Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) for Learning
BYOT - Bring Your Own Technology for Learning
From the start of Grade 7, the expectation is that every student brings their device to school every day.
We believe that all secondary school students need access to their own devices to support their learning. Every student needs internet access for communication, research, and learning management, as well as planning, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation tools, at many times throughout the day. Although significant parts of a student’s day are spent on practical activities (eg sport, cooking, MDT etc), increasingly there is a need for access even in these subjects. For example, in cooking, a student may need to access a video which shows them how to perform a particular technique, or access to information on food nutritional values. Across the school, access to technology to support learning needs to be available at a student’s fingertips whenever and wherever it is needed.
As we move towards a situation of anytime, anywhere learning, regardless of whether the laptop is supplied by the individual or the school, it is important for students to have ‘ownership’ of the device and to be able to use it for learning anywhere, anytime.
We want our students to be creative, innovative users of technology. We want them to create with multimedia, edit video, run simulations to investigate scientific hypotheses, etc. These things require a far more powerful machine than a netbook, which is simply not designed or intended for such purposes. We don’t believe that students need to carry such a device around with them all day. For the times when this sort of computing power is required, desktops at appropriate places around the school can provide the most cost-effective and robust solution for high end multimedia use.
How the BYOT Works
The wireless network has school-wide coverage and is quite stable. Students are encouraged to bring any technology they already own, or to purchase something that suits their individual needs. Most devices can be connected. Previously there was an issue preventing Android devices being connected, but this has now been resolved, so Android devices can be used on the school’s network.
Student-owned devices have filtered access to the internet via the Department’s proxy servers. The school learning management system is web based and students can access all necessary learning resources from it.
Students (and their parents) will all be asked to sign a user agreement before gaining access to the wireless network.
There is no need for students to buy any software for their computer if using a Windows PC or a Macbook. All software required by students is free and can be obtained by downloading from the internet or via the Student Help Desk. The school can supply free antivirus software and also Open Office, which is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. If using tablet devices, such as iPad, it is likely that you will need to buy a small number of apps to facilitate use for learning.
Care, Storage and Charging
Laptop bags can be expensive and are rarely waterproof. Small laptops can be crushed or damaged in school bags – a cheap, plastic lunchbox-style container with some bubble wrap packing will fit a small netbook, and protect it from rain, drink spills or impact.
It is vital that the laptop and accessories (especially the power pack) are all clearly labelled with the student’s full name.
Students are asked to charge their laptops at home overnight.
In most cases, especially with netbooks, that means they will not need to be charged during the day at school. Nevertheless, there are ample power outlets in most classrooms for the occasions when a laptop needs charging. Students should ensure that they secure their laptop safely in their locker during break times.
A Student Help Desk is run by senior Computing students. Students can get help connecting to the network or advice on other computer problems they may have. They will also help students install any free software such as Open Office or other programs they might need for school. The school technicians cannot support student laptops beyond gaining initial connectivity. Their role is to support the infrastructure, staff and any school-owned devices.
BYOT - Purchasing Considerations
Because the intention of the laptop program is to enable students to have quick and easy access from their desk in any lesson to information, our learning management system, word processing, spreadsheets and other basic tools, only a modest device is necessary. The school will continue to provide high end desktop machines to enable students to do multimedia work such as graphics, video and audio editing and specialised applications for option learning areas.
Which technology a student at Taroona High School uses is a personal choice that may be influenced by: what, if anything, you already own; whether the student has to walk a long distance to school; how much you are prepared to pay, and other individual factors. The information contained in the School Information Handbook is intended to give you some advice to assist your selection.
Mobile phones cannot be used in place of a laptop or netbook.