Students studying at BSSC in 2017 will be required to supply their own notebook/tablet device for use at BSSC as part of the college’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.

Most of the details about the BSSC BYOD program are in the document titled “BSSC BYOD Program 2017“. Further details about the program are provided on this section of the college’s website and the information here should be treated as supplemental to those in the “BSSC BYOD Program 2017“ document.
A central aim of the college’s BYOD program is to support the usage of a wide range of BYODs. This includes devices that many students already have or can obtain at a low cost. The “BSSC BYOD Program 2017” document summarises devices which would be appropriate as a BYOD as well as listing devices which would not be suitable. Some subject specific and other advice is provided below.

Why do students need a device?

Students need to be able to electronically communicate, create content, interact with others and electronically submit work while studying at BSSC. Significant examples of the college’s use of digital tools include the use of Compass and email. Compass allows all students to see details of their course and electronically submit tasks, is used for online reporting and monitoring of every students’ progress and allows for student and parent/carer access. Email is regularly used for school/teacher to student communication.

Where can I purchase a new device from?

To assist with a purchase of a new device for use at BSSC two portals are available for students to access. These portal have been setup with:

1. Learning with Technologies (LWT) and,
2. Apple

Windows BYODs can be purchased from Learning with Technologies (LWT). Students can access the LWT portal using the following link.

LWT portal: http://bssc.orderportal.com.au/

Via the Apple site, telesales or at an Apple store students can purchase a range of Apple devices at educational prices. Not all of the products on the Apple site are appropriate as BYOD devices as the list includes non-portable devices. While students at BSSC can purchase any of the devices from the Apple site students should read the advice “BSSC BYOD Program 2017” to understand what might be appropriate prior to making any BYOD purchasing decision. Parents can also place Apple orders via telesales by calling Apple at 133-622. Parents should advise the telesales agent that Bendigo Senior Secondary College is part of the Family Funded Program. Apple Store (being not just any store selling Apple but Apple’s own stores – see list http://www.apple.com/au/retail/storelist/) team can now support BSSC parents making a purchase by linking the transaction to Bendigo Senior Secondary College BYOD, Post Code : 2000 (Possibly 3550). Automatic pricing will apply. Students can access the Apple site using the following link. (Please note this link will only work when clicked on from this page).

Apple site: http://www.apple.com/au_eduind-k12-discounted_803434/shop

An important note about theft and warranties

The school has no insurance or warranty which covers the theft or damage of a student device. When purchasing a new device we strongly recommend consideration be given towards purchasing an extended warranty and insurance where available. Warranties and Insurance assist with timely repairs and reduce the chance students will be without a device for any extended period of time. The warranties available with devices purchased from LWT are highly appropriate for a student device.  However, regardless of whether a student purchases a new device or makes use of a second hand or existing device it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure their device is appropriately covered. Given the differences between individuals, their situation and the device(s) they have it is not possible to provide universal advice about insurance and warranties which applies to all students.  Also if you are considering the purchase of insurance you may want to check  your family’s home and contents insurance to see if it would be covered under that.

To provide individuals with an idea of the risk of theft we know that a small number of thefts occur at the college each year, and this trend is unfortunately likely to continue.  Typically a few devices are reported stolen to us each year. Which is a very low number out of the thousands of devices used at the college. These thefts typically occur where a device is left in an unsecured/unsupervised location and not from classrooms or locked lockers.

 

Some further notes about purchasing a new device and these suppliers.

  1. Ultimately it’s your decision on where to purchase a BYOD from and the school recommends these suppliers based on our experience in dealing with them and a range of other factors that are summarised here.
  2. The LWT portal lists a range of devices – all of which would be appropriate for use as a BYOD.
  3. LWT are a major supplier of computers to schools and have a great reputation for supporting their products.
  4. BSSC have an established relationship with LWT and have an arrangement with LWT that students can utilise the BSSC ICT Helpdesk as a drop off point for devices purchased through their portal if in need of repair. This provides an additional support option for students and in no way limits the scope of the warranty/support obtained with any purchase from LWT.
  5. Pricing from LWT is competitive and includes appropriate warranty/support options.
  6. The Apple portal gives you the confidence/security you are dealing directly with Apple directly and access to their educational pricing.

Subject specific BYOD recommendations

There is no requirement for students to have a more powerful BYOD than those detailed in the “BSSC BYOD Program 2017”.  However, there may be advantages as to why students enrolled in certain subjects would consider a more powerful BYOD options.  The following table provides advice from specific subject and learning areas where additional specifications should be considered in relation to a BYOD choice.  Students should check this list against the subjects they are enrolled in and talk to their respective subject teacher if they require further details about any of these recommendations.

Subject Reason for recommendation Additional Specifications
Music Style and Composition Music notation with program called Sibelius – this is much more useful when the professional sound sets are installed. CPU – i5 or i7
RAM – 4Gbs or greater
HDD/SDD -256GB
MacBook or Windows
VCE VET Creative and Digital Media Adobe Design and Web K‐12 Collection including Photoshop, Illustrator, Animator, and Dreamweaver is used extensively in the course. Check https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/system-requirements.html for the full hardware requirements of the individual software titles.

Further advice about iPads and Tablets

iPads with a keyboard can also be used.  Suitable iPads should have a screen size 9.7” or greater and be capable of running iOS 7.0 or higher. (Note: iOS devices such as iPads do not run Flash/Java and are therefore incompatible for use in some subjects; primarily VVLN (Victorian Virtual Learning Network) subjects such as VVLN Maths. Using iPads to print to college printers is limited compared to using a typical Apple MacBook or Windows Notebook.)

Tablets running Windows 8 or higher with a keyboard are acceptable as a BYOD.  Tablets running Windows RT 8.0 or higher with a keyboard are also acceptable as a BYOD. (Note: Windows RT devices do not run Java and are therefore incompatible for use in some subjects; primarily VVLN (Victorian Virtual Learning Network) subjects such as VVLN Maths.)

Other factors to consider in selecting a BYOD

Other important considerations are that a suitable device should not be too large (generally this means a device with a screen size of less than 14”). For most students the optimum screen size will be between 12 to 14 inches. Having a warranty covering 2 to 3 years and having an appropriate bag to transport the device are also important.  Ultimately it is an individual’s decision based on a range of factors.  However, having a device which is reliable, portable with relatively up to date hardware will all be of benefit to the user.

Financial Concerns of obtaining a BYOD

If purchasing a new BYOD, with a suitable warranty, you should plan to spend somewhere in the $500 to $1,500 range. Spending more may be appropriate for some students/situations, while spending less may result in the purchase of a device which is heavier or does not perform adequately. Using an existing device or obtaining a second hand device may clearly be a more cost effective and appropriate option for some students/situations. Where students/families do not have a suitable device already or have financial concerns in purchasing a device the College will endeavour to assist. Assistance should be sought from the Wellbeing team at the college. The Wellbeing team can provide financial advice and make a recommendation for a student to be provided with an extended loan of a College owned notebook.

If I still have questions

If you still have questions about the BYOD program after reading the details here, then please contact the ICT Helpdesk, the ICT Infrastructure Coordinator, teachers or other staff members at the college to enquire further.