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Technology

Need help with technology? Student can come to the Tech Center during Access/AP. There's also usually someone available before and after school. Parents and students can also get help at help.lincolnlutheran.org.


Common Tools

PowerSchool is our Student Information system. Parents and students will receive an account that they can use to check on grades and that parents can use to register their child and update information. 

Canvas is our Learning Management System. Students will be able to view all of the assignments for their classes and access the materials necessary to complete those assignments. It includes a calendar and a to do list to help students remain organized. Parents can register for an observer account as well.

G-Suite is our primary office suite. Students will receive an email address like this: firstname.lastname@llwarriors.org. Through this account they will have access to the array of G-Suite productivity tools. We also teach the use of Microsoft Office products in our Computer Application classes. 

FACTS is our payment system. Parents will receive an account to use for tuition and incidental payments.

WordPress is our online portfolio. Each student in grades 8 through 12 has a website that they will use to highlight their work. This gives them experience in building a positive digital footprint and a way to share their work with a wider audience. 

1:1 Information

Lincoln Lutheran students are required to bring an approved device to school. Parents can purchase a device for their student or they can lease one from the school.

While Lincoln Lutheran is a 1:1 school, students don't stare at a screen all day. Students use their devices when it will enhance learning, and put them away when they are not needed. We teach Common Sense Media's digital citizenship curriculum in our classes to help students learn when and how to use technology appropriately. 

Leasing

Parents may lease a device from Lincoln Lutheran for $15.00 per month. After the 34 month lease term, parents can purchase the device for $1.00. The lease includes a 32GB current generation iPad, a case, and insurance. Students who receive financial aid from Lincoln Lutheran can lease a device at a reduced rate or for free. The lease agreement has complete details. 

History

During the 2012-2013 school year, it became apparent that three computer labs were no longer adequate for the varied instructional practices that our teachers wanted to employ. Beginning in 2013 student were encouraged to bring computers and tablets to school to use during classes, and in 2014 Lincoln Lutheran's Board of Directors approved our 1:1 Learning Initiative. Since that time, all students have been required to bring a device to school. You can read Journal Star articles covering this transition here and here.


1:1 Buying Guide

Device Requirements

We’ve made some changes to what we consider acceptable devices based on feedback from teachers and students. This does not mean that you have to buy a new device for your student. But when you do buy a new device, it should meet these guidelines:

Battery life: The minimum battery life requirement remains the same at 7 hours. You might consider a device with a longer battery life if you will want your student to use their device before/after school as well as during school. Students are expected to come to school with a fully charged device each day.

Screen size: The minimum screen size is 9 inches. Students tended to have more problems with smaller screened devices and students with larger tablets report that they are happier with their devices.

Tablet Storage: The minimum storage requirement has been changed to 32GB (increased from 16GB). Please note however that this is the amount of space that we recommend for school use. If a student will have their personal games, music, photos, and videos on a device then you should look for a device with either more memory, expandable memory, or cloud storage.

Tablet Type: Students have had more problems with certain types of tablets than others. While these devices might work fine for some applications, they don’t work well for school work. We no longer recommend Android devices (including Kindles and Nooks). We also don’t recommend Windows Tablets that use any discontinued version of Microsoft Windows (e.g. Windows RT) see below for more details.

Wireless: Lincoln Lutheran Access Points are setup to work best with the 802.11ac wireless standard (commonly referred to as WiFi 5). All new devices should support this standard, but if you’re looking to repurpose a device for student use, you should make sure it will work with our wireless network.

NOTE: In previous years we recommended specific devices. We are no longer doing so, but if you would like to see the devices we recommended in the past, here is the list from 2018, the last year we gave specific recommendations

Tablets

iPads

The majority of our students use the Apple iPad. They report very few problems with the full size iPads. The iPad Mini can be too small for some of the things we do, so, at the recommendation of students, we no longer included the iPad Mini as a recommended device. Our teachers all have iPads and will be more likely to be able to help with iPads than with other devices. You can lease an iPad from Lincoln Lutheran for $15 per month or less if you receive financial aid from Lincoln Lutheran.

All of the current models of iPads are good, and last year’s models will work fine as well. If you purchase or use an older iPad, just know that you might only get a couple of years use out of it. 

You might consider checking out the refurbished iPads from the Apple Store. They come with completely new exteriors and a full warranty. Mr. Sommerer has been happy with the refurbished Apple products that he has purchased for school and personal use. The iPad models that are available from their refurbished section change frequently.

Windows

If you are a Windows household, but would still like to use a tablet, you should not have any problem as long as you stay away from Windows RT. Please note that some Windows tablets come with keyboards and some do not.

Android

Android tablets were the devices that students were least satisfied with for school related uses. We no longer recommend Android devices including the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. There are hundreds of Android devices. The only students who were at all happy with theirs used Samsung devices. Be wary of purchasing a similarly named, but older version of current devices. If the prices are a lot cheaper than the prices you see in other places, make sure you are getting the same device. Again, based on our student survey results, we do not recommend these devices. But if you need to purchase an Android device, a Samsung is probably your best bet.

Chromebooks

Chromebooks were rated highly by our students this year. They seemed to work well for school related tasks. Mr. Heibel has been using a Chromebook for the past five years. Chromebooks are not full-featured laptops. They are designed to use Google’s internet based applications. They also don’t cost as much as a laptop. There are many Chromebooks available, make sure you check their battery life before purchasing. Combining a Chromebook and a smartphone may be a good plan for some students.

Laptops

Apple

Apple laptops received high scores from our students. We recommend that you take a look at the refurbished ones on Apple’s online store. If you are buying local, Computer Hardware Inc (just South of O street on 70th) has always been very good to Lincoln Lutheran.

Windows

There are many more Windows Laptops with an acceptable battery life than there were just a few years ago. There are also a wide range of brands and models of Windows laptops, and you generally get what you pay for, so if you find a really cheap one, make sure that it meets the general requirements above. Look for at least 4GB, preferable 8GB, of RAM and at least 8 hours of battery life.


1:1 Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ was developed as part of the information gathering and decision making process of our 1:1 Learning Initiative during the 2012-2013 school year. It was actively maintained for the first two years of the initiative. It is no longer maintained, but it is available here because these questions are still occasionally asked.

Will there be a chance to discuss these questions and ask other questions?
Yes, Lincoln Lutheran will be hosting forums to answer any other questions you may have about the 1:1 Learning Initiative. The forums will be held on February 14th and April 15th 2014 to minimize possible attendance.

What is a 1:1 learning initiative?
1:1 means that each student and each teacher in the school has a tablet or laptop computer they bring to school every day. Historically, there have been “target” numbers for schools to try to achieve such as eight students for every one computer (8:1). The idea that teaching and learning can be changed in a substantive way by making sure every student can use a computer in every class has been shortened to “1:1”.

How does a 1:1 learning initiative fit with Lincoln Lutheran’s Mission Statement?
Our Mission Statement says “Lincoln Lutheran exists to equip young people to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ by providing an excellent, Christ-centered education.” Lincoln Lutheran's faculty, Administration, and School Board believe the 1:1 Learning Initiative is an integral part of providing an excellent education. We believe we can provide a more excellent educational experience with the 1:1 Learning Initiative than without it.

How was the decision to implement a 1:1 learning initiative made?
The Lincoln Lutheran School Board directed a committee be formed in the fall of 2013 to investigate the implementation of a 1:1 learning initiative. The committee, consisting of school representatives Matt Heibel, Matt Haden, Lloyd Sommerer, and Jeff Rickords (also a parent); parent representatives Samith Kollipara, Julie Kreizel, and Matt Steuber; student representatives Brittany Goodro-Sincebaugh and Dylan Brockhaus; and School Board member Bryce Wendland (also a parent) was formed and started meeting in November 2013. A recommendation was presented by the committee to the School Board at its January meeting that a 1:1 learning initiative be pursued for the 2014-2015 school year. The School Board unanimously approved that recommendation.

Why is Lincoln Lutheran implementing a 1:1 learning initiative?
There are two main categories for reasons we are implementing a 1:1 Learning Initiative:

Instructional reasons:

  • A 1:1 learning initiative will allow teachers to use instructional practices they cannot currently use because a computer lab is not always available when needed. 
  • A 1:1 learning initiative will allow teachers in specific subject areas to teach lessons in ways they are not currently able to do. 
  • A 1:1 learning initiative will make more time available for instruction as less time is spent moving back and forth between a computer lab and the classroom.
  • A 1:1 learning initiative will help level the technological playing field. Currently there are some students who have a device while other students do not. Students with a device have an advantage over students who don’t.

Financial / Technical reasons:

  • A 1:1 learning initiative will remove the need for additional computer labs. There are not enough rooms in the school building to provide the computer lab space needed by students and teachers.
  • We will be able to use the money that would be needed to provide computers for additional computer labs for other technological purposes. A 1:1 learning initiative will allow for a wiser use of our facility and financial resources.
  • A 1:1 learning initiative will allow us to explore utilizing electronic textbooks.
  • A 1:1 learning initiative will allow us to continue to utilize standardized tests as testing companies (ACT, NWEA) move away from pencil-and-paper test.

What research is available to support the use of a 1:1 learning initiative?
There has been a good deal of research done on 1:1 Learning. You can access a large number of research studies and articles by doing an internet search on “1:1 Learning Research” using your favorite search engine. In general, the research shows:

  • Varied results in the area of student learning. Many studies show an increase or slight increase in student learning. Some studies show no increase in student learning. Very few studies show a decrease in student learning.
  • An increase in areas such as: student motivation and satisfaction; collaboration between students; collaboration between students and teachers; an increase in the variety of sources used by students; greater access to information; the ability for teachers to use more varied instructional strategies and greater ease of note taking by students.
  • The importance of teacher training in the success of a 1:1 learning initiative.

When will Lincoln Lutheran start its 1:1 Learning Initiative?
Lincoln Lutheran will become a 1:1 school at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Lincoln Lutheran has been supporting students who brought their own device to school for several years already. Next year students will be required to bring a device to school.

What grade levels will participate in the 1:1 Learning Initiative?
All grade levels (6-12) will participate in the 1:1 Learning Initiative. This topic was the subject of a good deal of discussion by the 1:1 Learning Committee. It was felt by the Committee that as students of all grades were already bringing devices to school and using them, and the educational benefits of the 1:1 Learning Initiative would apply to all grade levels, every student in every grade should participate. The Committee also felt that if Grades 6-8 were not included in the 1:1 Learning Initiative, it could be taken in a negative way by parents and students in those grades.

Having an electronic device might help students in school. But there are a lot of things students, especially younger students, could get into on their device outside of school they shouldn’t be exposed to. How can I protect my student from those things?
This is a very legitimate concern that parents of students of all ages should have about all electronic devices, including iPods, tablets, computers, cell phones, and even things like televisions. The things students can access on electronic devices can be restricted. We will provide more information about locking down devices during the 1:1 rollout process. You can put rules in place about when (only during certain hours, after which you collect and keep the device) and where (only in certain rooms, never in places like bedrooms) devices can be used in your home. You should demand students let you inspect the devices whenever you ask, let you look at their browser histories, and give you access to their accounts for things like FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram, if they have them.

Who will pay for the devices?
Parents will be responsible for providing the electronic device. There will be three options for doing so:

  1. Parents can purchase a device for their student. Many of our students already have an electronic device that they call their own. 
  2. Parents may lease a device from Lincoln Lutheran. The cost of insurance and a case for the device will be included in a lease price of approximately $23 per month [note: see 1:1 Information above for current lease rates] for a new iPad. At the end of the lease period the device can be purchased for $1.00. Lease payments will be handled through FACTS.
  3. Students with a demonstrated financial need may have the electronic device partially or wholly funded by Lincoln Lutheran. Financial need will be demonstrated using the FACTS financial aid application and Federal Free and Reduced Lunch guidelines.

Since Lincoln Lutheran isn’t paying for the devices, what is the new $100 technology fee for?
There are other costs associated with moving to a 1:1 environment in addition to the device cost. Lincoln Lutheran is nearly tripling the number of wireless access points in the school to make sure that every student can actually use their device and increasing our internet bandwidth by a factor of 10. There are other costs associated with going 1:1, but those are the big ticket items.

Why isn’t Lincoln Lutheran paying for the devices?
Most public schools that implement 1:1 initiatives provide devices to students using tax revenue. This is obviously not an option for Lincoln Lutheran. We looked at Lincoln Lutheran providing devices to every student through a tuition increase, but when we surveyed the student body we found that 65% already owned a tablet or a laptop. Out of respect for the investment that families had already made in educational technology we decided not to fund devices for all students through a tuition increase.

Will every student have to have the same kind of device?
No. Because well over half of our students already own various devices, we decided that demanding that every student have the same device was not reasonable. We may move toward a model where every student has a similar device over the next 3 years if that looks like the best educational decision, but are not planning on doing that now.

What kind of devices are acceptable?
Complete requirements for devices are available here.

Are phones acceptable devices?
No, phones typically do not have large enough displays to work well with our 1:1 Learning Initiative.

What devices does Lincoln Lutheran recommend?
Although any device that meets the above requirements will work in our 1:1 environment, Lincoln Lutheran's preferred device is the iPad. It is the device that our teachers know and use. It is the device with which we are best prepared to help students and with which our current technology works best.

Can we get devices through Lincoln Lutheran?
Parents may lease a device from Lincoln Lutheran. The cost of insurance and a case for the device will be included in a lease price of approximately $23 [note: see 1:1 Information above for current lease rates] per month (less if you receive financial aid from Lincoln Lutheran). The lease payments will be handled through FACTS.

Do you have any advice as we shop for a device?
Make sure you know what you are buying. Older models are usually steeply discounted when newer models arrive. This can be a good way to save some money, but sometimes you are buying a device that will be obsolete sooner. You might get two years of use out of the device instead of three. Of course, that could still be a good deal. Be careful when you see a very low price. Make sure you are getting what you think you are getting.

What about families who can’t afford a device?
Students with a demonstrated financial need may have the electronic device partially or wholly funded by Lincoln Lutheran. Financial need will be demonstrated using the FACTS financial aid application and Federal Free and Reduced Lunch guidelines.


Technology Timeline

2019 Over 25% of Lincoln Lutheran’s faculty attends the International Society for Technology in Education four day conference in June as we continue to strive to improve our use of technology in education. This is the highest attendance rate in Nebraska. Other faculty attend and present at the Nebraska Educational Technology Association conference and the Google Great-plains Summit.
2017 Students in grades 8-12 now have website that they use to showcase their work and receive feedback from a wider audience.
2016 Canvas LMS replaces both eBackpack and Moodle. This simplified the number of programs that students and parents need to interact with and gave teachers more options to deliver lessons to students online.
2014 Approximately 20% of Lincoln Lutheran’s faculty attend the International Society for Technology in Education Convention each year to ensure we continue to improve in our use of technology in the classroom.
2014 eBackpack added to Moodle as a way for students and teachers to transfer homework electronically. Students can receive, complete, submit & receive feedback from their devices.
2014 Student Tech Center is opened. Staffed by students, those with technology related problems (both students and teachers) can receive help during the school day and after school.
2014 Lincoln Lutheran becomes a full 1 to 1 BYOD school. All students are required to bring a laptop or tablet. Scholarship devices are available for students who cannot afford a device.
2013 Lincoln Lutheran becomes an Ad Hoc, BYOD school. Students are encouraged to bring and use their laptops and tablets if they have them. We begin to teach students how to responsibly use these devices in a school environment.
2012 Students with previous computer experience can test out of our base level computer class. This allows room in student’s schedules to take higher level computer classes or other electives.
2012 Every teacher receives an iPad and training in how to use it in the classroom. Each classroom receives an AppleTV so that teachers can teach using their iPads from anywhere in the classroom. Enterprise level wireless access points installed–we ran just over a mile of wires to do wireless correctly. 
2011 Over 20% of Lincoln Lutheran High School students take a programming (coding) class before graduating.
2010 School announcements are computerized. Students can read announcements on a 65 inch screen in the cafeteria and parents can receive school announcements via email.
2009 Every classroom in Lincoln Lutheran equipped with video projectors (first school in Lincoln to do so). Teachers are now free to use any type of media to teach any lesson without worrying that equipment might not be available. 
2008 Lincoln Lutheran teachers move from simply supplying materials online to promoting teacher to student and student to student educational interaction 24/7 from any location.
2007 Students can take our base level computer class as a summer course. This allows students to take the class before their freshman year and use those computer skills throughout their high school experience.
2006 Lincoln Lutheran teachers begin putting learning materials online for students to access from home. 
2005 Lincoln Lutheran adds another computer lab as teachers use more and more lessons that incorporate technology.
2003 Lincoln Lutheran revamps technology course offering so that we offer every technology class that all of the LPS high schools offer.
2000 Lincoln Lutheran was one of the first schools in Nebraska to allow parents & students to see student grades online the same day they are entered into the gradebook.