2016 BYOD Program

BYOD Program 2016

In response to the changing requirements of the curriculum and the rapidly shifting technological landscape, next year the College is extending the current Year 12 BYOD program to all three senior levels from Years 10 to 12. It means that each student will have the choice of which computing device is brought to school each day. The existing iPad may still be used - with the recommended addition of a keyboard. Alternatively, if the student already has a laptop at home, this device may be brought to school instead. (Note that the current iPad 1:1 program remains in place for Years 5 to 9).

Basic Requirements

The basic requirements of the Years 10 to 12 BYOD program are set out below.

  • Each student must bring a personal mobile computing device to school each day. The device may be a laptop or the existing iPad.
  • Only one device per student will be able to be connected to the College WiFi network
  • Excluded devices include smartphones, 'phablets' (large-format phones), Android devices and Chromebooks.
  • Recommended minimum specifications for laptops/tablets are:-
    • Windows/Mac laptop or tablet+keyboardbyod-1.jpg
    • 4Gb RAM (8Gb RAM better), 320 Gb HDD or 64 Gb SSD
    • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz WiFi support
    • Less than about 3 years old
    • At least 3 hour battery life
    • A camera
    • A recent operating system - at least Windows 7 (64 bit) or Mavericks (Mac)
  • A suitable case or bag is mandatory - to protect the device during transit and between classes.
  • iPads are still permitted - but a physical keyboard is highly recommended. NOTE: The iPad is not recommended for Media studies.
  • The College will install a management agent to enable limited support when necessary.

Rationale

The decision to embark on a BYOD program has not been taken lightly.

  • While the use of the iPad has been a success in the primary and junior secondary levels, there have been some problems in the senior levels (Years 10 - 12). Few of these problems could have been fully anticipated when the 1:1 iPad program was begun in 2012.byod-2.jpg
  • Teachers have consistently said that the major need at these levels has been the creation of assignments using standard applications such as word processing and presentation software. The iPad apps which are widely utilised in the lower levels are simply not needed as often by seniors.
  • Surveys of staff, students and parents have made clear that the iPad can be a real distraction from serious study and have reported a clear preference for the use of laptops if available.
  • A laptop provides a larger keyboard and screen and facilitates the transfer of files onto network locations. An iPad (especially with a keyboard) can still do the job, but it is not quite as efficient.
  • A trial BYOD program has been in place for Year 12 in 2015. Roughly half of the cohort made use of the opportunity to bring their own laptop. The remainder still used their iPad. While there were some initial teething problems, the BYOD program itself has been judged a success. No teacher or student has reported any problem - whether they were using a laptop or an iPad.
  • While the use of a student-owned laptop is seen as advantageous, there is no significant shortcoming involved in the continued use of an iPad. Indeed, with the advent of the College's Microsoft licensing in 2016, every student will be able to install iPad-specific versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint. These apps will then enable direct storage of files to each student's 1 Tb storage allocation on the OneDrive cloud. In addition, the Office 365 licensing allows each student to install the full Office 2016 suite on up to 5 devices. With this in place files are available 24/7 on- or off-site.
  • The majority of students currently in Years 9, 10 and 11 have used their iPads for 3 years - the typical useful lifetime of a tablet device. The college is fully aware of the financial outlay on iPads made by families and is not insisting that a laptop now be purchased. As has been already outlined, an iPad can still be successfully used, and enhanced with the addition of a keyboard.
  • Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that many students already own a laptop. The BYOD provides the opportunity to use it at school as well as at home. Your child may well insist that they now need to have a laptop for school. This is simply not true.

John Joosten - Director of ICT