There are a few things that you need to do to get your school technology ready for Summit Learning. We recommend getting started on these action items as early as possible.
- Get teacher and student Google Apps for Education or Office 365 accounts
- Get devices for your students
- Verify that your school's internet has sufficient bandwidth
- Modify School Web Filters to Accommodate the Summit Learning Platform
- Connect your Student Information System with Clever
- Ensure that students can receive files from users outside of whitelisted domains
Get teacher and student Google Apps for Education or Office 365 Accounts
Before you can add teachers to the Summit Learning Platform, you will need to set up Google Apps for Education or Office 356 and create teacher and students accounts.
You can find additional information on how to get started with Google Apps for Education here.
Office 365: You can get started creating Office 365 accounts here.
Get devices for your students
Every Summit Learning student needs his or her own computer with a keyboard. Students must access the Summit Learning Platform via Chrome as the primary browser.
Technology is a key tool that Summit Learning Program teachers use to facilitate learning opportunities for students. Because of this, your environment needs to be 1:1 to prevent students from being disrupted by their learning goals. Keyboards are also essential to allow for students to engage in their Projects in an unhindered way. Some students may already have computers at home, but others may not. It’s imperative for all students to have access to computers at school and at home.
- Chrome Browser: The Summit Learning Platform is tested on Chrome exclusively and we, therefore, recommend all schools access the platform via Chrome as the primary browser. You can download Chrome here.
- Overall Experience: All students have a device that works well at all times.
- Device: Chromebooks are 3 years old or newer; Windows, Mac, or Linux laptops are 4 years old or newer; Windows tablets have a full keyboard and a 10" screen. Extra devices are purchased up front to serve as replacements and loaners.
- Operating System: Laptops are running one of these operating systems (or higher): ChromeOS (41), Windows 7, MacOS 10, Ubuntu 14.
- Printing (optional): Every student can print to a printer from his/her device.
Verify that your school's internet has sufficient bandwidth
Each classroom participating in the Summit Learning Program must have sufficient bandwidth to support a room full of students using the Summit Learning Platform at the same time.
A wireless environment can easily be overwhelmed once many students log on at once to stream a video. Ensuring that your site has both the wireless density, coverage, and capacity to accommodate your school site is crucial to successful learning environment.
- Overall Experience: All participating teachers and students are able to stream video and audio at the same with no slowness/buffering.
- Internet Speed: The connection out to the Internet is a fiber optic connection with speeds allowing for at least 1.5mbps/student.
- Wireless Equipment: There is one access point per classroom broadcasting the WiFi signal. Equipment is designed for enterprise use rather than home use.
- Networking Infrastructure: The connection out to the Internet passes through a 10GB backbone built with enterprise-level equipment (switches, firewall, router) and updated Cat 5e cabling.
Modify School Web Filters to Accommodate the Summit Learning Platform
Web filters at schools need to be loosened so that students can access the range of sites that the Summit Learning Platform uses, including Youtube, etc.
Before a student is able to access all of the resources in the playlists, your school might need to adjust the web filters at your schools’ network. If web filters are unable to be loosened to include access to sites such as YouTube, then we suggest you forward the whitelist to your IT department and request that these individual links be unblocked.
Note: During the summer months (until mid to late August), the Base Curriculum is being updated frequently to include new educational resources. We recommend that school IT teams download the whitelist bi-weekly during this time to ensure that all links are accessible to students. We will also email you if the curriculum changes significantly to remind you to download the whitelist again.
Learn how to download the Whitelist here.
Recommended Domain Whitelisting
In addition to the specific whitelist URLs, we also recommend that, if it corresponds with your school IT policy, you whitelist common resources that we use and link out to frequently. This will allow your students to explore these resources beyond those resources already selected and included in our Base Curriculum and empower your teachers to add additional resources from these sites to their curriculum.
- Britannica School (https://school.eb.com/) Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, Summit Learning is providing access to the educational library Britannica School, from Britannica Digital Learning, to all learners on the Summit Learning Platform, free of charge. Britannica School resources are multimedia and designed for educational use, and many articles are provided at multiple reading levels. Britannica School resources are available at multiple reading levels, adjustable by the student.
Connect your Student Information System with Clever
Clever is a software tool that the Summit Learning Platform uses to securely transmit student data from student information services that schools already use. Clever keeps educational applications rostered and up-to-date. We think it’s the best tool available for the job: very secure, easy to set-up and use, and free for schools.
In order to get students set up in the Summit Learning Platform, you’ll want to sync your Student Information System. The person who signs-up and begins the process will need to have an administrative level account with your SIS system. This process can take a few weeks, so please plan accordingly.
Ensure that students can receive files from users outside of whitelisted domains
Note: this step is only necessary for schools using Google Apps for Education. Schools using Office 365 may skip this step.
- Go to admin.google.com/yourschool
- Click on Apps
- Click on Google Apps
- Click on Drive
- Click on Sharing Settings
- You can edit Sharing Settings for each group in your organization by clicking on the group name in the left-hand column.
- Make sure that you select WHITELISTED DOMAINS.
- Checking “Allow users in <your school> to receive files from users outside of whitelisted domains.”, will allow students to receive files from any domain.
- You need to make sure these settings apply to each sub-group of students (like class of 2020); it's not enough to select the top-level student group.
- Click Save.
If you would like to specifically whitelist (i.e., allow documents from) the Summit domain:
- Go to admin.google.com/yourschool
- Click on Domains (link)
- Click on Whitelisted External Domains
- Add "summitlearning.org"
Important Note: These changes can take up to 24 hours to propagate.