St. Michael Technology Department

St. Michael High School prides itself on an innovative Technology Department offering courses that range from Basic Computer Literacy, to Advanced Programming and Computer Architecture.

Our Mission is “to provide students and teachers the resources needed to integrate technology into the educational process.” By accomplishing the mission set forth we will better prepare our students for their future.

Technology Department Goals

  • To provide and develop contemporary and innovative courses that maximizes opportunities for students from a range of backgrounds.
  • To provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment in which students achieve their academic potential.
  • To extend students’ knowledge, experience and skills, thereby developing competence.
  • To give students experience relevant to industry and a set of skills that enhances their employment and postgraduate study opportunities
  • To make sure the proper equipment needed to meet these goals are provided to the teachers and students.

1:1 Student Tablet Program

Our school utilizes a fully implemented 1:1 Student Tablet Program, where each student has their own tablet and a multi-touch technology to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In classes, note-taking, organization of information, collaboration, problem solving, research and projects are done on the computers in a nearly paperless environment. Students have instantaneous web access for research and educational supplements and are able to easily create multi-media projects and assignments.

Q: Why did St. Michael implement a 1:1 tablet program?
A: SMHS has been studying a 1:1 technology program since 2014. The program was implemented to integrate technology into the curriculum in order to prepare our students for college and beyond. Our mission is to better equip our student with skills necessary for success in life and in career. This initiative also aims to teach students 21st century skills such as problem-solving, global awareness, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. The tablet program supports our curriculum shift in which the teacher becomes more of a guide in the classroom, while allowing students to be more engaged and take ownership of their learning. As technology continues to evolve, St. Michael is committed to ensure that our students thrive both locally and globally.

Q: What does it mean to have a 1:1 program? How does it differ from other school technology programs?
A: Customarily, school technology programs are limited to the school day and are incorporated at the discretion of the teacher. In a 1:1 program, each student has a tablet computer to use 24/7. In classes, note-taking, organization of information, collaboration, research and projects are done on the computers in a nearly paperless environment. Students have instantaneous web access for research and educational supplements and are able to easily create multi-media projects and assignments. The focus of education at St. Michael has changed—we have moved to more of a student-centered learning environment in which students create and evaluate information as opposed to simply receiving information from their teacher.

Q: What does the technology fee pay for?
A: The technology fee charged yearly to each student helps to fund the entire technology program at St. Michael. The fee helps to fund the following:

•Yearly leasing of the tablet
•Educational software licensing, both general and content specific, as well as classroom management software
•Professional development to insure teaching remains high quality
•Internet connectivity
•Additional staffing
•On-site Help Desk and repair facility
•Protective case
•Accidental Protection Policy

Q: What type of computer does St. Michael use?
A: St. Michael chose the Lifebook 937.

Q: Why did the school decide on this device? Kindles and iPads are cheaper.
A: Less expensive iPads or Kindles will allow students to read, surf the net, and even email, but a Tablet PC is fully functional computer capable of so much more. It is not just a tablet enabling the students to swivel the screen, lay it down on the keyboard and then write or draw on their documents or graphics. It is a personal computer with a full-size screen and a keyboard capable of doing anything a desktop can do. We can install all of the software a student needs for her classes so students can have access to every program and file at school and at home. The Tablet PCs will empower our students to go beyond being mere consumers of information to being creators of it.

Q: Who will own the Tablet PCs?
A: St. Michael High School owns the PCs. They are on loan to the students. Since St. Michael owns them, we can legally install our educationally priced software on them.

Q: How long will these tablet computers last, and will family be allowed to purchase the tablets at the end of the four years?
A: Our program is currently on a four-year replacement cycle. At the end of this cycle, St. Michael will offer the tablets at fair market value or a reduced rate.

Q: Are the students trained to use the tablet, and how much computer literacy is required for admission into the 1:1 program?
A: Basic computer knowledge and keyboarding skills are assumed of incoming students. The feeder schools do integrate technology in the curriculum, and most students have the skills needed to succeed. That said, students who need special assistance will receive the technology skills they need for success. All students receive extensive tablet training at the start of the school year. They receive instruction in both the use of the actual device, as well as software used in their classes.

Q: Can students install their own software and games on the Tablet PC?
A: Yes. Students can install home printer drivers and other legally purchased or downloaded appropriate software. A valid software license is always required. The Tablet PC is school owned and students must not store illegal or inappropriate materials on it. Students who breach this policy may incur serious consequences. In addition, no software may be installed that interferes with the St. Michael network, which includes but is not limited to virtual machines, and/or additional operating systems (MAC, Ubuntu, etc.). Users are also not allowed to remove software that was originally installed by the school. Students need to be aware that the Help Desk staff will re-image these computers each summer and possibly at other times if there is a hardware failure. They will be restored to the original image and any student-installed products will be the responsibility of the student.

Q: What happens if my child’s tablet is lost or stolen?
A:It is strongly recommended that families provide coverage for the tablet in case of lost or theft. Parents are encouraged to contact their homeowners’ insurance companies to see if the tablet would be covered. Otherwise, tablet insurance is available through Student Insurance Partners at Replacement cost for the tablet and software is $2,000.

Q: What happens if my child’s tablet is damaged or malfunctions?
A: St. Michael is a Fujitsu Warranty Repair Center, which means that all repairs are done in-house by Fujitsu certified student employees. If your child’s tablet malfunctions, he/she should go to the St. Michael Helpdesk If the issue is not able to be resolved immediately, your child will be temporarily issued a loaner tablet. The student will receive an email from the Helpdesk when the tablet is repaired.