BYOD Update for Parents - Term 2, 2017

There has been a lot happening within our BYOD programme over recent months and we wanted to take the time to share with you some key information.
We have seen a significant positive shift for students in how we are using this technology.  I expect you will have seen this at home as well.  We have a lot less reliance on Google Docs and our teachers are selecting a larger range of activities that allow for creativity, individuality, rigour and are all designed to assist students to be deeply reflective of their learning.  We are also seeing a very high level of engagement with our students.  

We encourage you to ask your child if they have recently done anything interesting or creative on their iPad.  
We want to share with you some new initiatives we have introduced.  In particular:

  • The ability to provide Apps, that the school pays for, to your child’s iPad
  • Apple Classroom - ability for the teacher to control the iPad while in the classroom
  • Keeping your iPad safe
  • Back-up of student iPad

Mobile Device Management - Providing School Owned Apps to BYOD devices
We have recently introduced Zuludesk, a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system.  This will substantially streamline the installation of apps the school requires, while blacklisting apps we do not want the students to have access to while within school.  This product has been installed primarily to manage our school owned iPads and computers, but also has some features that are beneficial for BYOD devices.

Providing Apps to your child’s iPad
We would like to provide Apps for your child to use as part of their learning. To do this we send an invite for your child to accept on their iPad.  This will then allow the App to download automatically onto the student device.  We have tested this with one of our enrichment groups, where we have successfully shared a Green Screen App.

The school will purchase Apps that have a cost and provide these for student use.   When a student leaves our school, they will be sent an email giving them 30 days to either remove the app/s from their device, or purchase their own copy of the app.  After that time, the app will automatically be deleted.

Apps on Devices
Last year, we published a suggested list of necessary Apps.  We have made significant progress in our understanding of how to use these devices and Apps and we do need to have them loaded as they are or will be integral to their learning.  Students should only download the free Apps as we will provide the apps that have a cost.

Apple Classroom
We have also introduced Apple Classroom.  In Year 7&8 we may at times invite students to allow the teacher to manage their iPad while the student is in the classroom.  This is controlled by bluetooth technology. Once the students device loses the bluetooth connection  these features stop working.  This provides a number of features for teachers including;

  • Locking the student device - when it is being a distraction for a student
  • Selecting a specific website or app for the class or a group to use
  • Monitoring what App/website a student is on with their device - while in the classroom

These features will assist in addressing  concerns raised in both the student and parent 2016 end of year BYOD survey, where students may /are being distracted by other apps/websites when they should be on a specific learning task.

We believe this tool will help scaffold students to be self regulating learners.  Our ultimate goal is to not need this type of tool, but we also know it will be very beneficial for some students and the teachers.

Keeping your iPad Safe
This year we have had two cases where a child has thought they had lost their iPad.  In both instances, 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.

At the same time as helping our students find their iPad we have asked when was the last time they backed up their iPad? In both cases, the answer was a while ago….  Use this link to see how to complete this important procedure.

Kind regards
John Western