Educational Perspective for Change
Princes Hill Secondary College has a 1:1 BYOD technology program for the following reasons:
To Engage with evolving methods of curriculum delivery
The existing model of supply of ICT equipment was created at a time when most households didn’t have their own computers and the responsibility of providing Internet and computing access to students fell to schools. Applications were all delivered via software installed on individual computers and were not useful to students without access to those computers. More recently Web 2.0 applications on a wide range of devices have made strong inroads into education. This model delivers content through a browser interface without requiring the installation of any other proprietary software. The move to mobile computing driven by smart phone and tablet adoption has resulted in many students having multiple (state of the art) mobile devices either in their pocket, locker or at home while in many cases being forced to use desktop machines at school, which are often inconveniently located or unavailable. Many students have at least one personal mobile device that allows them to interact with Internet based learning tools. If it is a laptop or a tablet then they are likely to stay unused until the students is at home. If it is a smart phone then it is likely to remain on silent in the students’ pocket or under the desk to avoid breaking school rules.
The concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is about students bringing in their mobile devices and using them in the classroom as a learning tool. It is about utilising a resource that often already exists and relocating the device to where it can be used to enhance the learning experience.
Rather than asking ‘Can we show a learning improvement by investing in these devices?’ the question should be ‘What can we do with the inevitable reality of these devices to maximise learning improvement?’
We have installed a Confluence Wiki server at PHSC. This Wiki gives our staff and students access to an industrial standard Wiki in-house with local authentication. This gives us a safe environment for student work where we can precisely control access to content. Staff are developing course content at the faculty, subject and class level to be delivered through this portal. Mobile computing devices work well with cloud based computing and access to these repositories. Web based applications that run inside a browser and online storage to host content will serve most platforms students can bring to school. Content is available to students 24/7/365, not just at school. The Science by Doing initiative (www.sciencebydoing.edu.au) may point to the future of curriculum delivery. It is a comprehensive online science program for Years 7 to 10 available free to all Australian students and teachers and supported by award winning professional learning modules and a research based professional learning approach. The purpose of Science by Doing is to improve science learning by better engaging high school students through an inquiry approach and by supporting teachers with relevant resources using innovative technology. This initiative is managed by the Australian Academy of Science with funding from the Australian government and may be a model of how the Australian Curriculum can be practically delivered with online content.
Publishers are moving to online content for several reasons. Production is cheaper, more relevant and can be supplemented with other interactive online materials. Students currently have the option to purchase their Mathematics, Science and Humanities textbooks as digital eBooks. These are cheaper than their paper predecessors, available on any computing device from smartphone to desktop computer and about 5 Kilograms lighter. Savings in book costs over six years of school significantly offset the cost of the device. Faculties are starting to use online spaces to create their own digital materials and this work will continue to gain momentum.
To equip our students with 21st century skills
Technology has infiltrated and changed our world so completely. In the 21st century economy and society, the ability to respond flexibly to complex problems, to communicate effectively, to work in teams, to use technology and to produce new knowledge is crucial.” Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has said “our current expectations for what our students should learn in school were set fifty years ago to meet the needs of an economy based on manufacturing and agriculture. We now have an economy based on knowledge and technology”. This industrial revolution era style of education requires modernisation to meet the unique demands of 21st century society. As society continues to change at a rapid rate, driven largely through innovation and technology, we see that it is imperative upon us as educators to keep up, adapt, and prepare our students as thoroughly as possible for the post-school environment that awaits them. This need has been recognized at a Government level with Education Ministers from across the nation stating that “Globalisation and technological change are placing greater demands on education and skills development in Australia and the nature of jobs available to young Australians is changing faster than ever.” (MCEECDYA, 2008, p4)
To further compliance with national educational policy expectations
National policy as articulated through the “Melbourne Declaration” and the Australian Curriculum all increase the emphasis on ICT in education.
The Melbourne Declaration and the Australian Curriculum place an emphasis upon building innovative capabilities of students within and across discipline boundaries. As a means towards facilitating this, ICT skills have been established as a ‘general capability’ within the Australian Curriculum. This means that it is expected to be embedded seamlessly across the disciplines of the entire curriculum. The integration of a student technology program at Princes Hill Secondary College will go a long way to facilitating that integration across all curriculum areas.
To improve engagement of our students through culturally relevant methods
Schools exist in a world radically different from the world that existed when the system of schooling currently in place was invented. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have played a critical role in worldwide changes that have occurred in the last few decades. The World Wide Web provides a volume of information and learning resources unimaginable a few decades earlier. Most recently, Web 2.0 applications, such as social networking, collaborative work and play spaces, blogs, and publication places for creative products, are being extensively used by children and adults. These developments have resulted in a chasm between the world of information, knowledge production and dissemination, and learning as it exists outside of these schools, with what is happening within them. (Moyle, K (2010). Building innovation: Learning with technologies. Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell, Victoria. http://research.acer.edu.au/aer/10).
The majority of Australian children are likely to own a mobile phone and they use it to access the Internet, navigate using GPS, video friends and relatives, take photos and listen to music. From time to time, they may even use their mobile phone to make phone calls. To put technological change into the perspective of our current students, it is worth examining how old these students were when certain technologies were launched.
Our students have only ever known a world with Google, Wikipedia, Myspace/Facebook and mobile phones with high speed Internet. Studies show that students report they feel like they are stepping back in time when they go to school. A student technology program provides the opportunity to help make education more relevant and engaging to students who have been raised on digital technology.
To enhance student responsibility and maturity
The final significant objective of the student technology program is to use it as a vehicle to promote, and allow students to demonstrate, increased maturity and responsibility for their learning. As we demonstrate increased trust and expectations on the students by bringing technology into every classroom, we will challenge them to rise to be increasingly self-disciplined as they partner with the College in their learning. We are under no illusions that technology has the opportunity to be a significant and easy distraction for a disengaged student, however, we also believe that it has equal potential as a tool of engagement and partnership. Students will have the opportunity to be ‘off task’ without the teacher noticing, but they will also have the opportunity to partake in their learning, collaborate with their teacher and peers, and learn important life skills of self-discipline and focus. The College’s expectation will be on students to act responsibly with the technology at all times. Students will be expected to display maturity cognisant of the privilege.
Princes Hill Secondary College has been developing and delivering a range of strategies to contribute to the delivery of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Our WiFi network has been upgraded to support the use of student owned devices in and out of the classroom. While connected to the College network, the existing content filtering software secures access to the Internet. Over time we have provided professional development for teachers and will continue this into the future. This investment will continue to provide ongoing support and extend the learning program for teachers, students and parents as required. In this way, we are seeking to ensure structures are in place to improve learning opportunities for each student. Our technical support team continue to work to assist teachers and students in the use of technology to achieve enhanced teaching and learning outcomes.
Princes Hill Secondary College believes the teaching of cybersafe and ethical online behaviour is essential in the lives of students and is best taught in partnership between home and school. 21st Century students spend increasing amounts of time online learning and socialising. These online communities need cybercitizens who do the right thing by themselves and others online, particularly when no one is watching. Safe and ethical behaviour online is explicitly taught at our school and support at home is requested. It is important to note that some online activities are illegal and as such will be reported to police. This includes harassment of others and publishing inappropriate images. Suggestions for parents Use of the device after hours should be subject normal parental supervision. The College does not accept responsibility for monitoring the manner in which the device is used after hours. We recommend a simple three step rule – the 3 I’s of Internet safety: Informed, In View and Interested.
Be informed about the risks and benefits of Internet access including Instagram, instant messaging, forums, personal spaces like Twitter and Facebook. We stress to the students that the Internet is anonymous and you never know who you are speaking to, that personal spaces are open and easily accessible to all and that personal information should never be published for the whole world to see.
Where possible have your son’s or daughter’s computer in view. Try to keep Internet activity in an active and well visited part of the home. It is easier to be informed and interested when you can see the sites they are surfing, the friends they are making and talking to or the spaces they are creating. It also limits access to inappropriate and unacceptable sites.
Be interested in what your child does on their computer and who they are talking or chatting to. We encourage parents to ask their children to show you their spaces and their work. Discuss with them the risks of revealing personal information like their name, address or exchanging photos. Explain to them the dangers of meeting in person the “friend” they have met on the net.
Bridging the gap between home and school
At school the Internet is mostly used to support teaching and learning. At home, however, it is often used differently. Not only is it a study resource for students, but it is increasingly being used as a social space to meet and chat. If you have the Internet at home, encourage your child to show you what they are doing online.
At home we recommend you:
• Find out how your child uses the Internet and who else is involved in any online activities.
• Have computers with Internet access in a shared space in the house – not your child’s bedroom.
• Ask questions when your child shows you what they are doing, such as:
- How does it work and how do you set it up?
- Who is else is sharing this space or game?
- Do you know them personally or did you ‘meet’ them online?
Statistics show that students will not approach an adult for help because:
- They might get the blame for any incident.
- They don’t think adults “get” their online stuff.
- They might put at risk their own access to technology by either: admitting to a mistake or
- Highlighting a situation that might lead a parent to ban their access. Let your child know that it is always safe to inform you (the parent) about an incident that has happened online.
Protecting personal privacy rights and those of other students
Students like to publish information about themselves and their friends in spaces like Facebook, YouTube and blogs, but in doing so they can make themselves more vulnerable to being approached, groomed or bullied online. When posting online, the golden rule students should keep in mind is to always assume that anyone or everyone will see what is posted. So in deciding whether or not to post something, students should run through the following mental checklist:
- How will I feel if it is seen my mother, father, grandparent, or other relative?
- How will I feel if it is seen my teacher, or the Principal?
- How will I feel if it is seen by my friends and the other students of the school?
- If what I am posting is about a person, how will I feel if it is seen by that person?
- How will I feel if it is seen by an unwanted stranger who may want to find me in real life?
This checklist applies even where the posting or upload is set to private. Students should appreciate that as soon as something is posted, they lose control of the material and that any of the people who do have access to it could re-share it to a wider audience.
Using the Internet in line with College’s student Code of Conduct
When using the Internet for any school related purpose, or that could in any way be linked back to the College, students should use appropriate language when talking to and working with others online. Being online can make students feel that they are anonymous and sometimes students may say things online that they would never say to someone’s face. Often very few adults visit this online environment. The web space or online chat environment that they use in leisure time might also have explicit language and they may feel they have to be part of it. Students need to be reminded that their behaviour online must fall in line with the College’s Code of Conduct.
Privacy implications of recording images, videos and sounds
The recording of both images and sounds can breach other student’s rights under the Privacy Act. Sometimes students feel embarrassed telling their peers that they don’t want their image or voice recorded. The use of such images can be instantly transmitted by SMS and/or posted online. The Privacy Act says that the posting and sharing information online or in any other way requires consent. This consent must be fully informed, freely given, current and specific in how the information will be presented and who it will be presented to. It is for this reason the College obtains a signed authority from parents to use student images for promotional and other purposes. The same requirement for consent applies to images captured by other students. Students who distribute recordings of other students without consent shall face disciplinary action. All citizens need to respect the rights of others to privacy and students are no exception.
Using equipment and resources properly for educational purposes as directed by teachers
It is important to realise that there is a time for fun and a time for work even on the Internet. Students may often see the Internet as ‘free’, but just looking at a page on the Internet incurs a download cost. By just taking care of the equipment, and thinking carefully about printing and downloading from the Internet students can save time, money and the environment.
Using social networking sites for educational purposes and only as directed by teachers
Web tools and social networking spaces allow students to be contributors to the web and allow them to work collaboratively online with other students. Creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, digital stories and podcasts can all be legitimate educational activities which allow students to publish, share and inform others and be active contributors to the web. These sites will typically require students to enter some information about themselves during the “sign up” process. Students are to take care not to offer too much personal information. In some cases, the use of pseudonyms and ‘fake’ details may be recommended. This will be covered in greater depth as part of the student induction program, and the classroom teacher will issue guidance to students on a case by case basis. When publishing, students should be aware that they are posting to the web and should follow safe practices which protect both their privacy and other members of the school community, and post/create in an appropriate way for the school project. The teacher will provide guidance as to what is acceptable and it is expected students will adhere to these guidelines.
Keeping clear of offensive sites
In school settings filters block out a lot of inappropriate content, but these filters are not always foolproof. Students who deliberately seek out inappropriate content, or use technology that bypasses filters, will invoke the College’s Behaviour Management policies and their parents will be immediately informed.
Following copyright procedures
All music, information, images and games on the Internet are owned by someone. Copyright is a legal term and there are laws to enforce it. By downloading copyright content through illegitimate means, students can risk bringing a virus or spyware to the computer or system. These can damage a computer system or provide hackers with details such as passwords and bank accounts.
Evaluating and using content on the Internet carefully
Not everything on the Internet is true, accurate or unbiased. The College will work to teach information literacy skills, which enable students to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively on the Internet. Copying and pasting information can help organise arguments, ideas, and information, but it is important that your child uses their own thoughts and language to express what they have learnt. All information that ends up in submitted work must be attributed or the student will be charged with plagiarism.
Not interfering with network security
The data of another user or attempt to log into the network with a user name or password of another student Computer facilities are for the use of all students, so due care should be taken at all times when using these resources. Students are responsible for everything done using their accounts, and everything in their home directories. To this end students need to keep their password secret and not gain access to other students’ login details.
Code of Conduct
|Register their device with IT support||Maintain and provide WiFi access to registered devices on campus|
|Arrive with devices fully charged||Provide a limited number of loan devices|
|Have material and all equipment securely and clearly labelled||Return items found that are clearly labelled|
|Have College required software and ebooks installed and ready for use||Provide a list of required software apps and links|
|Maintain the device in good working order for use in the classroom|
|Remember to build in time for rest from screen time||Expect that devices are used in a balanced way throughout waking hours|
|Use social media sites for positive communication or comment, only posting or sharing comments about the College and peers with permission||Reserve the right to ask that all offensive uploads be taken down on request|
|Report issues or concerns with IT to staff for resolution||Work to facilitate access for 24 hour educational experiences|
|Take care of all IT resources whether owned by the College or other students, and be held accountable for deliberate damage||Act to discipline breaches of deliberate damage|
|Take care to place the device on a stable surface and carry it with care|
|Store the device to minimise the chance of theft or accidental damage|
|Not share passwords or private information with others|
|Offer the device for auditing and review when asked by the College||Support students in good choices of appropriate material by way of downloads and communication|
|Choose to use appropriate sites for learning mindful of College requirements||Provide appropriate choices in apps and programs that represent good value and maximise learning and presentation experiences|
Frequently asked questions
Will students be safe on the net?
We know that the digital world can be a useful place for learning. The huge amount of information available to students and the speed of change in our world means we can’t rely on knowing all there is to know…we need to be focused on how to find information when we need it. In class, teachers will keep students focused on the specific tasks at hand. The expectation of placing a screen to be seen, filters in place for many sites, and a range of monitoring tools in the system add to safe classroom practice at the College.
What about logons?
Protecting your identity and the use of your machine is important and students will be instructed how to keep their online identity secure.
What about roaming when they’re not with a teacher?
We recommend that devices brought to the College do not access any 3G connection while at school. At home the home connection can be used but at school the College WiFi will meet all searching needs and provide filtering and monitoring.
Will it be safe in the bag?
We recommend that each device has its own cover and is carried inside school bags, remaining out of sight for all travel to and from the College.
Will there be no more writing?
As with all new technologies there is a fear the skill or foundations from past practice will be lost and there will be a ‘negative’ to the new device moving into the space. Some of the latest devices now come with integrated stylus pens that work with touchscreens, proving that handwriting skills are still relevant, even in a digital world. We are keen to support our learning with new opportunities wherever we can, but fully intend to support learning with reading from books and writing with pen and paper as well.
What IT support will there be?
College networks and systems are supported by an IT team available to students directly (located in the Library) and to teachers via an in-class support via an online helpdesk. Support for specific devices and applications is not provided, although advice can be given on where to source information and help via freely available online resources.
Will there be computer homework?
With the use of Cloud based storage such as the College Wiki, the storage and collection of work takes on a new perspective. Work done at home can be kept and shared or collected from home for school or vice versa. By having access available 24 hours a day, the ‘wait until I get back to school’ or ‘I left it at school’ will not be an excuse. Homework, class work and even shared projects will become more ‘digital’ in delivery and presentation.
What if I can’t help with the homework?
While the presentation of the homework may be different, the subject matter has not changed as a result of BYOD. You can help your student to check that they have met the requirements of the task, to be accurate and detailed in their responses, and to complete assigned tasks on time. Ask your child to show you how they receive their homework and how they submit it, so that you are confident in the process. If you have any queries or concerns, please feel free to contact the relevant teacher.
What if it stops working?
A pool of short term loan devices are available for students to use in the event of a device failure, so they can continue working while their device is fixed or replaced. This service is free for the first 14 days after which charges may apply. Parents are encouraged to source devices with good warranty provisions and consider insuring devices to cover theft and/or accidental damage.
Princes Hill Secondary College has intentionally taken an open approach to the use of devices in the classroom in line with a child centred delivery of curriculum. This means that the same task may be accomplished by different students using different software and different features on their devices. We do, however make some recommendations about which options we think would be best if you are purchasing a new device. When purchasing, we suggest you consult our BYOD Recommendations document. The key criteria for your decision to purchase a device needs to be based on what you feel you and child can support and make best use of at home. In addition, we encourage you to investigate and purchase through any reputable provider in the market place.
Some vendors (eg: Apple, Dell) provide 24-hour helplines for application use and general support in addition to warranty help. These services may be a good option for peace of mind if you are not technologically confident.
Non-school related use:
This is a personal device, so consider how else it will be used. Availability of games, peripherals, connection to other devices and use within the home network all help define what device will be best for your child.
While developing skills in the classroom, students will become familiar with a variety of trouble shooting skills. There are a number of issues that students will face in general use that require some immediate resolution. Our goal is to have students who know their own device and can be mostly self supporting. Support In the first instance support would come from the skills taught to students through practice with their device. This basic set would include:
• deleting of apps
• restart of the device (Turning it off and on again – it cures 98% of all issues!)
• changing or resetting passwords
• deleting and reinstalling apps
• setting up an online account and cloud connections (eg: Google GMail, DropBox)
• tracking network issues
• isolating sources of concern
• charging devices should the power source be low
Where student skill and needs do not match the above, further support is available from the class teacher as the next port of call. The teacher may refer students to the College IT support team if the issue is of a network nature.
Asked to comment on the rollout of BYOD to 21,000 students in Vancouver, Canada, Mark Ray, (Manager of Instructional Technology and Library Services at Skyview High School) says the the biggest surprise was that the sky didn’t fall. Despite a fear of the unknown by many, there were no significant disciplinary, media, or educational cataclysms. Because choice was central to the project – and since teachers controlled if, when, and where BYOD fit into their instruction – it was something that educators could explore in a safe way on their own timeline.