BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
What is Our BYOD Policy?
Waimea College is a ‘BYOD friendly’ school. For senior students studying NCEA in Years 11, 12 and 13 it is preferred that they bring a device to school, and for our junior students in Years 9 and 10 we fully support any device they bring to school.
How Did We Form Our BYOD Policy?
To form our BYOD policy we read the research of emerging best practice, we visited other schools to learn from their BYOD experiences, and we sought and listened to the views and needs of our teaching and support staff.
As a result, we believe that having access to a device that is used thoughtfully can genuinely enhance students’ learning, allowing them to be connected, collaborative and creative in ways that would not otherwise be possible. However, we also believe that a policy of enforced BYOD, with devices being used in every lesson, would not lead to an increase in academic achievement and could actually be detrimental to learning. Students do best when they use a range of learning tools, of which a device is just one.
So, Should Students Bring a Device to School?
In general, yes. Students are likely to be more productive with their own device, configured the way they prefer. They can also make use of a personal device outside of the classroom. So, having a personal device and bringing it to school regularly does have benefits.
- In Years 9 and 10 we encourage students to bring a laptop-style device to school, if they have one.
- In Years 11, 12 and 13 we recommend students bring a laptop to school if they can, since most NCEA subjects will incorporate the use of a device in their courses to some degree. Some courses are highly dependent upon students having access to devices (see course booklets for guidance).
What Type of Device Should a Student Have?
- In Years 9 and 10 a Chromebook is an ideal device. It will likely be more affordable, more rugged, and will run the browser-based applications that we make most use of (e.g. Office 365).
- In Year 11, 12 and 13 a Windows or macOS device is best, since it will be more competent and capable of running a wider range of software than a Chromebook (e.g. the Adobe design suite).
What if a Personal Device is Out of Reach?
We are aware that not all families are able or willing to purchase a device. If students do not have a device, the school is well-served with sets of Chromebooks and a number of computer labs that can be booked by teachers for classes. In addition, the Library has devices that can be booked out by individual students during the day.
Can We Help with Choosing and Purchasing a Device?
Since device specifications are always changing, we do not list specific devices on our website.
However we have partnered with Noel Leeming in Queen St, Richmond and if you go to the store, they will help you make an appropriate choice based on your student’s year level and subject choices. They have preferential pricing on devices and payment options to make it easier to purchase a device.
Device options are always changing but some guidelines are:
- Long battery life (6+ hours)
- Portable and light (this generally means a smaller screen size)
- A solid-state drive (SSD) for storage (faster and less prone to damage than a traditional hard-drive)
- Reasonably rugged (some devices are specifically aimed at school use)
A padded sleeve is also good idea as warranties do not cover accidental damage.
Some Interesting BYOD Resources
The internet is full of great BYOD resources. Here are a few that have helped shape our thinking:
- SensibleScreenUse.org– Summary of research around the use of devices in schools
- Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson (11 minutes)
- Ed Talks – Different video clips focused on BYOD in NZ and overseas schools