Bring Your own Device (BYOD) Information
The teaching and learning opportunities that present when students have their own laptops that can be brought to school are enormous. To best prepare our learners for the world that they will live in, we have invested heavily in school infrastructure that enables students to connect to our network whilst at school, using their own devices. We have been a full BYOD school since 2016 and have developed our teaching programmes to maximise the use of student-owned devices.
All students at MBC are required to have access to a laptop throughout the school day. In most cases, this will be the student's own device (a laptop). This is because students should be able to learn the nuances of their own device, be able to work at school and seamlessly continue the same work when they are at home.
We have provisions to support families with day loan devices for those who are temporarily unable to bring a computer so this does not pose a barrier to learning/participation. More information about this will be available at the information evenings or from contacting the school.
If your son already owns a device then it is likely we will be able to accommodate it. However, not all devices are suitable and if you are at the stage of purchasing a device for your son then the following specifications will ensure that the device you buy can best support the intended learning outcomes and classroom use.
MBC provides access to various learning applications and hardware which work best on a PC or Mac laptop (they will not work on Chromebooks or tablets). Most students when surveyed report that a laptop best suits the learning needs in lessons. The decision between the type of laptop to purchase or use involves considering weight and portability as well as functionality.
If you go into a store, use the following information to help choose a device. You are looking for:
Higher spec machines
We often get asked for the details of high-end laptops. There is no need in junior school for a high spec machine. However, there are a couple of features that are desirable but not essential. Touchscreen devices that have a pen input enable students to handwrite notes. This has been shown to improve learning outcomes. Touchscreen devices, although becoming more commonplace, are still expensive. The other aspects which could be improved are the amount of RAM and the processor, but remember these are not essential.
Although smartphones are more powerful than many older computers, they are not suitable as the main learning device at the College. They are only to be used when explicit permission has been given, e.g. to video an experiment or activity.
One of the many benefits of BYOD is the fact that we can provide for free or for a subsidised cost software that would otherwise be too expensive for parents and students to purchase themselves outside of school. By enrolling with the school your son will gain a license to Office 365 suite. This can be installed on up to 5 computers in the household, so the family also benefits. If, when purchasing a laptop a salesman offers you Office 365, do not purchase it.
In term 4 we will email details on how to download software (including Office 365) along with details of how to start accessing school systems. This will mean that your son will arrive at the start of the next academic year with a better idea of how to use school systems.
We are proud to use Microsoft and Google Apps For Education for our dual platform for teaching and learning.
We also are able to offer students a license for the Adobe Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Acrobat Pro and a number of other applications) for $10 for the year. This is a saving of $1010 per year.
Please ensure that you have insurance that covers your son's device. Usually, laptops are included in your Home Contents insurance but it pays to check. Accidents happen and it is better to be able to replace the laptop through your insurance rather than having to pay for a new one.
More details about BYOD will be provided at the information evening which will be held in August. In the meantime, if you need further advice, you can contact Dr Eliot Attridge (Director of Innovative Learning & Head of Science) at [email protected]