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BYOD Program

The Bolles School implemented the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) requirement in 2014. All students in grades 6-12 are required to bring a Windows 10 Pro, Windows Ink enabled computing device that meets the requirements specified below. The intent of the required BYOD program is to ensure academic teachers are able to plan appropriate and engaging class experiences, knowing all students will have access to their own compatible personal device.

More from CTO Paul Sollee

Over the last three years, we have found that having digital inking capabilities along with a full desktop operating system like Windows 10 Pro is desired by our teachers in order to allow for more opportunities using technology in the classroom. Therefore, each student must have a Windows 10 Pro device with Windows Inking capabilities (see BYOD Requirements regarding Macs). There are a variety of devices that have these capabilities, but their experiences can be very different. We highly recommend the Surface Pro or Surface Book lines of devices. If you already have a device that you would like for your child(ren) to use, the link below will lead to required specifications to help guide you in assessing currently owned devices or to guide you in considering a new student device. If you intend to purchase a new device for your child, we encourage you to consider doing so well in advance in order for your child to become familiar with the device prior to the start of the school year.

The School provides wireless access and a Microsoft Office 365 account to all students. The Office 365 account provides your child with a Bolles email address and the ability to install the Office Suite on their device as well as four more devices.

All campus buildings have wireless network access so your child will not be required to have a data plan in order to use the device at school. All students are only allowed to use their devices for academic purposes during the school day unless otherwise directed by their classroom teacher. Each student is responsible to come to school with a fully charged device and stylus/pen.

We thank you for your support and attention to this new policy and we hope you are as excited as we are about how this will continue to enhance the overall academic experience for our students.

Best Regards,

Paul Sollee
Chief Technology Officer

BYOD Requirements and Additional Info

If you are purchasing a new device for your student, we highly recommend the Surface Pro or the Surface Book. The school has built a good relationship with the Microsoft store at the St. John’s Town Center. They are aware of our requirements and can help you in purchasing an appropriate device.

The device you have should be part of a package that includes:

  • The device (see minimum specifications below)
  • A keyboard
  • A stylus/pen
  • A protective case or sleeve
  • An accidental damage protection (ADP) plan that provides for at least two claims during a minimum 2-year coverage period.

The minimum device specifications are:

  • Windows 10 Pro operating system
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB hard drive
  • Wireless card must support the 802.11a (5GHz) standard
  • Screen size should be a minimum of 10”
  • Digital Inking capabilities (the kind of stylus that emulates the tip of a finger is not acceptable)
  • Battery life rating for a minimum of 5 hours of video playback
  • Full-size keyboard
  • Front and Rear camera
An iPad or Android tablet device is not sufficient for the needs of our students especially with the lack of Flash capability. Many digital textbooks and educational resources cannot be opened or displayed on iPad or Android devices. These devices will not be allowed as the student’s primary device.

Because Macintosh laptops (Macs) do not offer digital inking capabilities, they will not be acceptable devices for the Bolles BYOD program at the start of the 2019-20 school year. A Windows 10 device based on the requirements above should be purchased between now and the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

Additional Advice

Please do not have your child carry their device in their backpack or other case where they tote their books and other belongings. Even in a protective case or sleeve the pressure of the books and tossing of their backpack to the ground will easily crush their device screen. It is advisable to have them carry the device separate from their backpack.

Dealing with Breakages

Ultimately it is the student/family’s responsibility to have a working device that meets the minimum standards listed above. Breakages and malfunctions will happen which is why having an ADP plan such as Microsoft Complete is so important. We have found that the Microsoft store at the St. John's Town Center is superior in handling Microsoft Complete warranty plans. They are well-equipped for immediate swap out of warranty covered Surface Pro and Surface Book devices.

Surface pens and power adapters will be available for purchase from the campus stores in the event they lose or break theirs. Styluses and power adapters for other brand models will not be available for purchase on campus.

FAQs

What does “One-to-One” (1:1) mean?

One-to-one means each student has access to a technological device, which may be either a laptop, a tablet or tablet PC.

What does BYOD mean?

BYOD means Bring Your Own Device. Students in Grades 6-8 (9-12 in 2017-18) are required to bring and use their own technological device as long as the device meets certain device requirements. Over the last two years we have found that having inking capabilities along with a full desktop operating system like Windows 10 is desired by our teachers. Therefore, as part of the requirement, students must have a Windows 10 device that has digital inking capabilities.

Which device works best for BYOD?

Bolles highly recommends the Surface Pro or Surface Book lines of devices. That said, when selecting a device please make sure it meets the Bolles published BYOD minimum requirements. Smartphones, iPads and Android tablets, Mac PCs, and Windows devices that don’t have inking capabilities are not approved BYOD program devices.

Smartphones, iPads, and Android tablets are not an approved BYOD program device.

Does the school have WiFi available?

WiFi (802.11a/ac 5GHz standard only) is available to all students in all academic buildings on all campuses.

Is web access restricted on the School's WiFi network?

A web filter on the student WiFi network currently does restrict access to certain web sites deemed inappropriate by the School.

Tell me about e-textbooks. Do students have the option to download e-textbooks/e-books instead of purchasing hard cover books?

Depending on teacher requirements, e-books are offered in a variety of formats with a variety of costs and purchasing methods. It is the School's goal to increase the availability of e-textbooks and we expect some more offerings next year. Full availability, however, may take several years. The School's book purchase process will include specific information on courses where e-books are available, allowed and/or required.

Keep in mind that you do not need an e-book reader (kindle, nook, etc) to read e-books. E-books should be read using the custom MBS application Vitalsource and/or via a web browser.

Don’t students just get distracted by these devices?

Our students live in a digital world. Their academic lives, through college and for some graduate school, will include digital distractions. Their eventual work lives will as well.

We believe it is not only important for students to be more than gadget-savvy – and many students already are very adept – but also to use devices as tools for research, inquiry and analysis. They can only learn to do this effectively and efficiently by using devices at school, at appropriate times and on academic activities specified by the teacher, both inside and outside the classroom. Yes, there is a risk of distraction that comes along with this. We believe it is better for students to learn to responsibly practice focus in school, where parents and teachers are still very involved, before they experience the additional freedoms of college. In the middle school enrichment classes and through Digital Literacy lessons, we teach students techniques to manage technology responsibly and avoid distraction.

What applications will be required?

The primary applications for our BYOD program are Schoology and Microsoft Office 365, and both are provided free to students. Your child currently has a Bolles email address. If he/she needs assistance accessing this account, please have him/her stop in the library for assistance.

What types of support may my child count on for his device?

Assistance will be provided by our Technology Department for the following issues:
  • Accessing the school WiFi network
  • Printing at School
  • Assistance with School-approved e-books
Support will NOT be available for:
  • Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Personal Applications

Why is the School using Office365 and not another program, such as Google Apps for Education?

The School has used Microsoft Office with our students for many years. We also make Microsoft Office available in classrooms, so students, for example, who choose to develop a presentation in Power Point are more certain the presentation will work. It was a natural progression to adopt Office 365 as our cloud tool. We also have Microsoft Certified Educators to support the faculty in their professional development and use of the applications in the classroom.

What if my child’s device breaks? What if he/she forgets it?

Ultimately it is the student/family’s responsibility to have a working device that meets the minimum standards listed above. Breakages and malfunctions will happen which is why having an ADP plan such as Microsoft Complete is so important. We have found that the Microsoft store at the St. John's Town Center is superior in handling Microsoft Complete warranty plans. They are well-equipped for immediate swap out of warranty covered Surface Pro and Surface Book devices.

Surface pens and power adapters will be available for purchase from the campus stores in the event they lose or break theirs. Styluses and power adapters for other brand models will not be available for purchase on campus.

How will students be prepared to use devices at school?

Students are expected to be the experts of their own devices BEFORE bringing them to school. The School holds voluntary technology orientation sessions for incoming students in Grades 6-12 in August. Each student new to BYOD is encouraged to bring their device to one of these sessions. These sessions will provide students with information and some basic instruction to assist them in starting the year prepared and organized with their new device. Further details regarding these sessions will be forthcoming.

Will pencil and paper be abandoned as a result of the BYOD program?

No, writing will still be a part of the learning process and used to prepare students for assessments. However, digital inking is a powerful alternative in many instances and is a teacher requirement in some math, science, and language classes.

Helpful Technology Links

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