About the program
- What is BYOD?
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Designated Device. It is a hybrid model between school-supplied and fully-fledged BYO programs whereby the College stipulates the type of device that can be used in the program. The main advantage of BYOD is that teachers, parents and students can be assured that they are equipped with a piece of technology that has the capability, performance and reliability that matches the educational demands that will placed upon it.
- Why BYOD
As outlined in a previous newsletter, the College anticipates the BYOD program will not only provide students with access to expanded, global resources and content but will also give students the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and approach to creative problem solving.
- Who is paying for the devices?
The devices will be purchased and owned by families.
Choosing the device
- Can I buy a device from any vendor?
Parents may choose to purchase a device, however please note the following limitations:
- The device must be a laptop-style device. Tablets such as iPads, Android devices and smartphones are not acceptable.
- The device must have enough battery power to last through a full-school day. A manufacturer-claimed 6-hour battery is a minimum.
Any warranty claim or accidental damage incidents will be the responsibility of the parents to administer.
- Can we use a laptop we already own?
The aim of the program is to ensure ALL students are equipped with reliable, high performing devices that allow for the development of an equitable learning environment for students to learn in. Therefore it is imperative that no student is disadvantaged by having a device that lacks the reliability or the performance to meet the demands of daily use. Accordingly the College is discouraging the use of older, less-reliable devices.
- What are the minimum hardware specifications for the Bethany College network?
The device must support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless environments.
- The device must support the 802.11n wireless protocol
- It is recommended that the device should support the 802.11ac wireless protocol
- The device must have a battery life that lasts for over 6 hours.
Why can’t my daughter use a less expensive iPad or Android device as a primary device?
We do not advocate one operating system over another. All have their relative strengths and weaknesses. We do believe, however, that tablets, like the iPad style devices, while great for content consumption, lack the raw computing power and flexibility that a laptop style device has for true content creation. A true keyboard, large storage, screen dimension and the ability to run a wide variety of software from office applications to multimedia content creation software are required in a device. Online testing in public exams is on its way and students without a laptop will be at a disadvantage over others and unable to use their device.
- Why isn’t any Android device suitable at Bethany College?
The reason Android is not supported is because not all versions of Android OS support auto proxy configuration (PAC file). The proxy (Zscaler) is the CEO Sydney’s web content filtering system and fulfils our duty of care to our students to be safe on the internet whilst at school.
- Should I purchase a Mac or PC?
Broadly speaking there is no reason to choose one over the other.
- Will there be specific software which must be purchased?
The students will be able to use freeware that is available to school students. They can choose to use the full Google App suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides) or they are able to download Microsoft Office 365 (for free) at https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/education/students/default.aspx.
How will the devices be supported?
The College ICT officers will be available to assist students with basic issues like connecting to wireless and to troubleshoot basic issues.
- What is In-scope of technical support?
The Bethany College ICT Officers will provide best effort support for:
- Connecting to the wireless;
- Connecting to the internet;
- Connecting to Cloudshare/Google Apps; and
- Chrome browser
- What is Out-of-scope of technical support?
The Bethany College ICT Officers will provide NO SUPPORT for:
- Fault diagnosis, warranty claims and hardware and software repairs.
Using the device
- Will the school provide Wi-Fi?
Yes. Whilst the school is open, your daughter will be able to connect to the internet through the College Wi-Fi service when they are on College premises. Students choosing to stay at school after normal hours for study or homework help will be able to remain online.
- Will there be web-filtering at Bethany College?
When students are on school premises and connected to the internet through the school’s WiFi network, sites and content will be filtered according to College policy. Inappropriate websites detected to contain age-restricted material, potentially harmful material or illegal content will not be accessible. In addition, Facebook will be blocked whilst on site.
- Will there be web-filtering at home?
Bethany College is only able to offer web-filtering while students use the College wireless network, and not while students use any other network, such as 3G/4G, home wireless networks or public wireless hotspots. Filtering while at home is the responsibility of parents who are encouraged to make use of filtering to restrict and control internet usage by their daughter.
- Will my daughter be able to use 3G/4G/5G or personal hotspot connections instead of the school WiFi network?
We strongly recommend that your daughter uses the school’s WiFi service to connect to the internet whilst on school premises and does not use 3G/4G/5G for their primary device. 3G/4G/5G connections can become very costly and are not subject to web-filtering.
- Will my daughter be able to recharge the device at school?
No. Due to WHS issues the recharging of devices will not be available. Students are required to bring their device to school fully-charged at the start of each day. Charging devices will also not be loaned to students.
- What if my daughter forgets to bring their device to school?
Loan devices will NOT be issued to students who forget to bring their device. Students will need to use pen and paper for the day. There may be sanctions issued if this is a repeated behaviour as per the Student Management Policy.
- What about printing?
Printing will not be available on the College premises.
- Will my daughter be able to download songs, movies and other media on their device?
Your daughter will have local administrator rights to his device and will therefore be able to download and install any program or files they choose. All access to Internet resources, email, copyright, etc on BYOD devices is governed by the College ICT Acceptable Use Policy and Responsible User Agreement
Learning and Teaching
- How will the devices be used in class?
The over-arching objective for the program is to transfer the ownership of learning to students by providing them with the opportunity to collaborate, communicate and research on a global level in real time. Currently our teachers deliver various teaching styles which range from setting specific online tasks to giving open-ended tasks where students are expected to find the solution however they can. With the introduction of our BYOD program this will become more fluid and prevalent.
- What effect will the program have on textbooks and exercise books?
The College has implemented an eBook policy across various year groups and Departments. The benefit of using an eBook, in addition to a slight reduction in cost and weight, is the interactive content included. Also, many students may wish to use their device in lieu of exercise books in many lessons – again, this will remain entirely up to students to decide upon but is fully supported by the College.
- Will students use a computer in every lesson?
No, technology will only be used when appropriate and enhances the curriculum. Technology is only one of many tools used in a modern pedagogy.
- How will it be used in the classroom?
In a modern classroom, as the pedagogical focus moves from remembering content to creating content, technology can be used to allow students to creatively apply knowledge in the production of multimodal content, without the need to book a lab. Resource availability is no longer a limiting factor or impediment to pedagogical processes and ensures digital learning styles are no longer situational. Remembering, while still important, can be done at home and at the students own speed, this potential will increase overtime through increased digitisation of resources, and teachers exploring new delivery methods like flipped classrooms.
- How can 1:1 access improve learning?
Technology can be used in the classroom to change the focus to the higher order activities like creating, evaluation and analysing. Modern productivity tools allow student to create content much more readily, and the easy collaboration offered in online tools such as Google Apps and Office 365 can enable students to get peers analysing their content. By peer evaluating each other’s content can gain a deeper understanding of what they need to do when creating their own content.
- Will students become too dependent on computers? Will students never use a book?
No, technology will not supplant a well-rounded education. Importantly the humble pencil is still part of the modern academic entry processes, and the College will ensure that students are well prepared for externally run exams like HSC and NAPLAN. Electronic devices are just another tool in the wide spectrum of tools used in classrooms.
- What about handwriting?
Handwriting will have a place in the classroom, and remains important in the curriculum. It however will not be the sole way students can create content in a standard classroom.
- Administrator rights
Students need full administrative access to the device so that they can install programs and change settings
- Internet Browser
Devices must have the Chrome web-browser so that students can access the internet.
In addition, certain free Internet browser plug-ins are essential. Versions of the following should be kept up-to-date:
- Adobe Flash
- Adobe Shockwave
- PDF Reader
A program which can open and view PDF files is essential. Adobe Acrobat Reader is an excellent free option. Mac users can also use Preview, which comes installed with the operating system.
- Productivity Software:
Much of students’ work undertaken using their devices will include word- processing, data analysis, presentation design and viewing and desktop publishing. As such the College is making use of online tools such as Google Apps for education and Microsoft Office 365. Both systems provide online document creation and collaboration tools. The College’s Microsoft licensing allows students to download a free copy of Microsoft Office.
- Video Software
For viewing video, due to the wide range of video types which exist, we strongly recommend that the free program VLC Player is installed (in addition to those already installed such as QuickTime, Microsoft Media Player etc). VLC player is available for mac and windows and supports a very wide range of video types. The College uses a video system called Clickview, for which students can download the free player to watch Clickview content.
- Anti-Virus Software:
Up-to-date Anti-Virus Software is a must have to keep your daughter’s own and other files safe. You will need to install an anti-virus, anti-malware program such as MacAfee or Norton on your daughter’s laptop.