BYOD @ECA

The Bring Your Own Device program
for High School Students at ECA

What & Why?

BYOD stands for "Bring Your Own Device" - it is a program where students must bring in their own laptop and other tablet or smartphone to school. Beginning August 2015, all high school students at ECA must provide their own laptop and participation will be mandatory.

Current trends in Educational Technology all point to mobility, not just laptops but with a variety of devices that suit the individual’s need.  The move to internet cloud computing and storage makes mobility even easier and the device which accesses that information becomes less important.

Greater innovation and differentiation in the classroom means that students must become more independent learners.  This means students must make more decisions on how and where to access the information they need, which in many cases will be different than their classmates sitting next to them.  BYOD enhances that ability by enabling the creation of Personal Learning Environments by each student.

How?

Laptops and other devices must be purchased by families of the students participating. Although the ECA IT Department will be happy to make recommendations regarding individual devices, ECA will not be involved in the purchase of devices.

Since many classes use specialty software that cannot be loaded on a tablet, we recommend that students purchase a laptop as a minimum, please see our recommended specifications list.

For an individual class, an acceptable machine is one that meets the work requirements of the class in which you are participating. Some class work may need a laptop to load specific specialty software such as Adobe. In other classes where you need only access to the Internet and text, a tablet or other small device may suffice. You may use any device that meets the needs of the work you will be doing in class. This matching of the device to the task is part of managing your own computing environment and is your responsibility.

You are fully responsible for your technology while it is at school. ECA is not responsible for the loss, theft or damage of your technology. When purchasing your laptop for BYOD it is highly recommended you purchase Damage Protection for your PC laptops. For Apple products it is highly recommended you purchase Apple Care, for your protection, we also recommend you 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.

Device Specifications & Software Requirements

The following table should help you in selecting and purchasing a laptop for your child to use while they are at Escuela Campo Alegre. Although iPads, Microsoft, and Android based tablet devices may serve well for most needs at school, they not serve for all needs. If a student is going to have a single device, we recommend a laptop. All devices must be registered to the ECA network before network services will be provided.

Machine Type Laptop
Platform PC or Mac
Screen Size 11 inches or more
Processor

Intel i3 or higher
AMD Athlon II or Higher

RAM 4 GB or higher
Hard Drive 160 GB or higher
Operating System Windows 7 Professional higher
Windows Vista Professional or higher
Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
Internet Browser Google Chrome
Wireless 802.11n
Ports 2 USB ports, audio in/out, built-in microphone, built-in camera, VGA or HDMI display port
Battery Life 4+ hours (6+ cell or higher)
Warranty 3 Year warranty with Damage Protection recommended

The following software is recommended and should be downloaded and installed on your laptop for use in school. Some links point to software installation files that are available only to ECA students, you must be logged in to your ECA account on Google Drive to retrieve these. Certain courses will require specialized software to be installed, please see the IT Department for this.

Recommended Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software (Google Doc)
Adobe Shockwave Player
Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Google Earth
Audacity
JAVA
Pixlr

Other Software (requires ECA Account)
* Logger Pro for Windows/Mac
* Green Globs & Graphing Equations

Support & Maintenance

All maintenance for the hardware device, operating system, software and/or apps purchased by the family or staff member are the responsibility of the family or staff member. When purchasing the device, families or staff members should consider the quality and rapidity of maintenance available for the machine locally in Venezuela.

ECA will continue to provide the same tech support we offer now. All software problems will be handled by the IT Department. The IT Department will help diagnose hardware issues which must then be handled by a private service provider at the cost of the family. Temporary, short-term loaner laptops will be available for student or staff use in these situations.

Responsible Use

Digital citizenship instruction integrated with classroom learning is an essential component of any 1-to-1 technology 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 serves as a powerful platform to support the use of personal devices in and out of the classroom.

ECA has a Responsible Use Policy 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. Even though you are using your own device, you must follow the rules while on the ECA Network. Of special note are rules prohibiting streaming of music, and videos for entertainment and the playing of online games.

Students may only connect one laptop the ECA student network. If students need to connect a mobile device or additional laptop to the ECA Network, they may connect to the limited "ECA Guest" network.

While it is not our policy to police network activity, we do monitor students laptops while they are connected to the ECA Network. We keep a log of Internet traffic on the ECA Network. All ECA Responsible Use guidelines will apply to misuse of the Internet or the ECA network.

Coursework at ECA

ECA is a Google Apps school and access to Google Drive is part of student and staff accounts for saving and sharing documents. Students bringing their own device will NOT have access to server storage on the ECA network. ECA is in the process of moving most digital content to the cloud-based platforms. In addition to a Google Apps account, teachers and students can share documents using our learning management system, Schoology.

Students on BYOD are required to use and be signed in to the Google Chrome browser while on the ECA Network and during class unless otherwise instructed by their teachers or approved by the IT Director. Google Chrome works best with school-supported platforms and classroom management tools.

We expect students to bring their laptop and charger to school every day. If you forget your laptop at home, you must do without the laptop for the school day. A laptop will not be loaned for this purpose.

Parent Recommendations

It is important to emphasize the fact that although a machine may be owned by the student or family, the same guidelines apply to the use of those devices as school owned laptops.

  1. Given that families own the devices, the same deliberate and appropriate care that is accorded other valuable personal belongings should be given to those devices.
  2. At school, students may not use the devices for personal or entertainment purposes of any kind during classes. In addition, due to internet bandwidth problems, during their free time, students should not download or stream videos, music, or play internet based games.
  3. When students are using the devices 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, we recommend families 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 distraction 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.