Educational Technology Program

High School Technology Program (1:1)

The ACS High School implemented a family-owned, school-managed digital device program in August of 2012. Through the 1:1 program students are prepared for living, learning and working in a digital world. Students have anytime, anywhere access to technology both at home and at school. Competent, creative, positive, and responsible uses of technology are developed through the program. Currently, the required device is an Apple MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptop. This page will outline how the program works and the hardware requirements for student laptops as well as additional purchases to protect your investment.

How Does the Program Work?

  • Parents purchase laptops for their students that meet basic hardware/software requirements through the school or their own sources. Families that already have laptops that meet the requirements may use these laptops.
  • The school will have management rights to the computer to allow ACS to install all necessary educational software. Families will retain administrative rights over their computers.
  • ACS will provide information each year about the minimum specifications required for laptops used at the school. This information will include the acceptable hard drive size, memory and age of the computer.
  • After 3 years, older laptops will need to have a yearly review to make sure they can meet school sanctioned software and hardware requirements.
  • When the student leaves ACS, they are expected to remove school software.
Minimum Laptop Expectations

Students may purchase a new Apple laptop or bring a family owned Apple laptop to school. In order to ensure that laptops can use the most recent operating system and have optimal battery life, it is important that laptops meet a minimum criteria. We would also recommend that students do not purchase a 15" machine. This size is quite heavy and makes it difficult to transport throughout the day.
The minimum required specifications for laptops in the iTap program are as follows:
  • New MacBook Computers
    • MacBook Pro – 13” screen – minimum 4GB of RAM
    • MacBook Air – 13” screen – minimum 4GB of RAM
The ACS tech team recommends the MacBook Air models for their long battery life and lighter weight.

  • Family Owned Machine
    • Models 2012 or newer are fine, minimum 4GB of RAM
    • Must be able to run one of the two most recent Operating Systems from Mac, and not have battery issues
It is highly recommended that students purchase a plastic cover and neoprene sleeve for protection from damage during transport and use.
Optional: a silicon keyboard cover is great to keep out dust, water, and can be purchased in many languages to change the appearance of the keyboard.
Please note: If your child is taking Arabic, the keyboard must have an Arabic/English keyboard. If you buy your computer outside of the UAE, you will need to buy an Arabic keyboard cover.
Insurance: Don’t forget to purchase homeowners insurance to protect against theft or loss. AXA provides a reasonably priced policy in the UAE.

Apple Care Warranty: An Apple care warranty gives your computer three years of worldwide coverage for repairs. It is available through purchase online at the Apple Store on the US, Canadian and European sites.

Middle School Technology Program (1:1)

In Grades 6-8 students participate in a 1:1 program very similar to that of our High School. In this program students are prepared for living, learning, and working in a digital world. Students have anytime, anywhere access to technology both at home and at school. Currently, the required device is an Apple MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptop. In Grade 6 ACS provides each student an Apple Macbook Pro laptop. Students in Grades 7-8 are responsible for providing their own laptops.

Why do different grades have different privileges?

In Grade 6 and 7 students are provided with training on digital citizenship, computer management and responsible use. Grade 7 students will need to demonstrate that they are responsible enough to care for a laptop, while at the same time having limits on how the computer is organized and available software.

In Grade 8 our goal is to develop a sense of personal responsibility where students will receive the privilege to have their own computer to manage. They will have greater freedoms about how their computers will be used both inside and outside of the classroom. The goal of our 1:1 program at the Middle School level is to instill good habits to prepare students for the greater freedoms provided in the High School at ACS.

Here are the hardware requirements for family purchased laptops as well as additional purchases to protect your investment.

1. Computer
Students may purchase a new Apple laptop or bring a family owned Apple laptop to school. In order to ensure that laptops can use the most recent operating system and have optimal battery life, it is important that laptops meet minimum criteria. We would also recommend that students do not purchase a 15" machine. This size is quite heavy and makes it difficult to transport throughout the day.
The minimum required specifications for laptops used at ACS are as follows:
  • New MacBook Computers
    • Preferred Option: MacBook Air – 13” screen – minimum 4GB of RAM
    • Alternative: MacBook Pro – 13” screen – minimum 4GB of RAM.
  • Family Owned Machine
    • Models 2012 or newer are fine with a minimum of 4GB of RAM and a battery that holds a charge for at least four hours.
    • Please see the Technology Services Office if you are not sure if the computer is suitable. We are happy to run tests on the battery and check specifications of the laptop for you.
We recommend researching prices in your home country and the UAE before making your purchase. You may be able to find a greater selection in your home country. On the other hand, while the base price may be higher in the UAE, there is no sales tax or VAT to add to the overall cost.

The best prices for purchasing a MacBook in Abu Dhabi is through the Apple site:http://store.apple.com/ae

The laptop can be delivered to your home, usually within 4 days. Ordering online also offers you the ability to add more to your laptop such as more RAM or hard drive capacity. The Virgin MegaStore, iStyle Stores and Plugins also sell Apple Laptops, but they are slightly more expensive than the online store.

2. Protect your Investment
Dress for Success: It is highly recommended that students purchase a plastic cover and neoprene sleeve for protection from damage during transport and use. This is mandatory for all grade 7 and 8 students.
Optional: a silicon keyboard cover is great to keep out dust, water, and can be purchased in many languages to change the appearance of the keyboard.
Please note: If your child is taking Arabic, the keyboard must have an Arabic/English Keyboard. If you buy your computer outside of the UAE, you will need to buy an Arabic keyboard cover.
Insurance: Don’t forget to purchase homeowners insurance to protect against theft or loss. AXA provides a reasonably priced policy in the UAE.
Apple Care Warranty: An Apple care warranty gives your computer three years of worldwide coverage for repairs. It is available through purchase on-line at the Apple Store on the US, Canadian and European sites.

Elementary School Technology Program

The ACS elementary school is a technology rich environment. Grades 4 and 5 have a 1:1 laptop environment in school. The machines are kept in a cart in each classroom and are available to the students throughout the day. Grade 3 has access to two carts of laptops for three classrooms which they use on a rotating basis.

The lower grades have a 1:3 ratio of iPads for classroom use. These devices allow students grade appropriate access to technology

The teachers use a variety of hardware and software technology to engage the students including projectors, music, document cameras, video cameras, iPads, MacBook Pros, account based learning websites, and the Google Suite for Education.

Hardware and Software for Home Use:

Parents often ask about the type of computer to which the elementary students should have access. The students are learning to interact with Apple MacBook Pro laptops and iPads. However, any of the homework students are given can be accessed over the Internet via a web-based account or a Google application. While students might find an Apple product easier to use because they are used to it, a Windows or Android based device will also serve the requirements of an elementary school student. The students will be familiar with the Google Chrome browser.

If you have a Grade 5 student and are looking to purchase a new computer, ACS encourages the purchase of an Macbook product. Please see the Middle School Technology Program laptop requirements for more guidance.

Educational Technology Coaching

Educational technology coaching is a critical part of the educational technology program. ACS employs a Technology Learning Coach at each division. The main goal of the technology learning coaches is to assist, support, and collaborate with teachers and students in using technology to improve, enhance, and transform the teaching and learning process. This is guided by learning goals and objectives of the activity, project, and/or unit of study.

To help teachers effectively integrate technology into their teaching and learning processes, the coaches work with the teachers in context of the ISTE NETs standards (for teachers and students), theTechnology Integration Matrix, and/or the SAMR model. These help to ensure that the teaching and learning processes are not just substituting traditional ways of teaching through technology, but rather are endeavoring to transform the learning process, allowing teachers and students to develop essential skills and to learn, think, communicate, collaborate, and create in new ways that would not be possible without the technology.

The coaches facilitate during and after school workshops for faculty and staff related to educational technology tools and pedagogy. Parent Outreach Sessions are also provided for parents so that they are informed about technology for learning at ACS and up-skilled in their own technology use.

Other Elements of the Educational Technology Program

ACS is a G Suite for Education school. Many apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Spreadsheet, Forms, Presentation, and Calendar are used in the learning process to communicate, collaborate, think, plan, and create. G Suite Apps are used in all divisions.

Veracross is a web-based tool that provides the learning management system through which ACS teachers can share class information, assignments, resources, assessment deadlines and results, and grade reports with students and parents.

The educational technology program allows for a variety of other digital tools and applications that can be used to enhance and transform the learning process. However, ACS does not provide technical support for additional personal devices such as mobile phones, iPads, and iPods and will not maintain or install software on them.

Take a look at our Technology Showcase to see some exemplars of student work with digital tools and applications.