1:1 laptop distribution under way

After months of planning and preparation, the computers are finally in the hands of Penn Manor High School students!

About half of the 1,725 Acer laptops being provided under the 1:1 Student Laptop Program had been distributed as of Wednesday morning. The distribution will continue through Thursday, January 30.

Every student is receiving a custom-designed laptop, carrying case, charger and mouse under the 1:1 program, which is designed to make powerful computing technology available to all students to enhance learning.

The laptops will be used in the classroom and at home, and students will be responsible for any damages that may occur. The devices are equipped with filters to block images and materials harmful to minors.

The 1:1 program is believed to be the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania involving student computers equipped with open-source software. Penn Manor School District expects to save about $345,000 on licensing fees by using the free software.

The effort also is being implemented with a great deal of help from student technology assistants, who designed an imaging system, software and other programs to support the 1:1 program. The students also are training their peers on how to use the laptops and will help diagnose technical problems as they occur.