Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Connected Learning Community?
Our Connected Learning Community (CLC) aims to provide ever-present computing and network access for our students on a common learning platform, while further developing our educational practices to increase collaboration, enable flexible progression and differentiated instruction, and more actively reflect a real-world learning environment. Specifically, the CLC describes the provision of technology for learning and teaching at YIS, in particular our 1:1 laptop program for students in grades 2 - 12. Students in grades 2 - 5 use their laptops at school, while students in grades 6 - 12 may take their laptops home.
Providing individual laptops to students helps make the education process seamless and efficient, while also broadening opportunities for collaboration and learning beyond the classroom. The CLC is also much more than hardware and software; it encompasses progressive teaching practices and new learning styles that leverage technology integration to enhance the educational process, develop research skills and foster creativity.
Which grades receive a laptop computer to take home?
All middle and high school students (grades 6 - 12) receive laptops that they may take home.
What about laptop provision in the younger grades?
Students in grades 3 - 5 also receive individual laptops. However, these must be kept in school. Students in ELC and grades K - 2 also have ample access to laptops and tablet computers on a shared resource basis.
Are YIS teachers qualified to teach using laptops?
At YIS our teaching staff have enthusiastically embraced the integrated use of technology for many years. In fact, many of our teachers have been designated as Apple Distinguished Educators, recognizing their advanced skills in technology integration in the classroom. Our technology learning staff are widely recognized experts in the field and our annual Beyond Laptops conference attracts educators from international schools throughout Asia and beyond.
Will I have to pay for the laptop?
The cost of the device, software, and support is included in the tuition fee. There is a separate annual technology insurance fee of ¥10,000, which is mandatory.
How many years will the student use the same laptop before it is replaced?
We carefully manage our computer resources so that they are reliable, fully functional and best support technology integration. In general, students use the same laptop for up to three years, after which we will replace the laptop with a new laptop.
When students leave the school, can they take their laptop with them?
Yes for students in grades 6 - 12, there is normally an option to buy your laptop at a rate that is discounted (depreciated) according to the age of the laptop. Software that is licensed to YIS will be removed before the ownership of the laptop is transferred to the family. Our license allows us to leave Microsoft Office on the laptop, but it will not be able to be upgraded to the next version or reinstalled after the laptop becomes the property of the family.
What if my child already has a laptop?
A key objective of the CLC is to enable all students to have ready and consistent access to a common set of software, hardware and network resources. It is therefore very important that the learning experience is not negatively impacted by variations in hardware or software. With a school-provided laptop we can control the standard specification and software so that learning is optimized. Purchasing in volume, we are also able to secure high-spec laptops and needed software at a much more reasonable price than families would be able to do individually.
Why has the school selected Apple computers instead of Windows machines?
We selected the Apple computer platform primarily because of its superior reliability and simplicity of use. In addition, Apple has dedicated itself to serving the worldwide education community. Over the years we have found the Apple laptops to be very reliable with a useful life of at least 4 years. This has also led to lower operating costs for the school.
What will happen when the laptop needs to be replaced?
When a student’s laptop is to be replaced, the old laptop will be returned to the school at the beginning of the June holiday, and a newer laptop will be provided in August. Of course, the laptops are under warranty, so if any repairs are required during the school year a replacement laptop can be issued while the repair is made.
Are there guidelines that describe the school’s expectations for the student?
Before the student receives a laptop a “Responsible Use Policy” is explained and then a usage agreement signed by the student and a parent or guardian. It is important that our Connected Learning Community is seen as a partnership between YIS, our students and their parents, and that all partners understand the common expectations.
Will students have to bring their laptop to school every day?
There is an expectation that students take their computer home every night and bring it to school, fully charged, every day. On occasion, they may leave the laptop locked in their locker overnight if they have an after-school activity for which they will not be able to keep the laptop in a secure location and from which they will not be returning to school that day.
What kind of laptops do the students receive?
Students in grades 6 - 12 receive MacBook Air laptops. Laptops for younger grades are a combination of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. A carrying case is provided, but if you are buying your own carrying case it is important to buy a case made specifically for the size of the laptop you receive.
What software is included with the laptop?
The licensed software includes: Microsoft Office, iWork, iLife, Inspiration mind mapping software, Adobe Creative Suite, Autograph math software and Logger Pro science software. Additional software may be subsequently installed for specific course requirements.
Will the student be able to type in different languages?
Yes, the laptop can be used to type in different languages, such as Japanese.
What accessories come with the laptop?
The laptop comes with a power supply for charging. We also provide a carrying case to help protect the computer. Other accessories will need to be purchased by the family.
What happens if I want to purchase my own laptop case?
The school-provided laptop case is designed so that the laptop does not need to be taken out of the case when it is being used. You can buy your own case but it must also allow the laptop to be used without taking it out of the case. If you are buying your own case please “think green” and return the school-provided case to us for reuse or recycling.
Can students personalize their laptops?
No stickers or other personalization are allowed on the laptop itself. The school places a bar-code on the laptop for inventory control. Students may personalize the carrying case that comes with the laptop.
What is the annual technology insurance fee?
All students in grades 6 - 12 must pay an annual technology insurance fee of ¥10,000, which provides protection as outlined below from the first day of the school year through the summer holiday or the last day of enrollment for withdrawing students. Coverage is not provided if the fee has not been paid.
How is repair or replacement of defective laptops or tablets handled?
If your device is found to have a manufacturer's defect, its repair or replacement will be covered if you arrange for repair through the YIS IT Department when school is in session. If you choose to arrange repair directly with Apple, you should understand that YIS will not reimburse you for any associated costs.
What if the device is accidentally damaged?
If your laptop/tablet is not fully functional due to unintentional damage, with the annual technology insurance the school will fully cover the cost of repair or replacement of the first damage incident to either device. If you have more than one school device assigned to you, you can still only make one claim. You will be required to pay 100% of the repair or replacement cost for any subsequent damage to any device.
What if the device is lost?
If you can’t find your laptop/tablet you are responsible for 100% of the replacement cost.
What happens if the device is stolen?
If your laptop/tablet is stolen while you are away from school you must report the theft to the police and obtain a report from them. With a police report, the school's technology insurance will pay the full cost of replacement. Without a police report your liability is 100% of the replacement cost. The cost of laptop replacement would typically be 114,000 yen.
What about loss or theft on campus?
When you are not using your laptop/tablet you are responsible for keeping it locked in your locker or in a locker in the gym. It should not be left unattended in a classroom, the library, playground or other open area. Should it go missing from any location on campus other than your locker or a gym locker, your liability is 100% of the replacement cost.
What if I drop my laptop or spill water on the keyboard by accident?
When you damage your laptop accidentally the computer’s warranty cannot be used to fix the computer. Your technology insurance will pay for the first incidence of repair. If you have previously damaged your computer you will be asked to pay for the whole repair cost. Even one small drop of any liquid inside the computer will permanently damage it. Most accidents happen when a laptop is not in its protective case or when the user is eating or drinking when using the laptop. With careful use, the laptop will give many years of reliable operation.
What will happen if the laptop needs repair?
If there is a problem, we will arrange to have the laptop repaired. We will provide another laptop to use during the repair process.
What if the laptop needs to be repaired and it is a school holiday?
Each laptop has warranty cover that is specific to that model of laptop. You will need to phone Apple or take the laptop to an Apple retailer and by looking at the laptop's serial number they will be able to tell you if the laptop is covered by warranty. Please note that the AppleCare Protection Plan will only cover manufacturer’s defects; it will not cover any damage that you cause, such as from dropping the laptop or spilling a drink on the keyboard. If you choose to have a laptop repaired by Apple while on holiday YIS will not reimburse you for any associated costs.
Who will determine whether damage is accidental or covered under warranty?
YIS staff can make this determination but will ultimately defer to the judgment of AppleCare Service & Support or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
Can students put additional software on the laptop?
Students have full control over their laptops and can install their own software. By looking in the “Applications” folder a parent can see exactly what has been installed. Installation of software must comply with our responsible use policy, and the school reserves the right to check a student’s laptop – and any network enabled device – at any time to confirm that it is in compliance with this policy.
What should I do at home to ensure that my child is using the laptop in the way intended?
You need to talk openly with your child about your expectations in regard to where, when, how long, and for what activities the laptop is used. These conversations are very important and if held regularly could focus on learning and be a very positive experience. Students will be using their laptops for a variety of interesting projects. Ask them to show you some of the cool things they are doing.
Can certain aspects of laptop use be controlled by the parent?
It is possible for parents to use the Parental Control system preference to control some aspects of the laptop’s use. For example you can set and control a time that the laptop automatically turns off. However, we believe these controls should be used only as a last resort. The conversations you have at home about your expectations should mean that the use of Parental Controls is not necessary. When you use the parental controls the parent becomes the administrator of the laptop. Becoming the administrator of the laptop will prevent the student from installing software and updating applications. When a teacher asks students to install or register needed software during the school day the student will not be able to do this.
Do students have a secure place to keep their laptop at school?
Yes, they have individual lockers in the main building as well as combination lockers in the changing rooms in the gym. Students who have an after-school activity, and who do not return to school after the activity, will need to take their laptop with them and be responsible for its safety. If they cannot do so, they may leave their laptop locked in their individual locker overnight. No personal belongings may be left overnight in the gym changing room lockers.
Can students charge their laptops at school?
One of the benefits of using Apple MacBook computers is that they have a very long battery life. We expect students to bring their laptop to school everyday with 100% charge. Under normal conditions the battery’s charge will be sufficient to last for a whole day.
Are students allowed to use their laptops during break times?
We are conscious that a balanced school day includes time when students do not use their laptop. There will be times, for example morning recess, when there will be no laptop use allowed. In addition there will be places such as the cafeteria where we will usually not allow laptop usage.
How will students store their data?
Students will store their data on their laptop. In addition, all students have school email accounts that use Google Apps. Documents can be created, stored and shared with Google Apps.
What should students do about backing up their data?
YIS will provide an online backup solution for every student, called BackBlaze. This service backs up the laptop’s documents continually to a remote server in the US whenever it is connected to the Internet. It will be the student’s responsibility to register for the backup service, and install the simple software package. This backup solution has proven itself to be a lifesaver to many staff members. If the hard drive fails the student will be responsible for contacting the company in the U.S. and arranging for the data to be sent by mail on a new hard drive (there are also other options) and for the associated shipping cost.
Why does YIS use Google for email?
At YIS we use Google for our email because of the integration with other Google Apps such as drive and sites, and because of the collaboration this integration makes possible. YIS Google accounts are available from anywhere at any time. Although we use Google as the engine that drives our email, we do not use GMail. We have our own customized, private Google domain that cannot be accessed by non-YIS Google users.
Will all of the students' work be done on a computer?
No. Technology is used as a tool for learning. Teachers and students will use the laptops if it is the best tool for the learning taking place on that day, or in that unit of work.
How will students’ social skills be affected by the constant interaction with the computer versus face-to-face contact?
In the classroom there are times when students learn individually and there are times when students work in collaborative groups. This remains the case whether laptops are used or not. During break times the use of computers will be limited so that there is a balance between computer use and active interaction with peers.