BYOD at Middleton Grange School
The Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team think that this is the ‘right thing’ to do for our pupils. We need to provide them with the means and access to the best learning environment and future opportunities. E-learning and BYOD must be a key part of that.
To enable our vision of ‘enhancing independent learning, collaboration and creative thinking in our pupils’, we need to:
- Create personalised learning opportunities that are flexible and authentic and meet pupils’ aspirations and educational needs
- Support pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and enhance their learning through the use of collaboration
- Integrate new technologies into the wide range of opportunities pupils are offered to enable them to participate in a global world.
We acknowledge that the world is changing, becoming increasingly digitised at an incredible pace, resulting in opportunities for different learning pedagogies (teaching philosophies). There are more internet enabled devices than people in the world. We need to engage in this digital world to remain relevant, make the most of the opportunities presented, and prepare our pupils for ongoing learning and future careers. However, technology is only a tool to help enhance our current practice. The challenge is to strike the right balance between what we currently do very well and the incorporation of new technologies. This is often referred to as “blended” learning. It isn’t appropriate to use technology 100% of the time. It should be used, when it can, to enhance our proven practice. Teaching and learning at Middleton will always stay at the forefront. The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) explicitly states that our vision is to foster young people who will be “confident, connected, actively involved and lifelong learners” (NZC, 2007). In the 21st century, eLearning is becoming fundamental to enabling this vision.
Over the past few years we have been discussing how best to integrate technology into pupils’ learning at Middleton Grange School. Whilst pupils have already been using a wide range of technologies, we have been thinking and talking about increasing the opportunities they have. We are in the process of upgrading our school infrastructure and will continue to do so over the next few months to ensure the school has capacity to handle a large number of devices on the wireless network in the future. We have also watched carefully as other schools have introduced the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ model into their schools and feel we have benefited significantly from their experiences.
In 2019 it is optional for all pupils in Years 9-13 to bring a device, and in 2020 all pupils will be asked to BYOD. We believe that the use of these devices further develops our pupils’ 21st Century competencies of digital literacy, communication and working collaboratively to problem solve and think creatively.
Middleton Grange is supported by Cyclone computers who are creating a purchasing portal specific to our programme. Devices for sale through this portal are approved by the school. To access go to www.cyclone.co.nz/byod – select Middleton Grange School and use this password: byodmgs
A number of retailers offer purchase options to assist with the purchase of a device. An extensive warranty and comprehensive insurance are highly recommended for all pupil devices. We will also be offering forums for parents to attend over the next 18 months regarding BYOD, internet safety and other topical issues related to information technology. All pupils are able to access the full Microsoft Suite free of charge through the school.
The board of trustees are committed to providing a safe digital environment for pupils. We are working with Linewize to investigate options that would safeguard every pupil through the installation of software on each device to provide an additional level of safety.
BYOD Device Specifications
There are a number of device specifications that are critical to the success of the BYOD programme and these are listed below:
- Quad core Processor minimum – i3 or above is recommended.
- 10 inch screen size minimum
- 4Gb Ram minimum
- 11AC wireless
- 128 SSD hard drive minimum
- Guaranteed battery life of 5 hours or more.
- Full Windows 10 or Mac OS operating system
- Device must have a physical keyboard
- Protective case is recommended
- Antivirus software essential
- A device with a stylus would be helpful in some subject areas such as Mathematics and Science
- iPads and chrome books are not an ideal device choice. We are committed to supporting pupils from contributing Christian schools who may already have a device, however, this may limit pupils in a number of ways.