The personal computer has revolutionized every other aspect of society, and one would expect that the same should be true for education, especially now that laptops are more affordable, durable, and portable.
The questions addressed on this page are a direct result of preliminary discussions with parents/guardians. We thank them for their help in generating topics of interest.

What is 1:1 Computing?
A 1:1 program refers to a school where the student-to-laptop ratio is 1:1 for school-related use.

What are the possible benefits of a 1:1 program?
Research has identified the following benefits of a 1:1 program:

  • Motivates students
  • Goes beyond the classroom
  • Provides much-needed life-skills
  • Promotes academic equity
  • Assists in raising test scores with increased access to information
  • Improves discipline and attendance
  • Allows students to access broader arrays of learning resources
  • Improves the teacher-student relationship
  • Parent/Guardian attitudes toward schools improve
  • Anytime-Anywhere learning
  • Linked to the World
  • Increases engagement
  • Teaches 21st Century Learning Skills
  • Develops teaching skills of participating teachers
  • Significantly increases math & science learning (test scores)

What type of laptop will my student be using?

  • We will partner with Apple, Inc. to provide a quality, durable solution.
  • It is our goal at Peoria Notre Dame to provide the best educational program that we can in a manner that is affordable to our families. Although there are a number of choices on the market in terms of laptop computing, it is our belief that this choice is in our best interest as a school community.
  • To ensure that every student will have access to the same software and hardware, PND will be responsible for setting the specifications for the laptops. Currently, the student base-load image is being examined. Any software modifications of the base-load image will be based on specific courses chosen by the student.

Will this be a parent-owned or school-owned laptop?
The laptops will be school-owned; each student will be leasing his/her machine with a lab fee factored into the monthly tuition payment. In addition, when the school owns the laptop, the responsibility for repairs, upgrades, modifications, etc. belongs to the school.

What will the financial obligation be like for each student?
  • Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, all Freshmen and Sophomores will be required to participate in the laptop program. Juniors and Seniors will have an opportunity to participate in a number of ways, but will not be required to purchase a laptop.
  • Our current plan is to enter into a leasing agreement with Apple. A new technology fee will be created that will cover the course of a student’s education at Peoria Notre Dame, leading to each student owning his/her laptop upon graduation. He/she will be free to take that computer to college.
  • Students who will be Juniors and Seniors during the 2010-2011 school year will be able to participate with an appropriately pro-rated monthly fee; the rates are shown below.
  • Juniors and Seniors who already own a laptop, will be permitted to use their family-owned laptops and connect to our network at school, thus alleviating a large unplanned cost for our Junior and Senior families during this transitional period. This family-owned laptop does not have to be a Mac. Because this is a laptop program, students will not be permitted to use other computing devices on the school network[iPhone, iPodTouch, SmartPhone, BlackBerry etc.].
  • The dollar amounts below are our good-faith estimate at this time based on a twelve-month payment cycle. These prices include software additions of Microsoft Office 2008, Adobe Creative Suite 4, Geometer’s Sketchpad, AppleCare, and any other teacher-specified software that is class-specific or textbook-supported.
  • Cost per month for:
    • Freshmen = $30
    • Sophomores = $36
    • Juniors = $55
    • Seniors = $90

  • At these pro-rated costs, Juniors and Seniors who decide to participate in the Apple Laptop Program will be able to take their MacBooks to college.
  • Juniors and Seniors will be able to buy-into, but are not required to, participate in the Apple Laptop Program. As such, Junior and Seniors will not be required to purchase the software packages that will be loaded on the MacBooks since their participation in the program is optional.

Why Apple? When much of the business world uses the PC, why would PND choose to use Macs?
As previously stated, our students' education and our families being able to afford PND is paramount in our minds. Dollar-for-dollar, out of the box, a PC costs less money. However, there are many "hidden" costs that one must consider when deciding what costs are involved in purchases on this scale:
  • Cost per machine
  • Cost for software applications
  • Imaging software
  • Anti-virus hardware & software
  • Added personnel
  • Added hardware & wiring
  • Network upgrade
  • Repair costs
  • Processor & RAM needs for different operating systems
  • Lo-jack and insurance
If all we are looking at is dollar amounts, when one factors in the costs that go beyond the "box," Apple comes out far ahead because of all the things that it bundles for its 1:1 programs.

Will my student be able to connect to the Internet from home?
As a parent/guardian, you have the ability to grant access or restrict access to the Internet in your home. The monitoring of student use of the Internet in the home is an issue of parent/guardian control. We are still in the decision-making process at this time on whether we will require student laptops to route through a school proxy outside the building.

Why can't I just buy my student any laptop? Why do I have to go with the school's plan?
  • Network/IT: The task of maintaining a network where a multitude of operating systems and platforms may be used is a very complicated job. We have a responsibility to you and to the state to filter Internet content, etc., and in order to do that, the machines must be school-owned.
  • Classroom: For the classroom teachers to effectively function and instruct in a 1:1, they need to be able to teach in an environment where the students have comparable tools. When we order e-books, etc. we don't want to have to pay double fees to have a PC and a Mac install.

  • In large part, it is a compatibility issue on many levels...networking and users alike.

What happens if a laptop is lost, stolen, dropped, or run over by a car?
  • The monthly fee has the price of AppleCare Protection Plan, Apple's insurance & coverage plan, factored into it. Because your MacBook will be purchased by the school, and your AppleCare will be purchased by the school, our PND Technology Coordinator will take care of any repairs, etc. via Apple.
  • The AppleCare Protection Plan provides global repair coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians around the world – perfect whether you work at a desk or travel with your Mac.
  • To review the specifics of the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Given that the laptop is a school asset (leased by the family), will students be able to load personal software (games, music ...) onto the machine?
  • The students will not be allowed to load any software [gaming or otherwise] that has not been approved by the Technology Coordinator.
  • If a student chooses to move his/her iTunes music account from a home computer to his/her laptop, that is entirely up to the student.
  • Students may want to enhance projects with the use of music that is not a base load on the MacBook. The acquisition of such pieces of music for educational purposes is taught in an ethical manner in accordance with Fair Use Guidelines and Copyright Laws in Intermediate Technology Applications. Many of the classes require music as a part of class projects.
  • The student should be aware that he/she is solely responsible for backing up any/all data or music on his/her laptop. The school does not host student or faculty files on its server.

Will Freshmen keep the same laptop all 4 years or is there a provision for upgrades?
At this time, PND is negotiating with Apple, Inc. for the possibility for a mid-way upgrade as an upperclassman to provide a newer machine for their college experience. Think of it as being akin to leasing a car.