What is the device of choice?
Who is BYOD for?
Currently BYOD is for students in Year 3, 4, 5 or 6.
There is a very steep learning curve for teachers and schools when it comes to exploring technology and understanding how to use technology to effectively improve engagement and learning opportunities. Having a single platform (one type of device) enables Lynmore school to better support and structure the learning with technology and grow teacher capability. While some students are very independent with their technology, we need to ensure that our teachers have the skills and confidence to support and enhance the learning experiences of all of our students. Having one device, while is still a steep learning curve for our teachers, makes it more achievable as opposed to having a variety of devices in the classroom.
Lynmore chose iPads as their student learning institution device because we were looking for a device that would make learning more powerful, responsive and authentic, without the additional barriers for learning. After investigating various models around the world and schools within New Zealand, we came to the conclusion that the iPad would be more effective than other devices (at this time). There is a simplicity in how the iPad functions for learners (and teachers) that enables more effective creativity and collaboration within learning. Additionally, the iPad has a long battery life (approximately 10 hours). There is also the added benefit with the number and variety of apps that the iPad offers that contribute to improved creative, critical, and collaborative thinking.
What about other devices?
Firstly, there is not necessarily any need to go and purchase a new device to get the benefits of our BYOD programme. Currently, most of the iPad Minis, iPad Airs and iPad 5s will work perfectly fine at school.
If you have an alternative device (tablet or laptop) at home and are not interested in purchasing an iPad but still want the benefits of the BYOD scheme, this maybe okay as long as it meets our school minimum requirements. Please be aware that our teachers will be preparing learning based on the iPad’s capabilities, so there may be times where other devices function differently (or not at all) and the student will need the ability to use their device in a more independent and unsupported way.
What would you see in a senior class with BYOD?
Rather than listing a vast range of possible scenarios, we highly encourage you to contact your child’s teacher and see for yourself. Like any tool in learning, as a hammer is to a builder, the iPad is to be used when there is good reason to use it.
Are devices used outside of class time?
At Lynmore School the general expectation is that devices will not be allowed to be used during playtime and lunchtime - they will be locked away in the classroom. While there may be exceptions, we want our students playing and socialising outside during their break times.
Alternatively, students may be on their devices before school (supervised in class) to plan their day or continue some great learning in a project that they are extremely engaged with.
Are the devices locked away?
In our experience students that have their own device are extremely good and proactive about looking after their expensive electronic equipment. As a school, we will ensure the devices are locked in the classroom during times that the teacher is not present. All iPads must come in a sturdy protective case - no devices are to arrive at school unprotected! It is also important to note that devices are insured under the family’s home and content insurance.
How are the devices supervised?
As a school, we are currently using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider called Mosyle. By installing Mosyle (as an app) we are able to control network settings for the device while it is at school and we are able to remotely add and take away apps that are required for learning. It also allows for teachers to utilise Apple Classroom which enables our them to visually see what each device is doing while in the classroom. This helps us ensure that devices are being utilised to empower learning rather than students becoming distracted by the bells and whistles of the device and the internet.
Will my child's work need backing up?
As a school we are registered with Google Workspace for education. This means that students are able to upload many of their files to their Google Drive account in the cloud. You may also decide to use an iCloud account which can automatically back up content, though there is a charge after you have used your free 5GB of storage.
How will learning and work be shared?
While Google Drive is a fantastic platform for working collaboratively on and saving work, it has limitations for sharing work and progress. Lynmore School utilise Seesaw as an online learning portfolio that connects the student and their learning journey with the teacher and their whanau. This will provide families a real time view of learning (inclusive of assessment).
Will my children develop digital citizenship?
Lynmore School already teach this, and it will continue to be a focus. We are seeing an increasing need for all students to develop stronger skills and attitudes to navigate the digital world in a safe constructive way. We will also be planning to organise a parent information session on this topic.
Will my child be left out if they don't have a device?
Currently students in Year 3 to 6 all have access to school owned devices, but this is based on a group or individual rotation basis. These devices are limited to these times in classroom. Students that have their own devices have the benefit of constant access to a device whenever it is useful to them (and approved by the teacher) which brings a new freedom and flexibility in students being able to use the device as a tool for learning at home and at school. The more devices that are in the class (through BYOD and school owned), the more access that all students will have to these digital tools.
We understand that there is a concern of feeling left out and every care will be taken to minimise these feelings and ensure that learning is planned to be powerful for all students. In the end we feel the benefit of having devices outweighs the potential feelings of being left out.
What are the different options for purchasing a device?
We encourage you to explore the market as sales for iPads are frequent and prices vary a lot during these times. Two retail outlets frequently have specials for schools, and these may be advertised in our newsletter and on our school app. Alternatively there are other shops that sell earlier version iPads and iPad Minis (be mindful that these may have a more limited lifespan and may not be compatible with upcoming apps).
Where can I find additional information about iPads and/or learning?