In a 1:1 program, each student (Grades 8-12) brings his/her own device to be used at school. Every student chooses the laptop that best suits his/her needs, regardless of platform (PC or Mac).
Choosing the Right Laptop
Families have the option to acquire a laptop from any source, including:
- the Academy
- any retailer
- already owned
You want a device that LINKS you to a world of learning possibilities. The LINKS guide (below) will help you through the process of choosing a laptop that will accompany your student throughout the rest of his/her time at the Academy.
Is the device a true laptop with accessible file structure and adequate storage? If it’s an Android tablet, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Chromebook, it does not meet this criterion.
Does the device allow the user to communicate, collaborate, create, and consume through an Internet connection, microphone, and camera?
No more than 5 years old
Will your device be 5 years or younger at the time of graduation? Or, are you prepared to update it, so that it is not older than 5 years at any given time before graduation?
Does the device have a physical keyboard that’s comfortable to use for long stretches of writing?
Can software be installed on the device? Does the device support office productivity applications, consisting at a minimum of a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program?
If you can answer “yes” to all the above questions, then the device is ready for a digital learning environment at school and home.
PURCHASING A LAPTOP FROM THE ACADEMY
Each spring, Albuquerque Academy offers a laptop which meets the LINKS criterion. Check back in April if you are interested in learning more about the laptop that will be available for next year.
If you have questions, please contact Jim King (858-8860).
Questions About 1:1 Laptops
How much is adequate storage?
Students will need enough storage on their laptop to save the various documents and projects they’ll work on in a given school year. Additionally, there should be enough space to install software that some teachers may request. By definition, this will exclude Chromebooks.
Will the Academy back up my data?
No. Each student will be responsible for his/her laptop and the data on it. This means it would be prudent to consider a back-up plan, which could entail cloud storage or an external hard drive.
What is a file structure?
The file structure is the folders and sub folders where papers, pictures, and information are stored on a computer or laptop. Besides being a way to organize your documents and various files, many software applications require an accessible file structure in order to enjoy the full array of software features. In general, tablets make file structure inaccessible to the user and this can stymie the full functionality of some software, or in some cases make the software incompatible with the device.
Is there specific productivity software I should have on my laptop?
There are many options to choose from when it comes to productivity applications. Microsoft Office Suite is one example, but there are others, some of them free, such as Open Office. Please choose the office software that makes the best sense for you, keeping in mind that converting documents to Microsoft Office is critical, as it is most widely used by faculty. In addition, you should have access to the software without an Internet connection.
Does my 6-year-old laptop really not meet LINKS criteria?
The intent of recommending that laptops be four years or younger at the time of graduation is to ensure that students have a workable device until graduation. Families may opt to use an older machine, assuming that it is in decent working condition to perform all academic tasks assigned to the student and with the understanding that the laptop may reach the end of its useable life prior to graduation. Regardless, students will be responsible for having a working device both in and out of the classroom on a daily basis.
Is a convertible laptop allowed or is it considered a tablet?
A convertible laptop is one that can be converted into a tablet, usually by flipping the screen flat or by removing the screen entirely from the keyboard. It enjoys the benefits of both a laptop and a tablet, and since it can function as a fully integrated laptop, it meets the LINKS requirements.
Why are tablets not recommended?
Tablets are great for browsing the Internet, watching a video, or reading a book, making them quite handy for the consumption of media. But they can suffer from limitations in their ability to create lengthy or complex work due to their lack of a physical keyboard, small size, and inaccessible file structure.
Does my child really need a laptop?
Yes. As our world becomes more integrated through electronic communication and online resources, with ever greater emphasis upon data collection and management, and with the school’s adoption of a full Learning Management System (Canvas), it becomes imperative that our students be prepared for an ever changing technological environment. Having a personal laptop is becoming a necessary curricular tool in and out of the classroom, and will prepare students for the college learning experience.
What if I'm a numbers person, and I really just want straight up specs?
Here are some basic numbers to consider:
- RAM 4GB will be more than sufficient for the needs of students.
- A 128 GB hard drive will meet the storage needs of most students, while a 500 GB hard drive will be plenty of space for just about everyone.
- Smaller solid state drives (SSD’s) will meet the needs of just about everyone, as well.
ACADEMY NETWORK ACCESS
The Academy network and student accounts (email, z-drive, school printers, etc.) remain active in the one-to-one program.
When on campus, a student may use a school computer in a computer lab to access her account just as she does now, using her current username and password. For access to the network on a non-school computer, a student may visit the website http://access.aa.edu. After the site loads, the student should login using their Academy username and password. This site provides access to many useful Academy resources.
Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) at the Academy. Teachers may assign work and communicate with students through Canvas, so it is necessary that students access it on a regular basis. Each student has an account, which uses the same login information as the Academy Network, and each student is automatically registered in their school courses.
Albuquerque Academy is a Google Apps for Education school. You may access your Albuquerque Academy Google account by visiting drive.google.com and logging in with your Academy email address and password.
Albuquerque Academy, through our volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, provides access to Microsoft Office 365. Visit the website portal.office.com and log in with your Academy email address and password. On this site you will find instructional videos, access to cloud-based Office tools, as well as find links to download Microsoft Office to your laptop.
It is possible to print to most school printers using your laptop using Google Cloud Print™ services. To do this, visit the website http://www.google.com/cloudprint. If you are not logged into your Albuquerque Academy Google account, you must do so. In the top lefthand corner of that page, there’s a red “PRINT” button. Click it, choose “Upload File to Print” from the pulldown menu, and follow the directions to print. Note, if you have logged into Google with your personal Google account, you will NOT be able to access campus printers.Printers may be found in available computer labs on campus.
The two school networks available for student use are ChargerNet and Academy_Guest.
- ChargerNet is the preferred wireless network for students. When connecting to ChargerNet, you will need to supply your Academy username and password. ChargerNet is unfiltered and there is no pre-set limit on how much network bandwidth it can use.
- Academy_Guest is available to students, but not the preferred student wireless network. Some sites will be blocked and the bandwidth usage is subject to limits during high traffic periods.
Your laptop purchased through the Academy does not come with any preloaded software. It is your responsibility to download any software needed for school. At a minimum, every student needs to have access to a productivity suite, which includes word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation applications. Individual teachers may require purchase of additional software specific to the requirements of their courses and department.
The Academy does not backup any material on any student laptop. It is highly advisable that students adopt a backup plan of some sort, either through an external storage solution—such as an external hard drive—or a cloud-based solution.
It is important to note that students do have access to their school z-drives, where they may save documents, BUT it will be the responsibility of the student to manually save to it. The z-drive will not automatically save documents, nor will it generally back up a laptop.
Maintaining Your Laptop
PROTECTING YOUR LAPTOP
Your laptop is a powerful tool, both for school and personal use, but along with that power come delicate parts on the inside. Treat your laptop well, and it should serve you well for several years to come. Consider protecting it with a softcover or carrying case to minimize the risk of damage while transporting it.
Also keep in mind the existence of viruses, malware, and spyware on the internet. It is your responsibility to protect your laptop with antivirus software and to keep all software up-to-date with the latest security patches.
KEEPING YOUR LAPTOP CHARGED
You’ll want to get in the habit of regularly charging your laptop, so that it’s ready to go at school. When you’re finished using it for the day, be sure to plug it in to charge for the night. If you anticipate that you’ll need to do a boost-up charge at school, be sure you have your charger on hand. There are secure charging stations located in Brown Hall that allows you to lock up your laptop while it charges, however, you will need to provide your own lock.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR LAPTOP
- Organize files
- Regularly backup your files
- Install an antivirus product such as AVG or Avast, both of which are free products
- Update software regularly – Operating System, Antivirus, and Applications
ACADEMY LAPTOP WARRANTY
If you purchased a laptop from Albuquerque Academy, it comes with a comprehensive 3-year warranty (battery and power cord NOT included). If your laptop is in need of service, you have two options:
On-campus: Simply drop off the laptop at the Technology Helpdesk in the East Campus Administration Building to receive a loaner. In the meantime, we will take care of assessment and repair, and will send off the laptop for repair if necessary. We will notify you when your laptop is ready.
Off-campus: Alternatively, you may choose to handle the repair yourself. The best way to initiate a support call is to contact Lenovo Support at (800) 426-7378. Lenovo will direct you to the nearest repair center or provide other arrangements if no repair center is close to your location. Also, you may take your laptop directly to a local support center. We recommend either of the following two companies to handle your repair needs:
4117 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-3421
2731 Broadway Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107