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BYOL Program

In 2016, Abby Middle launched an extensive Bring Your Own Laptop Program, with 60% of our pods implementing this program.  We are excited to announce that in September 2017, Abby Middle will have a school wide BYOL program with implementation in every pod in the school. 

This program provides students the opportunity, at the teacher’s discretion, and with parent support, to use personal laptop computers under supervision in the classroom for learning. We believe that the use of digital technologies to improve student learning is a key part in being an innovative school that prepares students for lifelong learning.

Thank you for working with us to support the Bring Your Own Laptop program.

Bring Your Own Laptop Benefits

  • improved access to online resources and digital tools
  • enhanced opportunities to learn appropriate digital communication and citizenship skills
  • additional opportunities to create digital projects
  • access to assistive technology
  • ability to collaborate during class time on digital presentations and documents

Laptop Information and Requirements

In order to participate in this project, students are asked to bring a Chromebook (or basic laptop) to school that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Chromebook laptop is the preferred option
  • Windows or Mac laptop not more than 4 or 5 years old (Windows 7 operating system or newer; Mac 10.6 operating system or newer).
  • A charging power cord and battery that is capable of holding a charge for at least 3 hours.
  • Wireless internet capability
  • Case or sleeve for protecting the laptop when it is inside a backpack or bag to increase the lifespan of the computer

Students will bring their laptop each day to work on classroom activities online. Students are expected to take the laptop home each evening for security purposes and also to make the laptop available to other family members (if that is the wish of the family). A small number of school district provided laptops will be available for use during class time. If a family is not able to provide their own laptop, please contact your teacher to discuss alternative options.

If you have any questions or concerns, or you do not want your child participating in this program, please feel free to contact your teacher to discuss your concerns. 

FAQ’s - Bring Your Own Laptop

1) Why Chromebooks?

  • Chromebooks are one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to access technology in the classroom while bringing most of the benefits of a traditional laptop.  They rely on cloud based applications that can be accessed anytime and on any device, all for roughly the price of an iPod. They also require minimal troubleshooting.

2) What are the benefits of having a 1:1 ratio of laptops to students in the classroom?

  • A laptop in the classroom instantly provides access to a world of information and tools and can be used anytime.
  • Our goal is not simply use technology as a substitution for traditional learning activities, but rather it is to use technology to redefine what can be done in the classroom by leveraging technology to access information; increase communication, creativity and collaboration; and become creators of content.  
  • At its core, a value that the BYOL program instills is Enlightened Digital Citizenship. While our children are considered “digital natives” in that they have been exposed to technology from birth, they still need guidance in becoming a productive citizen in this massive, worldwide community.  This program will teach students how to use the technology that is a part of their everyday world in a positive way.

3) There is already a computer lab in the school.  Why is a BYOL program more beneficial?

  • The computer lab is shared among 675 students (23 divisions) and is in use 50% of the time by an explorations teacher. This does not always allow for equal access.

4) This is an extra cost to parents.  Is it mandatory?

  • Agreed! This is a transition time. We are pushing the boundaries of traditional educational learning. We finally have the infrastructure to support a program like this and we are excited to experiment and see where this new educational tool can take our students learning. If we have more students providing their own laptops, then we can have this opportunity in even more classrooms.
  • Therefore, it is an optional program. If parents can not provide a laptop, the school will have a small number of laptops in each classroom that will be available for use each day.

5) Does this create  a 'have and have not' distinction among the children

  • WE have made the conscious choice to include ALL students.
  • All students will have access to laptops, supplied from home or supplied by the school. Students using school supplied laptops receive a Dell 11 Chromebook, the same as the ones sold at Staples. The only difference is students using a school laptop cannot take it home each night and those laptops may not be able to leave the classroom.

6) I’m worried that my student may lose the computer.

  • Agreed. We need to put an incredible amount of trust in our kids. In our experience, kids live up to these expectations with technology and things that they value.
  • We have not experienced any theft of personal computers. Damage to computers is minimal and generally due to accidents.
  • We spend a lot of time reinforcing how to care for computers with the students.

7) I’m worried that my student’s computer may be stolen?

  • We have not experienced any theft of personal computers. Damage to computers is minimal and generally due to accidents.
  • Some grade 6 pods have a computer cart in the classroom where laptops are stored after each lesson; Grade 7 & 8 are allowed additional time to store their laptops in their lockers.

8) What if something goes wrong with the computer?

  • As a school, we have worked with Staples to offer the $99 warranty program that offers a “you break it, we replace it” 1-time replacement warranty. This breaks down to $25 a year for peace of mind.

9) Will the school district be invasive with it’s use of data from the laptops?

  • The intent of this is that students and parents understand that while at school, students are using the internet access supplied by the district; we treat the device as a “school device” in order to reinforce that school rules and expectations regarding behaviour always apply.
  • Our process is one that works in tandem with parental expectations. If a device is confiscated, parents are contacted and we discuss how they would like to proceed to help make this a learning opportunity.

10) Which computer options are the best?

  • Specifications  - any laptop that can connect to the internet and hold a charge for approximately 3 hours.
  • With the use of Google Suite for Education, there are no programs required and most processing is done online.
  • The devices do not need more than a basic Chromebook would have (16GB; 2GB RAM)
  • We encourage parents to search for the BEST deals and we are in constant communication with Staples as we see ads that beat their pricing. Staples offers price matching AND the warranty/accessory discounts.
  • Parents have used Craigslist and/or clearout deals from other retailers to achieve unheard of prices to help support this program.

11) I understand that I don't have to participate in the program, but I’m concerned that my child will be in the  'have-not' group.

  • We have made the conscious choice to include ALL students. 
  • All students will have access to a laptop, supplied from home or supplied by the school.
  • Students using school supplied laptops receive a Dell 11 Chromebook, the same as the ones sold at Staples. The only difference is students using a school laptop cannot take it home each night and those laptops may not be able to leave the classroom.

12) What about the rising cost of school supplies?  Are we now required to supply a laptop and "regular" school supplies?

  • We are working hard to start minimizing the number of regular school supplies that are asked for at the start of the year as we are sensitive to the rising cost pressures this puts on families.  If need be, we are suggesting that families go light on the “regular school supplies” if needed.  The basics such as binders, paper, pens and pencils will still be needed, but we are definitely working to cut down on the extras.

 

Laptop Options

If you do not currently have a laptop, there are economical new, as well as used, options available. We recommend that you visit the Abbotsford Staples location to discuss your options for purchase. The Staples School Tools BYOD solution offers:

  • Staples ECP program offering replacement guarantees for all defective units, including units accidentally damaged  
  • Available financing 6 months no interest no payments or 12 months’ equal payments  

 Your Dedicated Representatives are:

~ Sanjay Joshi; email: Sanjay.joshi@staples.ca
~ Jessica Schuurman; email: Jessica.schuurman@staples.ca
~ Jasvir Gill (Punjabi-speaking)
~ David Di Folca

Download the .pdf below for purchasing options from Staples.