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Technology - Tablet PC Program

Today’s students are digital natives, and as 21st century students, they need to regularly use 21st century tools to acquire the knowledge and skills they need for success in the world in which they live. Students who have regular access, training, and experience in using technology acquire a much higher level of computer literacy and competency which gives them an edge in today’s college and work environments.

Our one-to-one Tablet PC program enables students to have everything they need for school in one package which is available for student use any time of the day and any day of the week. 

The Tablet PC enables McNicholas to continue to carry out its goal “to equip our students with opportunities and experiences that will enable them to achieve excellence.” In a co-ed environment, we prepare students for the world in which they live and with the technology that they need not only for today, but for their future.

A one-to-one program puts a Tablet PC in the hands of each student in the program. A Tablet PC is a laptop plus much more. A Tablet PC allows the student to write, edit, or draw directly on the screen with a digital pen. With the digital pen, a tablet user can jot quick notes, draw diagrams, or write formulas without the constraints of a keyboard or mouse. Documents, such as teacher handouts, can be annotated quickly, using any color ink or highlighter—just by using the digital pen. Notes are easier to take, easier to search, and easier to organize. With a tablet program, teachers are able to integrate the many software programs available to the various academic disciplines as well as having the ability to seize the “teachable moment” for spontaneous classroom work involving computer technology.

Research shows that students who have the benefit of a one-to-one tablet program take a more active role in learning. DyKnow® software allows the teacher to monitor what programs each students is using during class and even provides a thumbnail of each student screen to ensure that every student is on task. More importantly, the DyKnow® program enables shared note-taking and in-class interaction between students and teachers. This interaction results in students taking a more active role in the learning process which increases student motivation and productivity. Critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills are all enhanced. In addition, communication, writing, and teamwork skills are all developed more fully with the integration of a one-to-one tablet program. Students report that using a Tablet PC makes them much more organized—the most important skill for anyone in today’s busy world.

The Tablet PC program operates in the following manner:

  • Students obtain a standard Tablet PC through McNicholas.
  • Provisions will be made for students who qualify for financial aid.
  • Tablet PCs are loaded and configured over the summer with standard software, textbooks, organizational software, etc.
  • Students attend an orientation and training session before the start of school to receive their Tablet PC and learn to use and care for it.
  • Teachers use online texts/resources and eliminate requirements for hard-copy binders.
  • Students bring their Tablet PCs to school everyday, fully charged.
  • Students and teachers use Tablet PCs throughout the school day as appropriate (not in use at all times).
  • Teachers control and monitor tablet use in the classroom using monitoring software.
  • Students use Tablet PCs around school using the McNicholas wireless network, at home, and “on the go” for completing assignments.
  • The Tablet PC Helpdesk is available in the Library Media Center Monday - Friday from 7 a.m - 3:30 p.m. for student and teacher assistance, as well as repairs. Students can also receive support by emailing
  • The Tablet PC Helpdesk does NOT support home printers, home networks, or home security issues.
  • “Loaner” tablets will be available when student Tablet PCs are being repaired.
PC Tablet FAQ

Tablet PC FAQs

Q: What do I do if I need help with my Tablet PC?
A: You can visit the Tablet PC Helpdesk in the Library Media Center Monday - Friday from 7 a.m - 3:30 p.m. or send an email to

Q: Will I still have to carry textbooks?
A: The majority of the textbooks will be online or electronic copies that can be accessed with the tablet.

Q: Will I need access to the internet at home?
A: Yes. If you do not have internet access at home, there are free internet providers such as Juno and NetZero.

Q: Am I allowed to install programs on the tablet?
A: No. All programs students need are pre-loaded onto the tablet. If there is an additional program you need for educational purposes, inquire at the Tablet Helpdesk.

Q: Am I allowed to decorate my tablet?
A: No. Students may not personalize the outside of their tablet with stickers, writing, etc.

Q: Do I get to keep the tablet over the summer?
A: Yes. However, students may be required to turn in their tablets for reimaging and pick them up at a set time. Students are responsible for creating a back-up of files and notes before turning in their tablet. Specific directions will be provided to students.

Q: What software is included?
A: This could vary from year to year. At minimum, the tablet will include Windows Operating System, Office Professional, DyKnow, textbook software, and an anti-virus software.

Q: What if my tablet becomes damaged?
A: Accidental damage protection is in place. Any hardware issues must be reported to the Tablet Helpdesk.

Q: What do I do if my tablet is broken or is lost or stolen?
A: Lost or stolen tablets must be paid for by the parents/guardians. We highly recommend adding a rider policy to your home owner’s insurance to cover other damages, loss, or theft of the tablet.

Q: Who owns the tablet?
A: The tablet is property of Archbishop McNicholas High School. Once all fees are paid upon graduation, the tablet is then released to the student.

Q: Can I bring in or buy my own tablet instead of paying for a McNicholas tablet?
A: No, it is nearly impossible to match hardware specs.  Also, the pre-loaded software would not match and, because of licensing, we would not be able to load our software on a tablet that is not ours.

Q: How should I carry my tablet?
A: Students should carry their tablet in a protective sleeve.

Q: Do I have to purchase a replacement battery?
A: If a battery needs to be replaced after that first year, the student will be responsible for the replacement fee.

Q: What is expected of the student?
A:  - Arrive to the first class of the day with a fully-charged tablet.
      - Carry the Tablet PC in its protective case at all times.    
- Maintain a back up of all files stored on the tablet 
      - Access online textbooks and other resources.
      - Employ the tablet as your primary means of taking notes and submitting assignments.
      - Take quizzes, attend discussions, collaborate with peers as directed by your instructors.
      - Organize class materials on tablet.
      - Participate in DyKnow class sessions when appropriate.
      - Resolve issues with hardware/software by taking concerns to the Student Help Desk.
      - Research information so you can be a problem solver and critical, independent thinker.       - Use the information available as a means for solving problems and thinking critically.

Q: What is expected of the teacher?

A:  - Encourage students to solve problems and think critically.
      - Accept digital work in place of printed work whenever possible.
      - Post all assignments, grades, and resources on Schoology.
      - Enhance instruction through the use of a variety of media and collaborative tools.
      - Employ the technology to target a wide variety of learning styles.
      - Be vigilant of student computer use by monitoring computers.
      - Develop assessments appropriate to a one-to-one environment.
      - Require all note-taking to be done on the tablet.


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