Laptop Program and Macbook Specifications
Connecting students to a world of learning
Information literacy and technology literacy are essential for success in society. An internet-connected laptop, along with dedicated instruction and supervision, can open up a whole new world of learning and expression for a student. Thus, parents of students entering grade 6 through grade 12 are responsible to provide a recent model Apple Macbook laptop for dedicated use by their student at school on a daily basis (see below for acceptable models and recommended “hard disc” size). (Grade 5 students use a school-owned laptop during the school day. This laptop remains at the school.) Parents, of course, have veto power over laptop usage when the laptop is not at school.
- How to Prepare a Student for the HIS Laptop Program
- Macbook Specifications (provided by parents)
- Laptop Requirement Letter (provided by HIS)
- Laptop Warranty (provided by parents)
- Laptop Case/Bag (provided by parents)
- USB Hard Drive (provided by parents)
- Apple ID
- HIS Laptop Registration (done at HIS Tech Pagoda before first day of class)
- Software (provided by HIS)
- Laptop Administrative Control
There are four things that a parent needs to do before August to make sure their student is ready to participate in the HIS Laptop Program. (If a student is starting at HIS at some date other than the start of the school year, then these steps must be completed before the student’s first day of class.)
- Purchase/provide a family laptop, laptop bag, and external USB hard drive that the student will use at HIS on a daily basis. (Be sure to read information below, including the FAQ, for requirements BEFORE purchasing a laptop.)
- Set the administrator for the laptop. Parents of students should supervise their student as s/he sets up his/her own administrator account on the laptop.
- Set up an Apple ID. Parents of students under 13 years of age should use Apple Family Sharing to set up an Apple ID for use in installing necessary software. Parents of older students may use Apple Family Sharing or supervise their student as s/he sets up his/her own Apple ID. (The FAQ below provides recommendations and helpful information on how to set up the Apple ID.)
- Register the laptop at the HIS Tech Pagoda during Student Orientation, or another day if more convenient.
Note: For the student’s success within the laptop program, we strongly recommend that parents do not let their student use the laptop until after establishing usage rules and boundaries. The Family Technology Plan is a useful tool for facilitating a discussion about technology use at home. Screen Time information can be found on the Screen Time Page.
All models of Apple laptop (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) are currently acceptable for use at HIS if the hard drive/flash drive is 256GB or greater.
Parents may purchase the laptop directly from Apple or from any Apple Authorized Reseller, including Solution Keys (visit the Solution Keys website). AppleCare warranty can be purchased through Apple Store or resellers/distributors. [Please note again that the laptop needs a 256GB or larger hard drive/flash drive. Also note that you do NOT need to purchase Microsoft Office.
If a fapiao (official Chinese government tax invoice) is needed, parents must acquire the fapiao directly from the laptop vendor.
- The family is responsible for maintaining the laptop in fully-working condition.
- It is likely that a laptop over four years old will no longer meet the learning requirements of the student in which case the family should provide a new laptop for their student.
- Parents may check the age of a laptop, and also determine whether or not the laptop is still covered by warranty, by entering the laptop serial number on the Apple Selfsolve website.
If needed, parents may download a “Hangzhou International School Requirement” letter, which states that the school requires each family to provide an Apple laptop for each Grade 6 to Grade 12 student to use at school. Upon request made at the Business Office, the School will personalize the letter with student name, student grade, and parent name.
All laptops purchased from an Apple Authorized Reseller come with a one-year worldwide warranty. You can seek repairs at any Apple Store or from any Apple Authorized Service Provider. See the Apple Warranty website for details. Parents can also visit the Apple Warranty website to determine the age of a student’s laptop and whether or not the laptop is still covered by warranty. Non-warranty repairs and ordering of parts can be requested through the HIS Tech Pagoda.
Laptops purchased from an Apple Authorized Reseller in China come with an additional, second, year warranty that covers “main parts,” including Motherboard (MLB), RAM, Hard Drive (HDD/SSD), AC adapter, keyboard, and LCD. Warranty repairs during this second year of the warranty must be performed in China. See the Apple China Warranty website for details (the website is only available in Chinese).
Parents may, at their discretion, and at time of laptop purchase or within the first year after laptop purchase, purchase an Apple Care Protection Plan for the laptop, which provides a second and third year of worldwide warranty coverage. That is, one can purchase two years of worldwide warranty beyond the one-year warranty that comes with a new laptop for a total of three years of worldwide warranty. As always, we recommend that you consider the cost of the warranty versus the benefit before making your purchase decision.
- Parents may check the current warranty coverage of a laptop at the Apple Selfsolve website.
- The Apple warranty does not cover “physical damage” such as damage due to liquid in the laptop, a cracked screen, or damage clearly due to dropping of the laptop.
- Details provided here are for informational purposes only; please verify the warranty coverage when you purchase the laptop.
Apple Service Centers in Hangzhou
Main Hangzhou West Lake Apple Store and Service Center (MixC Mall)
100 Pinghai Rd, Hubin Shangquan, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 310006
浙江省杭州市上城区湖滨商圈平海路100号 邮政编码: 310006
Hours: 10:00 – 22:30
Binjiang Apple Service Center
杭州, 浙江 310000
HIS strongly recommends that parents purchase a 1 TB or larger external USB Hard Drive for exclusive use with each laptop. Students can use Apple Time Machine software, which comes with the laptop, to easily backup their data. USB Hard Drives are readily available at the Solution Keys website and most stores that sell computers.
Due to the nature of the “Apple ecosystem” much of the software used for learning at HIS is tied to an individual’s Apple ID (Apple account). Each student in the Laptop Program will need their own Apple ID to obtain, install, and upgrade software. Note: Parents of students under 13 years of age should use Apple Family Sharing to provide an Apple ID for their student.
For information on Apple ID, visit Apple’s My Apple ID website. Help is also available from the HIS Tech Pagoda. In sum, however, the process to obtain an Apple ID is as shown below. Note that it would be best if you choose your home country physical address when you set up the Apple ID. Doing so will allow you to download software from the Apple App store associated with your home country.
- If the student is under 13 years of age, then per Apple policy s/he may not create his/her own Apple ID. Instead a parent must set up the Apple ID for the student using Apple Family Sharing. We recommend that parents do this for all Grade 5 and Grade 6 students regardless of age. The process is for the parent to create his/her own Apple ID and then, under the “Apple Family Sharing” concept, the parent also creates an Apple ID for the student. The student Apple ID is “supervised” by the parent’s Apple ID. [For instructions visit Apple’s Set up Family Sharing web page.]
- If the student is 13 years of age or older, then, with parental permission, s/he can set up an Apple ID him/herself. Parents may also wish to use Apple Family Sharing for their older student (see above). [To create an Apple ID visit the My Apple ID website .]
Each student-use laptop must be registered with the HIS Tech Pagoda before the student may use the laptop at School. This registration should take place before the first day of class, e.g., during Orientation or any other time that is convenient. During registration, HIS will add the laptop into the school network and records system and install an administrator account with JamF on the laptop. Our experience with has also taught us to affix a Name Tag to the laptop to help distinguish it from the hundreds of other laptops on campus.
- Each student must bring his/her laptop to the Tech Pagoda before they leave HIS so that staff may remove School site-licensed software and delete the laptop from School records and systems.
- Each student must bring his/her current “HIS” laptop to the Tech Pagoda before s/he replaces the laptop so that staff may remove School site-licensed software and delete the laptop from School records and systems. The new laptop cannot be added to HIS's system until the old laptop has been removed.
HIS utilizes various categories of laptop software.
- Base Apple Software – Many Apple software applications, e.g., Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand, and upgrades thereof, are available free from the online Apple Mac Store for new laptop purchases and by using a personal Apple ID. Upgrades to the laptop Operating System are available in a similar manner. Laptop Program students are responsible for maintaining the aforementioned software on their laptops. Training is provided as needed.
- Free Software – HIS uses a number of free, or relatively inexpensive, software applications that the School makes available for all Laptop Program students to download and install from Self Service with JamF. Such software does not have to be returned to the School.
- Paid Software – Some software that students will use for a class may be required and/or is at the student's discretion and must be paid for independently.
- Much of the HIS-provided software is site-licensed to HIS. Therefore each student must bring his/her laptop to the Tech Hub to have the software removed from the laptop once the software is no longer required by the curriculum. Similarly, each student must bring his/her laptop to the Tech Hub to have the software removed when the laptop is no longer to be used at HIS, for example, when the student gets a new laptop or leaves HIS.
HIS also utilizes various cloud-based services, e.g., Microsoft Office 365.
HIS makes every effort to safeguard the well-being of, and to facilitate the education process for, all students. In the context of the Laptop Program, this means that teachers and administrators may, when deemed necessary, search the data on laptops (such as files, browser, chat, and Skype history, etc.) and on HIS systems (such as email, photo/video galleries, class websites, etc.) and/or temporarily impound a student laptop pending a discussion with the student’s parent. Please see also the HIS Technology Responsible Use Agreement.
Q: Will there be training on laptop usage?
A: During August Student Orientation HIS provides a workshop-style Tech Orientation for Grade 6 and Upper School students new to HIS. Student Technology slides can be downloaded from the Student Technology Tutorial webpage. Additionally Tech "T" sessions are held throughout the year for students and faculty.
Q: Where can I find out more about the Tech curriculum?
A: If you have questions about the Tech Curriculum, please contact our tech team at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q: What type of laptop do we need to buy?
A: You need to buy/provide an Apple MacBook laptop (any recent model). See the “Laptop (Provided by Parent)” section above for details.
Q: Does my student need administrator rights on the laptop?
A: Students in grades 9-12 have full administrator rights on their laptop. Some applications are restricted for all students and some in particular for Middle School students. Parents always have the right to be an administrator on their child's laptop.
Q: How do we create an Apple ID for our student?
A: As a parent, you should use Family Sharing to set up an Apple ID for your student who is under age 13. Do not have them to set up their own Apple ID. (Note: With Family Sharing you as parent must approve applications before the student may download them.) Visit support.apple.com/en-us/HT201088 for instructions on how to set up Family Sharing and get an Apple ID for your student. Students age 13 and older may, with parental approval, set up their own Apple ID. Visit appleid.apple.com for details.
Q: What, when, and where is laptop registration?
A: During laptop registration, HIS will add the laptop into the school network and records system and install an administrator account on the laptop. The laptop must be registered at the Tech Pagoda, across from the Gym and next to the lockers, before the first day of class, e.g., during August Student Orientation or any other time that is convenient. Registration only occurs once for each laptop used at HIS.
Q: What software do I need to buy?
A: Students commonly install school-required software themselves with the assistance of teachers and the Tech Department. The laptop must be registered with the school in order to install the software. Please bring the laptop during Student Orientation to facilitate this effort.
Q: Does HIS provide software upgrades?
A: Yes, for school-specific software and on an as-needed basis. Upgrading the laptop operating system, "iWork" (Pages, Keynote, Numbers), and "iLife" (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand) are the responsibility of the student, or parent in the case of Grade 6 through Grade 8 students since those students should not have admin rights on the laptop. These applications, and upgrades thereof, are now available free from the online Apple Mac Store for new laptop purchases and by using a personal Apple ID. Note that the Apple Mac App Store and the Apple (iOS) App Store are two different online stores; the former is for laptop software and the latter is for iPad and iPhone Apps.
Q: Will my student be able to install non-school related software on the laptop?
A: Students who have administrator rights on the laptop may install any software. Grade 6 through Grade 8 students should not have admin rights on the laptop and so will require assistance from the Tech Pagoda. Parents, of course, may and should impose their own rules for their student regarding which non-school software may be downloaded, if any.
Q: What type of laptop bag is best?
A: Any style of laptop bag is fine as long as it is sturdy enough to protect the laptop from minor bumps and drops.
Q: What size external USB hard drive is recommended?
A: We require a 1 TB or larger USB external hard drive.
Q: What if I don’t think my child is mature enough to care for their own laptop?
A: HIS provides a Tech Orientation during August Student Orientation for all Grade 6 and new students. In addition, we provide in-class training during the first two weeks of school for Grade 5 students. If you think that your Grade 6 student is not mature enough to take the family-provided laptop back and forth to school, you may require your student to leave the laptop in lockable overnight laptop storage provided at school. In order for your student to complete homework, however, you should allow them to use another computer at home. If you have concerns regarding your student’s use of the laptop you may also contact a counselor.
Q: Should we let our student use the laptop over the summer before school starts?
We recommend that parents of Middle School students not already part of the Laptop Program, or of older students not familiar with appropriate laptop-related behaviors, not let their student use the laptop until after the Tech Orientation and agreement on laptop usage rules and boundaries. If the student uses the laptop over the summer without structure then behaviors may already be set up to allow inappropriate usage. Early unstructured use could also lead to poor habits and decisions, making it more difficult to form rules and boundaries once school begins.
Q: Should we get a VPN for our student?
A: Use of a VPN is not required for schoolwork. We recommend that you do not install a personal VPN for your Middle School student. You, as parent, might consider allowing VPN access for an older student once you determine that the student has demonstrated the ability to access the Internet in a responsible manner.
Q: Will the school provide laptop power chargers for use during the day?
A: Students are required to bring their laptop to school fully charged. They may also wish to bring their laptop charger to school. Loaner chargers are not available.
Q: If my student forgets to bring his/her laptop to school will the school provide a loaner laptop for the day?
A: Each student needs to bring his/her laptop to school each day. Learning responsibility is part of the growing process and loaner laptops are not available for this purpose. Alternative activities will be determined by the classroom teacher.
Q: Does the school provide a loaner laptop if my student’s laptop breaks?
A: Yes, in most cases. However, HIS only has a limited number of loaner laptops available and cannot guarantee having one available for your student. The family is responsible for seeking a quick repair/replacement of the laptop; the school cannot provide long-term loaner laptops.
Q: Can my Elementary School student participate in the Laptop Program?
A: The Laptop Program is not currently available to students below Grade 6.
Q: My student is getting a new laptop, can the old laptop stay in the Laptop Program?
A: Each student may only have one laptop at a time in the Laptop Program. The student must bring his/her “old” laptop to the Tech Pagoda before registering the new laptop so that staff may remove School site-licensed software and delete the laptop from School records and systems.
Q: I heard someone say there is something called “Find My iPhone.” Is that helpful and how do I get it?
A: “Find My iPhone, iPad, and Mac” is a service provided by Apple that enables a user to lock a “lost” Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Apple laptop), to display a message on the lost device, to determine the rough location of the lost device, and/or to delete all data on the lost device. To use the “Find My” service, the user must set up the service prior to loss of the device.
Setting up the “Find My” service for a device requires first getting an Apple ID and using that Apple ID to turn on iCloud for the device. If you don’t already have an Apple ID, visit appleid.apple.com to get one. To turn on iCloud for a device, go to www.icloud.com, click “Setup Instructions” in the upper right of that webpage, and follow the instructions.
When the “Find My” service is active, the user can track the device from a different device, e.g., track one’s laptop from one’s iPhone or from a friend’s iPad, etc. Tracking from an iOS device requires installation of the “Fine iPhone” App on the iOS device being used to do the tracking. Tracking a lost device from an Apple or Windows laptop can be done via www.icloud.com.
For details visit the Apple Find My iPhone, iPad, and Mac webpage.
Laptop Collection for the 2019-2020 Academic Year
All laptops will be collected at the end of the school year.
In the special circumstance that a student does not return their assigned Macbook Air due to an unpredictable situation, they must pay the cost of replacement. The replacement fee is determined by the current pro-rated value of the laptop based on its age combined with reimaging, software, and labor costs. A laptop non-return must be reported and paid within 10 days of loss.