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BYOD – (Bring Your Own Device)

Starting Term One 2019

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

From term one 2019 Spotswood College becomes a BYOD school and students in all years (9, to 13) will be expected to bring a digital device to school for educational use in every lesson.

NB: Spotswood College will use a blended e-learning approach to both teaching and learning, ie. traditional teaching methods and modern e-learning techniques will combine to support all of our students with their learning programs. Our teachers will be using Google Education Apps.

We hope that the following questions and answers will be helpful to clear up some of your queries surrounding BYOD:

What Device does Spotswood College recommend?

We recommend Chromebooks from various manufacturers such as ACER, HP and Lenovo.

Why Chromebooks?

A Chromebook is a fast, easy to use and child-friendly computer that runs Google’s Chrome Operating System and uses the Google’s Chrome Web Browser as the principal user interface. They primarily support web applications and only require a Google Gmail account and an internet connection, making them perfect for students’ cloud-based projects. All work is stored in the cloud rather than on the device so content can be accessed from anywhere at any time.

These can be purchased from our local retailers such as;

Do we need to purchase a new device?

No, not if you have a device that 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 to purchase?

The minimum specification for devices:

  • We recommend Chromebooks
  • 10” screen (bigger is better)
  • 4gb RAM and Minimum dual core processor
  • At least 5 hours of battery power from a full charge, (due to limited charging at school)
  • Internet capable (Wifi connectivity – 801.11N/ac preferred),

Strongly recommended features:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Durable bag/cover for protection.

What other factors should be considered?

  • The device must be suitable for school use – (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.
  • Teachers will be using Google Apps for Education
  • iPads and Android tablets can be used but may be limited in their functionality. These devices are best used with a Bluetooth keyboard and need sufficient memory to download Google Apps (32gb or above).
  • Make sure the device has a good manufacturers warranty – (preferably extended)
  • Make sure the device is insured for loss or damage. NB: It may be already covered on your household insurance.

What about families who can’t 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.

Why can’t 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 is my son/daughter responsible for regarding ICT?

  • 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”

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 online 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 enrolment 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.

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

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 your son/daughter.

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

If you have any concerns about internet safety please 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).

Filtering Software:

We are an N4L school and also have a secondary new generation Firewall in place. 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. Web 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.

How will ICT misuse be handled?

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. 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 smartphones still have full access to the internet.

NB: Netsafe report that the majority of children accessing porn websites do so from home between 3.30pm and 6.30pm weekdays!

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 in 2020.

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


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