A 1-to-1 learning environment is necessary to achieve one of our strategic goals to “prepare our students to be global citizens and leaders of the 21st century.” In the 2012-2013 academic year, the Upper School began an exciting, year-long transition to a 1-to-1 learning environment, and preparations are underway for the Middle School's transition to the 1-to-1 environment in 2014-2015. As part of this program, a laptop will become a required component of every student’s tool kit.
2012-2013: Each Upper School student is required to have access to the internet and a computer at home.
2013-2014: Each Upper School student will be required to bring a laptop to school each day.
2013-2014: Each Middle School student will be required to have access to the internet and a computer at home.
2014-2015: Each Middle School student will be required to bring a laptop to school each day.
This initiative is going to bring about exciting changes in the Upper School and Middle School programs and help our students to learn in some new challenging and creative ways.
For hardware/software recommendations that will meet the system requirements of our Upper School 1-to-1 learning environment in the Fall of 2013, please visit our Pingry 1-to-1 Technology Tools Center.
Q: What is a 1-to-1 learning environment?
A: In a 1-to-1 environment, each student has a networked laptop that connects them with their teachers, fellow students and classmates, outside experts, and coursework resources. A 1-to-1 environment opens new avenues for learning while also making it easier to take full advantage of standard teaching practices. As a result, learning is much more active and student-centered. The power of technology is unleashed as a critical tool for learning, research, collaboration, communication, and self-expression. At Pingry, a 1-to-1 learning environment is defined appropriately for each division. In the Lower School, students now have access during the school day to iPads and laptops in their classrooms and media center. They also now have access to laptops, iPads, and desktop units in the computer lab. In Fall 2013 (Upper School) and Fall 2014 (Middle School), all students will have continuous access to a laptop computer for use at school and at home.
Q: Many Upper School and Middle School students already bring laptops to the school. How is a 1-to-1 learning environment different?
A: Over the past few years, technology use has become ubiquitous at Pingry with more and more Upper School and Middle School students bringing and using laptops on a daily basis. We have many teachers incorporating the use of technology into their instruction. For example, a teacher may require that students have Internet access for research or course materials, or students may be asked to submit assignments digitally. However, with a 1-to-1 program in place, all Upper School and Middle School students and teachers have specific hardware and core software capabilities to create a more dynamic learning environment that can be shared with ease and which empowers each student equally. Technology requirements essentially become standardized across the board so that the playing field will be leveled and all students and teachers will be utilizing the same technology.
Q: Why is Pingry requiring a laptop instead of an iPad, tablet, or smart phone for classroom use?
A: Currently, these types of devices are primarily intended to be used for content consumption—web browsing, online reading, etc. At this time, they will simply not support the level of content creation and synthesis required of Pingry students. The amount of storage space, the absence of a physical keyboard, the lack of standard ports for memory sticks/software/projectors, and the overall software compatibility issues are all limitations that curb the potential for these types of devices to be used as effective learning tools. However, we will continue to evaluate these technologies as further advances are made that may eventually bring them up to the standards of today's laptops.
Q: Does it matter which operating system my child’s laptop runs?
A: The Pingry 1-to-1 program is platform independent. Students may use any operating system that meets the 1-to-1 laptop requirements. The Pingry Technology Department recommends the Mac or Windows operating system.
Q: Will my child be using eBooks in any courses?
A: Each academic department is exploring the feasibility of using eBooks in addition to or in lieu of traditional textbooks. Whenever possible, departments will give students the option to use eBooks for their courses. Unfortunately, many publishers have simply not yet provided eBooks for their courses.
Q: Will any departments require special hardware or software for their courses?
A: Depending on your child’s future course selections, the software requirements may vary. Any course-specific hardware or software requirements will be explained in the Curriculum Guide.
Q: How will my child get the training they need to use technology tools effectively?
A: At the start of the school year, students who need assistance will be provided with the basic training they need to begin using their laptops at Pingry. The training they receive will include instruction on connecting to the wireless network, accessing Pingry’s email, managing power, backing-up files, and installing/updating software that is licensed through Pingry. Additional technology skills such as graphing data, creating a presentation, and/or using research databases will be provided by teachers on an as-needed basis for a particular course. Students may also seek assistance from the Student Technology Council and the Technology Department.
Q: Will students be using their laptops every day in all their courses?
A: Laptops may not necessarily be used every day in every course. As they always do, teachers will make choices about which tools are most appropriate to achieve the learning goals for a particular lesson.
Q: What will Upper School students (Fall 2013) and Middle School students (Fall 2014) be expected to do at home to be prepared to use their laptops as learning tools?
A: Students will be expected to back-up their files each night, bring their laptop to school fully charged to be ready for the day, and regularly update all software.
Q: Does Pingry provide financial support to families in order for them to purchase the required hardware/software for students to use as learning tools?
A: Students applying for financial aid who do not have a laptop for school use that meets the minimum requirements may apply for a one-time technology grant. The amount of an awarded technology grant will be based on the level of a family's demonstrated financial need and may cover up to 90% of the cost of a new laptop—approximately $1,200 for a new Windows-based machine that meets Pingry's recommended specifications for the 2013-2014 school year. The laptop will be purchased through Pingry; however, the laptop will be owned and maintained by the family and will not be the property of the school. Any cost not covered by the laptop grant will be billed to the student account and subject to Pingry's normal payment policies.
Families who do not qualify for financial aid may also apply for a one-time technology grant. However, to be eligible for consideration for a one-time technology grant, families must complete a financial aid application in the year they are applying for the technology grant.
Families may apply for a one-time technology grant in any year. However, technology grants may be awarded to a student only once while attending the Middle School and once at the Upper School, assuming a laptop typically has a lifespan of three to four years. Families of Middle School students may apply for a laptop grant beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
One-time technology grants are submitted online in conjunction with the normal financial aid process. Completed grant applications are due by January 9, 2013. The Financial Aid Committee reviews all financial aid and laptop grant applications. Newly enrolled students with demonstrated need may be given priority when considering one-time technology grants.
Laptop grant decisions will be communicated to families via email by the first week in April.
For more information on the financial aid application process and access to the laptop grant application, please visit the Applying for Financial Aid page.
All requirements and specifications will be reviewed on an annual basis. NOTE: The Pingry School 1-to-1 program is platform independent. Pingry recommends and can assist with support for Mac OS or MS Windows. Generally, laptops with 2-4 GB RAM and a functional wireless card are able to meet specifications.
In order to satisfy the requirements of Pingry’s 1-to-1 program, a student’s laptop must be able to:
1. Run required course-specific software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite*, LoggerPro (Science), MathType (Math), etc. *Please be aware that Adobe’s Creative Suite (CS6) places greater demand on your hardware and will affect the overall performance of your laptop. It is recommended that RAM be a minimum of 8 GB.
2. Connect to Pingry wireless Internet
3. Create presentations and save them as.pptx file type (Microsoft Office standard)
4. Word process and save files as.docx file type (Microsoft Office standard)
5. Create spreadsheets and charts and save them in.xlsx file type (Microsoft Office standard)
6. View and submit course related images such as .jpg, .gif, .png, etc.
7. View course related videos via Internet services such as YouTube or Vimeo, or in common formats such as .avi and .mp4
8. Listen to or produce course related audio (podcasts) - .mp3
9. Access Pingry web pages/Moodle/e-mail/library databases
10. Backup all files on a daily basis via external storage
11. Protect against malware, spyware, and other viruses
12. Allow the student to perform tasks such as adding printers or downloading software
13. Utilize webcam and microphone with proper software for recording video and audio
14. View any necessary ebooks
15. Have enough battery life to use in class—even if a charging outlet is not available
Make sure you have gone over the Pingry 1-to-1 Laptop Checklist
Q: What do I bring to school each day?
• A fully charged laptop that meets the above mentioned specifications
• Protective case, power adapter, and a VGA video adapter if necessary
• Each item must be clearly labeled with your name
Q: What if I am buying a new laptop for use in this program?
(Note: The recommendation below is only for families purchasing new laptops. If you currently own a laptop, please confirm that it meets the minimum requirements outlined above.)
The Pingry School Technology Committee recommends that families purchasing a NEW laptop choose a machine with at least the following specifications:
• RAM: 8GB
• Hard Drive: 240GB or higher
• Processor: Intel Core i5 or higher
• Wireless Card: 802.11n
• Warranty Extension / Accidental Coverage
- External hard drive
- Laptop case or laptop sleeve to protect in backpack
- Identification tag
- VGA adapter (if necessary)