Frequently Asked Questions
We want to provide more opportunities for authentic learning that reflects the “real world." For most of us, our work days have a variety of interpersonal, individual, hands-on, and technology-based interactions, and we look forward to our students being able to experience this same environment. Having a device at all times will allow for every child to reach for that tool when appropriate.
Not only will this access strengthen our students’ technology, academic, and “real world” skills, but the access will also allow students experiences deciding the right tool for their own learning style and applying their learning in new ways
Which students are piloting the BYOD initiative?
Our 5th grade classrooms throughout the district will be piloting these devices beginning September 5, 2018. This will allow us to analyze: instructional uses, network support, student engagement, learning, and feedback, 5th grade teacher qualitative data this spring, and 6th grade qualitative data in the fall of 2019 (as the students transition to full BYOD at the middle school).
When are students to have a device?
Students may bring their devices on September 5, 2018.
Does BYOD mean that my child will be using a device all day?
Absolutely not. Winchester Public Schools greatly values the use of technology while at the same time recognizing that it is ONE tool that is available to staff and students. As always, we will continue to emphasize that authentic learning and life-long skills include choosing the appropriate tools for the job. There will be whole chunks of days (or in fact whole days) where students may not use their device.
What kind of device should my child bring?
The district highly recommends the use of Chromebooks as a BYOD device. Chromebooks are lightweight, inexpensive (in relation to other devices), quick, and are capable of doing everything that students will need to do.
Having said that, this is a Bring Your Own Device pilot, and if your child has an existing laptop or iPad, your child is welcome to bring and use that device in school. However, based upon data from our full implementation of BYOD at the middle school and the 5th grade last year, Chromebooks are the preferred device.
Many of our families have asked which Chromebook we would recommend:
Chromebook 11 EE G4 Celeron N2840 2.16 16GHz/4GB/16GB/ac/abgn/BT/WC/3c/11.6" HD/Chrome OS Hewlett Packard Commercial
The current chromebook specs include a recommendation for a 4GB chromebook. While a 2GB chromebook is sufficient at this time, within a couple of years a 4GB chromebook may be required so we highly recommend the 4GB.
Please also note, based upon feedback from the initial pilot, we do recommend students have a protective case for their device. Some examples of protective cases for Chromebooks may be found at this link:
What network will the student be using?
It is our expectation that students will use the secure district network. Students are not to use non-district networks ( eg. cellular 3G or 4G service). Students must comply with our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Electronic Device Policy (see both here: AUP- EDP). This allows us to ensure our students are working within our secure firewall
What are some examples of inappropriate use?
- The student uses an electronic device without the expressed approval of his/her teacher.
- The student records a video without the permission of the teacher and posts it on YouTube/Social Media.
- The student takes pictures during class of other students and sends them electronically without teacher approval.
- The teacher has given permission to use devices for a project, but the student has unrelated documents, websites ...open, or is using the device for unrelated purposes.
- The student uses an electronic device in a
- The student records or video tapes anyone without the knowledge and permission of that individual. This may be punishable under federal, state, and local laws.
- The student uses a device logged in as a different user other than their WPS login.
What should I know about batteries and power?
One concern related to mobile devices is the length of battery life. Students will learn to plan their device usage so they may use their device throughout the day without plugging the device in during class. There are a number of considerations that go into this planning:
- Devices have different lengths of battery life. 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.
Who is responsible if the device is damaged, stolen, or lost?
Students bring electronic communication devices to school at their own risk, just like any other personal items. The district will not be held responsible if an electronic device or other item is lost, stolen, or misplaced. Some devices have a device locator; families may want to enable this feature if possible.
What about viruses?
No computer is immune to viruses or spam. Winchester recommends that all students protect themselves through virus protection programs or apps (available even for smartphones). Winchester 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 the school network (such as home, coffee shops, or on a cellular network).