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BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

During the 2016-17 academic year, UWCM explored what would be the best next step to take in Secondary to harness the educational potential of technology. After researching best practices in other quality international schools, getting feedback from our Division Council and working with our teachers and staff, we are excited to announce that UWC Maastricht will become a BYOD school as of September 1, 2017. MYP2 to DP2 will start immediately. MYP1 will join the program on January 8, 2018.( Please note that this is a Secondary initiative; it does not impact Primary. )

The BYOD program


The BYOD program means that all students in secondary would be expected to have a laptop at school with them, charged and ready to use within the guidelines of the UWCM Acceptable Use Policy.

Key aspects of the UWCM BYOD program include:

  • Keeping costs down by not requiring an expensive device and setting the basic requirements such that the vast majority of existing devices will meet the standard,
  • Partnering with Infotheek, to create an optional Web Store that will provide a range of recommended devices at discounted prices,  
  • Creating a faculty role of Technology Coordinator, who will give training and oversight to our teachers so that they are making the best possible use of this new capacity.

What are the benefits of a BYOD program?
The growth in popularity of BYOD programs is due to the many benefits that they offer to student learning and skill development. While there are many more benefits than those listed below, commonly listed benefits to BYOD programs include:

  1. Prepares students for participation in a society that is increasingly reliant on digital systems and communication. While this item frequently refers to preparing students for the job market (in a recent survey, 13 of the 21 most valuable career skills were directly related to technology use (Renzulli, Weisser, and Leonhardt 2016)), students use technology and the internet frequently, but are rarely provided with instruction on digital citizenship or the responsible participation in online communities. Use of digital devices in a school setting allows for students to not only learn skills related to careers, but also how to navigate the online environment safely and appropriately.
     
  2. Learning extends outside the classroom. Students in schools with laptop programs report higher levels of engagement and positive attitudes toward school. (Zheng et al. 2016) The same study also notes that students in schools with laptop programs showed statistically significant improvements in English, mathematics, and sciences (Zheng et al. 2016). The use of a student’s personal device also allows them to customise and refine their use of a single machine that they use both at school and at home.
     
  3. Increased communication between teacher, student and parent. The use of systems such as email, Google classroom, ManageBac and iSAMS allows a much more fluid communication between all stakeholders in a child’s education. Over time, devices also allow for the development of more personalized learning programs, where students can learn at their own pace. Students can also collaborate more easily on assignments, and even collaborate with students at other schools.
     
  4. Sustainability.  Digital environments make it possible to rely less on paper, which is in keeping with our UWC mission that values and supports sustainability.

What are the device requirements and costs for devices?
Two key attributes of the UWCM proposal are affordability and convenience. The device specifications will be such that they can be satisfied by “entry-level” laptops selling in the 450 euro range. Additionally, the school can offer a specialized “web store” that can link parents with reviewed and discounted devices.

                                                   

Minimum Device Requirements

Windows
CPU/Processor Intel Celeron 38xx CPU, equivalent or better
Memory 4GB RAM or more
Display 12,3-inch to 15.6-inch display
Resolution Minimum supported resolution 1280x1024
OS Microsoft Windows 7 or up
Hard disk 120 GB hard-disk (SSD recommended)
Other In-ear Headphones (not wireless headphones)
Network adaptor 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band
Minimum battery life 4 hours (continuous use)

Mac OSX
CPU/Processor Intel Core i3 CPU, equivalent or better
Memory 4GB RAM or more
Display 13-inch to 15.6-inch display
Resolution Minimum supported resolution 1280x1024
OS Mac OSX 10.8 or up
Hard disk 120 GB hard disk (SSD recommended)
Other In-ear Headphones (not wireless headphones)
Network adaptor 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band
Minimum battery life 4 hours (continuous use)

Students are eligible for free Windows 10 Education edition and Microsoft Office for up to 5.

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