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BYOD to Bamford

In 2016 at Bamford School Year 4 learners are in the “digital transition” class. Year 5 - 8 learners are in digital classes- we encourage families to purchase their own devices. 

Bamford School will always provide devices for your child to use at school. The school devices will remain at school.

To gain maximum effect in learning, students are encouraged to have their own device at the Year 5-8 level so that they can work anywhere/anytime!

What is BYOD?
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. This means that the device is owned by the student/family and goes home with them at the end of the day and you get a choice of what the device may be. BYOD allows for anytime, anywhere learning. Many of the students in our school community already own devices and a number of our preschools are introducing or have introduced devices in their centres.

What type of device may my child bring to school?
We are asking that the Year 5-8 students at Bamford School use a device that is consistent with our recommended specifications. Noel Leemings are our preferred supplier and have a number of packages available at different prices. Please see their flyer for deals on the back of our newsletter, or discuss these with the staff at Noel Leemings directly.

Why can’t my child use a smartphone as a device?
While smartphones are a great communication device and are often used for quick internet searches and photos, the size of the screen makes them unsuitable as a serious tool for learning and the ability to complete lengthy documents is limited.

If we do not provide a device, will my child be disadvantaged at Bamford School?
No, your child will not be disadvantaged if they can’t afford a device. Ideally we want families to provide a device for their child which they can be responsible for. We will have a number of chromebooks and ipads available in each class (Year 1-8) that can be used on a daily basis.

How will my child charge their computer?
We expect students to take responsibility for the charging of devices overnight, and this is a good habit for them to get into. If a device is fully charged overnight then it would be unlikely to need charging throughout the day. There are a small number of powerpoints available in our classrooms.

How will my child be using the computer in the classroom?
We have been introducing the concept of BYOD over the last few years and staff have had serious professional development in this area. Technology is a tool in the day-to-day learning of our students. Different teachers will be using it in different ways, and we are strongly encouraging our staff to use a combination of face-to-face and online teaching and learning approaches in their programmes. Therefore devices will be used in a way that supports the best possible approach for the particular subject that they take. Be aware that courses vary and although devices will be used in subjects, they will not be used all day, every day, as certain topics will lend themselves to device usage more than others.

How will my child keep their device safe? Who is responsible for security and damage?
We have been teaching with digital devices at school over the last few years and we have had minimal instances of theft of these devices while at school. We have had a small number of students who have had their screens damaged so having a strong case to store the device in is a must. Taking care of their own and others possessions is part of the NZ curriculum with regards to ‘Managing Self’. Devices are kept in a locked class during Physical Education classes if they are not being used. We will be encouraging students to store their devices in their locked classrooms. The school will not be held responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.

How does the school ensure my child’s safety when using the internet at school?
When students are connected to the school’s network via the school wireless connection there is a filtering system in place (Watchdog). All students are required to participate in a Hectors World Digital Citizenship program run at school during Terms 1 and 2. This is run by class teachers over a number of weeks, where they are required to complete a course on digital citizenship. Every student (or parent of) is required to sign a Responsible use of ICT agreement before starting at Bamford School. No student is able to complete enrolment unless the agreement is signed and returned.

Will I need to have internet access at home?
No, it is helpful if you do have access to the internet, as this enables your child to make full use of school resources from home via our school Ultranet and Google accounts. If a student needs to make use of free Wi-Fi out in the community, please be aware that these connections may not provide the necessary filters we have on our school network.

Will students be able to record teachers or classmates?
(Audio or video) Only with their permission. Any recording or photo that is on a device that does not have permission to be there will need to be removed. We have a responsible use agreement that all students (and parents of) sign, and the school has procedures in place if a device is being misused in anyway.

Can students use another student’s device?
Because the devices are student/personally owned, we want each device used and operated by the owner.

Have teachers been trained to work in a BYOD environment?
Our teachers have been upskilling themselves to work in a BYOD environment over the last couple of years. Different software and applications and devices are investigated and used by staff in order to provide the most effective teaching and learning environment for our students. In our senior school many of our learners use Hapara and Ultranet. The school can no longer provide sufficient access to school owned devices for everyone to meet the high demand for access, hence we are encouraging parents to invest in BYOD.

As a parent, am I required to add additional software to my child’s technology tool?
Free anti-viral software is required for devices that are connected to the internet. If the student has a laptop, then they are responsible for their own virus protection. Chromebooks and iPads do not tend to require virus proptection. Students can download apps on ipads but first need to check with the class teacher.  They will also need to set up their own Apple ID (with their parent).

Who will be responsible for troubleshooting and fixing students’ devices?
The type of device that will be bought to Bamford School may vary. We encourage ipad, ipad minis and chromebooks. Some students have purchased laptops and these are perfectly fine. We have a great technology team but they will not be required to provide technical assistance other than helping students connect to the wireless at school. Their main aim is building capacity amongst staff and students.

Will I still need to purchase stationery to use in class?
A stationery list will be available via our website or you can ask your class teacher. Having a digital device does not make Bamford School a paperless school. Many aspects of learning are still done via pen and paper, experimentation or through the manipulation of things in traditional ways. When the best way to engage students in their learning is via technology, then this will be the preferred method of delivery. Textbooks may still be used in some subjects e.g Maths, where others will make use of the online texts now available. As teachers increase their use of digital work, many of the tools used can be shared online and reduce the necessity to print out tasks to be handed in.

Will the wifi connection at the school be able to handle a large number of devices at a time? Is there a way to monitor student use of the internet?
Last year there has been an audit completed with regards to the school’s Wifi access. Those areas where there have been issues with access throughout the school have been identified and we have purchased a number of new access points which we will be installing into classrooms where the access is not good to address current issues. All students sign onto our Wifi via ‘Bamford Air”, this logs the students onto our network, enabling our systems to monitor websites searched and block access to internet sites and apps via our filtering system.

Is there going to be training for parents – internet safety, digital citizenship, access to check results and attendance, etc?
Yes, the Bamford School crew have run a number of successful evenings around internet safety and we will keep parents informed with regards to upcoming events. In 2014 we held a successful ICT launch at Bamford School and our learners each displayed elements of IT they were using in their classroom.

Further readings around the use and benefits of ICT in the classroom can be accessed from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Research-and-readings.