Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.   Is my child required to bring a mobile ICT device to school?
2.   What sort of technology is suitable?
3.   What about smart-phones?
4.   What about the physical safety of the devices at school?
5.   How can I protect my child's device against theft?
6.   What about insurance?
7.   Won’t this make my child’s school bag heavier?
8.   Will the students’ use of the internet be monitored at school?
9.   Will students be able to recharge their device during the day?
10. What policies and structures will guide the students’ use of ICT?
11. Won’t this lead to an increase of cyber-bullying and inappropriate behaviour?
12. What if my child doesn’t bring their own technology for a day? Will they be disadvantaged?
13. Won’t technology become a status symbol amongst students?
14. Won’t students just be staring at screens all day?
15. My child struggles with organisation as it is; how will they manage electronic files and documents as well?
16. How do we know the students won’t just be playing games and using Facebook in class?
17. Didn’t the government provide a lot of money for students to have computers?
18. Are we getting rid of pen and paper?
19. What about storage of work?
20. Is there particular software that my child will need to have on his/her device?
21. Should my child have a 3G enabled device?

1. Is my child required to bring a mobile ICT device to school?
From Term 1, 2017, students in Years 7-12 will be expected and encouraged to bring ICT devices to school for learning.
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2. What sort of technology is suitable?
We believe that students should use the device with which they are most comfortable and with which learning will be most effective. Recognising the importance of choices, we are not recommending specific brands and models of ICT devices. We have prepared a technology information sheet that outlines the pros and cons of various devices for the learning activities in which the students will be engaged.
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3. What about smart-phones?
Under the BYOT policy, the use of smart-phones for general class-based learning activities is not permissible.
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4. What about the physical safety of the devices at school?
As with other equipment, individual students retain responsibility for their own property at school. Common sense would suggest that students would do well to ensure that devices have protective cases or coverings. Students MUST use their lockers for security and MUST lock their lockers.
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5. How can I protect my child's device against theft?
It would be sensible to ensure that your child’s property is named through engraving or other indelible marking. Different devices also have different options for locating them when they’re missing. For example, any iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) has a built-in service called “Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod” that can help locate the device on a map if it is enabled before the device is lost. Likewise, software is available for laptops that can enable them to be located when missing. One such product is Absolute Software’s CompuTrace LoJack for Laptops. Absolute Software also provide the services of a theft recovery team that will work with local law enforcement to assist in the recovery of a stolen laptop, along with many other features.
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6. What about insurance?
Parents are advised to make their own arrangements regarding insurance and cover for accidental damage. The college will not take responsibility for accidental damage to student property, nor do our insurance policies cover it. This is currently our policy. Parents can nominate portable electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc. on their home and contents policies, which allows for specific cover to be given to these.
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7. Won’t this make my child’s school bag heavier?
We are conscious of the issue of bag weight. We already have many faculties using electronic textbooks. Some students are already using their iPhones and iPods to read particular novels that they have purchased from the iTunes store. Every student in the secondary school has a locker, so bags, texts and devices can be stored in these. However, it would be wise to consider weight and size when choosing a device with your child; tablets, netbooks and ultra-books are significantly lighter than full-size laptops.
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8. Will the students’ use of the internet be monitored at school?
All student usage of the school’s network and internet connection is filtered. Their complete web history is also logged and able to be tracked. Parents need to be aware that if they provide their child with a device with direct 3G access, the school is unable to filter, log and monitor the student’s usage. 3G enabled devices should be avoided.
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9. Will students be able to recharge their device during the day?
No. WHS issues will prevent students from recharging their devices. Students will need to cultivate the habit of charging their device overnight, and using them for specific purposes during the day.
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10. What policies and structures will guide the students’ use of ICT?
Existing policies including the Acceptable use of electronic devices policy and the ICT network and Internet use policy will be updated to reflect and incorporate BYOT into the teaching and learning framework of the school.
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11. Won’t this lead to an increase of cyber-bullying and inappropriate behaviour?
We have implemented a digital citizenship initiative for all students, that will reinforce acceptable use and participation in online activities and that will complement existing college values and rights and responsibilities. Our current policy of zero tolerance for cyber-bullying would govern our response to any such incidents.
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12. What if my child doesn’t bring their own technology for a day? Will they be disadvantaged?
In classes where specialist software is required (visual arts, media, computing etc.), the school will continue to provide computers for student usage. On a day when learning activities require a computer but a device is not brought to school, the school will be able to provide the student with a laptop as a short-term loan. Our hope is that all students in Years 7-12 will be able to bring their own technology every school day.
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13. Won’t technology become a status symbol amongst students?
This is certainly possible. We live in a culture that constantly makes status symbols out of possessions, so it is unlikely that our technology will be exempt from the same fate. Hopefully, as we continue to model and commend values that place character over possessions and virtues over bling, we can help young people to be aware of the shallow and fleeting nature of status symbols. There are better ways to be human than to think that life is about possessions.
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14. Won’t students just be staring at screens all day?
No. Students will use their devices when necessary in class. We will maintain our policy of having devices switched off and out of sight during non-class times. Supervised use of devices in those times will be available in the library.
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15. My child struggles with organisation as it is; how will they manage electronic files and documents as well?
Students are now using Google Docs to store and manage their work. As their use of electronic devices increases, their use of this environment will become more refined.
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16. How do we know the students won’t just be playing games and using Facebook in class?
The reality is that ICT does provide the potential for multiple distractions. All of us face the challenge of developing self-control in avoiding these distractions; in fact, you could make a case that this is a vital skill for the 21st century workplace. School and home both have a role to play in helping young people to self-regulate in these areas.
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17. Didn’t the government provide a lot of money for students to have computers?
The Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution (DER) program, initiated in 2008, was designed to ensure that all students in Year 9-12 had access to a computer. Bishop Druitt College purchased computers (both laptops and desktops) that are made available to students at the school as needed for learning activities. This program has worked successfully for us, but many of the machines purchased are now past their working life. Existing, serviceable machines will supplement the use of BYOT.
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18. Are we getting rid of pen and paper?
No. We operate in an environment where the HSC credential still requires students to hand write examinations, so students will need to maintain and develop this skill with their final examinations in mind. In addition, there are some forms of learning and recording information that are better suited to pen and paper. We anticipate that there will be a place for writing and ICT in schools in the foreseeable future.
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19. What about storage of work?
As part of the BYOT initiative and for ease of accessibility, storage of student files has been largely shifted to the cloud (Google Apps), rather than on the school’s file servers.
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20. Is there particular software that my child will need to have on his/her device?
The students need to be able to connect to the school’s wireless network and to access the internet, preferably with the Google Chrome browser. Different teachers will make use of different programs, sites and resources for learning but the vast majority of these will be web-based. Please see the Technology information sheet for more information.
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21. Should my child have a 3G enabled device?
No. In fact, it is preferred that students do not have a 3G enabled device. For example, a wi-fi enabled iPad is all that would be required for junior school students. Not only is it a much more inexpensive item to buy, it means that internet access must happen through our IT network. We do not want students accessing the internet via their 3G mobile plans. Parents should avoid that as well so that students do not inadvertently exceed their monthly download data in their mobile plans. If your child has a 3G enabled iPad, for example, you will be requested to remove the SIM card from those devices for use during school hours.

We hope that these answers are helpful.

 

 

 

 

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