Windsor is launching a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilot initiative for the 2018-2019 school year. BYOD encourages students to bring an acceptable personal device to school (such as a laptop) to use for educational purposes. At the teacher's discretion and with parent support, students will be able to use personal laptop computers under supervision in the classroom to enhance learning. Having ongoing access to technology can help your child develop greater independence, increase engagement, and develop skills required to thrive in the 21st Century.
A strong focus of this initiative will be for teachers to begin by enhancing digital citizenship and teaching the responsible use of technology. We will focus on digital skills, ethics, etiquette, and the online safety that is needed to be digitally responsible citizens. We emphasize that the use of a laptop can be different than the use of a cell phone and social media apps. Appropriate student devices can be used as tools to access resources, complete assignments, collaborate, and maximize personal organization. Educational activities in the classroom that support these skills may include activities such as researching information, producing documents, analyzing data, producing videos, reading e-books, creating blogs, taking notes, or scheduling events.
The North Vancouver School District provides students with Office 365, which includes school district email accounts that will be used for various educational purposes. Students also receive 50 GB of email storage and 1 TB for file storage, as well as access to many Office 365 features. Students and teachers will be able to work on Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote projects collaboratively and to file-share documents such as projects and homework. Another benefit of Office 365 is that all students are able to download Microsoft Office software to use at home and on their personal devices for free.
Requirements for Laptops
If you have a laptop at home that your student would like to bring to school or you would like to purchase a laptop, there are many more affordable devices available in today's market. Suggestions for minimum requirements include:
- Windows or Mac laptop not more than 4 or 5 years old (Windows 10 operating system or newer; Mac 10.6 operating system or newer)
- Min 10" screen (iPad size or bigger)
- Keyboard – preferably a laptop in lieu of an ipad or tablet
- Touch screens are wonderful but not necessary – lighter weight processor – hard drive size, 64GB minimum recommended
- Battery that is capable of holding a charge for at least 5 hours
- Internet and Wifi capability
- Case or sleeve for protecting the laptop when it is inside a backpack or bag to increase the lifespan of the computer
- Charging power cord
BYOD is a choice initiative and therefore students are not required to bring their own device.
The school will provide opportunities to work with school-owned technology if students do not have a personal device available. Teachers will continue to plan their lessons assuming that not every student will bring a personally owned device to school. Technology will not be used every day for every lesson. There is an appropriate time and place. Devices and other technology are available for students to use at school, and all students will have greater access to technology in their classrooms.
Currently, we offer school-wide wireless access and feature one library lab and three computer labs. Our Parent Advisory Council has also just purchased 30 new laptops to support this initiative.