BYOD - Frequently asked questions

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device.” BYOD is an initiative that will allow students who have personal technology devices to bring them to school to use them for educational purposes to meet their learning needs under the direction of a teacher or administrator. For the purposes of BYOD, “Device” means a privately owned wireless and/or portable electronic piece of equipment that includes Chromebooks, laptops, netbooks, tablets, Ipads, and smartphones.

What are the benefits?

Our students are living in a world where they have immediate access to information anytime and anywhere. Many students have personally-owned devices in their pockets that can be used to allow them to learn in their own style and at their own pace. With digital learning, every student can access high quality and rigorous instruction, thereby maximizing their opportunity for success in school and beyond.

Is it required that students use the school wireless network, or can they use their own 4G service?

Students will be provided with wireless access on the BYOD network after they register their devices. Most devices will detect a wireless connection when you are near one. Most of the time devices will ask to join an available network when prompted; students can simply choose “BYOD” from the list. If the device does not display a prompt to choose a wireless network, students can manually go to the settings menu of the device to choose Guest from the list displayed there. Students with a personally owned device are encouraged to use the BYOD wireless network. Students are not allowed to use non-school networks (cellular 4G service).

What rules apply to the use of these devices on the student network?

As with all technology use, personal or school-owned, students should use technology for educational purposes with the permission of the teacher or an administrator. Students using a personally-owned device must abide by the School’s Electronic Use Policy. While students own the device, the network they are using belongs to the school, so Internet access will be filtered.

Are there specific requirements that devices must meet to be added to the school network?

The device must be capable of wireless access. Students will not be able to plug into the network through an Ethernet cable. Current virus protection for all devices is required.

What happens if a student uses the device inappropriately?

Violations of any School policies, administrative procedures or school rules involving a student’s personally owned device may result in the loss of use of the device in school and/or disciplinary action. The school reserves the right to inspect a student’s personal device if there is reason to believe that the student has violated School policies, administrative procedures, school rules or has engaged in other misconduct while using their personal device.

What are some examples of inappropriate use?

  • The student uses an electronic device without the expressed approval of his/her teacher.
  • The student records a video without the permission of the teacher and posts it on YouTube.
  • The student takes pictures during class of other students and sends them electronically to friends without teacher approval.
  • The teacher has given permission to use the device for a project, but the student chooses to check his or her account on a social media site instead.
  • The student uses an electronic device in a bathroom, health room or other changing area.
  • The student records or video tapes anyone without the knowledge and permission of an individual. This may be punishable under local laws.

Who is responsible if the device is damaged, stolen, or lost?

Students bring electronic communication devices to school at their own risk, just like any other personal items. The school will not be held responsible if an electronic device or other item is lost, stolen or misplaced. Some devices have a device locator; parents and/or students may want to enable this feature if possible.

What if a student doesn’t have his or her own personal technology device?

The school encourages students to bring their device to school. When electronic devices are used to enhance learning in the classroom, students without a personal device may miss out on the fun learning experience. Keep in mind that learning can be enhanced greatly for the entire class even if only a handful of students have a device!

Can a student use their own device in any class?

Students can use personal technology devices in any class to meet educational goals as long as they have the permission of the teacher.

What are examples of uses of student devices in the classroom?

Student devices should be capable of those following:

  • Accessing the Internet
  • Collaborating via Google Apps for Education environment (via the web or app) to create word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Communicating via email, texting, or other tool for educational purposes.

What device do you recommend for students?

The key element to BYOD is choice. Student choice in selecting size (laptop versus tablet); operating system (Mac, Windows); and production tools (Microsoft Office, iWorks, Google Docs). Billabong High supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android and Chromium operating systems. Questions to consider when choosing a device: What operating system is student and family most comfortable with/currently using? Is this the primary computing device for the student? Tablets often require a larger “home base” computer to sync and run back-ups. Can the device access the web, create school type work and communicate outside itself? Is the device one that is comfortable to type or navigate with during a 7 hour school day? Every student (Grade 6 to 12), faculty and staff member at Billabong High is given a Google Apps for Education account. This account provides an cloud storage, Google Docs, Spreadsheet and Presentation tools as well as Google calendar … all within the domain. The key to BYOD is choice… allowing students to access tools, evaluate their usage for the learning need and use the tool successfully. That said – there are key elements students need to be successful: creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations; note taking; storage; communication.

Will Billabong High be offering devices for discounts or sale?

Billabong High is currently in discussions with a number of educational vendors about discount or student purchase options. We will be adding links to sample solutions either to a vendor or to a well-reputed and affordable online retailer as opportunities become available.

Can my student use a(n) [older laptop/e-reader/smartphone]

In most cases, the answer is “maybe” Questions to ask: Can I type easily and quickly format the information in a way that is acceptable to turn-in (using Google Docs, etc)? Do I have issues such as eyestrain, thumb strain, etc. to consider? E-Readers (Nook, Nook Color, Kindle, Kindle Fire):We DO NOT recommend that an e-reader be used as the primary device for BYOD. These devices are primarily used for consumption of books, movies, games, etc. They lack some of the advantages of full tablets (cameras, Bluetooth, detachable physical keyboard options) and have limited access to the full range of Apps (software) available on iOS or Android devices. Netbooks: Netbooks are a general category of small, limited power affordable computers that are portable with decent battery life. One drawback of netbooks is the limited ability they have to multitask. That said, if students are aware of the limitations, the advantages of cost and mobility might be worth it.

What accessories are required or do you recommend?

There are no required accessories planned at this time. Many students, having used devices all year, have made the following suggestions:

  • Tablets: Cover/Case, Detachable keyboard or Bluetooth Keyboard
  • Apple Laptop: the VGA adapter to connect to a projector
  • Laptops(and some tablets): USB Storage Key
  • All: Headphones; Warranty

What about Viruses?

No computer is immune to viruses or spam. As computers become more popular, they become more of a target for virus and spam creators. Billabong High recommends that all students protect themselves through virus protection programs or apps (available even for smartphones). Billabong High assists all users by providing additional protection “at the gates” of the network, but no single solution is foolproof and devices are certainly vulnerable off of the school network (such as home, coffee shops, or on a cellular network).

What should I know about Batteries and Power?

One of the largest concerns with mobile devices is the length of battery life. Students should plan their device usage to enable them to have power to use the device in their last class of the day without plugging the device in during class. There are a number of things that go into planning this.

  • Devices have different lengths of batteries. Some tablets have 10-16 hour battery configurations. Most laptops start at 3-4 hours but can be configured up to 8 hours.
  • There are a variety of charge extenders, extra batteries, portable chargers, etc. that can be used to extend life.
  • Student choice plays a part as well. If a student chooses to spend time playing ANGRY BIRDS, this depletes the battery much faster than a period spent typing a paper.
Considerations are being made to create power stations throughout the building that will give students the opportunity to grab a quick power charge.

Do I need a Warranty?

Billabong High STRONGLY recommends devices have some form of warranty. While research shows that students statistically take much better care of a device which belongs to him or her than a school provided device, accidents happen.

What about theft?

Part of the daily use of technology is the daily care of that technology. Billabong High is proud to say that we have not experienced theft from a locker which had a properly secured lock. Students must take care in securing their devices appropriately. If a student finds that their locker is not functioning properly, the school will make it a priority to correct the issue.

What strategies are used in the classroom in a 1:1 BYOD Environment? Are students always on a device?

Learning takes place when you can be present in the moment. Some moments require a device (researching online databases) and some require complete attention to the teacher's voice. The focus of BYOD is not so much Teacher or Classroom specific as it is STUDENT specific. Even in a classroom which is being taught without the use of technology by the teacher is a classroom where students may choose to use their personal technology to take notes, complete assignments, or extend learning if approved by the teacher.

What changes to Billabong High's infrastructure have occurred in light of BYOD?

During the December 2017 break, the IT Department will upgrade the school wireless to 811.N network with fiber line to each building. Access points will completely saturate the buildings to assure 100% coverage in the academic areas of the school, cafeteria, and classrooms. New filtering and virus protection is in place. The wireless system is separated into BYOD_Wireless (student access privileges), Faculty_Wireless (faculty/staff access and Guest_Wireless (for outside guests and visitors with a passcode). All students use their Billabong High username and password to access the Student_Wireless. During the pilot year, the IT department will keep a close track of student experience, fine-tuning the network to handle the current capacity. This includes creating filter programs that work with student devices, identifying areas of the network that need expanded capacity and work with students to make the use of the network as seamless as possible. Bandwidth has been increased to 100 MB.

Is classroom management an issue? What strategies are used?

We will use the phrase "Devices Down" to signal when the teacher wants the students to put the devices down and listen for instructions. Actually, the teachers who already complete projects with their students and have a great sense of community in their classrooms often have a seemless transition into BYOD because the strategies are the same, and the devices just give them more tools to complete the work of the community.