BYOD at SOHS
Digital Devices are now required for all Junior Classes at South Otago High in 2016
South Otago High School is changing from a BYOD (Bring your own device) trial, with two classes, to full implementation of BYOD across all junior classes. In line with other BYOD secondary schools, we require all students to start 2016 ready to learn with a digital device. This is now possible with the Ultrafast Broadband and the state of the art wireless system here at SOHS. For our new year 9s, this will be a real boost.
In 2016 our junior classes will be taught using a digital platform, and with a variety of teaching techniques, usually centred around being able to access digital content. Each student having their own device, is the key to the success of this initiative.
The teaching style will be modern, the learning will be student centred and in contexts supported by the Digital World. Assessments, even at NCEA level are fast becoming digital, and on-line.
The school has purchased some Google Chromebooks to aid the programme. These are used across the whole school now and juniors cannot rely on access to these.
We have selected a make and model and recommend families buy the same model. These can be purchased locally, or at many other retail suppliers. The key is to get a good protective case, and a Google Management console with the purchase. The model we have found to be good, popular with students and meets all our needs is the HP 11.6 Chromebook. Buy a larger screen model if you wish, but avoid tablets and devices without keyboards. Your existing laptop will likely be all you need, if you already have one.
Shopping locally is an important consideration. Take advantage of hire purchase offers. Cyclone Computer’s website is a good place to start thinking about the purchase. In the Student Devices section select South Otago High School. Enter the code sohs2015 and browse the information. Cyclone is a Google Authorised agent. The local Balclutha shops can provide the same service and product at a good price, and are motivated to look after locals, not just with servicing, but with the initial purchase.
Contact the office at SOHS for more information 4180517.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Chromebooks?
A: In short, Chromebooks are a cost effective solution that offer the tools we need to deliver a true 21st century educational experience. Chromebooks are essentially internet only devices. Together with our local primary schools, we have considered a number of other options. Chromebooks offered what we feel is the best option for collaboration and sharing using the educational tools provided by Google and other companies. With a rich educational ecosystem around Google Chromebooks, we are looking to utilize the knowledge and experience of educators here in New Zealand and around the world to offer the best we can for all students in South Otago.
Q: Are only Chromebooks supported?
A: We have actually been a BYOD school for some time. We have a number of senior students, and some juniors, who bring various devices for use in a range of classes. However, as we look to have entire classes using devices, we needed to balance the educational needs of students with the realities of a classroom. We do not have a technician for every classroom and teachers cannot plan lessons for every type of device. By selecting Chromebooks as our default device, teachers can plan more effectively and we can support the technical side of configuring and managing student devices.
Q: What about security of devices?
A: We recognize that this is a concern of students and parents. We have plans in place to allow for the secure storage of student devices while at school.
Q: What about insurance?
A: We will leave this up to parents. Retailers do offer insurance as an option.
Q: What about other classes and year level?
A: At this time, our programme is aimed at all Junior students (Years 9 & 10) in order for SOHS to be able to manage and support staff and students. We will continue to expand the programme as we become more comfortable with integrating this level of technology throughout teaching and learning.
Q: Can other students bring devices?
A: Absolutely. Not all classes may make full use of the device. However, as we move forward we fully expect to see more and more devices throughout the school.
Q: What about mobile phones/ipods?
A: Mobile phones and ipods are not suitable for the type of teaching and learning we have in mind. They may be of limited use in some circumstances, but the main device should as a minimum have a screen size of 11″ and have a physical keyboard.
Q: What about charging my device?
A: Just like expectations we have now for students to arrive to class on time, with the right gear and the right attitude, we expect the same with electronic devices. This will include starting the day with a full charge and bringing their power cord with them to charge, should the need arise. Classrooms will have adequate power points to charge.
Q: What about stationery for students involved with the trial?
A: We are just starting out with the trial and some topics need more time to be moved to a digital mode of delivery. This will mean that items on the stationery list will still be needed. Please check the stationery list carefully as there may be difference between requirements between those in the fully digital class and those in other classes.