of equipment that's going to need additional TLC.  We won't be buying it anytime soon, anyway.  It's not required yet (she's in 4th) but they suggest it for this year.  We're um... ignoring their suggestion at this time and will wait until it's required.

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#19 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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Oh, I didn't think of all the other stuff she has to bring. Duh, sorry! My kids are in Montessori and dont bring textbooks, gym clothes, or lunches most days, so they only have a folder or binder to cart around. A rolling bag would be good, im thinking, but make sure the school allows them (I guess some don't).

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#20 of 29 Old 08-27-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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since you own it and stuff, you should think about a parental program to monitor and restrict certain activities.


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#21 of 29 Old 08-27-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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That's another reason to homeschool, hth!


How on earth is this helpful? This is forum for parents who've chosen (for whatever reason) a brick and mortar school. Homeschooling does not work for everyone. If you wish to tout the benefits of homeschooling, please keep your comments to the homeschooling board.


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#22 of 29 Old 08-27-2011, 04:30 PM
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Anirbas, your participation is showing itself to be for adversarial purposes. Your membership is no longer welcome.


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#23 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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velochic also see if you know a teacher or proff. i cant remember if you are a proff or not. with a teachers discount and your child using it for school discount its quite a large discount. also check the univ. store in your city. they have large discounts too - in my city i think its around april if i remember right. do you also have to buy the editing and other programs?

 

on the backpack issue. is your dd interested in changing backpacks every year. or is she perfectly happy with one for the next few years?

 

there are lots of roller backpacks out there. the gap or old navy one is crap. get a decent one with decent wheels. but yeah definitely get a rolling backpack. i have noticed the ones in dd's school mostly are jansports. for 4th grade dd will have two backpacks. one rolling for all the heavy books and the shoulder for her other lighter books and school supplies. they get hw over the weekend for the first time so they have to bring heavy books home. i would not try to get one giant roller bp, rather two mediums. i have noticed 4th graders struggle to use giant rolling backpacks. 


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#24 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by velochic View Post

They want to go with one platform and have a standard set of software that will be installed by the school (yes Lioness, there will be some restrictions, but as this is new, dh and I *are* curious how they are going to enforce that).

 


That makes sense to me. I can really see why they want all the kids to use the same platform and software.

 

Laptops are optional at my kids private school and they have strict rules about what can and can't be done on them while at school. It's enforced the same way as other rules. If a child is seen doing something that isn't allowed, they get talked to, their parents get talked to, etc. Since they are not required but considered a privilege, kids who continue to break the rules are not allowed to have them at school.

 

Since your school will be loading software on them and I suspect, networking them, they may be adding in ways to check what is done on them. My DH's company does this. His IT department monitors how many internet hits each user has each month, for example, and can check ALL email.

 

It does seem odd to me that they aren't buying them in bulk to get a discount.


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#25 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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It does seem odd to me that they aren't buying them in bulk to get a discount.


That's true. And if the school bought them, couldn't they avoid paying sales tax?

 

I think for carrying a laptop, I would want a hard side case, maybe something like an instrument case? My daughter has banged her clarinet case around and the clarinet has always been fine.

 

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#26 of 29 Old 08-30-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Not sure if this is what you need, but I saw backpacks in the Lands End catalog with built-in space for lap tops :)


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#27 of 29 Old 09-06-2011, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Not sure if this is what you need, but I saw backpacks in the Lands End catalog with built-in space for lap tops :)



This is what we ended up getting.  (Free, with cc points!!)  Thanks for the tip!   The laptop sleeve is removable, so for this year, we can keep the sleeve out and use it next year.

 

Linda - we are getting a group discount when we buy them.  I agree about the school buying them.  That was the ORIGINAL plan.  The school would buy them.  But then they changed their tune.

 

A lot of things have happened this new school year that I am NOT happy about and this laptop initiative is one among many.

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#28 of 29 Old 09-09-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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You need to tell the school to look into this more.  It will be a hardship for some families to get the machine in the first place, but the school is not doing anything to help if they are not going to do a bulk purchase to get the best price.  I'd talk to the principal or board.  They need to negotiate the best price for the school and do the purchase.  Also, unless one person purchases all the machines, they won't have everyone on the exact same platform, specs, etc.

 

Jenn

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#29 of 29 Old 09-11-2011, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You need to tell the school to look into this more.  It will be a hardship for some families to get the machine in the first place, but the school is not doing anything to help if they are not going to do a bulk purchase to get the best price.  I'd talk to the principal or board.  They need to negotiate the best price for the school and do the purchase.  Also, unless one person purchases all the machines, they won't have everyone on the exact same platform, specs, etc.

 

Jenn


It's kind of funny that you say that the school needs to look into this more.  They did research for 2 years prior to instituting this policy, including going to Apple's 1:1 workshops to see how it works in action.  I honestly don't think they could have looked into it any more.  They did their homework.  Thoroughly.

 

Originally, the school was going to pay for it.  But it was still going to be included in the tuition.  Instead, they negotiated a deal with an Apple dealer and we DO get the group discount.  I don't understand what you mean when you say they won't be on the same platform and specs.  Obviously, they'll all be on the same platform because they're all Apples.  The specs have been given to the dealer, so he knows exactly what each student needs.  The IT department gets the computers and will put a standard software install (school's license) on all of the computers. 

 

We've already expressed our concerns to the Headmaster of the school.

 

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