Learning BYOD

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What is BYOD?

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a program where students may bring their own laptop or tablet to use at school for learning. Those students who regularly use technology to support their learning at home will be able to bring a laptop or tablet of their choice to use in the classroom. The rationale for this program is based on the increasing role of technology in students’ lives and the importance placed on technology in the workplace. Increased access to technology in a supportive environment that promotes the appropriate and ethical use of technology, will better prepare our students for whatever path they choose after Year 12. This is not a mandatory program and College ICT resources will continue to be available.

What devices?

Years 4 to 6

If you choose to send a device with your son in Years 4 to 6, the designated device is an iPad. The reasons for this are the wide range of educational applications for primary school on an iPad, and that younger students are more likely to need support in the use of their device. Teachers will be better equipped to integrate ICT into learning and assist students if there is a single device. It is also possible for boys to bring other devices for reading time, such as a Kindle, Kobo or other eReader.

Years 7 to 12

Students can bring a laptop or tablet to school for the purpose of learning. While the device does not need to be new, it is essential that it meets the minimum specifications below. Of prime importance is the Wireless compatibility of the device so that it may connect to the College’s wireless network. If you will be purchasing a new device, take time to look at several models to ensure that the keyboard, weight of the device, and screen size are the best match to your son’s needs now and as he grows. While many devices are, by their nature, expensive, we do not consider it appropriate for a boy to bring an overly expensive device to school.

Please note that smart phones and portable game consoles are NOT allowed as a BYOD. Game consoles should not be brought to school. While phones may be allowed for specific purposes in some classes, they are not allowed in classrooms generally.

Choosing a new device

If you will be purchasing a new device, take time to look at several models. We have found issues with the keyboards on smaller devices and the size of boys’ hands as they grow. Consider what a given device allows your son to do – each device will have its strengths and weaknesses.

You should also consider purchasing a suitable protective bag for carrying the device around the school. The bag may be big enough to also carry some stationary but a full back pack is NOT allowed. This is College policy and in many of our classrooms, backpacks are excluded for OH&S reasons.

The most important part of choosing a new device to use at school is that it will connect to the Marist wireless network, which may differ to home networks or those available in some cafes. The specifications are listed in the next section and it is recommended that you take them with you and question the salesperson closely as there have been several cases of new laptops that can not connect to our wireless.

Minimum specifications for ALL devices

Wireless compatibility

The Marist wireless network only operates on the 802.11n 5Ghz standard – look for a device with "802.11 ac" or "802.11 abgn". This may be advertised as “Dual Band Wireless”, “802.11abgn”, “802.11agn”, “802.11ac” or “Gigabit Wireless”. Importantly, devices with “802.11abg” or “802.11n” only will not be able to connect.

Just because a laptop is new, it doesn't mean it will automatically have the correct wireless to connect to Marist so it's important to check this information when purchasing a new device. If your son has a device that is not new but still very usable and does not have the correct wireless, it may be possible to have the WiFi card upgraded. USB WiFi adapters are not as effective as they do not utilise the internal aerial system of the laptop and, as they tend to hang off the side of the device, they are prone to breaking.

Battery life

Devices need to last the whole school day – look for a device with a battery life of at least 5 hours.

Operating System

To ensure the greatest amount of compatibility, we recommend the current or previous operating system applicable for your device eg; Windows 10, 8.x or 7, IOS 7.x or 6.x, MacOS 10.9 or 10.8

Screen Size

In order to ensure the device is usable for a variety of purposes we have set a minimum screen size of 8 inches (the size of an iPad mini).

Storage

All students have access to cloud storage through Google Drive. However local storage of at least 128 GB for a laptop is recommended. We also recommend Solid-State Devices (SSD for short). For Tablet-style devices 32 GB or more is recommended.

Other considerations

Weight
The device needs to be light enough to enable your son to easily transport it to, from and around the College.

Warranty
Consider purchasing extra warranty to reduce future repair costs.

Insurance
Devices can become lost or broken easily at school. Make sure your policy covers accidental damage while in transit and while at school.

Cost
Please keep the cost of any device “within reason”. Whilst many devices are, by their nature, expensive we do not consider it appropriate for a boy to bring an overly expensive device to school.

Software

The College provides all students with access to a Marist College G-Suite account (formerly Google Apps for Education). This is the main student platform for services such as school email, cloud storage and online programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and online forms.

Access to Microsoft Office 365 Education is available to Marist students, including access to installable Microsoft Office applications.

Heavily discounted access to selected applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite is also available to enrolled students.

Responsibility

Students must be responsible for the appropriate use of their device, for its security, and its care. While the College is a safe environment, accidents can happen and the College accepts no responsibility for damage or theft of a student-owned device. The College is also unable to provide technical support for a student’s device beyond connecting to our wireless system. In light of this, you may choose to purchase extended warranty or insurance if purchasing a new device, or insuring your son’s device while at school through personal insurance.

Support

While ongoing technical support will not be provided for personal devices, there will be some technical help available for boys logging on to the Marist system for the first time in the Library at lunch or after school.

  • Getting Connected

The documents listed below are designed to get you up and running quickly with connection to the College Wi-Fi and student email. Select the version which matches your device.

FAQs

Do students have to bring in a laptop or tablet?

No. The BYOD program is supplementary to current College ICT resources. These include trolleys of laptops in each subject area as well as fixed computer labs. These will continue to be available for use by students who do not bring a device.

Will students who don’t bring in a device be disadvantaged?

No. The curriculum at Marist is not dependent on technology. Laptops and tablets are another tool that can be used by teachers and students in classes to promote and extend learning.

Will students who bring a device be put in the same classes?

No. There will not be any ‘laptop’ classes. Students who bring a device will be scattered across classes and the placement of boys in classes will continue to be on the basis of achieving the best learning outcomes.

What will the devices be used for in the classroom?

Use of student devices in classrooms will vary depending on the boy, the lesson, the subject and the teacher. There is a wealth of Australian electronic resources that have been created for students that can be accessed on the internet. The internet also opens doors to the wider world through guided research. Students could also use their device to do assignments such as creating a presentation, video or digital poster or art. In Science, they may use spreadsheets to analyse data or create graphs. These are just some possibilities. All students will still be required to bring paper and pens to every class. Not all lessons will be ICT based and use of any device is at the teacher’s discretion. It’s important for students to have a wide range of skills in addition to those related to the use of technology.

Will the internet be controlled so students can’t access bad sites?

Internet access at Marist will be filtered to block extreme sites with inappropriate or offensive material. In addition, all internet traffic will be recorded and actively monitored for key words to identify breaches. Students are also required to follow the College internet usage policy and guidelines.

What about security of the devices?

In the Senior School, devices must be locked in the boy’s locker with a secure lock when not in use. The Junior School will provide a lockable space within each classroom for the storage of iPads when not in use. The College does not accept liability for the theft of a student-owned device and misbehaviour will be handled according to the College student behaviour management policy.

Do we need to buy a new laptop or tablet?

No. Your son may bring a device he already uses at home as long as it meets the minimum specifications for connection to the Marist wireless system. Some students also choose not to bring their device to school because they feel they learn better when writing with paper and pen. This is a choice for you and your son.

What if the device is broken at school or on the bus?

Marist College accepts no liability for the loss, damage or theft of a student-owned device. It is strongly recommended that students use a padded satchel type bag to carry their device between classes.

What about textbooks?

Textbooks will be loaded onto student’s devices or made available electronically where possible within Copyright Laws. This is currently being investigated.

What training will my son get?

The Australian Curriculum includes programs on Digital Citizenship. Initial programs will include: cybersafety, cyberbullying, and workplace health and safety.