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Technology FAQ's

Please find answers to some common questions below. The IT HelpDesk and offices are located on the ground floor of the Main Academic Building down the hall from the Cooper Center. Our hours of operation are: Weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, and Saturday "A Weeks" from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Contact us at helpdesk@brewsteracademy.org or 603-569-7000.

Acceptable Use Policy
We require that all students, faculty, and staff read and abide by the Acceptable Use Policy.

Computers at Brewster

Do all students need to bring a computer?
Yes. All students are required to purchase a Macintosh laptop for use for their classwork. See the Laptop Requirements tab for purchase specifications.

Can I use an iPad instead of a laptop? Although many students use iPads in addition to their computer, it is not an acceptable substitute at this time. Feel free to bring your iPad to Brewster as well.

What is Brewsterization?
On the opening weekend of the school year, your computer’s hard drive will be completely erased and an updated computing environment will be installed onto your laptop so that all students have a consistent set of tools that teachers can expect and rely on.  We affectionately call this process “Brewsterization”. What tech related things do I need to do to get ready to come to Brewster? See this blog post.

How do I change my password after Brewsterization?
By going into System Preferences and selecting Users & Groups, students can see an option to change their password from the default “Changeme”.

How do I add software on my computer that is not included in the image? Anything on the Mac App store can be downloaded to your computer at any time. Software not on the App Store will require your advisor’s permission.

How do I change settings and get administrative privileges on my computer? Students at Brewster do not have permission to be the administrator on their computer. Students who need changes that require administrative privileges need to visit the Help Desk.

Student Laptop Requirements

Brewster requires each student to have an Apple laptop computer that meets our yearly minimum requirements. Details about what type of computer to buy, any needed accessories, and the process that happens to make the computer “Brewster ready” are explained below.

Register Your Computer by August 15
All student computers, both new and returning, must be registered yearly with the Information Technology Department by August 15. To register your student’s computer, log in to the Brewster Parent Portal after June 4, and click on the Register Laptop Serial Number link in the Forms section. Don't hesitate to call our Tech helpline at 603-­569­-7000 with any questions or assistance.

Which Apple Computer Should I Buy?
We recommend waiting until the end of June before purchasing your computer to take advantage of any new product lines from Apple -- education discounts are detailed below. If you are purchasing a new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Retina Display MacBook Pro, here are a few things to keep in mind:

● Make sure your laptop has internal storage of at least 256GB. ­ A laptop with a 128GB hard drive will not allow your son/daughter enough space to work efficiently. The typical Brewster student is quick to fill their laptop’s hard drive with photos, music, TV shows, movies, and additional software that will easily surpass the storage limit of 128 GB hard drives.
● Apple recently came out with a new MacBook, not Pro, not Air, just plain MacBook. This laptop is lower powered and does not keep up with the performance of other current Apple laptops. It was not intended for media work and thus will not meet the needs of your son or daughter at Brewster.
● To see current Apple laptop models, go to: http://store.apple.com/us/mac
● To purchase online from the Apple education store to receive a discount, go to: http://store.apple.com/us­-hed/findyourschool
● If you purchase from an Apple retail store, be sure to ask for the student discount – Brewster Academy is a registered educational facility with Apple.
● For those students coming to Brewster from outside the United States, please be sure to purchase a laptop with a North American English Keyboard.
● We strongly recommend purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan for your computer

Do you already have an Apple laptop? Here are our classroom requirements:
● Your student's computer can run Apple’s latest Operating System (macOS 10.13 “Sierra”).
● We strongly recommend that the unit NOT have less than 4GB RAM, more is preferable.
● We strongly recommend that the unit NOT have less than 256 GB of internal Storage.

NOTE: A Brewster IT Technician will review all submitted serial numbers to ensure that your student’s laptop will meet our classroom requirements prior to the start of school. We will contact you if your computer may not meet classroom expectations, based on their original sales configuration. Please make sure you submit (in the Parent portal) the serial number of your student's laptop by August 15.

Backup Options
Students are recommended to have some backup method to protect the files on their laptops in case of a hard drive failure or loss of device. The two best options are either an external hard drive or a subscription to a cloud-based backup service.

If you go the hard drive route, the drive should be USB2 or USB3 compatible, with at least the same amount of storage space as the computer. Here is one highly recommended option: Other World Computing’s Mercury On the Go drives.

Cloud-based backup services are great since they are configured once and continually backup your laptop as you use it. At Brewster we use CrashPlan for our faculty and staff, but other popular services include BackBlaze, Carbonite, and Mozy.

International Families
If you live outside the United States and need to purchase a new laptop for your student, please call the Business Office at 603­-569­-7104 or 603­-569-­7160 or e­mail Elaine Hazeltine at Elaine_hazeltine@brewsteracademy.org. Apple computers ordered from an international store may not meet the specifications for service and academic requirements.

Technology Fee
The annual technology fee includes use of curricular software during the academic year, the use of a loaner during repairs, direct support, Internet usage, and landline phone service in the student’s residence if they choose to utilize it.

Warranties and Repairs
Brewster works with a certified Apple repair facility that can perform both in-warranty and out­-of­-warranty repairs. However we strongly recommend purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan for your computer, as it will extend your warranty to three years. Physical damage, such as liquid spills, are expensive and not covered under the AppleCare Protection Plan. Please check your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy to see if it covers your student’s laptop to your satisfaction. Supplementary insurance can be purchased from various companies, such as Safeware.

Preparation and Administration of the Computer
All computers will be prepared to function on the Brewster network during orientation at the start of the school year to ensure students have the software they need for academic purposes -- we call the process Brewsterization. The preparation process will overwrite all personal files, such as music, photos, and documents. Students should backup all data to an external resource, such as an external hard disk drive or online backup site before arriving on campus.

All laptop computers used by students are administered and controlled by Brewster Academy. Students do not have administrative access to their computers during the academic year. This policy helps to prevent unauthorized use that may interfere with the computer’s functionality and allows Brewster to regulate Internet and intranet use for students while on campus.

Software Owned by Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy provides certain software programs for academic use. This software is owned by the Academy. Students who leave during the school year must “De-­Brewsterize” their computer with the IT department. At the end of the academic year all student computers are De­Brewsterized. This process removes Brewster-owned software and restores administrative access to the user. Note: De-­Brewsterization will not delete personal files.

Recommended Accessories
There are additional accessories available to help protect your investment and reduce the chances of accidental damage or data loss. Some of these include:
● A hard external case that fits on the computer and insulates it from damage (one option is Speck cases at www.speckproducts.com)
● A keyboard cover that protects the keyboard from dust, small damaging materials, and liquid spills (one option is KB covers at www.kbcovers.com)

Questions?
If you have any questions regarding Brewster’s technology program or purchasing computers, please contact the Brewster Information Technology Department at 603-­569-­7000 or our Instructional Technology Coordinator Chris Hafner ’00 at chris_hafner@brewsteracademy.org

The Brewster Portal

What is the Brewster Portal and what is Moodle?
The portal is a daily tool here at Brewster. Students can view grades, write weekly reports to their parents, view their schedule, and much more. Moodle is our Learning Management System and the place where students download and submit class materials.

How do I get onto the portal?
The portal can be accessed by visiting portal.brewsteracademy.org. Students can use their four-digit STU number and 10-digit password to log in. Parents are issued a username and password from the Registrar. With issues connecting to the portal, please contact the Help Desk at 603-569-7000.

Email Information

How do I access my email?
All email at Brewster Academy passes through gmail. This can be accessed by going to mail.brewsteracademy.org.

Internet and Brewster Policies

At what times can I use the internet and what are the restrictions?
Underclassmen can access the internet on BA-Access from 5:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays; seniors and PGs, have access until midnight. Weekend internet runs from 5:45 a.m. Saturday until 11 p.m. Sunday. All students have filters on their access, based both on website category and the application they are using. These filters are informed by federal standards and Academy needs.

Printers

Should I bring my own printer to campus?
There are plenty of printing options available to students on campus. There are printers are available in each team area and in the library. If there is a need to bring a personal printer to campus you will need to contact the IT Office to connect your printer device through our BA Device network. 

How do I add a Brewster printer?
Open Self Service on your computer. On the right sidebar, select “Printers-Student”. From there, you will be able to download the library and team area printers.

Troubleshooting

How do I report a tech issue that I’m having?
The technology department at Brewster is available to help! Send an email to helpdesk@brewsteracademy.org or call (603) 569-7000.

What happens if I break my computer?
Here at Brewster, the technology department will issue a loaner until your problem can be solved. We work with a hardware repair company if this service is needed.