Technology continues to move forward at an incredible pace. At Oakley College we want to ensure that our students keep up with these changes and feel confident to enter this ever changing world. With this in mind, we want technology to play a greater part in their day-to-day learning. We want our students to have access to the incredible library of information that is the Internet, whilst educating them on the safe use of such an extensive resource. The BYOD (bring your own device) program, will allow this access.
Although we currently have a significant ICT resource, with a computer suite, mobile laptops and I-pads, we will never be in a position to give all students free access to devices outside of timetabled computer lessons or occasional pre-planned topic lessons. Allowing children, within a managed structure, to have their own devices available whenever they need them, will allow a massive step forward in independent learning and the development of greater research skills.
Oakley College has invested in developing its Wi-Fi network and is now in a position to allow remote access to its filtered network from all over the school. Logging onto the school´s network will ensure a browsing experience that is safe from the majority of inappropriate sites (although we will teach the students about a mature and responsible response to any inappropriate information or images that do get through the filter).
We all want our children to have access to the best and most current information as they make their way along their learning journey. The Internet can be that resource, if used appropriately. We want the students at Oakley College to have the skills to use the Internet; effectively and efficiently, but most of all, safely.
WHAT IS BYOD
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device and involves students bringing their own portable Internet connected digital devices (for KS2, this means TABLETS) to school as a tool to enhance their learning. Students bring their device to their class, where it will be securely locked away until needed. With their teachers consent, devices are available to enable “any time, any place” learning. BYOD is about bringing the classroom to the student and not limiting them to a single path of learning and a single pace of working. Students are also able to interact with an enormous suite of ICT based learning tools and knowledge that is simply not possible in the traditional classroom.
WHAT WILL STUDENTS DO WITH THESE DEVICES IN CLASS?
Students will be accessing information on the Internet and using online learning portals to provide resources such as subject specific web sites, videos, podcasts and documents to enhance and extend their own learning.
WILL STUDENTS BE USING OTHER ICT DEVICES AT SCHOOL?
We understand that the device a student brings to school may not be suited to every task that teachers want students to engage in. We will continue to utilise our computer suite, together with laptops and I-pads. The aim of the program is to expose students to a range of technologies and recognise the advantages (and disadvantages) of each.
HOW WILL A CHILD’S EDUCATION DIFFER IF THE FAMILY DOES NOT HAVE AN INTERNET-CONNECTED DEVICE TO BRING TO SCHOOL?
Many lessons are collaborative allowing students to work together, sharing information accessed through personal devices. When the work is individual, students may use devices loaned from the library (though these are limited). No child’s learning experience or academic performance will be affected because he or she does not have an Internet-connected device to bring to school.
WHEN CAN MY CHILD USE THE ELECTRONIC DEVICE AT SCHOOL?
Students may use their electronic devices in class as instructed by the teacher. It is not expected that a particular teacher will need students to use electronic devices every day. Students may only use their electronic devices during classroom lessons or when otherwise instructed by school personnel.
WHAT TYPES OF COMPUTING DEVICES MAY MY CHILD BRING TO SCHOOL?
In Key Stage 2 students may use devices under BYOD that fall into the tablet category. The device must be able to connect to the Oakley College WiFi network, rather than to the internet via an outside provider. (If an outside provider is used, e.g. Vodafone 4G, we cannot filter the information being streamed to the student’s device.)
If you are looking to purchase a device, ensure it has the following minimal requirements:
• Connectivity to Wi-Fi
• Access to a web browser (Chrome (recommended), Google, Firefox etc.)
• A basic word processor (Word, WordPad, Notebook etc.)
• A camera, with both still and video functions.
• Internal memory to save work
The brand of device does not matter, it will depend on your personal preference and budget whether you choose Apple, Samsung, Lenovo or a less well-known brand.
It also does not matter which platform you choose. Again, it is your preference, Android, IOS, Windows etc.
ARE THERE SUGGESTED ACCESSORIES?
Providing a padded bag or protective sleeve or cover is suggested. This will provide more protection from the day to day use of these devices. A pair of small headphones will be useful when accessing a website with audio and/or video.
Will there be “charging stations” so my child’s electronic device can be recharged?
The simple answer is no. We expect students to have their device fully charged at the start of the day. Not every class will be using an electronic device in a lesson every day. Considering today’s electronic device battery technology, the device’s battery charge should be sufficient for lessons requiring use of the device throughout the day. If extra charge is required, students could bring external power packs to allow continued use when battery charge is low.
WHAT SOFTWARE WILL BE NEEDED ON MY CHILD’S COMPUTER?
No software needs to be purchased. We do encourage you to install Google Chrome as the Internet browser, but as indicated, any browser can be utilised. Google Chrome is a free Internet browser that supports some of the portals used in the secondary department.
Students will not be asked to download apps in school and any such downloads should only take place with parents’ permission. Occasionally, a teacher may recommend a free app, but information will be placed on the class blog and the apps installation will only take place at home, with the permission of parents.
WILL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO PRINT DOCUMENTS FROM THEIR PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES?
At the moment there is no method for devices to connect to our printers. This is an area we will look to develop in the future.
WHERE WILL MY CHILD’S WORK BE STORED?
As the main use of the devices will be research, there will not be a lot of work to save. Devices should have some internal memory or connectivity to a USB or similar.
As we move forward, we will be looking at creating cloud storage for students, though this is not currently in place.
WHO PAYS FOR THE TECHNOLOGY BROUGHT TO SCHOOL?
These devices will be purchased by and remain the property of the family.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY REPAIRS OR UPDATING TO PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES?
Students and/or their families are responsible for their personal computing devices at all times. Oakley College does not have the technology support staff to repair or update personal computing devices.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE, LOSS OR THEFT OF DEVICES YOUR CHILD BRINGS TO SCHOOL?
Families must stress the responsibilities their children have when bringing their own computing devices to school. Any devices students bring to school are their sole responsibility. Most home contents insurance policies offer cover for those portable items if specified and paid for within the policy. Oakley College takes no liability for damaged, lost or stolen personal computing devices. The school provides locked cupboards within the classroom, in which devices should be placed each morning.
WILL BYOD MEAN MY CHILD WILL BE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO CYBERBULLYING AT SCHOOL?
Given the already extensive use of personal devices in daily life, we do not believe BYOD will make students more susceptible to cyberbullying. Bullying can occur anywhere and at Oakley College we tackle this issue with prompt action when issues are reported to us. There are also PSHE lessons being delivered across the school addressing the issue of bullying, including cyberbullying.
WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION AND ADVICE ON ISSUES RELATING TO CYBER SAFETY AND THE USE OF ICT?
There are a number of issues that concern parents around the use of ICT by their children. Rather than detail them here we recommend that you start you search for information and advice by viewing what is available at the following sites set up for this purpose. These sites were promoted during a recent parent workshop: