- Will teachers use the computers for every class and every day?
- How will students submit work completed on the computer?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance and updates of these devices?
- What does my child do if their laptop is broken or under repair?
- What happens if a student forgets to bring the laptop to school?
- Can my child leave the computer at school? Will it be secure?
- What happens if the laptop is lost or stolen?
- How will students or staff store and share their digital work?
- Do I need to purchase insurance for my BYOD device?
- How will we ensure access to the same applications for students?
- How will we ensure students remain “cybersafe” in and out of the classroom?
- What are the guidelines for responsible use of these devices?
- Which computers are acceptable/approved?
- What about file sharing?
- How many devices can students bring to school?
- What are the rules about surveillance (monitoring student laptops)?
- How can parents best support their child(ren) at home with the laptops?
- What internet filtering takes place at school and what do you recommend for at home?
All Secondary School students have been given an AAS-Sofia Google Apps account which give them access to e-mail and the ability to collaborate using Google Docs. Students can drop files into online folders in Google Docs, email or upload them to our Learning Management System (P-Learning).
Students have access to printers on the school network.
If a student computer is broken, the school will provide “loaner” computers that can be used for up to a week when the computer is not useable. Loaners are to be checked out from the library on a daily basis. This means that a computer may be checked out at 8:00am and must be returned by 4:00pm that same day.
If the laptop is lost, every attempt by the student should be made to recover it. If it has been left in a taxi, then the taxi company should be immediately contacted. As with other student property coats, phones, etc., and school books the parents will be responsible if the item is lost or stolen. This means the student will need to purchase another laptop to use for school.
Students and staff will have access to cloud-based storage services such as Google Apps for saving and sharing documents. These services are available from any device with an internet connection and have dedicated apps for Android and Apple iOS devices in addition to Mac and PC application software.
When purchasing your laptop for BYOD please make sure you purchase Damage Protection. For Apple products please purchase Apple Care, You may also need to take additional insurance for damage protection as it is not covered under Apple Care. This ensures that your laptop is protected against accidental damage to your child’s device on and off the school campus. Fire, theft and acts of God are usually not covered under these programs and we request you to include it in your personal or home insurance. In the case of a laptop being insured as part of a home or personal insurance, the laptop should be insured for accidental damage and loss by fire and theft when outside the home. The insurance can be purchased with your computer vendor or any insurance company. All insurance claims must be settled between you and the insurance company.
Most applications that students use are now Cloud (Internet) based, thus ensuring access to all students with laptops that meet the minimum requirements.
In addition, there are circumstances in which it is preferable for students to select their own application to complete a task. Computers are powerful means of differentiating and personalizing a child’s education, and student-owned devices facilitate student choice over which application best suits their learning and communication style. Teachers will work with students to ensure everyone can access and view students’ final work in appropriate formats as necessary.
Digital citizenship instruction integrated with classroom learning is an essential component of our BYOD program. We embed a strong digital citizenship curriculum into our Wolf Pack Time and our regular courses. This supports learners as they use devices throughout their time with us. In addition, the school has an internet filtering firewall on the school campus.
AAS-Sofia has a Responsible Use Policy for use of computers and other networked devices both internally and externally. The guidelines, rules, and recommendations shared in the policy document will be adhered to in the classroom and should also be reinforced at home.
Students at AAS-Sofia can share files digitally using approved file sharing services such as Google Apps. File sharing services that are generally used for software piracy (P2P) will not be accessible at school. Although students will be bringing their own devices to school, AAS’s filtering software will still be working across all platforms when students are on campus.
We strongly encourage you to work as a family to set ground rules for the care, maintenance, and use of the laptops. Families should have set work routines that allow for completion of homework tasks separately from play or socializing on the computer. Given the safety and family concerns of some internet content, we strongly suggest students use laptops in such a way to provide family members a direct line of sight to laptop screens and have on-going family discussions about appropriate Internet use. Also, parents should have access to passwords for their children’s accounts online. Families can also help by encouraging students to have only one program open at a time in order to engage more completely with one task. We also strongly encourage families to set ground rules about the use of chat programs or other social networking programs while students are working on their laptops at home. In fact, for middle school students, we generally encourage disabling or turning off chat programs while students are completing work for school.
The school has a secure firewall that takes care of internet filtering on the school campus. For home we recommend using K9 Web Protection which is a free content filtering software that can be installed on the laptops (chromebooks not included). Please keep in mind that web filtering software is good but cannot be relied on 100% and it can also block too much. It is especially recommended when young children access computers. There may be times when the filters block appropriate sites that are used in class. If this happens we may ask that the filtering software be disabled during the school day hours.
Teachers at AAS-Sofia frequently remind students of appropriate use (referring to the Responsible Use Policy) as they prepare them for internet use in a world without filters.