Technology at SPSG

SPSG’s NEW Laptop Program

We are pleased to partner with DSR Computers to offer our families an easy and convenient option for purchasing computers for our one-to-one laptop program.  Families may, of course, use laptops they currently own that meet our requirements instead of purchasing a new computer or purchase a computer through another retailer.

All of the laptops models listed on this webpage meet the requirements of SPSG’s 1:1 laptop program, and all laptops ordered through DSR can be serviced locally by DSR.  Free pickup and delivery at SPSG on Mondays and Thursdays is included in the price.  Please allow up to 7 calendar days for repairs. DSR will inform the customer of repairs taking longer.

We recommend the purchase of an extended warranty for 3 or 4 years (if available).  DSR also recommends purchasing a warranty that includes damage caused by the student (i.e. a broken screen) as well as manufacturer defects.   

DSR may be able to service your device even if you purchased it from another vendor. Please contact them with the model number and serial number for verification at 410-579-4508 or service@dsr-inc.com. 

Computers that do not meet these specifications may be still serviced by DSR, but not under the warranty program.  DSR will provide families selecting this option with an estimated charge before making repairs.   

If you would like to purchase a computer through DSR, please complete the appropriate fields and click "submit" at the bottom of the page. Your order will be sent via email to the DSR Sales Department, and you will receive confirmation and order total within 24 business hours. You may also print and fax this form to DSR at 410-579-8412, ATTN: Sales Department.

If you prefer to mail a check, please indicate so in the comments.  DSR will contact you with the final total of your order.  Please see attached PDFs for information regarding SPSG’s 1:1 laptop program and hardware and software requirements.

Once an order has been placed and DSR has notified you of delivery, please contact the Technology Office at SPSG by emailing Brian Brockman or Pat Feher in order to pick up your computer. 
 

Reasoning Behind 1:1 Laptop Program

SPSG has a long history of leadership in technology. In 1967, Mary Frances Wagley initiated a partnership with Goucher College allowing SPSG girls to study FORTRAN at Goucher College through a grant from the National Science Foundation. This program made SPSG the first Baltimore-area school to incorporate technology and programming into its curriculum.  In 1978, SPSG purchased its own computer for the special rate of $11,500. According to the SPSG history Through All Our Days, the new computer fit easily into the school, being only the “size of a family desk.” The student body voted to name their new computer Paula.

The 1:1 laptop program initiative, supported by the Board of Trustees, is based upon research, school visits, and a self-study completed in the 2010-2011 school year by a group of faculty, administrators, and staff members representing all departments and divisions of SPSG.

We believe, and research demonstrates, that moving to a 1:1 laptop program supports the way girls learn best. For example, faculty researching individual computing programs in schools emphasized that girls learn best when the course material is relevant and supports the betterment of society (Dain, 1991; J.F. Margolis, Fisher & Miller, n.d.-a; Tillberg, 2005). Our 1:1 laptop program will allow girls to explore the relevance of their subject matter and to publish and share their work with peers online.

We are committed to preparing girls to be ethical, innovative, and organized leaders in college and in today’s complex and rapidly changing workforce. In order to succeed in this environment, girls must possess not only strong content-area knowledge and critical thinking skills, but also the ability to work well and communicate with others, the skills to analyze and create media, and “the ability to apply technology effectively” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). A 1:1 laptop program will allow girls to engage in projects that build these skills on a daily basis.

In addition to providing girls daily access to technology necessary for success in the twenty-first century, a 1:1 laptop program ensures equitable access of all girls to technology. All girls would come to school and go home with a laptop and be equipped to learn similar critical thinking skills. Confident that all students had similarly high-functioning technology, faculty would be prepared to teach and incorporate technology to enhance learning.

Specifically, a 1:1 laptop program will allow girls to

  • complete long-term, technology-based projects, such as research and video editing, in class and at home;
  • access and explore web-based resources on a daily basis in class;
  • organize class materials and share notes and resources with their teachers and classmates;
  • collaborate on web-based projects with their SPSG and SP classmates and with peers from the Online School for Girls or SPSG sister schools;
  • and to use technology to create and publish their own bodies of work.

The roll-out of the program began in 2012-13, and will be complete in 2014-15. 

  • 2013-2014: Current Grades IX-XI
  • 2014-2015 and going forward: All girls in grades VIII-XII will be expected to own a laptop for school use.

This careful approach will allow SPSG’s Academic Technology Coordinator to deliver targeted professional development to teachers of girls involved in the pilot program. Also, in preparation for the roll-out of this new program, SPSG is increasing its Internet bandwidth and improving other aspects of infrastructure that are essential to the success of this program.

Although some schools with 1:1 laptop programs require families to purchase expensive or specific brands of laptops, SPSG has designed a policy, consistent with that of St. Paul’s School, which allows for choice. The estimated range of cost for a laptop meeting the basic requirements of SPSG’s 1:1 program is approximately $400 and above.

The school is creating options for families to ensure that all students have access to laptops, which may include offering refurbished laptops. Families unable to purchase a new laptop should contact Tom Travers, Financial Aid Coordinator, for more information.

 

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STAR Center for Girls

Grades 5 and 6

All girls in Grades V and VI spend two days each week in the STAR (Science Technology Arts and Research) Center for Girls. Equipped with a classroom set of MacBook Pros, along with iPads and cameras, this space is dedicated to fostering the development of digital literacy, creativity, research, communication, and problem-solving skills in middle school girls.   Each project in the STAR Center is developed in coordination with the subject-area teachers and advisors, extending girls’ understanding of the subject matter, articulating interdisciplinary connections, and allowing girls to explore topics in greater depth.   Projects over the course of the year allow girls to 

 

  • Develop digital literacy and research skills
  • Work collaboratively to develop problem-solving skills
  • Research individual areas of interest to extend understanding of course content
  • Communicate using technology in creative ways, including film, digital storytelling, web 2.0 platforms, Prezi’s, and other emerging web 2.0 platforms
  • Edit and publish work to share with a variety of audiences
  • Learn basic engineering and programming skills
  • Strengthen their public speaking skills and presentation skills
  • Practice keyboarding skills 

 

Ultimately, this collaborative space equips girls with social, technology, and discipline-related skills required as they move forward in their education and beyond. 

Grades VII-VIII

Building on the solid foundation established in Grades V and VI, girls in Grades VII and VIII apply and enrich their technology skills through projects integrated into a variety of subject areas. Classroom projects incorporate instruction in skills such as word processing, digital literacy, PowerPoint, Excel, graphic design, digital photography, audio/video production, digital storytelling, and research, and classes spend time in the STAR Center working on these projects.

1:1 Laptop Program Information

 

 

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Mission Statement

  • To integrate technology (computers and multimedia learning environment) in support of SPSG's commitment to providing a rigorous and challenging academic program for students from a wide range of abilities and learning styles.
  • To encourage and support the use of technology in the teaching/learning environments in attracting, supporting, and retaining an extraordinary faculty of diverse experiences and talents who are committed to educating the minds and hearts of girls.
  • To promote the use of technology in providing sound financial management and strengthening the culture of philanthropy to allow SPSG to fulfill its mission.
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