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Toolooa State High School - Summary of BYOD Parent Information Session

6/12/2018


Summary of BYOD Parent Information Session
 
In previous years, all secondary schools across Australia had access to the Federal Government’s National Secondary School Computer Funding, which aimed to see each secondary school student receive a school-provided laptop. This funding has ceased, with schools now required to engage in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs. Additional to this, schools have a reduced amount of funding to manage IT resourcing in their school.
Toolooa SHS has attempted to engage with a BYOD program since 2016. Unfortunately, we have had limited success, with a low uptake of BYOD and a lack of change in classroom practices. As a result, we have challenged our thinking around how to do things differently in the future.
 
Moving forward, having undertaken a collaborative process with staff, Education Queensland and our P&C, Toolooa SHS plans to initiate a full roll-out of BYOD in Year 7 in 2020. With this in mind, 2019 will be used as a year to transition into this model, with BYOD being optional but strongly encouraged. We, as a school, want to give families as much prior notice as possible to allow for best planning.
 
Our school has committed over $50 000 in the past few months to get ourselves ready for this journey. We have sent selected staff members to Brisbane for professional development and fact-finding missions to determine best practice for BYOD. We have purchased a new device for each of our teaching staff members to allow compatibility with student devices in 2019 and beyond. We have also committed to ongoing staff upskilling to ensure our staff are ready for the changes that will come with a successful full BYOD roll-out.
 
A significant amount of research has gone into the best practice for rolling-out BYOD. This research has concluded:
 
  • BYOD has best results when staff and students have the same device (compatibility and consistency)
  • Staff upskilling is essential to the success of BYOD
  • Consideration needs to be given to a wide range of factors when selecting a device
 
We have spent significant time comparing Apple and Android devices. Considerations included cost/value-for-money, replacement schedules, battery life, weight/portability, screen size, compatibility and educational tech follow-up. Following extensive consideration, we have decided that the Apple iPad is our preferred device. The iPad weighs just under 500g, has a 10-hour battery life, has continuous software updates, is compatible with staff devices and has the ability to engage in all educational requirements except for some complex coding and CAD (computer-aided-design) subjects, which will be completed in school computer labs.
 
Toolooa is committed to families getting the absolute best value-for-money when purchasing a device. We have provided a summary of packages and prices (attached flyer) for your consideration. As a minimum, students bringing a device will bring an iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard/case. You will note that additional accessories, such as a screen protector and Apple Pencil, are options but not mandatory. We recommend considering more than just the price; we suggest looking at technical support options, engraving and accidental damage insurance as part of your decision making process. Please note, we believe Logitech will soon be releasing a compatible pencil, which is rumoured to be retailing at a lower price than the genuine Apple Pencil.
 
There is an annual fee of up to $50 payable to the school for connecting the device. This fee incorporates on-costs incurred by the school for BYOD for connectivity.
 
Importantly, we recognise the apprehension or concern that parents may have around appropriate use of technology; a concern we share. We will be using the ‘My Classroom’ app, which allows teachers to constantly monitor and manage student usage on the device and apply consequences when necessary.
 
We encourage you to take the time to read through the attached flyers. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the school so that you can be put in touch with the appropriate staff member.