Additional Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Seatoun School Year 7&8 and Year 5&6 Pilot BYOD Programmes

In 2015 we began our research consultation with parents and students regarding the introduction of a BYOD programme.  In 2016 we commenced a two-year BYOD programme in Year 7&8.

In Sept 2018, we commenced consultation with our community about introducing BYOD into our Year 5&6 area of our school.

In June 2018 we were recognised as Apple Distinguished School.   This is an extremely prestigious award, one of only 6 in NZ primary schools and is in recognition of the continuous innovation in learning, teaching and the school environment.  

Below we have put together answers to frequently asked questions.

Questions covered include:

What is a BYOD Programme?

Why did we introduce a BYOD programme?

Why is the School recommending one device?

What is our Philosophical Approach for our BYOD Programme

If I walked into a BYOD classroom in the middle of the afternoon, what might I see?

Where Should I Buy the iPad?

What about backing up an iPad?

What about battery life?

What if we have just gone out and purchased another device?  Do I have to go and buy an iPad?

Can my child bring a laptop?

Will students be allowed to use devices/computers outside of class time?

What about security? My son or daughter will break their iPad, drop it, lose it, someone will steal it’s going to cost me a fortune.

Locking Away at School

What about brain damage or health issues with wireless technology?

What does the research suggest are the educational benefits of BYOD?

What about the security of my work?

Why did we choose Google Apps for Education?

What are the Secondary Schools Recommending?

Doesn’t that mean students without devices will feel really left out?

So you have convinced me. I have to buy an iPad or iPad Mini for my child but I can’t afford $400-$700. How am I going to do that?

Where can I buy an IPad?

Will the school be teaching Cyber-Safety and Digital Citizenship?


What is a BYOD Programme?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an approach that aims at better integration and a wider access to technology within the classroom.  A BYOD approach allows students to bring their own personally owned electronic device to school. In our setting, we are strongly recommending one type of device.  In practice, all student BYOD devices are iPads. This strategy is designed to produce equal access, standardisation, easy networking, and the ability to have some confidence that all devices will function in the same way.


Why did we introduce a BYOD programme?

As a school we have upgraded to provide Ultra Fast Broadband, we also have an upgraded internal network and comprehensive wireless system.  We have the infrastructure to support the introduction of a BYOD programme. Demand for access to technology keeps growing and we see the value in having a device available for each student that they can take home each night.  We see that having access to technology as part of the programme is essential. We see that the device becomes a 21st Century tool for their learning. We do not have the resources to purchase one device per student. 

In 2019, we are proposing extending this programme as an option, into our Year 5&6 area of the school.  For these year groups, we will be providing a lockable charging unit for each class and are recommending that in general, devices stay at school overnight during week days, unless parents expressly ask for them to be taken home. 

Why is the School recommending one device?

Having a single platform that reflects the one already used by students at Seatoun School (all student computers are Apple laptops) has enabled better support and structure for e-learning as teachers grow their skills.  With students of this age, there is a large range in student knowledge. Some students will be very independent with their technology and others will need considerable support. Having one device will still be a lot of work for staff, but substantially more manageable than a variety of devices.   For general information about iPads refer to this website.  For details of the preferred model, see the bottom of this document.


Our infrastructure is also set up for one type of device.  Accessing the BYOD Wifi network is easy with an iPad and our Mobile Device Management System (MDM), which we explain later in this document, works effectively with iPads.


The staff have made significant progress in how to use the iPad in their programme and strongly support this initiative.    Our staff will not only further utilise the functionality of the iPad but also make a concerted effort to communicate to parents, through the students, how the iPad is being used and why this is the ideal tool.


Having one device also allows us to deploy services such as Apple Classroom.



What is our Philosophical Approach for our BYOD Programme


We believe that technology, when used carefully, is an enabler and will support learning.  Digital tools should enhance student learning by promoting student engagement, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and imagination.   If it does not enhance the teaching and learning, it should not be used. We deliberately do not include eLearning into everything we do. We intentionally use a lot less eLearning in our 5 year olds classrooms than we do in our Year 7&8 area of the school.


The SAMR model assists teachers to better integrate eLearning into their classrooms.  The model was created by Dr Reuben Puentudura.


The model is relatively self-explanatory, but if you wish to learn more then you could watch this very short Video.

SAMR in 120 Seconds - Google Docs analogy


Or visit tki at


As teachers move along the continuum, eLearning becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time, becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning.




SAMR in 120 Seconds - Google Docs analogy


If I walked into a BYOD classroom in the middle of the afternoon, what might I see?

Just like other classroom resources such as paint and paper, students will use technology when there is a good reason to. If technology is used then it may be:

  • to create content (pics, text, music, movies, animation) using creative applications

  • to post learning to a blog

  • to research an inquiry topic using a search engine

  • to review and comment on the work of their peers

  • to develop a mind map to demonstrate understanding

  • to plan and schedule their learning

  • to complete a task or activity to reinforce their learning

  • to add to their digital portfolio

  • to use the video feature for self review

  • to enhance the collection of evidence towards achieving goals

  • to collaborate and co-construct with their peers.

Alternatively, students could be writing, reading, creating artwork, discussing learning and collaborating with each other, debating, experimenting using science apparatus, attending a trip, working with an expert visiting the class, being involved in drama, dance or physical education.  The introduction of a BYOD programme is to add value to the education, not reduce the focus on basics such as literacy or numeracy.


We are intentionally limiting the amount of time students use this technology (maximum ? of the day in Year 5 & 6 and ½ of learning time in Year 7 & 8).  When we are using the device, it is often in a ‘blended’ approach. For example, students may be working on maths activities sent to their device from the teacher and recording their working and answers in maths books.  We are ensuring students are still using pens, paper and other forms of technology for their learning.




Why the iPad?

We are wanting to make this programme as likely to be successful as possible. After three years of Year 7&8 BYOD we are 100% convinced that one device is the right model.  After researching various trials around the world, visiting other schools and talking with educators, we have come to the conclusion that the iPad is the most suitable device. One of the main reasons is the ability to not only use this with our productivity suite in Google Docs, but also in other creative and collaborative ways. In addition it has a long battery life (10 hours), with approximately 1000 cycles. There is also the massive advantage of the applications (Apps) that the iPad offers, which can be downloaded from iTunes.  We extensively use the camera, microphone and other associated apps on the iPad.


What Version iPad?

Our students are ‘power users’.  They are making music, creating movies, use CAD software,  taking and editing photos, using drawing software plus much more.  As a result the best outcomes for students are when the following are considered:

  1. Purchase a full size iPad (some have the 12.5 inch iPad Pro)

  2. If you are purchasing new, we recommend the ‘new iPad 9.7inch model with 128GB HD. The expectation is that this device will last 4 years (Yr 5/6/7/8)

  3. With the new iPad, the Apple Pencil can be incorporated and is a tremendous tool, especially for students who enjoy art

  4. An external bluetooth keyboard is not a requirement. In Year 5&6 we do not see the need for one and would see it as optional in Year 7&8.  It becomes a personal preference with some students using one heavily, and others not needing one.


A three or four year old device,  does not work at all well for students.  We are not simply using it as a word processor or internet search machine, so an old device provides a very poor learning experience for our students and often does not meet the learning task requirements.  We find by Year 8, our students are a lot more ‘eLearning savvy’ and can find workarounds when using an older machine (so would see that large HD machine purchased in Year 5 will still be functional by the time they are a Year 8!)



Where Should I Buy the iPad?

Apple does not generally run specials and the prices between businesses are very competitive.  If you visit one of the larger retail chains, such as Noel Leeming or Harvey Norman and say this is for a school BYOD programme, they may provide some discount (often on accessories such as cases).  We have arranged through PD Tech an online ordering system that can be accessed through the below link. You can quote the same conde and receive the same discounts in-store.

School Code: BYOD2019


What is an MDM and what does it do?

We use a mobile device management system (MDM) called  Zuludesk for both BYOD and institution owned devices.  For BYOD devices, we require all devices to be enrolled in this system.  It means that when the device is within our school wifi network we can have some control over where it can go and what apps it will have access too.  This has some significant advantages for BYOD devices, including:

  • Blacklisting apps we do not want the students to have access to while within school.

  • Ability to invite students to allow the school to install apps on their device.  We use this feature to provide Apps that have a cost to parents/students. This is explained below.

  • Install additional filtering of the internet and in particular Google Images

Do I need to purchase Apps and have an Apple ID?

You do not need to purchase any apps or get an Apple ID for school required Apps.

We will provide and deploy all Apps for your child to use as part of their learning. To do this, we will send an invite for your child to accept on their iPad (this comes from Zuludesk).  This will then allow the App to download automatically onto the student device.

The school will also purchase Apps that have a cost and provide these for student use.   When a student leaves our school (or the app is no longer required for their learning), they will be sent an email asking them to remove the content from the app/s from their device, or purchase their own copy of the app.  After that time, the app will automatically be deleted. These Apps include, Book Creator, Explain Everything, Green Screen by Do Ink.


What do I do if my child loses their iPad?

Each year we had a few instances where a child has thought they had lost their iPad.  On most occasions students have had ‘Find My Ipad’ activated. On these cases, we were able to track down the location of the iPad through the ‘Find My iPad’ feature.  We suggest you take a couple of minutes to check that this is operating on all of your Apple devices. You can find out more at set up Find My Iphone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

What about backing up an iPad?

Like most things technological, there are a number of ways to achieve this.

Sync with iTunes

Plug in your iPad into a Mac or PC using the dock cable supplied. iTunes should open automatically (iTunes can be downloaded from  Your iPad will appear towards the top of the screen in iTunes.  Click on this and you will see a number of options. You have a choice to backup to iCloud or your computer.  Select the Sync button and your iPad will now commence Syncing.
You could select backup to iCloud, but you only receive 5GB of storage free, so this is only really suitable for your most essential data.


Another option is to select sync over WiFi.  This will enable your iPad to sync to your Mac or PC whenever it is plugged into a power source and connected to the same Wifi network.    


YouTube have some great tutorials, perfect for helping to learn how to undertake computer related tasks.


What about battery life?

I heard that iPad’s are sealed units and the battery can’t be replaced? Yes it can, just not by you. You can get them replaced at your Apple dealer. The battery lasts 10 hours on one charge and is rated for 1000 full cycles, that is 1000 full charges. It is a little complicated how all this works but that is usually at least 3 years of good operational use. After that the battery time that you get out of a full charge will deteriorate but still be useable. Our advice, observation and research of literature shows this to be far better than a Netbook. We have iPads that are 5 years old, used every day with students and still have enough charge to last a school day!


What if we have just gone out and purchased another device?  Do I have to go and buy an iPad?

No, certainly not. The student  can bring the device as long as it meets the minimum requirements as outlined at the end of this document. Please be aware however that teachers will be planning and preparing for the iPad in the class, so there may be situations where another device will operate differently and the student will need to have the ability to use the device in a more independent and unsupported way.  We do not have the expertise to support students with other devices. In the past, if students have arrived with another type of tablet, they have ended up changing to an iPad.



Can my child bring a laptop?

Yes they can, but it is not preferred.  They often have shorter battery life (again, charging any device during the day will be very unlikely) and they are a lot heavier in their bag.   Laptops also place a barrier in-front of a student and make it harder for the teacher to observe what the student is working on.



Will students be allowed to use devices/computers outside of class time?

The general rule is that devices will be put away and students will not be allowed to use computers at playtime and lunchtime. The exception to this is if a child is really engaged with some great learning which they want to finish before they take a break. To do this, they need specific approval from the teacher and the teacher will be present.


As students increasingly use devices to plan their day it is likely that some of them will do this before school, again in the classroom with teacher supervision.



What about security? My son or daughter will break their iPad, drop it, lose it, someone will steal it’s going to cost me a fortune.

We would hope most people would look after their expensive electronic equipment well.  We encourage the Year 5&6 device to remain on the whole at school, which will reduce the risk of damage as well.   In Year 7&8 we provide a lockable cupboard per classroom where students can store the device when needed.


In our Year 5&6 area, we will be providing for each classroom,  a lockable charging station where we would like to see the device left over night during most week days.  


During the day, students store their iPad in their desk, just like any other piece of stationery and then bring it out when they need it.   


All iPads must come in a sturdy protective case and be named. If one was to be at school without a cover it would have to remain put away for the day. The device would be insured under the family's personal home and contents insurance.  


There are a number of cover options available. Some are more like a portfolio and are obviously less protective.  Some can be very protective such as the three suggested below.


Damage has occurred when no case has been used or it has been a very slim case and no solid cover for the screen!  Suitable cases include:

  1. Targus 3D Protection Case

  2. STM Dux Shell (if incorporating keyboard and pencil)

  3. STM iPad Air Dux Rugged Case


What about brain damage or health issues with wireless technology?

With the use of electronic devices within the School we are constantly aware of both the ergonomic and environmental issues that may arise with their use. We are constantly monitoring the standards issued by the agencies concerned with wireless technology and are in contact with similar schools within New Zealand who also use Wi-Fi in the classroom environment. The School’s wireless infrastructure is designed so that all APs (wireless access points) in the classroom are more than 2 metres from any student or staff member.

The Ministry of Health is the government agency responsible for the health effects of nonionizing fields such as Wi-Fi.  Quoting from their report to the Ministry of Education dated 14 November 2013 it states:

“Measurements in New Zealand and overseas show that exposure to radio frequency (RF)  fields from Wi-Fi equipment are extremely low, amounting to tiny fractions of the limit allowed for the public in the New Zealand RF field exposure Standard. There are three main reasons for the low exposures:

  • below power of the Wi-Fi transmitter

  • the rapid decrease in signal strength with increasing distance from the transmitter

  • the state that no signal is transmitted when no doubt it is being transferred (except for brief “beacon”  signals from Wi-Fi access point or router).”


What does the research suggest are the educational benefits of BYOD?

    • they give students access to anywhere, anytime learning

    • they enable students to learn independently, collaborate with peers and communicate their understandings using rich media

    • they complement the existing school curriculum by providing digital learning tools that link with planned classroom activities

    • their use in the classroom will evolve as students and teachers become familiar with the new tools

    • improved student attendance, motivation and achievement.

What about the security of my work?

Your son or daughter’s work will live on either their iPad or on their Google Drive. We will also teach them about a free application called DropBox.  Students will also have an iCloud account which can be set-up to automatically back-up. Movie and animation works best on the device and then compressing it to a smaller file and removing the original file from the device. 

Why did we choose Google Apps for Education?

In 2015, the School moved the staff to Google Apps for Education to increase easy collaboration between staff and reduce costs.  A natural progression is to introduce the same functionality to our students. Google Apps for Education was selected over other products for a number of reasons including ease of use for students and teachers and also in recognition that most Secondary Schools that our students attend, use Google Apps for Education.

What are the Secondary Schools Recommending

Our students go to a wide variety of secondary schools (in most years this is around 8 schools) and each school has a different set of expectations.  We would imagine that after 4 years with an iPad, (Year 5-8) a new device will be required for secondary school. 

Doesn’t that mean students without devices will feel really left out?

Our Year 5-8 students will still have access to some of our Mac computers or iPads.  Students are not able to take school devices home. Where students can bring a device, it means those ‘team devices’ can be shared between a smaller number of students. Students who have devices will have the benefit of constant access to a device whenever it is useful for them (and approved by the teacher). It is true that having ‘ownership’ of a device brings students a new level of freedom and control in their ability to use the device for learning at home and at school. We recognise that this is a concern and every care will be taken to minimise any feeling of being left out. But on balance, we do not think this issue should block the chance to get more of our children using appropriate technology to open up the new learning opportunities that BYOD supports.

So you have convinced me. I have to buy an iPad for my child but I can’t afford $400-$600. How am I going to do that?


Options are available. You can:

  • Purchase an earlier version iPad or smaller HD.   

  • Work with your student to develop a saving plan; there are several months before Term 1.

  • Delay purchasing and students will have similar access to technology as they did prior to the introduction of our BYOD programme.


Will the school be teaching Cyber-Safety and Digital Citizenship?

We have a strong focus on this at the beginning of every year and run a parent information session as well.  We see an increasing need for this for students in general and in particular in Years 5-8.


Like most things, this is a partnership and with technology, parents need to be actively engaged in what their children are doing.  Do not think that leaving this to the school to manage will be enough!


Netsafe - online safety for New Zealand, has a great deal of up-to-date and high quality content.  Take 30 minutes to review their content, including: