In recent years more and more schools are electing to encourage students to bring their own portable computing device to school (BYOD).
Many of our students are already doing this. In fact all students in Years 12 and 13 have been involved with BYOD in 2016.
Our aim is to have school wide BYOD teaching and learning across the curriculum by 2018.
The move to BYOD is driven by the following objectives:
- Integrate digital technology more fully into teaching and learning
- Enable anytime, anywhere access
- Enhance teaching, learning and relationships
For 2017 we have decided to expand our BYOD programme as follows:
Years 9, 11, 12 and 13 – all students will be required to bring a device that meets our minimum requirements as set at the end of this letter.
Year 7, 8 and 10 students are not required to bring a device but the College encourages students to bring a device. The College has invested in a combination of Chromebook and compact laptop computers to ensure students have sufficient access to portable devices.
We ask you to study the recommended specifications attached to this letter.
Details relating to the software used by students at St Bernard’s College can be found at the following http://www.sbc.school.nz/sbc-net/
All families will be required to sign a BYOD Acceptable Use Policy. A copy of this document can be found on the College’s website by clicking on SBC Net.
Care and Security of Personal Devices
It is important that students take responsibility for their own equipment, naming their device, handling it carefully, storing it securely when not in use and ensuring it is fully charged at the start of each day.
Mis-handling portable devices is the largest cause of problems. Most devices will come with care guidelines which we advise users to read. The following are conditions that we recommend.
- Portable devices should be protected by a username and password. This should not be disclosed to other students and students should not share devices.
- Ensure that the virus protection on the computer is always kept up to date
- Always store the Portable Computers in the protective bag
- Avoid storing it at the bottom of your school bag – pressure from books can damage the screen and hinges
- Do not store anything additional to the Portable Computers within the Portable Computer’s sleeve (e.g. cords, papers or disks), as this may damage the screen
- Carry your Portable Computer within its protective cover inside your normal school bag. Do not overfill your school bag. (Pressure on the Portable Computer can cause permanent damage to the screen and other components)
- Never lift the Portable Computer by the screen. This will stress the hinge mechanism, which also carries the power supply to the screen.
- Never leave your Portable Computer in a car or in an exposed area where it can be stolen
- Never leave your Portable Computer in unsupervised areas during the school day.
Chrome-books are a cost effective device option that particularly suits the curriculum offered in years 7-10. Chrome-book devices are very reliable with many performing to the same standard after many years of service.
Although not a requirement for Yrs 7 & 8 if parents considered a chrome-book option for their son from Yr 7 it would help spread the coverage of the school chrome-book programme and the ratio of devices per student would increase.
We do encourage all students to bring a device to school. If you have any questions relating to BYOD feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice to Parents on the purchase of a BYOD product RECOMMENDED DEVICES:
For Years 7-10:
Students will need a device that is suitable for typing and editing documents and accessing and using internet resources and tools.
A compact laptop (approximately 11″ screen), Chrome book will most likely be the best fit for our learners and are preferred over an iPad***/tablet device. The screen is big enough to support production of multi-media material, but compact enough to be mobile and it has a keyboard for faster input.
For Years 11-13:
A compact laptop (approximately 13″ screen) will most likely be the best fit for our learners and are preferred over an iPad***/tablet device. Students at this level will often require a sufficiently larger screen, more memory and processing ability than an entry level Chromebook provides. They will also possibly need access to specific software that does not operate on a Chromebook.
The most important factors to consider when purchasing a device are: battery life (it should last the school day without charging), wireless, compact and durable.
Here are some more specific specifications:
Battery Life: Should last 5-6 hours to be able to get through a school day without recharging.
Weight: Should be light enough for your son to carry around all day, anything more than 1.5kg including the case might be too heavy.
Wireless: Must be dual-band capable, and state that it has a/g/n or a/b/g/n
RAM: Should be 2GB or more, or else programs may be much slower to run.
CPU: Faster is usually better, but may also reduce batter life. Intel Atom CPU’s mean longer battery life, and Core i5 or i7 are more powerful but reduce battery life, so discuss your needs with the supplier.
Robustness: Your device should be strong enough to survive a fall onto a hard surface.
Insurance: While we take all reasonable care to protect students’ property, we cannot accept responsibility for devices lost or stolen, so make sure it is covered for these possibilities.
Warranty: Minimum warranty is 1 year, but you may want to consider upgrading this to a 2 or 3 year warranty. Another factor is how long the device will be away for should it require repair under warranty, it could be a few days, or as long as a few weeks.
*** We recommend to parents with sons who have specific learning needs that they discuss with Mrs Johnson the HOD of Learning Support the option of the purchase of an iPad with blue toothkey board as an alternative to a Chromebook.