Amersham School

Amersham School
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Bring Your Own Device

Using technology in the classroom to improve students’ learning

Amersham School has invested heavily in the technology and infrastructure of the campus to create the most dynamic and rewarding learning environment for our students. Our vision is that by using personalised technology our students will be able to have 24/7 access to all school resources, in addition to a wealth of online content which will help them to learn anywhere and achieve their full potential.

We have introduced the use of tablets and mobile technology within the classroom and monitoring the benefits that this technology brings. We can see the educational benefits to our students, and mobile technology enables us to further transform teaching and learning within the school and enhance our students’ learning by; providing access to and the ability to create digital resources; promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing between their peers; assessing students’ progress digitally and providing additional support where needed; removing the boundaries to learning and enabling our students to learn anytime, anywhere. 

1:1 access to technology enables learners at all levels, to create their own learning strategy. It has also been proven to raise student achievement and increase attendance.

It is expected that all students bring an appropriate device (tablet or laptop) into school to enhance their educational experience.

 

FAQ

Rationale

Technology is rapidly changing the nature of the world and the way in which we work and interact. Schools have traditionally invested in hardwired, desk top based, computer suites. These are very expensive and can only be used by single classes at a time. Amersham currently has five such networked rooms capable of taking full classes. These rooms are fully timetabled with ICT and vocational/coursework based classes. IT is a powerful tool to enhance the learning in all subject areas. The recent infrastructure investment will allow this to happen wirelessly in any classroom on the school site. The use of ICT in these subjects will be for only part of the lesson and therefore will free up the networked rooms for specialist use.

What is a personal device?

Any device that can access the internet can be used in school. This could vary from a tablet, a note book to a laptop.

Which device is best?

The school recommends that the device is a Microsoft operating system as this will work more seamlessly with the schools own Microsoft system. However any device will be able to be used.

Mobile phones will not be permitted to be used in the classroom so is not a suitable device.

Do students need a new device?

Existing devices can be used. Some older versions or non-Microsoft devices may not have the same functionality with the school’s system however.

Do students in different year groups need specific devices?

Students in the lower school, Years 7 and 8, will only need a basic device such as a small tablet, however this will need changing as they progress through the school.

Students in the upper school, Years 9, 10 and 11, will need a more powerful device. For students who are doing a BTEC/vocational course or courses that require significant amounts of writing a hybrid device with a keyboard, notebook or laptop is preferable.

What will the students be able to access?

The students will be able to log onto the school wifi using a single user ID for any device they bring into school. Once logged on they will essentially be in our school’s system and therefore will be able to access and use the network as if they were on a networked machine.

They will be able to access their work through the portal and save it and collaborate with others. They will also be able to access and use any programmes or apps that the school requires students to use in their learning.

Students will also have access to Microsoft Office 365 which they can install on up to five separate devices and will give them one Terra Bite of cloud based storage. This will be available on any operating platform, Microsoft, Android or IOS.

The security will be exactly the same as using the school network and students will be subject to the school’s firewall protection and web filtering.

How often will students be using the device?

This will vary according to the subjects and the year groups they are in. The majority of learning using the device will be for part of the lesson only, e.g. internet searches, class survey or using a specific programme such as Active learn and Active teach in Maths and Science. For BTEC or coursework based subjects the use will be substantially more and hence the need for a keyboard.

Will these devices replace writing and distract students from learning?

On the contrary.  It is proven through education research that the use of such technology enhances the learning experience and improves engagement. There will still be a large emphasis on writing and in particular writing for examinations but the use of ICT can improve students’ understanding of the subject matter. In the future they may have to use ICT to complete examinations.

What protocols will there be for using these devices?

The school has a policy which will outline how and when these devices should be used. The policy also outlines the sanctions for improper use or breach of protocols. The school has its own web filtering and the ability to disable internet access to individual devices

What about security?

As with other pieces of personal property the school will do everything it can to ensure the safe keeping of devices but cannot accept responsibility for damage, loss or theft. There will be procedures in place for Physical Education. Students and parents are encouraged to make sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage for any device being brought into school. It is therefore important to ensure that the device has a protective carrying case and that the student has a sturdy school bag.

What about charging the devices?

Most devices will have a charge life in excess of ten hours which will be sufficient for a school day. Students will be expected to charge their devices at home and bring them to school fully charged.

What about the use of specialist software and equipment?

Subjects such as music, technology and photography do require access to specialist software and machines. By allowing students to bring their own devices Amersham School can invest and provide access to these requirements. Students may also be able to download recommended subject specific apps.

It is recommended that your child’s device has Flash Player installed. 

 Any device brought into school must have up-to-date anti-virus software installed.  The school is unable to provide anti-virus packages.

The school cannot be responsible for providing or installing software onto devices.