BYOD at Onslow College

BYOD at Onslow College

‘Enabling and supporting learning using information and communication technologies’

e-Learning is an area of dramatic change in New Zealand schools. Current research identifies that e-Learning tools can motivate and engage students. This motivation and engagement can be a critical catalyst as our teachers continue to strive to offer authentic, relevant and dynamic learning for Onslow College students. It also enables students to access and create digital content whenever it is appropriate to enhance their learning.

The New Zealand Curriculum encourages schools to explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning. It specifically identifies the potential of eLearning to:

  • Assist in the making connections by enabling students to enter and explore new learning environments, overcoming barriers of distance and time
  • Facilitate shared learning by enabling students to join or create communities of learners that expend well beyond the classroom
  • Assist in the creation of supportive learning environments by offering resources that take account of individual, cultural, or developmental differences
  • Enhance opportunities to learn by offering students the virtual experiences and tools that save them time, allowing them to take their learning further. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) are responding to the global and digital environment that is integral to the first decades of the 21st century. The changes they are making now will lead to NZQA being online, on-demand, anywhere, anytime. The way students do assessments and what we assess will change. We can best prepare our students for these changes by giving them opportunities to complete assessments online.
  • Have anytime, anywhere access to class resources, activities and learning through our internet-based Learning Management System
  • Communicate with their teachers and peers through the school’s web based email system
  • Access a range of collaborative learning tools through Office 365.
  • Develop e-portfolios in various forms to enable them to gather evidence of their learning.
  • Have access to differentiated learning tasks which will better reflect their individual learning needs.
  • Receive immediate and targeted feedback on progress.
  • Individual teachers will speak to their classes about when and how devices can be used in their classes.

Why Student Owned?

The advantages of students bringing their own device are varied. The internet is an essential platform for learning. As an important resource for all students it gives them the ability to communicate, collaborate, and extend their learning as they strive to become resourceful, well-balanced, positively-contributing citizens.

Specifically, students at Onslow College will be able to:

  • Have anytime, anywhere access to class resources, activities and learning through our internet-based Learning Management System
  • Communicate with their teachers and peers through the school’s web based email system
  • Access a range of collaborative learning tools through Office 365.
  • Develop e-portfolios in various forms to enable them to gather evidence of their learning.
  • Have access to differentiated learning tasks which will better reflect their individual learning needs.
  • Receive immediate and targeted feedback on progress.
  • Individual teachers will speak to their classes about when and how devices can be used in their classes.

Subjects requiring specialist computer access will continue to be timetabled into existing school computer facilities.

Embracing these tools makes education more interactive.

Technology can make learning fun and engaging! The interactive nature of BYOD supports student learning. Digital books often include free supplemental resources, such as study guides, chapter outlines, and interactive tests that monitor progress and provide immediate feedback.

BYOD makes differential instruction easier

Teachers can use media to meet different learning needs. BYOD allows students to be in control of their learning. Gifted students can research more advanced applications and students who need practice can do so individually

Portable devices make learning a part of students' lives

BYOD bridges the gap between in-school and at-home learning. According to research into cell phone use in schools, learning becomes easier to achieve, as it is more collaborative. Students can integrate the device into their daily lives.

BYOD saves learning time

BYOD makes collaboration easier. Research can also be done more quickly. More diverse sources can be used to support learning. Educators might even educate students about how to evaluate and find the best resources in a particular field. Virtual walk-throughs are easy with technology.

Engaged learners are better learners.

Bring your own device puts students in a position of power over their learning. Many educational researchers argue that giving students the authority over their own learning is best: the teacher becomes a manager of learning, rather than a direct source of information. Students use technology to formulate their own questions about topics, instead of having the teacher pose inquiries.

Bring your own device can be used to engage experts from outside the classroom.

Students can use communication features to engage in projects that require contacting the community or local leaders. In fact, millennials are more likely than any other generation to contact leaders and engage in community service projects. Students can apply learning to real scenarios.

BYOD is becoming the norm in the workplace

Educators have the responsibility to prepare the millennial generation to enter the workforce. Teaching students to use portable devices is necessary.

Devices

Students will bring their own laptop (and charger) to school on a daily basis for the purpose of enhancing their learning. While we prefer not to specify an exact model of laptop, we support the Microsoft© Windows operating system at Onslow College. The laptop should be running versions 7, 8 or 10 of the Microsoft© Windows operating system.

Window devices are preferred. Checklist for your child’s laptop - if you are buying a laptop it should:

  • Have a minimum of 4Gb Ram. 8Gb will improve performance
  • Be internet capable and able to access the school’s wireless network
  • Be able to run Microsoft© Office 365
  • Have a keyboard
  • Have a good battery life (more than 6 hours)
  • Be lightweight enough that it can be carried easily
  • Have sufficient storage space to store documents. Recommended minimum 64GB of internal storage.
  • Have a back-up device (e.g. a USB stick or external hard drive). While documents are stored in their Microsoft© cloud it is good practice to learn to backup.