Student technology

  • Students and staff use a variety of technologies to support learning. We've compiled below some questions and answers parents, students, and staff might have about students' access to technology in CSD.

Questions & answers

  • What kind of computer does my child need at home?

    Reliable at-home access to an internet-connected computer can support students' learning. The majority of students' homework can be completed with a device that runs a modern web browser and has reliable access to the internet; most Chromebooks and entry-level desktops and laptops easily meet that requirement, while high-end laptops and workstations exceed the requirements of most academic programs. CSD does not make purchasing recommendations for families, but for comparison purposes our students at various grade levels use the Apple MacBook Air, Apple iPad, Dell and HP Chromebooks, and Dell workstations.

     

    CSD recognizes that not all families have the means to provide their child(ren) with a computer and/or reliable internet access. CSD is revamping its program to make hotspots available for checkout directly from schools, and we will update this page when we have additional information to share. Additionally, the DeKalb County Public Library has hotspots available for 21-day checkout by cardholders 18+ years old. The Decatur branch of the DeKalb library also has computers on the upper floors for community use.

     

    Is CSD a 1:1 district?

    1:1 refers to each student having a computer assigned or available for immediate access during school. Fifth Avenue Upper Elementary, Talley Street Upper Elementary, and Renfroe Middle School currently have device carts in nearly every classroom to support this approach. Decatur High School uses a combination of device carts, student-owned devices, and individual devices that can be checked out by students from the Learning Commons. In Fall 2021, RMS and DHS will pivot to a take-home 1:1 model.

     

    Can a student bring their computer to school?

    Decatur High School has a "Bring Your Learning Device" program. Student behavior on the CSD network, even on personally owned-devices, is governed by the Student Code of Conduct and Restorative Practices Handbook (specifically, the Acceptable Use Policy, Cybersafety Notive, and BYLD Terms). Neither CSD nor DHS is responsible for repair or replacement of students' damaged, lost, or stolen equipment. DHS will share additional information about the BYLD program at the opening of each school year. The DHS BYLD program will be eliminated when the take-home 1:1 program begins.

     

     

    Are there free or inexpensive options to get internet access and/or a device at home?

    Yes, there are several options available.

     

    My child is being bullied or harassed online. What should I do?

    Report it. Please consider informing your child's teacher, school counselor, or administrator, especially if the harassment or bullying involves another CSD student, occurs during school, and/or occurs during a school-related activity. Even if the other party is not connected to CSD, your student's support team wants to know of anything that impacts your child's wellbeing! If the harassment or bullying is happening via a social media platform, use that platform's reporting tools to alert the company to the violation of its terms of service. Online harassment may also be severe or pervasive enough to warranty informing law enforcement. Some forms of online harassment or bullying involving another CSD student might also involve our Title VI or Title IX resources. Additional information about recognizing and preventing cyberbullying is available at from StopBullying.gov.

     

    What online resources does CSD use?

    CSD uses a variety of online tools to support learning, and they vary by grade level and content area. Students mostly access their online learning tools via CSD LaunchPad.

     

     

    Why does CSD use Google systems? What is Google doing with student data?

    CSD carefully evaluated Google's privacy stature and contract language before transitioning to Google Apps (later dubbed "G Suite for Education" and now "Google Workspace") in June 2015. Google does not own student data stored or created in CSD Google Workspace, nor does it sell student information residing in CSD Google Workspace. CSD Google Workspace does not show advertising to logged-in students. Google's adherence to its contractural obligations to protect student privacy is audited by several third parties. You can learn more at the Google Workspace FAQ and the Google Workspace Privacy and Security page.

     

    CSD's transition to Google Workspace went so well, we were invited to share our experiences with other Georgia school systems at Google's Atlanta office. We are also one of about 20 American and Canadian school districts on Google for Education's North American Customer Advisory Board, affording us the opportunity to influence policy and product decisions.

     

    Does CSD monitor students' online behavior?

    Information Services has several systems in place to ensure student and staff online safety. The most obvious is a content filter as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act. All traffic that connects through CSD's network is routed through the content filter. Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, anywhere (including off campus) a student uses their CSD Google Workspace account to log into a Chromebook or log into the  Chrome web browser we route that device's/browser's traffic through the CSD content filter. Students who are not connected to the CSD network who do not want their network traffic to go through the content filter should use a non-CSD Google account to log into a Chromebook or not log into the Chrome browser with their CSD Google Workspace credentials.

     

    Do students have an email account?

    All students have a CSD Google Workspace account, which follows the pattern [last two digits of student ID number][first four characters of first name][first four characters of last name]@csdecatur.net. For example, if Dinaw Mengetsu were a student with ID #61978, his CSD Google Workspace account login would be 78dinameng@csdecatur.net. Students in grades 6-12 can send and receive email with CSD and non-CSD users; students in grade 3-5 can only send and receive email with other CSD users. Email is not active in lower elementary or PreK, except for any pilot programs under review.

     

    I'm anxious about my student's "screen time" or general use of technology at home -- any advice?

    Sure! We have some guidance and resources for managing technology as a family, plus resources specifically around online safety and privacy.

     

    What computers do students use at school?

    Students and staff use a wide variety of platforms to support learning. The Information Services department supports instructional leaders in selecting the best hardware and services to meet students' learning needs. We rely heavily on our fleet of Chromebooks, and we bring in Apple computers and tablets where they are an appropriate fit. We also have several Windows computers labs in the district. Our goal is to provide hardware and operating system platform that best meets specific curriculum needs.

     

    How many computers does CSD have?

    CSD's technology inventory is large, and includes not only computers but also projectors, interactive surfaces, printers, servers, networking gear, and myriad other devices; the inventory has about 17,000 entries. A subset of those directly support students, teachers, and administrators. For district-wide and site-level information on CSD's technology across several years, visit the Georgia Department of Education's technology inventory page.