Frequently Asked Questions about the Bring Your Own Device program
So, how does this work?
All students are required to have a portable computer device. Families will be able to purchase a device of their own choosing. The links below provide specification requirements and offer examples of approved devices to help families make informed decisions. Please consider the following steps before purchasing a device for your family:
- Review the recommended devices and minimum requirements
- Frosh/new families should attend the Welcome Class event or the Parent Survival Skills 101 events to see examples of these devices
- Research the capabilities and prices of the specific device in which you are interested
- Purchase the device that best meets your family’s needs
- Select textbooks/ebooks based on your new device
While this program allows for choice and customization, student devices are required to meet several requirements. We have also created a list of recommended devices that is meant to help families narrow their search, not dictate specific devices. Please review the Minimum Requirements and Recommended Devices for more information.
My son already has an iPad. Can he still use it or does he need to purchase a new device?
Any student who already has a iPad may still use this device. If the iPad is 3 years or older, then you should consider upgrading it to a new device as older iPads may not meet the functionality requirements.
Can my son use his smartphone as his BYOD device?
No, he cannot use his smartphone as his primary device. However, he can use his smartphone as a supplemental device with his teacher’s permission. Not all teachers will allow phones to be used during class.
How does this impact the textbooks my son will need?
The textbook list will include options for books to be used on either a device (if available) or in a traditional hard-copy format. While some teachers allow for the option to purchase the digital text over the hard-copy, teachers will choose textbooks that best serve the curriculum of their classes. To that end, some will require a hard-copy book over a digital text. Information on available/required formats will be included in the textbook list.
What happens if my son’s device is not working?
Jesuit faculty and staff will be able to help with basic issues but we will not provide comprehensive technical support for these student/family-owned devices. The provider of the device will need to support the device, and we recommend investigating support packages when purchasing the device. In the event a student’s device needs to be repaired, Jesuit has a limited number of devices to loan to students until their device is repaired.
How can I support my son in the use of his device?
There are several basic functions that each student should be able to do when on campus. Jesuit will hold training sessions (details to be announced) so that students will learn these basic skills. We do not assume that each student or family is fluent in these areas; Jesuit is happy to provide basic instruction.
Additionally, your support to ensure sure your son’s behavior is appropriate in the digital world is critical. This is a venue where young people can make poor decisions that may impact their lives and the lives of others in serious ways.
Will Jesuit monitor the devices when they are on campus?
Jesuit will monitor devices to the same extent that we currently do. Just like the iPad program, Jesuit does not employ management software to directly monitor the activity of student devices. We do monitor activity on the network and the network does have regularly updated firewalls and web content filters. We believe students need to learn to manage the use of their own device in this college-preparatory setting.
Will students be able to charge their device on campus?
We are looking to expand the places on campus to charge the battery of a device. The spaces are limited, so we recommend that students charge their devices at home and come to school with a fully charged device. Please note: Battery life is an important factor that you should consider when choosing a device.
How can families learn more about the BYOD program?
The Technology Department will host several information sessions for families wanting guidance on choosing the best device for their son. Dates and times to be announced.
What device is my student expected to bring?
key element to BYOD is choice. Students have a choice in selecting size (laptop or tablet); operating system (Mac, Windows); and production tools (Microsoft Office, iWorks, Google Docs). Jesuit High School supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile (WP7) and Chromium operating systems. Below are questions to consider when choosing a device:
- Which operating system is the student and family most comfortable with/currently using?
- Is this the primary computing device for the student? Tablets often require a larger “home base” computer to sync and run back-ups.
- Can the device access the web, create school type work and communicate outside itself?
- Is the device one that is comfortable to type on or navigate with during a 7-hour school day?
Read the recommended devices page for additional details.
What tools do you recommend for students?
Another key to BYOD is allowing students to choose tools and software that meet their learning needs. That said, these are the capabilities the tools need to give a student to be successful: creating and sharing files; note taking; storage; communication. While a student’s Google account will allow him to access these capabilities, some students may find other tools/software a better fit for their needs. Families are not expected to purchase any additional software outside the software designated by a teacher but may choose to do so in order to enhance the learning experience.
Will Jesuit be offering devices for discounts or sale?
No, Jesuit does not currently plan to offer sales of existing equipment.
Can my student use an older device?
In most cases, the answer is “maybe.” Students need to verify that the device meets the minimum requirements. Review the Minimum Requirements list.
Below are some questions that should also be considered:
- Could I type two rough drafts in two separate classes?
- Can I quickly format the information in a way that is acceptable to turn in (using TurnItIn, Google Classroom, etc)?
- Do I have issues such as eyestrain, thumb strain, etc. to consider?
- How well does the old battery perform?
- How well does the old wireless connection perform in crowded environments?
E-Readers (Nook, Nook Color, Kindle, Kindle Fire): E-Readers are not allowed as the primary device for BYOD. These devices are primarily used for consumption of books, movies, games, etc. They lack some of the advantages of full tablets (cameras, Bluetooth, detachable physical keyboard options) and have limited access to the full range of apps (software) available on iOS or Android devices.
Which operating system is better? Mac or PC? Android or iOS?
Each operating system (OS) comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. The description of one OS being “better” than another is subjective and should be based on a person’s knowledge and experience regarding the software.
What accessories do you recommend?
Cover/case, detachable keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard. All: Headphones; a warranty; portable or additional battery for devices with poor battery life.
What about Viruses?
No computer is immune to viruses or spam. As computers become more popular, they become more of a target for virus and spam creators. Jesuit High School recommends that all students protect themselves through virus protection programs or apps (available even for smartphones). Jesuit High School 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 of the school network (such as home, coffee shops, or on a cellular network).
What should I know about Batteries and Power?
One of the largest concerns with mobile devices is the length of battery life. Students should plan their device usage to enable them to have power to use the device in their last class of the day without plugging the device in during class. There are a number of things that go into planning this:
- Devices have different 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, and portable chargers that can be used to extend life.
- Student choice plays a part as well. Time spent playing games depletes the battery much faster than a period spent typing a paper.
Do I need a Warranty?
Jesuit High School STRONGLY recommends that devices have some form of warranty. While research shows that students statistically take much better care of a device that belongs to him or her than a school-provided device, accidents happen. Jesuit will have a limited number of devices available for students when they have short- or long-term repair issues but cannot give a total replacement solution for students whose device is destroyed.
What about theft?
Part of the daily use of technology is the daily care of that technology. Jesuit High School is proud to say that we have not experienced theft from a locker which had a properly secured lock. Students must also take care in securing their devices appropriately.
Are students always on a device?
We take seriously the Ignatian charism of being present in the moment. Some moments require a device (researching online) and some require complete attention to the human voice.
The focus of BYOD is not so much teacher- or classroom-specific as it is student specific. While some activities require the use of an electronic device, there are other times where students have a choice to use the device to write notes, set reminders on a calendar, or use the device that supplements the learning experience. These opportunities are determined by the teacher and may differ from classroom to classroom.
Who do I contact if I have any questions regarding Jesuit’s BYOD program?
Feel free to contact our Director of Technology, George Wagner, at email@example.com or Jared Bercea at firstname.lastname@example.org. For textbook questions, please contact Margie Wagner at email@example.com.