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My Student Has a Laptop…Now What?

An Elementary Parent’s Guide to Student Laptop Resources

Learning Reimagined Plan

Rockdale County Public Schools is finishing the third phase of the One-to-One device program rollout, which aims to provide every student in grades 2-12 with a laptop computer or tablet device for classroom learning and assignments. The one-to-one device program is a key component of RCPS’s Learning Reimagined initiative, which strives to transform teaching and learning throughout the district. Providing our students with access to digital devices empowers students to become thoughtful producers and evaluators of information. The devices will allow them to find, evaluate, and thoughtfully use information, to work with others to create collaborative products of learning, and to engage in authentic, real-world tasks. Most importantly, the students will develop the skills they need to become engaged, digitally responsible citizens ready to compete in today’s technology infused society.

Browsers for the Internet

There are 3 internet browsers loaded on each student laptop.  The preferred browser for student use is Microsoft Edge.   

Programs at Their Fingertips

Rockdale County Public Schools has purchased several programs for your student to use in school and at home, as a means of extending the learning environment beyond the four walls of the school building.  You may have heard of itsLearning, Office365, Microsoft Teams, and perhaps a few others.  Each of these programs can be easily accessed through a piece of software called ClassLink.

ClassLink

ClassLink is a single-sign on piece of software that allows easy access to each of the programs listed above.  Your student can click on the link for ClassLink on the HTE Student Homepage or go directly to  and clicking “Log In”.  Your student will login using their Rockdale credentials.  This is the same as their AR Login information.  They will need to enter @students.rockdale.k12.ga.us on the end of their username. 

Example:  Username:  9jsmith1@students.rockdale.k12.ga.us (9+FirstInitial+LastName+SpecialNumberForCommonLastNames*)

Password:  9js789 (9+FirstInitial+LastInitial+Last3DigitsOfLunchNumber)

*Not all students have a number after their last name

ClassLink

itsLearning

itsLearning is the primary location where teachers can push content out to your student.  This is the program that will help your student know what lessons are being taught, and what digital resources are available to complement the classroom learning.  itsLearning is the first step in creating a Blended Learning environment that becomes individualized for each student.  Where teachers can truly give students the ability to learn at their own pace. 

Students can access itsLearning through ClassLink.
ItsLearning  

 

Once inside itsLearning, students will see the navigation bar along the top of their screen where they can click on Home, Courses, Calendar, Office 365.  By clicking on Courses and scrolling down to All Courses, all of the courses your student is currently enrolled in will be displayed for him/her to click.   Inside each course, teachers can post bulletins/announcements for the class, list upcoming events, or add resources to the navigational tree on the left side of the screen.  Depending on the course and the teacher, there may be folders organizing course materials and resources. 

 

Students can see Pages (where content will be posted), Links, Files, complete Activities like Discussions, Written, Audio, or Video Assignments, or take Assessments.  Each of these are developed by your student’s teacher(s). 

 

itsLearning Dashboard

 

Office 365

Office 365 is a tremendous resource for your student.  This is where they can store all of the documents or projects they are working on.  There are several Apps or Programs that are included in Office 365.  These include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Sway, and OneDrive.  You may already be familiar with some of these products, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but OneNote, Sway and OneDrive may be new to you.  All students have the ability to download and install the Full Version of Microsoft Office 2016 on 5 home computers. 

OneDrive

OneDrive is an online file storage manager.  Students can upload previously created documents or create new ones to their OneDrive account so they can pick up where they left off on a different piece of equipment, as long as it is connected to the internet.  Students can collaborate with one another or with their teachers for real-time feedback.

Sway

A visual presentation tool for students.  By being a digital workspace that allows students to bring their reports or presentations to life in a simplified manner that is accessible anywhere there is an internet connection.   

OneNote

OneNote can be used in many different ways by students.  It can be a standalone notetaking program.  It can be a digital 3-ring binder to keep all notes, papers, and projects organized.  Teachers can use it as a Class Notebook where all students in a class can collaborate with one another, gather resources from the teacher, and work independently in a private notebook space.  Teachers can individual instruction specifically for each student in the class through the Class Notebook. 

 

When logged in to Office 365, students can easily keep their work organized and update it on the go throughout the day or at home.  

Future Plans

In the not-so-distant future, students will have access to online textbooks, math and science manipulatives, instructional videos, etc.  We are preparing our students for an ever-changing world by teaching them foundational skills that will help them be college and career ready by the time they are set to graduate from Rockdale County Public Schools.  By providing students at young ages with laptop devices, we are helping them to become producers of content instead of just consumers.  The ideal vision of what we would like our students to be able to do by the time they graduate from Rockdale County Public Schools is stated nicely in the ISTE Standards for Students.