Middle School BYOD Program

Our Middle School BYOD program launched at the beginning of the Fall 2014 school year. Each student in grades six through eight is required to bring their device to school every day. This increase in access to technology is the next natural step to technology integration in our Middle School. Please click on the topics below for more details about the program.

BYOD

1. Why One to One?

A One-to-One, where each student has access to his or her own device, is the next natural step in technology integration at our Middle School. Our teachers currently integrate technology into their units and lessons daily using carts of laptops, iPads, Chromebooks and other interactive devices. A-One-to-One will increase access and make the process more fluid and organic. Also, a One-to-One strengthens our “Green Inititative” to reduce paper waste on campus.

2. Why BYOD?

The BYOD model strongly aligns with the mission of the technology program at St. Mary’s. We believe in exposing our students to a diverse range of devices and operating systems to promote choice and foster creativity. Each device has its own set of strengths. It’s critical for students to understand each device’s value and collaboratively choose a device for a given task. 

Also, a BYOD model is more sustainable and makes financial sense for our families and our school. Rather than require families to purchase a specific device or charge a “technology fee” for a new device, BYOD allows our students to bring a device that they already own. 

Finally, we believe that BYOD is the future. With the increase in the range of devices, more resources are being made available through the web. Content creators and publishers understand this shift and are creating material that can be accessed on any web-enabled device, regardless of manufacturer or operating system. This gives our students the freedom to choose their platform and create a “Unified Learning Experience” between home and school.

3. Preparation and History

The planning for the BYOD program began during the Fall of 2012. The following series of steps have been taken since then to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Needs assessments from teachers
  • Visits to schools that have implemented a one-to-one to learn from their experiences
  • An increase in professional development opportunities for teachers in the field of technology integration
  • An increased focus on Digital Citizenship for our students by partnering up with Common Sense Media and devoting Advisory sessions on this topic
  • Assessing our network infrastructure and arranging necessary upgrades to handle the additional devices on our network (inlcuding an increase in bandwidth and wireless access points)
  • Starting a 2-week Kickoff with our Grade 7 students during the prior year
4. Student Expectations

The following set of expectations will be in place for our students to maximize the educational value of their devices:

  • Bring Device to School Fully Charged Each Day
  • Store Additional Charger in Locker or Backpack
  • Maintain Software Requirements Set by School Throughout School Year
  • Provide Responsible Maintenance and Security of Device In and Out of School
  • Maximize Educational Benefit of Device
  • Follow School Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) - The AUP will be explained in detail to students during the first week of school by our Technology team.
5. Accommodations for Students

We will be adding the following resources for our students to ensure a smooth transition into the BYOD program.

  • Secure Charging Lockers (view example)
  • Additional Power in Classrooms
  • Spare Loaner Devices and Chargers Available for Checkout
  • Network Access Control (NAC) for Security
  • Internet Content Filtering on Student Devices
  • Helpdesk Support for Minor Issues
  • Class Sets of Current Devices (iPads, Chromebooks and Laptops) Will Remain for Checkout
  • Doubling the number of mobile devices for K-5 students in preparation for Middle School
6. Device Requirements
  • Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux Operating System **
  • 10” Screen or Larger
  • 2GB of Ram or Greater (4GB Recommended)
  • Dual Core Processor or Greater
  • Chrome Browser Recommended
  • Wi-Fi Enabled Device
  • Battery Life Greater than 5 Hours
  • Physical Keyboard
  • Protective Case or Cover
  • Second Charger
  • Headphones
  • Microphone and Camera
  • 3G/4G service must be turned off on campus
  • Anti-Virus Software or App

** iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks are allowed, but not as the student’s primary device.

7. Device Examples

Microsoft

•Windows 7
•Windows 8/8.1/RT
•Windows 10 

Example: Laptop PC, Windows Surface Tablet

Cost: $349+

Apple

OSX 10.7 or Later

Example: Macbook, Macbook Air 

Cost: $899+

**St. Mary’s will continue to support iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks only for current students in graduating years of 2016 and 2017. Students in future graduating years may bring in iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks, but not as their primary device.

8. Recommendations
  • The lowest cost device option is recommended. If you already have a device that meets the minimum requirements, start with that. If you don’t, purchase the lowest-cost option.
  • Device mobility is important. Ensure that the device can be transported between home and school comfortably.
  • Consider a device that the student is most comfortable using.
  • Consider diverse high school requirements when purchasing a device. It’s possible that your child’s future high school will have more specific requirements.
  • Accidental Damage Warranty is recommended, especially for higher cost devices (Square Trade, Worth Ave. Group, etc…).