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

What is BYOD and why do we have a BYOD Guide?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. In the Secondary School, approximately 85% of the students own a laptop and 50% of secondary students bring their laptops to school. This number rises in the higher grades. We encourage students to bring their own device for use at school. Students need devices for productivity and creativity purposes.

Over the past decade, many schools have initiated one to one laptop programs in which a single model laptop is utilized. There are many structures for such one to one laptop programs. As computing power, more specifically applications, have moved into the “cloud” and platform specificity is not an issue with laptops, more and more schools are opting to open up networks to various devices. The Secondary School has decided not to pursue a one to one specific laptop program but to continue current practices of supporting students who bring their own laptops to school. 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 Specification

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 or Tablet with keyboard (ie Surface)

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

Wireless

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

Ports

2 USB ports, Audio in/out, In-built microphone, VGA

Battery Life

6 -8 hours


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, Open Office, Apple, etc.

Internet Browsers (Latest Versions of a minimum of two different browsers should be installed)

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 students 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. Students may bring an iPad or an Android tablet to supplement their main laptop; however, at present, LCS does not support these devices as part of the regular school’s policy.

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. However loaner laptops are available in the Secondary School Library Hub to be used during classes. 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, Dropbox 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.

Furthermore, students will be advised to visit the IT office at the start of the school year to have their laptops checked against the list of required applications.

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 both 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?
The computers that fit the minimum specification list mentioned under Minimum Specification above are acceptable for use in the classroom. If you have questions about whether a specific model computer will meet the requirements please feel free to contact the LCS tech office.

What Operating System must be installed? Can I use a Mac?
For a PC, the operating system must be Windows Vista 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?
In this circumstance the SS Library Hub has loaner laptops available.

What about malicious hacking?
Students at LCS receive extensive digital citizenship guidance. If you have questions or concerns about appropriate computer use please refer to our Responsible Use Policy

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. We do however keep a log of Internet traffic of the LCS Network. 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.

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. We discourage the loading of any games, movies, music and non-educational programs on to your laptops at any time. If the collection and use of those kinds of digital media are important, we recommend storing them on external devices.

3. At school, students may not use the laptops for personal or entertainment purposes of any kind during classes.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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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