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LCS Secondary School Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Guide (Revised Feb 2017)

 LCS Technology Philosophy:
Our community of learners works together to become informed, innovative and ethical digital citizens of the world.

        Informed: Members of our community collaboratively develop knowledge and  
    understanding of our evolving society through the use of technology.

        Innovative: Members of our community explore a variety of tools to creatively    
    solve problems and develop ideas.

        Ethical: Members of our community commit to demonstrating digital    
    citizenship by engaging in respectful discourse and appropriate use of available
    resources.

 In order to support our technology philosophy, the Middle and High School divisions at LCS are BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). As such, we provide access to the Internet, certain online services, and the LCS information technology network. Students are required to bring their own computer, charger, and headphones for use at school. Students need devices for research, collaboration, productivity and creativity purposes. In addition to a computer meeting the specifications outlined below, students should also bring their own chargers and headphones to school on a daily basis.

Technology such as computers, headphones, and chargers will no longer be available for check-out from the library.  A limited number of charging stations will be available in the Middle and High School libraries, and some classrooms. Students are responsible for monitoring their own devices while they are being charged.

Recommended Specifications:

We make the following recommendations around device specifications and software as these are expectations that teachers have of the devices students bring to school. In addition, other questions regarding our support of a BYOD approach are noted below.

This guide contains the following important information. Please read the complete guide.

  • Recommended Laptop Specifications
  • Free Software for the laptop
  • BYOD Program Details (Frequently Asked Questions)

 Minimum Laptop Specifications

The table below should help you in purchasing a laptop with the minimum specifications supported by Lincoln Community School (LCS) for your child’s technology needs.

Machine Type

Laptop

Platform

Windows  / Mac / Chromebook

Screen Size

Minimum 11 inches

Processor

Intel i5 or Higher

AMD Athlon II or Higher

RAM

4 GB or Higher

Hard Drive

250 GB or Higher

Operating System

Windows 7 Professional or Higher, Mac OSX 10.6 or Higher

*Please note that Windows Home and Student editions cause compatibility issues with our network and are strongly discouraged

Wireless

Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Ports

2 USB ports, Audio in/out, Built-in microphone, VGA

Battery Life

6 -8 hours

Browser

Students are encouraged to use the most updated version of Google Chrome in order to support the Google Suite apps. Having a second browser available; such as Safari, FireFox, or Explorer is encouraged, on the off chance that Google Chrome is not working.

 

Suggested Software

(Much of this software is standard on a new computer and may only need updating. The list is to give you an idea of what your student may be using on a daily basis.)

Productivity for your laptop

  • Google Drive https://www.google.com/drive/ (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc)
  • Optional Office software (word, spreadsheets, presentation) from e.g. Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, Apple, etc.

 Video Players/Web Tools:

 BYOD Program Details

Who is responsible for purchasing additional software?

LCS provides students with accounts to cloud based software such as Google Apps and Managebac. LCS will not install Microsoft Office and any other software required for learning on student-owned computers and other devices. If a student brings a laptop that meets the minimum technical requirements, then the student will have access to all school-provided services.

Who is responsible for the maintenance and updates?

All maintenance for the hardware device, operating system, software and/or apps purchased by the family are the responsibility of the family. Families should ensure quick maintenance turnaround for student devices. Moreover, It will be expected that students bring their laptop to school each day fully charged.

How will students store and share their digital work?

Students will have access to cloud-based storage services such as Google Apps and ManageBac for saving and sharing documents. These services are available from devices with an Internet connection.

Do I need to purchase Insurance for my BYOD device?

Purchasing insurance is a personal choice.

When purchasing your laptop please learn about your options to purchase Damage Protection for your PC laptops. For Apple products please purchase Apple Care. You will also need to take additional insurance for damage protection as it is not covered under Apple Care. This ensures that your laptop is protected against accidental damage to your child’s device on and off the school campus. Fire, theft and acts of God are usually not covered under these programs and we request you to include it in your personal or home insurance. The insurance can be purchased with your computer vendor or any insurance company. All insurance claims must be settled between you and the insurance company.

How will we ensure access to the same applications for students?

Most applications that students use are Internet (cloud) based, thus ensuring access to all students with laptops that meet the minimum requirements.

In addition, there are circumstances in which it is preferable for students to select their own application to complete a task. Computers are powerful means of differentiating and personalizing a child’s education, and student-owned devices facilitate student choice over which application best suits their learning and communication style. Teachers will work with students to ensure everyone can access and view a student’s final work in appropriate formats as necessary.

How will we ensure access to the same digital content for all students?

As with our cloud-based application services, LCS has moved all digital content to the Internet. Web-based e-book services through Follett, for example, allow students to check out e-books and read them on their devices. Books are checked out while connected to the Internet and read while offline. LCS no longer purchases digital content that exists only on one computer’s local hard drive.

How will we ensure students remain “cybersafe” in and out of the classroom?

Digital citizenship instruction integrated with classroom learning is an essential component of any Bring Your Own Devices program. Though the nature of the program will be tailored to meet the extra demands of personal laptops and additional mobile devices throughout the school, the digital citizenship curriculum we currently have in place in our tech classes serves as a powerful platform to support the use of personal devices in and out of the classroom. Regular dialogue and resources during advisory will be shared regarding cyber safety

What are the guidelines for responsible use of these devices?

LCS has a Responsible Use Policy (RUP) for use of computers and other networked devices used  internally and externally. The guidelines, rules, and recommendations shared in this document will be adhered to in the classroom and should also be reinforced at home.  

Which computers are acceptable/approved?

Please see the Minimum Laptop Specification chart above. If you have questions about whether a specific model computer will meet the requirements please feel free to contact the LCS IT office.

What Operating System must be installed? Can I use a Mac?

For a PC, the operating system must be Windows 7 Professional or Higher.

If you are using a Mac, the operating system must be Mac OSX 10.6 or Higher.

What if I forget my laptop at home?

Students should take responsibility for bringing all necessary instructional materials to school everyday. Forgetting one’s computer is equivalent to not being prepared for class. Loaner laptops, chargers, and headphones will not be available.

What about malicious hacking?

Students at LCS receive digital citizenship guidance, but cybersecurity is a legitimate concern in today’s world.  Our Responsible Use Policy offers some guidance in this area.

What about file sharing? (P2P)

Students at LCS can share files digitally using approved file sharing services such as Google Apps. File sharing services that are generally used for software piracy will not be accessible at school. Although students will be bringing their own devices to school, LCS’s filtering software will still be working across all platforms when students are on campus.

What are the school rules? What documents do I need to know about?

All of the information you need to know is contained in the Responsible Use Policy.

How many devices can I bring?

Students can bring two devices to school to be used on the school Internet. This means that they could bring, for example, a laptop computer and an iPad or a laptop computer and an Android phone. If students routinely bring three devices to school, we will only allow two of them on the network.

What are the rules about surveillance (monitoring student laptops)?

We do not monitor student laptops; however, we do keep a log of Internet traffic on the LCS Network, and we can investigate student actions on the network if an issue arises. All LCS Responsible Use Policy guidelines will apply to misuse of the Internet or the LCS network.

 As a parent, how can I best support my child at home with the laptops?

We strongly encourage you to work as a family to set ground rules for the care, maintenance, and usage of the laptops. Families should set work routines that allow for completion of homework tasks separately from play or socializing on the computer. Given the safety and family concerns of some internet content, we strongly suggest students use laptops in such a way to provide family members a direct line of sight to laptop screens and have on-going family discussions about appropriate Internet use. Also, parents should have access to passwords for their children’s accounts online. Families should encourage students to have only one program open at a time in order to engage fully with one task. We also strongly encourage families to set ground rules about the use of chat programs or other social networking programs while students are working on their laptops at home. In fact, for middle school students, we generally encourage disabling or turning off chat programs while students are completing work for school.

What if my child’s laptop is damaged or malfunctioning?

It is the family’s responsibility to get the laptop fixed or obtain a different laptop. However, in the interim, a Middle or High School parent may apply for a loaner laptop through their child’s Principal. A $200 refundable deposit will be required, and a loan application will need to be approved by the Principal. The cost of any damage sustained during the loan will be deducted from this deposit.  In order to initiate a computer loan, a parent is asked to follow these steps:

  1. Make a $200 refundable deposit to the Finance Office and obtain a receipt
  2. Complete the  Lincoln Community School Laptop Loan Agreement
  3. Submit the completed agreement and Finance Office receipt to your child’s Principal
  4. Submit completed agreement signed by your child’s Principal to the IT Staff Member in the IT space in the Middle School Library to pick up equipment
  5.  At the end of the agreement, or upon LCS’s request, return all equipment to the IT Staff Member in the IT space in the MS Library
  6.  IT Staff will review the condition of the equipment, assess any damage, and make a request to the Finance Office for the return of the balance of the parent’s deposit.

 Laptop Use Guidelines for Parents and Students

1. Given that families own the laptops, the same deliberate and appropriate care that is accorded other valuable personal belongings should be given to the laptops.

2. When students are using the laptop at home or at school for educational purposes, we encourage them to attend to one task at a time. While having multiple programs open at the same time may facilitate learning, all open programs should serve the same purpose with respect to task focus and accomplishment.

4. At home, families should set up work routines within which family time, homework, play, and socializing take place at separate and distinct times. While recognizing the value and necessity of multi-tasking, we recommend that the potential distractive power of doing so be an on-going family conversation.

5. We encourage a work environment at home that promotes trust, responsibility and accountability. Given the safety and family values concerns of some internet content, we suggest student work station placement provide all family members a direct line of sight to their laptop monitor and have on-going family discussions about appropriate Internet use. We advise that student passwords be written in a safe place and that parents have access to passwords.

© 2015 Lincoln Community School

Phone:+233 302 218 100
Fax: +233 302 78 09 85

Location Address
#126/21 Reindolf Road
Abelemkpe, Accra
Ghana, West Africa

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