“My son already has a laptop/netbook/tablet. Do I now have to go out and buy an iPad?”
The answer is NO. Just make sure he has a suitable tablet/laptop/netbook to bring to school.
After two full years of BYOD at Wellington College, we found that mobile phones and other small devices don’t have the size and functionality to be of real benefit to student learning. We feel that a tablet is ideal for Year 9 and 10 students – they are tactile and fun but can still be used for writing essays and other formal tasks. We are happy for students to bring any tablet as long as it meets the basic requirements (see BYOD device guide - http://www.wc.school.nz/byod/byod-device-guide ). However, because we are often asked for device recommendations, we recommend Apple iPads for the following reasons.
- iPads are the leading tablet for educational use.
- Apple has quality educational apps.
- The apps that are available for Android and other systems are not as varied or as educationally directed at this stage.
- iPads are robust and reliable machines.
- iPads are user friendly.
- While more expensive than some other brands, you can purchase an iPad Mini 2 for approx. $450 and shopping around, you could find one for less (we consider the iPad Mini to be ideal for Year 9 and 10 use).
- Over half the staff have purchased an iPad for use in their classes.
- 60% of all student devices already connected are Apple products.
Will my son be disadvantaged if he brings a different tablet?
No. Please check that the tablet/laptop/netbook you do purchase meets our minimum requirements to connect to our Wi-Fi which are found on our website: http://www.wc.school.nz/byod/byod-device-guide
I’m not sure I can afford a tablet.
Many of the bigger retailers heavily discount various Android tablets, such as Sumsung.
My son is now Year11/12/13. What device should he have?
A Year 11 student will have a tablet from his junior years. We suggest that he starts the year using this device and gives himself time to ascertain exactly what his technology requirements are for his senior subjects. Many students doing mainly Humanities courses happily continue with tablets, but those students in Technology and Design based subjects often opt for laptops that can operate sophisticated programmes. If a student opts for a laptop, then a smart phone is useful for image and video-making.
Who is responsible for the security and protection of my son’s device?
Your son. The school has a system where students can check in their device over the lunch period. However, all students must be careful and sensible when bringing a device to school. We recommend that the tablet has a robust case and that parents ensure it is covered under their own house and contents insurance.
How often will my son use his tablet?
Classroom use is growing all the time. In a survey of all Year 9 students in 2015, we found that students were using the tablets at least 3 times a day, and a vast majority felt that tablets were now an essential tool for their learning.
Is my son given guidance on how to use the internet safely?
They all engage in Pastoral Care Time, where they are shown Digital Citizen presentations which are based on Wellington College’s values. They use these presentations as the starting point for discussions on responsible and safe use of the internet. However, parents definitely play a role in this by re-inforcing these messages at home.