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BYOD – (Bring Your Own Device)

BYOD = Bring Your Own Device – 2019

We are a BYOD school, and students in all years 9, to 13 may choose to bring a device to class for their own learning needs.

NB. As from Term One 2019 all new Year 9 students will be expected to have a suitable device to use in their classes.

Spotswood College uses a blended e-learning approach to teaching and learning, (both traditional teaching methods and modern e-learning techniques combine to support all of our students with their learning programs).

Parents and students may have many questions about the BYOD program and how it is being implemented here at Spotswood College.

We hope that the following questions and answers are helpful to clear up some of your queries:

What does the research say about the impact of BYOD and e-learning on learning?

 Noeline Wright’s literature review “Looking at e-Learning and implications for New Zealand schools” – (University of Waikato) highlights the following benefits of e-learning:

*               Improved student motivation and engagement;

*               Greater independence and personalised learning;

*               Improved critical thinking and development of multi-literacies;

*               Greater access to information, resources and experts;

*               Greater opportunities for collaboration in wide contexts, including international ones.

What does the New Zealand Curriculum Document say about ICT?

Information and communication technology (ICT) has a major impact on the world in which young people live. Similarly, e-learning (that is, learning supported by or facilitated by ICT) has considerable potential to:

*        assist the making of connections by enabling students to enter and explore new learning environments, overcoming barriers of distance and time;

*        facilitate shared learning by enabling students to join or create communities of learners that extend well beyond the classroom;

*        assist in the creation of supportive learning environments by offering resources that take account of individual, cultural, or developmental differences;

*        enhance opportunities to learn by offering students virtual experiences and tools that save them time, allowing them to take their learning further.

Schools should explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning. (NZC, 2007)

In addition, the Ministry of Education has added ICT as a compulsory component of our NZ curriculum.

Do we need to purchase a new device?

No, not if you have a device already that meets our minimum specifications, your son/daughter may use it as their BYOD device – see the minimum specifications below.

How do we choose an appropriate device, if we choose to purchase?

Minimum specification for devices:

•     10” screen (bigger is better)

•      4gb RAM and a dual core processor

•      At least 5 hours of battery power from a full charge,

•      Internet capable (Wifi connectivity – 801.11N/ac preferred),

Strongly recommended features:

•  Keyboard

•  Mouse

•  Durable bag/cover for protection.

What other factors should be considered?

Is the device suitable for school use – it should be robust and durable enough to handle school life, but light enough to be carried around easily by a teenager.

•   Windows laptops, Macbooks and Chromebooks may be used.


•    iPads can be used with a Bluetooth keyboard, if there is sufficient memory to download Google Apps (32gb or above).

•  It is a very good idea to have the device insured for loss or damage whilst being used at school

Why cant my son/daughter use a smartphone?

While smartphones are wonderful for personal entertainment, social communication and many short internet searches, the size of the screen makes them unsuitable as a serious tool for learning, the ability to work on and complete lengthy documents is very limited.

What about the security of the device at school?

Personal lockers are currently not available.

Students are responsible for the safety of their devices at all times.

The school can offer an onsite device tracking service. If you would to take advantage of this service please get in touch with IT Support – help@spotswoodcollege.school.nz

What about on-line safety and cyberbullying?

Spotswood College core values form the foundation for ICT use and interacting with others digitally.

Our Cybersafety Use Agreement signed by every student and a parent upon enrollment, sets the expectations for students and parents.

Students are required to:

  1. be a safe user whenever and wherever they use information and communication technology (ICT)
  2. be responsible whenever and wherever they use technology
  3. support others by being respectful in how they talk to and work with them and never write or participate in online bullying, (this includes forwarding messages and supporting others in harmful, inappropriate or hurtful online behaviour).
  4. report to an adult if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable online or see a friend being unsafe or being made to feel uncomfortable by others.

More information can be found here: http://www.netsafe.org.nz

Cybersafety and Digital Citizenship will be covered as part of our teaching, but it is important that parents take an active part in discussions about Cybersafety and ethical use of ICT with their son/daughter.

It is important that students tell a teacher and/or parent/caregiver when they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened online.

If parents have any concerns about internet safety contact your Year Dean or visit http://www.netsafe.org.nz  (NetSafe is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes confident, safe, and responsible use of Cyberspace).

Many parents choose to install a parental control app to remain fully aware of their child’s on- line activities.  In addition, we strongly recommend that parents know their son/daughter’s password and have access to the device.

“Linewize” protects students across all devices and locations

The Family Zone cyber safety ecosystem is a suite of unified products and services that provides an unrivalled cyber safety experience for your school community.  Linewize is integrating our internet management services with the Family Zone cyber safety ecosystem to offer schools a holistic approach to protecting students online. Visit https://www.linewize.com/familyzone for more information.

Filtering Software:

We have a SonicWall Firewall in place at Spotswood College. This is a high- performance unified threat management solution that provides the visibility needed to detect hidden threats within legitimate content, even from trusted sources and authorized applications. This protection means we can allow new applications into our network, but automatically block any malicious content or behaviour. We also have the capability to generate reports on student use and access of the internet.

We currently block sites like Facebook as we feel they can be easily misused and detract from the educational purpose set for our use of ICT at school. Sites for student collaboration at school are facilitated through Google Apps. Other sites that fall under the category of ‘mature and explicit content’, are blocked. We extract regular reports to check what our students and staff are accessing.

 What about families who cant afford a device?

Families who are on a benefit may be able to gain assistance from WINZ to purchase a device. We are also actively seeking sponsorship from local businesses and charities to assist families in need of financial assistance. Please contact Mr Lapworth, Deputy Principal, to inquire about any possible support.

What is my son/daughter responsible for at school?

•   Using ICT according to the ‘responsible user agreement’.

•   Actively displaying digital citizenship.

•   Following the teachers’ instructions around the use of devices.

•   Charging the device at home and bringing it to school fully charged.

•   Safe storage of work and backing it up to the Cloud.

•   Safe-keeping of the device at all times.

•   Carrying the device in his/her school bag from class to class.

•   Ensuring that the device is divided into “school space” and “personal space”.

How will misuse be handled?

We are a restorative school and have a well-developed Pastoral Care system based around Etu that clearly shows how misdemeanors will be dealt with and by whom.

Students can already access provided computers and Laptops at school and misuse of BYOD devices are dealt with in a similar manner.

Categories of misuse are based on levels of seriousness, and misuse is generally dealt with by the classroom teacher, unless it is serious enough to be referred to the Dean or Senior Leadership Team. Classroom management involving devices will not be very different from more traditional approaches – just as a teacher might require students to put down their pens and listen fully to instructions, the instruction might be “devices down, and listen to instructions.”

Ongoing misuse of a device will fall into the category of “continual deliberate disobedience” and would result in the same consequences as other examples of serious disobedience.

Instances of serious misuse of devices, such as accessing inappropriate websites or cyberbullying will be taken very seriously and dealt with accordingly. (NB: Netsafe report that the majority of children accessing porn websites do so from home between 3.30pm and 6.30pm week days). This may involve loss of internet access, internal removal, stand down or suspension. Referral to Netsafe and on to police. Students using their devices to access the internet through the school wi-fi will be tracked and monitored and inappropriate websites including those identified as being associated with cyberbullying are blocked. While the majority of cyberbullying occurs out of school time, it is important to notify Netsafe and the school as we will certainly do whatever we can to support the victim. It must be noted however that students who use their own data on devices such as smart phones still have full access to the internet.

If you have BYOD queries, please contact Mr Lapworth (Deputy Principal)


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