Technology & Laptops for Learning

Laguna Blanca provides a technologically rich learning environment where teaching and learning are enhanced by using appropriate technology as part of the curriculum. We also teach our students how to be responsible digital citizens. The Technology Department uses the latest in content filtering tools for student Internet use and expects all students to observe the guidelines established in the Responsible Use Policy.

COMMON SENSE MEDIA
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

In our modern world, kids of all ages use digital media to explore, connect, create, and learn online, both at home and at school. Because of this, young people today have extraordinary opportunities, yet they face potential pitfalls, too. Meanwhile, schools often deal with the associated ramifications -- cyber-bullying, digital cheating, and safety and security concerns. These issues underscore the need for digital literacy and citizenship skills instruction.

To help our students safely navigate and manage their digital lives, Laguna has adopted the Common Sense Digital Citizenship K-12 curriculum. For more information regarding Common Sense and its wealth of parent resources, visit Common Sense Media.

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the purpose of the Laptops for Learning Program at LBS?

    The primary goals of the Laptops for Learning Program are:
    • to provide students with direct and continuous access to learning resources and experiences throughout the school day.
    • to have students use their laptops regularly and with purpose during teacher directed activities.
    • to have personal digital devices, such as laptops, ultimately become cognitive tools that are holistically integrated into the teaching and learning processes of the school.
    • to improve students' technology skills and better prepare them for a technology filled future.
    • for everyone involved to recognize that in this digital age, teaching practices are continually evolving, and that LBS teachers will continue to seek out and model best practices that infuse technology appropriately into the learning process.
  • Q: How much does this program cost?

    See below for projected laptop costs if a student does not currently own one:

    Laptop: $300-1,500
    Protective Carrying Case (Hard shell case recommended): $20-50
  • Q: Will parents be required to purchase a new laptop for the Laptops for Learning Program?

    Only if they currently do not own one that meets the minimum requirements below. Families that need assistance with acquiring a suitable laptop can email technology@lagunablanca.org.
  • Q: What are the minimum requirements for the laptop?

    Laptop minimum requirements:
    • A long lasting battery life (3+ hours)
    • Should power on in less than 60 seconds
    • A full sized-screen (minimum 11")
    • A hardshell case to protect the laptop
    • Headphones
    It is strongly recommended that the computer not be older than three years of age and that it is covered by an extended warranty with accident coverage.
  • Q: Can my child bring an Internet capable device (i.e. smart phone, iPad, etc.) in lieu of using a laptop?

    No. The Laptops for Learning Program is designed around classroom use of laptops will full version software applications, and Web-based resources. While the small size of an iPad or smart phone is convenient, the processing power and memory does not meet the specifications which will be required for the resources and assignments teachers are planning to use.
  • Q: What about Internet filtering at school?

    All computers used at school are subject to our filtering system, whether on the WIFI or standard network. It's important to keep in mind that no filtering system is perfect, so students are expected to observe the guidelines set forth in the School’s Responsible Use Policy while using any digital device at school.
  • Q: Are there any forms or documents parents need to sign?

    The Responsible Use Policy is included within the student/parent information handbook. Before any student can connect to the school network, a signed copy of the student/parent handbook form is required.
  • Q: How will I be notified of any changes or announcements about the Program?

    You will receive email messages with important information and updates about the Laptops for Learning Program. Therefore, it is important that the school have current email addresses for parents. Please contact Chris Davis in the Main Office to update email addresses. We will also post updates to this webpage as needed. Please contact the Tech Department at technology@lagunablanca.org with any questions that are not addressed on this webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions by Students

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the Laptops for Learning Program?

    Students in grades five through eight are required to bring their own laptops to school every day to use in their classes. Students connect to the Internet over our WIFI network and use Microsoft Office for creating documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. They also connect to various websites depending on what teachers have planned for their classes.
  • Q: What kind of laptop do i need?

    Students are to bring a fully charged, lightweight laptop running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Max OS X, with a of battery life of at least 4 hours. Students are asked not to bring iPads to school for the L4L Program. You and your parents should be aware of the minimum requirements for your laptop as listed above.
  • Q: What software do I need to have on my laptop?

    If you do not already have it, you need to purchase and install Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 for Windows, or Microsoft Office 2011 or 2016 for Mac. For Internet browsing, please download and install Firefox. You will also need a current anti-virus software, Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader on your Windows laptop. Some teachers may have you create some shortcuts or download certain “open source” software programs, which are free for everyone.
  • Q: When should I start bringing my laptop to school?

    Fifth and Sixth grade students will bring laptops beginning the first day of school. Seventh and eighth grade students will begin using laptops at school after trip week, but are required to attend one of the Laptop Boot Camp sessions on orientation day, Tuesday, September 28, 2015.
  • Q: What is Laptops Boot Camp?

    Laptops Boot Camp is a one hour session which all Middle School students are required to attend, even if you are a returning student and will be using the same laptop used during the previous school year. For fall of 2015, Boot Camp will be held on Orientation/MS Kick Off Day. Students bring their laptops to the Middle School computer lab and prepare them for use at school.

    The amount of time you need to be at Laptop Boot Camp is dependent upon your needs and the condition of your laptop. New students will initiate their network, email, and student portal accounts at this time. Laptops will be checked for the minimum requirements and connected to the school WIFI network. If you do not have a current anti-virus license on your Windows laptop, we will install ESET anti-virus for you at no charge. We will also prepare you to use your laptop responsibly and safely at school. You will learn about the School's expectations and routines for using software programs, the Internet, school printers and how to manage your data.
  • Q: What else do I need to bring for my laptop?

    Please bring a protective carrying case and power cord. It is very important that you are able to protect your laptop from bumps and dropping with a sturdy case. A power cord is also very important especially if your laptop will not hold a charge for at least four hours.
  • Q: How will I backup my files?

    During Boot camp, students will set-up automatic back-up using the Google Drive App.
  • Q: I am a new student. How do I get my account started?

    New students will be able to activate their Laguna Blanca School network, email, and student portal accounts during the Laptops Boot Camp .
  • Q: What if my laptop won’t work properly at school?

    The Technology Department staff will do their best to get your computer going on the WiFi network. If we cannot resolve the problem because of low disk space, lack of current OS updates, viruses, or faulty or obsolete hardware, your parents may need to help with providing repairs or upgrades.
  • Q: What if I lose or break my laptop?

    We will be able to provide a loaner for a few days while repairs or replacement of the student’s laptop can occur. Loaner computers cannot go home, so make sure to save your files online to Google Drive.
  • Q: Where will I keep my computer files?

    You will not have access to school file servers unless you are using a School-owned computer. So, when using your laptop you should save your files to class folders on your computer using the Google Drive app.
  • Q: Can I charge my laptop while at school?

    Yes. It is recommended that you come to school with a fully charged laptop each day. But if needed, teachers can provide extension cords for you to use during class. Be sure to bring your laptop power cord each day.
  • Q: What if I forget to bring my laptop to school?

    You may check out a school loaner from Mr Skrzypek’s office for use while you are at school. Some teachers may have consequences for students who repeatedly forget to bring their laptop to school. So, do your best to bring it!
  • Q: Can I let my friends use my laptop?

    Loaning your laptop to anyone else is strongly discouraged. The only exception may be leaving it with the Technology Department staff for troubleshooting problems for you.
  • Q: How do I print from my laptop?

    Printing will be set up on your laptop during Laptop Boot Camp. There are a number of WiFi enabled laser printers around campus that you will be able to use.
  • Q: Where do I keep my laptop when I’m not using it?

    When not in use, keep your laptop in your backpack or in your locker in its protective case. NEVER leave it unattended. Any laptop left lying out in the hallways or left in a classroom unattended will be taken to the Middle School office where you will need to go to retrieve it. If you repeatedly leave it out and unattended, the school will call your parents to come pick it up for you.

Laptops for Learning Program

The Laptops for Learning program requires all students in grades five through eight to bring their own laptops to school every day. To the left are frequently asked questions about the program. If you need additional information, please email technology@lagunablanca.org.
Laguna Blanca is Santa Barbara’s premier private, co-educational, college preparatory day school for students in Early Kindergarten through Grade 12.