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. Have a question that isn't answered here? Let us know at informationservices@csdecatur.net.

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 AirAsus C202, CTL NL61, Dell 3180, and Dell 5190.

     

    CSD recognizes that not all families have the means to provide their child(ren) with a computer and/or reliable internet access. Decatur High School will pilot a program in 2018-19 for students to check out a device and/or prepaid hotspot for home connectivity. Additionally, the DeKalb County Public Library has hotspots available for 21-day checkout by cardholders 18+ years old, and CSD has been informed they intend to expand access to those aged 13+ and add tablet computers to their checkout catalog. 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. 4/5 Academy and Renfroe Middle School currently support 1:1 programs.

     

    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 Acceptable Use Policy, Student Code of Conduct, 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.

     

    Can a student bring a computer home from school?

    Decatur High School is piloting a take-home program, managed through the Learning Commons. Visit the Learning Commons for additional information.

     

    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 (now G Suite for Education) in June 2015. Google does not own student data stored or created in CSD G Suite for Education, nor does it sell student information residing in CSD G Suite for Education. CSD G Suite 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 G Suite for Education FAQ and the G Suite for Education Privacy and Security page.

     

    CSD's transition to G Suite went so well, we were invited to share our experiences with other Georgia school systems at Google's Atlanta headquarters.

     

    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 G Suite for Education account to log into a Chromebook or log into the Google 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 G Suite credentials.

     

    * Students can use any browser to use CSD G Suite services, such us CSD Gmail, and merely logging into the service does not cause traffic to go trough the CSD content filter. On non-Chromebooks devices, only when students log into the Chrome browser does that cause traffic do go through the CSD content filter.

     

    Do students have an email account?

    Students in grades 6-12 have an email 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, e.g. 77lukeskyw@csdecatur.net. This is a new email pattern effective June 2018; read more about the changeover at our G Suite changeover FAQ. Students K-5 do not have email, but they use the same login information to access other G Suite for Education products like CSD Drive.

     

    I'm anxious about my students' 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.

     

    Isn't CSD an "Apple district"? What computers do students use at school?

    Although it seems like CSD has had Apple devices since the first Apple fell out of a tree and hit Isaac Newton in the head, 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. Since 2016, we have brought about 2,300 Chromebooks into CSD, and we continue to bring in Apple computers and tablets where they are an appropriate fit. We also have several Windows computers labs in the district -- again, because that platform offers access to software and functionality the 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, server, networking gear, and myriad other devices; the inventory has close to 10,000 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.