FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BLENDED LEARNING FAQS
Why do we need to blend technology with instruction? Aren’t traditional teaching strategies fine?
Blue Valley is committed to preparing students for their future. Part of this commitment includes blending technology into instruction to prepare digitally literate students with strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills who are connected with the world around them. Blue Valley’s Blended Learning instruction model will allow students to develop skills in the classroom and practice those skills under the guidance of trusted educators.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended Learning is an educational model that combines traditional face-to-face instruction technology-based instruction to meet the learning needs of each student. Blended Learning empowers teachers to transform learning through technology so that instruction is truly student-centered and our students are future-ready; enhances in-person instruction with educational technology; enables students to learn anytime, anywhere, at any pace; and maximizes traditional face-to-face class time by leveraging technology that empowers students and teachers to connect, create, collaborate and learn.
MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL 1:LEARNER FAQS
What does 1:Learner mean?
1:Learner is shorthand for “one device per one student.” This means each student attending a 1:Learner school will be assigned his/her own district-issued device to use as part of the daily learning experience both at school and at home. A 1:Learner initiative is simply one strategy that falls under the overarching model of Blended Learning. In Blue Valley, a 1:Learner initiative will help facilitate and support Blended Learning experiences, but is not the only way to deliver Blended Learning instruction.
What research supports the implementation of a 1:Learner initiative?
According to the district's 2018 Customer Assessment Survey, 96 percent of respondents agreed that technology is essential for learning today at all grade levels. This data coincides with the district's Blended Learning Impact Study conducted during the 2017-18 school year. The study investigated the following:
Q1: What are the instructional possibilities different devices offer?
Q2: Does our infrastructure support high levels of access and mobility?
Q3: Are we able to keep students safe if devices go home?
How will 1:Learner impact students with special needs?
Blue Valley has worked with teachers of students with special needs to ensure these devices meet the learning needs of all students. Based on their unique learning needs, devices may be equipped or modified to include adaptive software and programs. The district will continue to work closely with special education services to ensure that all students with special needs are appropriately accommodated.
What type of device will my child receive?
Based on findings from the 2018 Blended Learning Impact Study, middle school students will be assigned a Google Chromebook and high school students will be assigned a MacBook Air. Each device offers unique features that best fit the learning needs of the corresponding grade level.
How were devices selected?
Several factors contributed to the selection of devices including instructional needs, curriculum resources, student and staff feedback from the Blended Learning Impact Study, fiscal responsibility and technical management and logistics.
How long will my child get to keep his/her district-provided device?
Following the initial deployment in Spring 2019, the district will follow a 3-year refresh cycle at middle schools and 4-year refresh cycle at high schools. Students will receive a district-provided Chromebook when they enter the sixth grade and will keep that Chromebook through their eighth-grade year. Students entering the ninth grade will receive a district-provided MacBook Air and will keep that device through their senior year.
Can my child take his/her district-provided device home?
Yes. All students are able to use their district-provided device at school and at home to support their learning. In addition to the academic school year, students will also be asked to take devices home with them over the summer.
What if my child does not have internet access at home?
The Blue Valley School District is committed to supporting equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. We are currently investigating solutions to support families who may not have regular internet or WiFi access at home. More information will be provided once a solution is identified.
What will happen to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives?
Any BYOD initiative will slowly fade out as students are assigned their individual district-issued device. All district-issued devices should be able to support the learning needs of students both at school and at home.
Can my student opt out of the 1:Learner initiative or use his/her personal device at school instead?
In order to ensure a safe learning environment for students and equitable access to technology, we ask that students only bring their district-issued device to school and leave their personal devices, laptops, tablets, etc. at home. Please contact your principal if you have additional questions or extenuating circumstances.
Are there fees associated with the 1:Learner program?
During the initial rollout phase in the 2018-19 school year there will be no additional fees and insurance will be covered by the district. Blue Valley will evaluate this policy and communicate any changes for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.
What is the consequence for loss, theft or damage of a device?
We are committed to teaching students about responsible technology use and safekeeping as part of digital citizenship education. However, we understand that accidents and damage may occur. We are currently in the process of investigating insurance opportunities and defining the process for device loss theft or damage. We will provide more information as it is available.
What happens with 1:Learner devices over the summer?
All students participating in the 1:Learner program take their district-provided devices home with them over summer break. Exceptions include 8th graders, who will receive a new device upon entering high school, and seniors, who will turn in their devices prior to graduating. We encourage families to speak with their children about expectations related to technology use over the summer, as well as remind students of proper care for these devices (i.e. keep devices away from water at the pool/beach, avoid leaving devices in extreme temperatures like a locked vehicle, keep devices charged, do not lend them to other users, etc.).
What if my student moves or transfers during the school year or over the summer?
Each district-issued device is the property of the Blue Valley School District. If a student moves out of the district, the student will need to return the device to the campus (contact your child's school for instructions on returning the device). If the student transfers to another Blue Valley school that already has 1:Learner devices, then the student will continue to use his/her assigned device.
My child is moving out of the district but we found out after school let out. What do I do?
Beginning June 11, 2019 through Aug. 1, 2019, families can return the device to Blue Valley's Technology Office (14950 Metcalf Ave.) during the days/times listed below. Upon arrival, please check in with the first-floor receptionist or call 913-239-4080. If you need to return the device between end of school and June 11, please contact your school.
- Tuesdays - 7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
- Thursdays - 11:30 AM- 3:30 PM* (*Closed July 4)
Will my child's district-provided device continued to be filtered over the summer?
Yes - all district-provided devices are protected 24/7 by our cloud-based filter, Securly, both at school and beyond. Families interested in personalizing filters on district devices outside of the BV Network/IP address can download the Securly Home Parent Portal app on iTunes or Google Play. This app allows families to monitor online activity in real-time, set custom rules/filters and receive notifications if a child searches flagged content related to self-harm. Learn more at www.securly.com/home.
What is PowerUp?
PowerUp is the district’s ongoing process to prepare and educate students, families and staff on the district’s 1:Learner initiative and appropriate use of technology in the educational setting. This process consists of several components including professional learning and training on device use, how to incorporate technology in the classroom, digital citizenship and more. This process helps to ensure the district is not simply providing devices to students and staff, but opening doors to new levels of learning.
Will there be parent support and training offered?
Yes. Each school will offer training/orientation for students and families as part of the “PowerUp” process to prepare for devices. The district is also planning to offer training/orientation opportunities. Additional information will be provided once dates and locations have been selected.
How will you ensure students are safe and protected from inappropriate content?
The safety of our students, including cyber safety, is a top priority. As part of the district’s Blended Learning Impact Study, the district specifically evaluated the safety capabilities of the devices students will receive as part of the 1:Learner initiative. Through the study, the district was able to determine devices provided a safe learning environment for students both on and off campus. This is due in large part to the district’s dynamic filtering system that is able to easily adapt and evolve as new safety needs arise. Students should follow appropriate use expectations and report any accidental inappropriate material to their teacher or administrator.
In addition to the built-in filtering system, students are required to complete digital citizenship courses prior to receiving devices. Digital citizenship education is also woven into day-to-day learning as appropriate.