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Photo by Gaye Bloomfield

BYOD - Frequently Asked Questions

Gaye Bloomfield, Specialist Classroom Teacher —

If possible, we are requesting that all students in Year 9-13 bring a device to school. To help families prepare, we have put together this list of frequently asked questions.

What device should we get?

We do not specify which device students can bring. However, devices that prove effective have good battery life, are lightweight, have a strong screen and keyboard, have enough memory to store documents, are powerful enough to start quickly, run fast and are strong enough to survive teenage life. There is more information on our website: https://nayland.school.nz/curriculum/byod/

How do we know if this device is money well spent or wasted?

We believe it comes down to the effectiveness of the teaching. Our teachers use blended learning (BYOD) strategies so that students are experiencing a range of tasks relevant to the learning goal.

Won’t students without a device feel left out?

We do have a number of devices in each classroom that can be used for group work and a limited number of loan devices available for hire from the library. There is no charge for this service. It is true that having ‘ownership’ of a device brings students a level of freedom and control in their ability to use the device for learning at home and at school.

How will students learn to use their device?

The first few weeks of the year focuses on the transition back to school. Time will be set aside for gradually introducing new-to-nayland students to our systems and to set up devices. We have timetabled some support for ‘gremlin-chasing’ issues with devices. 

What if the device gets damaged?

We hope most people will look after their device well. Devices should be named and in a protective case or section of your school bag. There are also a number of classrooms that include secure storage options.

We strongly recommend that you have insurance for your device, especially for screen damage. There are a range of insurance options when purchasing a device. You can also check the conditions of your contents insurance with your insurance provider in the case of damage. The school is not liable for damage to a device.

Don’t teens already spend too much time online?

There’s no simple answer to this question because not all screen time is created equal. Spending two hours on the internet playing games isn’t as beneficial as spending two hours on a device learning. As parents, we suggest you set your own guidelines about how online time is used.

How am I going to afford to buy a device?

There are a range of options available and all major retailers have BYOD sections in their stores. An entry level windows 10 device has worked well for junior students.  Please see our website for further details. Many retailers offer payment plans. We can also provide letters for WINZ. 

How do I help my child with their device?

We suggest that you set up the device and learn how it works for yourself. Support the device being ready to use in class. For example: Have limits on screen time. Charge the device at home each night. Run software updates regularly. As parents, talk about cybersafety with your child and set your own guidelines and limits.

Is there technical support if the device won’t work?

Yes. There is some limited tech support for students who are having trouble accessing our network or O365 software. 

When we learn on devices, what do we do?

Students learn to use their device to solve problems, to manage themselves, to collaborate with others in their class, to make connections with the wider world and to develop a digital skillset. Some units of work rely heavily on e-resources, while others do not. Students will use software and hardware in different ways in different subjects and this is a strength of our blended learning (BYOD) approach. Teachers will let students know this ahead of time so they can organise themselves effectively. Students will, at times, work in groups on projects where students can use devices together.

When students learn on devices, how do we stay safe?

Nayland College teaches students digital citizenship and these are integrated into our schoolwide expectations for behaviour. Netsafe (netsafe.org.nz ) is an online safety for New Zealand and has a great deal of up-to-date and quality content. We have processes to manage responsible behaviour that includes a student user agreement and the ability to monitor online activity. The school’s internet access is managed by N4L who block a wide range of non-educational websites. https://www.n4l.co.nz/managed-network-home/ Students are not allowed to access VPN networks. 

I still have some questions, who can I talk to?

Gerd Banke and Chami Hutterd are our Blended Learning Specialists. You can email them with any questions you may have regarding BYOD: