Brebeuf Jesuit BYOT FAQ 1.0



Brebeuf Jesuit has announced its 1:1 BYOT initiative. The following is a draft document of the BJPS BYOT Frequently Asked Questions. It was created from a template given to us by @BYOTNetwork and Forsyth County Schools. It was reformatted by @40ishoracle for the school and incorporated the most popular inquiries from parents and students.

As always, feedback welcome and appreciated...

BYOT FAQ
And other abbreviations…
What does 1:1 BYOT mean?
1:1 (spoken “one to one”) means that every student (1) has a personal computing device (1) to use in the course of their academic career.
BYOT stands for Bring Your Own Technology.
Therefore a 1:1 BYOT learning environment means every student has a personal device on hand that he or she has personally chosen to meet his or her learning needs.
What is the expected student involvement in Brebeuf Jesuit’s 1:1 BYOT program?
All students are required to have a device capable of those following:

  • Creating word processed documents, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Collaborating via AMDG Google Apps for Education environment (via the web or app)
  • Communicating via email, Edline or other tool.

Choosing Devices

What device is my student expected to bring?
The key element to BYOT is choice.  Student choice in selecting size (laptop versus tablet); operating system (Mac, Windows); and production tools (Microsoft Office, iWorks, Google Docs).  Brebeuf Jesuit supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile (WP7) and Chromium operating systems.  
Questions to consider when choosing a device:
  1. What operating system is student and family most comfortable with/currently using?
  2. Is this the primary computing device for the student? Tablets often require a larger “home base” computer to sync and run back-ups.
  3. Can the device access the web, create school type work and communicate outside itself?
  4. Is the device one that is comfortable to type or navigate with during a 7 hour school day?
Every student, faculty and staff member at Brebeuf Jesuit is given a Google Apps for Education account.  This account provides an email address, cloud storage, Google Docs, Spreadsheet and Presentation tools as well as Google calendar … all within the AMDG.brebeuf.org domain.  Cloud printing is also available in the Media Center via Google Apps and HP Cloud Print.  
What tools do you recommend for students?
The key to BYOT is choice… allowing students to access tools, evaluate their usage for the learning need and use the tool successfully.  That said – there are key elements students need to be successful: creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations; note taking; storage; communication.  Please see the Digital Toolbox for specific software and apps we have seen students successfully use at Brebeuf.
Will Brebeuf be offering devices for discounts or sale?
Brebeuf does not currently plan to offer sales of existing equipment (we will be maintaining most labs during the first year of 1:1 BYOT implementation and using other devices for emergency student use).
We are in discussions with a number of educational vendors about discount or student purchase options. Unfortunately, most significant discounts are based on guaranteed volume, which does not fit the BYOT model. We will be adding links to sample solutions either to a vendor or to a well-reputed and affordable online retailer (such as Amazon or Apple) in the near-future.
Can my student use a(n) [older laptop/e-reader/smartphone/telegraph]
In most cases, the answer is “maybe”
As we have met with students and families during our “tech petting zoos” we have encouraged students to try devices we have available in the library or technology department, use devices at stores or from friends, etc.
Questions to ask:
  • Could I type two rough drafts in two separate classes?
  • Can I quickly format the information in a way that is acceptable to turn-in (using EdLine, Google Docs, etc)?
  • Do I have issues such as eyestrain, thumb strain, etc. to consider?
E-Readers (Nook, Nook Color, Kindle, Kindle Fire): We DO NOT recommend that an e-reader be used as the primary device for BYOT. These devices are primarily used for consumption of books, movies, games, etc. They lack some of the advantages of full tablets (cameras, Bluetooth, detachable physical keyboard options) and have limited access to the full range of Apps (software) available on iOS or Android devices.
Netbooks: Netbooks (as opposed to ULTRABOOKS) are a general category of small, limited power affordable computers that are portable with decent battery life. One drawback of netbooks is the limited ability they have to multitask. While this is also a drawback of smartphones and some tablets, we have noticed that the netbook, which runs a full computer operating system, causes more frustration. That said, if students are aware of the limitations, the advantages of cost and mobility might be worth it.
(Telegraphs are cool, but not for BYOT)
Which is better? Mac or PC? Android or iOS?
Not going there.
What accessories are required or do you recommend?
There are no required accessories planned at this time.
Many students, having used devices all year, have made the following suggestions:
Tablets: Cover/Case, Detachable keyboard or Bluetooth KeyboardApple Laptop: the VGA adapter to connect to a projectorLaptops (and some tablets): USB Storage Key (or a Drobox.com/Box.com online storage account)All: Headphones; Warranty

Things to consider:

What about Viruses?
No computer is immune to viruses or spam. As computers become more popular, they become more of a target for virus and spam creators. Brebeuf Jesuit recommends that all students protect themselves through virus protection programs or apps (available even for smartphones). Brebeuf Jesuit assists all users by providing additional protection “at the gates” of the network, but no single solution is foolproof and devices are certainly vulnerable off of the school network (such as home, coffee shops, or on a cellular network).
What should I know about Batteries and Power?
One of the largest concerns with mobile devices is the length of battery life. Students should plan their device usage to enable them to have power to use the device in their last class of the day without plugging the device in during class. There are a number of things that go into planning this.
  • Devices have different lengths of batteries. Some tablets have 10-16 hour battery configurations. Most laptops start at 3-4 hours but can be configured up to 8 hours.
  • There are a variety of charge extenders, extra batteries, portable chargers, etc. that can be used to extend life.
  • Student choice plays a part as well. A PRT spent playing ANGRY BIRDS depletes the battery much faster than a period spent typing a paper.
Brebeuf, thanks to the generosity of the Mother’s Association, is working on creating power stations throughout the building that will give students the opportunity to grab a quick power charge.
Do I need a Warranty?
Brebeuf Jesuit STRONGLY recommends devices have some form of warranty. While research shows that students statistically take much better care of a device which belongs to him or her than a school provided device, accidents happen. Brebeuf will have a limited number of devices available for students when they have short or long term repair issues but cannot give a total replacement solution for students whose device is destroyed.
What about theft?
Part of the daily use of technology is the daily care of that technology. Brebeuf Jesuit is proud to say that we have not experienced theft from a locker which had a properly secured lock. Battery chargers that Brebeuf is considering have student-coded locks built-in. Students must also take care in securing their devices appropriately.

How the School is Preparing for BYOT

What type of learning activities will my student experience in the classroom?
The faculty of Brebeuf Jesuit is dedicated to providing the most current and challenging learning experiences framed within the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm of context – experience – reflection.  Some of the activities seen in expected in BYOT classrooms are:
  • More e-books.  E-books are an option where available.  MBS claims 40% of our current catalogue will be available electronically for 2012-13; Beyond MBS, there are a variety of electronic book resources available for the full range of device options.  
  • World Language Department on verbal skill initiative growing – students will be recording with audio and video tools, creating presentations, using QR codes to practice vocabulary.
  • English classes working on expanding device use in original writing, writers workshops and research
  • Science teachers currently use devices to collect data, look up information, type lab reports, and collect photographic and video evidence, back channel discussions.
  • Government, English, Computer Applications and Religion classes use Edline Surveys and Discussions to engage students in conversation on classroom topics.  These activities will be available without checking out a cart or reserving a lab.
And this is just a smattering of what has happened in a pilot year.  We are very excited about the limitless possibilities of a 1:1 BYOT environment!

What strategies are used in the classroom in a 1:1 BYOT Environment?  Are students always on a device?
We take seriously the Ignatian charism of being present in the moment.  Some moments require a device (researching online databases) and some require complete attention to the human voice.  (JD Blogged about this).
The focus of BYOT is not so much Teacher or Classroom specific as it is STUDENT specific. Even in a classroom which is being taught without the use of technology by the teacher is a classroom where students may choose to use their personal technology to take notes, complete assignments, or extend learning.
What professional development did you provide your teachers? Students?
Faculty began investigating pedagogical implications of BYOT and a 1:1 (every student has a device) in 2009.  We began with meetings between educational technology and academic questions asking “What do you need from IT to support teaching and learning at Brebeuf?”  At the same time, IT met with students asking the question, “What do you need to be a successful student at Brebeuf.”  Both groups agreed: 24/7 access to school files and tools, greater access to technology, ability to communicate and collaborate.  Thus was born 1:1 BYOT.
In 2010, language in the student handbook gave teachers the freedom to allow personal devices in the classroom at the teacher’s discretion.  2011-12 saw the successful pilot of BYOT.  Students and teachers have had a year to see devices in the classroom.  IT has had a year to burn in the new wireless and adjust protocols.  Teachers have participated in several intentional professional development activities since then:
  • Extensive travel opportunities to conferences such as the ISACS “Flipped Classroom” and Innovation Conference
  • All day workshops during school holidays (Jingle Bell Workshop, December 19 focused on Assessment Strategies, Flipped Teaching and BYOT techniques and classroom strategies)
  • Ed Tech Newsletters are sent bi-weekly focusing on tools, techniques and readings for technology integration
  • BYOT for EDU online curation via Scoop.it!  Available 24/7 and updated daily with news articles related to BYOT in education
  • Tech Petting Zoos for faculty – two more planned in the next month.  Three offered first semester 2011-12 – originating in the Spring of 2010-11 semester.
  • Open door policy for on-demand PD with team teaching, modeling and practice available on individual, group or department level
  • More devices for teachers to check out made available starting March 2012 thanks to a $11,000 Title IIA professional development grant
  • Same grant is purchases print materials focused on 1:1 initiatives and teaching practice.
  • Professional Development Edine page for faculty accessible 24/7 on cross-platform devices.  Including content for Professional Growth Points bases on my “Educational Technology” previously offered as E524 at Marian University
  • Ed Tech Integration “BINGO” for PGP points –ways to practice integration while earning Professional Growth Points for Indiana teaching license renewal.
  • Chalk-Talk in Teacher Resource Room… topics currently E-Books, Needs and from students “How Do You Use Personal Devices in Class?”
Students have experienced a more hand’s on integration.  We have team taught with some teachers to model BYOT learning.  We also have an open door policy for students to stop by and talk to IT supporting their learning objective.  Finally, tech petting zoos have been run in some Computer Applications courses and during PRT’s to encourage communication and play with variety of choices available.
What changes to Brebeuf’s infrastructure have occurred in light of BYOT?
During the summer of 2011, the IT Department upgraded the school wireless to 811.N network with 50mb fiber line to the building.  They increased number of access points in the building assure 100% coverage in the academic areas of the school, cafeteria, outdoor chapel, West Gym and courtyard.  A new filtering and virus catching system is in place which will support 1500 logins safely on the network.  
The wireless system is separated into Student_Wireless (student access privileges), Faculty_Wireless (faculty/staff access) and Guest_Wireless (for outside guests and visitors with a passcode).  All students use their Brebeuf username and password to access the Student_Wireless.
During the pilot year, the IT department has been keeping close track of student experience, fine-tuning the network to handle the current capacity and the increase for next year. This has included creating filter programs that work with student devices, identifying areas of the network that need expanded capacity (to be installed this summer), and working with students to make the use of the network as seamless as possible.

What have you learned during the voluntary BYOT experience?
  • The Kindle Fire is a great consumption device – reading and watching video.  It lacks the power for creating academic work and of all the devices tested the one we least recommend for a solo academic tool.
  • Some students can type 20 page papers on a phone.  Some would rather walk across hot coals.  Granted those of us writing this FAQ are over 35… but we are hearing devices with keyboards are important to consider.
  • More and more faculty are incorporating digital material in their coursework as more devices come into the classroom.
  • Students really enjoy having access to their materials when and where they want it.
Who do I contact if I have any questions regarding Brebeuf’s 1:1 BYOT program?
Feel free to contact JD Ferries- Rowe (Chief Information Officer) at jdferries@brebeuf.org or Jen LaMaster (Director of Faculty Development) at jlamaster@brebeuf.org.