Muir Lake School 1-to-1 BYOD Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Every child learns, every child succeeds…


  1. What grades are participating in this 1 to 1 BYOD program?
  2. Why is this a BYOD initiative?
  3. Does my child have to participate in this initiative?
  4. Can my child use a device that we already own?
  5. What device should I purchase for my child?
  6. Where should I purchase the device?
  7. What are the basic requirements and specifications of the device the students need?
  8. What if I can’t afford to purchase my children a device?
  9. Who will maintain the devices (ie. program installation, virus etc.)
  10. How will you prevent devices from being stolen?
  11. Will my child be required to transport the device to and from school everyday?
  12. Will my child be able to use their device in high school?
  13. How will my child be using their device in the classroom?
  14. How will you protect my child online?
  15. How will you protect my child’s privacy?
  16. Will providing my child with a personal electronic device help with their learning?
  17. Will all of the students’ work be done only with computers? Will my child be sitting in front of a computer all day?
  18. What if my child isn’t very “techy”? Will their report card suffer because of their lack of “tech” skills?
  19. Will my child still learn how to write? What about math?
  20. Does my child have to have a device in the classroom? 
  21. What if I still have more questions?


Q. What grades are participating in this 1 to 1 BYOD program?

A. Learning Communities 4 through 9 participate  in this program. The initiative was piloted in Learning Communities 4 and 9. Currently, students in grades 4 through 9 are encouraged to bring personal laptops to use as tools for their learning.

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Q. Why is this a BYOD initiative?

A. First of all, it is better for learning. Technology is most effective for learning when it is not the focus; instead, simply used as a tool. Enabling and encouraging students to use their own electronic devices increases the user’s ability to personalize the device for effective use and bridges the gap between learning at school and home. It puts students in control of their learning and increases their engagement and motivation. It increases learning time; avoiding situations where the student spends time figuring out how to navigate the technology. BYOD makes the tool invisible as students comfort and familiarity with their own device increases.

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Q. Does my child have to participate in this initiative?

A. No this initiative is not mandatory; however, we encourage participation. 1-to-1 learning environments allow the technology to become “invisible” at their fingertips as a tool for student learning.  This 1-to-1 BYOD initiative enables just that and  is all about a partnership between home and school that removes barriers to do what is best for the students. If you would like your child to participate, but there are barriers to their participation, please contact administration to discuss.

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Q: Can my child use a device that we already own?

A: Yes as long as their primary device meets the basic requirements and specifications. They can choose to bring other devices if they wish (ie. iPad, iPhone, ipod, tablet, smartphone etc.) but this is not necessary. These devices can be utilized in addition to their primary device (ie. laptop).

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Q: What device should I purchase for my child?

A: Purchase any electronic device that meets your personal needs and meets the school’s basic requirements and specifications. If you are looking to purchase a device we recommend the Google Chromebook for the following reasons:

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Q. Where should I purchase the device?

A. Obviously, you can purchase the device that you want from any vendor you choose; however, you may want to take advantage of Parkland School Division BYOD partners programs. Parkland School Division is working to create partnerships that help support student learning. Please visit the links below for more information about the partnerships.

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Q: What are the basic requirements and specifications of the device the students need?

A: Although, different devices are permitted in the classroom to be used for educational purposes, the primary device best for student learning is a laptop. The laptop should meet the following requirements:

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Q: What if I can’t afford to purchase my children a device?

A: Contact the school and make administration aware. Confidentiality will be protected. Every child will have equal learning opportunities.

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Q: Who will maintain the devices (ie. program installation, virus etc.)

A: The common platforms that will be utilized in the class are Google Chrome, Google Apps, and Edublogs Parkland Blogs. Google Chrome enables many other online resources, programs, and applications that are completely web based. Program installation and management will not be an issue. All students will have access to the necessary programs without cost, management or installation issues. Chromebooks arrive completely protected from viruses. Other personal laptops will be maintained by the owner; however, some support and guidance can be provided by the school.

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Q: How will you prevent devices from being stolen?

A: Laptops will be locked in classrooms and/or charging laptop carts when not being used. All other devices (ie. tablet, ipod, phones etc.) will be the responsibility of the student. Students are encouraged to either lock their other devices in their locker or keep it on their person.

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Q: Will my child be required to transport the device to and from school everyday?

A: Device storage and transportation will be at the discretion of the owner due to the fact that they are personal devices. The school will provide secure storage in a locked laptop cart in the classroom for those concerned with wear and tear transporting the devices could potentially cause. Students’ projects will be stored on the “cloud” so access to their school device at home is not necessary; however, having access to  internet at home is beneficial.

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Q: Will my child be able to use their device in high school?

A: Yes. Personal electronic devices are accepted and encouraged in all Parkland School Division schools. Parkland School Division is a BYOD division. Visit the Technology For Learning page on the Parkland School Division website for further information.  

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Q: How will my child be using their device in the classroom?

A: The possibilities available online for enhancing and engaging students in their learning are endless. Students are able to collaborate and create through many mediums to learn with 1-to-1 access. Two of the main tools students will be using in the classroom via their laptop are Google Apps, and Edublogs Parkland Blogs as part of the Muir Lake School Technology Innovation Plan. Teachers will also be utilizing other online learning resources and will work with administration to keep parents informed.

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Q: How will you protect my child online?

A: Online access will continue to be the exact same as it currently stands. The network blocks inappropriate internet sites. Digital citizenship and online safety lessons will continue to be taught to the students. Students need to be taught the skills about how to participate safely and productively as a positive digital citizen online.

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Q: How will you protect my child’s privacy?

A: The students’ first name and last initial will be used to create accounts and the students will be taught not to use their last name online. Google Apps, and Edublogs Parkland Blogs enables varying degrees of privacy control; thus, limiting online access to only those who have been granted access. The school has administrative control over Google Apps and Edublogs Parkland Blogs; thus, can access students’ accounts fully and can suspend student access if necessary.

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Q. Will providing my child with a personal electronic device help with their learning?

A. Yes. When electronic devices are used effectively for learning, research indicates that personal 1 to 1 access will...

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Q: Will all of the students’ work be done only with computers? Will my child be sitting in front of a computer all day?

A: No. Providing laptop access to our students will enhance student learning in many ways; however, some learning activities will not require technology. Technology is one tool for learning, it is not the only tool. Teachers will continue to determine what the best tool is for specific learning activities and will use technology when appropriate. Providing students with 1-to-1 access will only remove the limitation of not being able to use technology due to lack of computer access when it is the best tool for learning.

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Q: What if my child isn’t very “techy”? Will their report card suffer because of their lack of “tech” skills?

A: No. Students will continue to be assessed in each subject based upon the skills identified in the report card. Technology will provide further opportunity for students to demonstrate and extend learning to deeper levels, but the technology itself is not assessed. When using technology, teachers will provide instruction and support to empower all students regardless of “tech” background.

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Q: Will my child still learn how to write? What about math?

A: Yes. Technology will be used when it is the best tool for the learning outcome. Students will continue to learn how to write (especially in the early years) and will still have to demonstrate their understanding in math.

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Q: Does my child have to have a device in the classroom?

A: We strongly encourage everyone to participate in this initiative as there are many learning benefits for the students; however, quality learning opportunities will continue to be provided to every student regardless of technology they may or may not possess in class. The vision is to have all of students having personal access to their own laptop in every class to be used when it is the best tool available for the learning activity. Full participation increases students’ opportunity for innovation and collaboration. If you have any hesitancy about participating in this program we encourage you to contact the office with your concerns and questions.

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Q. What if I still have more questions?

A. Please contact the office to set up an appointment or phone call with administration. We welcome all conversations, questions, and feedback.

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Muir Lake School 1-to-1 BYOD Initiative

Definitions of Terms

Every child learns, every child succeeds…


 

BYOD - Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to technology models where students bring a personally owned device to school for the purpose of learning. A personally owned device is any technology device brought into the school and owned by a student (or the student’s family), staff or guests. Government of Alberta (June 2012). Bring Your Own Device: A Guide For Schools . [ONLINE] Available at: http://education.alberta.ca/admin/technology/research.aspx. [Last Accessed 10 January 2013].

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Digital Citizenship - A concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. Mike Ribble (2013). . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/. [Last Accessed 11 January 2013].

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Digital Literacy - The ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies. It requires one "to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms". Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy, it builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. (2009). Digital Literacy . [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_literacy. [Last Accessed 11 January 2013].

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Information Literacy - The ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and share that information. It is the knowledge of commonly used research techniques. University of Idaho (2013). . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.webs.uidaho.edu/info_literacy/. [Last Accessed 11 January 2013].

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Learning Community - A group of people who actively learn together from each other. For example this includes but is not limited to students in the same classroom, students in the same school, students from different schools, parents, teachers, administrators, and others from around the world. Learning communities speak to the ability of technology to extend learning beyond the four walls of the classroom by removing the barriers of time and space.

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