Can we supply Microsoft Office with BYOD Devices?
The product recommended for BYOD devices is Microsoft Office 365. This is a cloud-based package (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive) that normally sells for NZ$165 per annum. The good news is that the Ministry of Education has negotiated a Student Advantage Licence for home use (with up to 5 devices/student) at no cost to students. This is managed by Datacom as part of the Microsoft School Software Agreement. From 1 December 2013, every school and tertiary provider in New Zealand that licenses Office for staff and faculty is eligible to get Office 365 Pro Plus for its students at no additional cost.
Schools choosing to use Office 365 will be responsible for securing licences (see below) and helping families load the software to their BYOD laptops.
How are Office 365 licences allocated to students?
The Ministry agreement (for an Office 365 A2 Plan) includes:
- Cloud based email, calendar and contacts
- Use your own domain name
- Instant messaging, voice and video chat
- Online conferencing with desktop sharing
- Web-based viewing and editing of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files
The student software client (Office 365 Pro Plus) can be ordered by schools online or by contacting Datacom.
Will the Office 365 Pro Plus software work on laptops if they are not connected to the internet?
Yes. Once the Office software is downloaded to a student’s laptop, the software can be used offline without a live internet connection.
Does the BYOD Equity Scheme include classroom management tools?
No. The purpose of our scheme is to help families who cannot afford the outlay required to purchase a digital device, typically $300 to $900. We provide an opportunity for families to procure a device and pay it off with weekly payments spread over a 1-2 year period, without incurring high finance charges. It is the responsibility of the school to provide the necessary infrastructure to support a BYOD environment, including wireless connectivity, ultra-fast broadband connectivity, teacher professional development and any management tools that might be required. We are happy to help put schools in touch with others already managing a BYOD environment and suppliers who may be able to assist.
Do schools need the Chromebook Management Console to manage student devices?
I have heard good reports from schools who do have a tool for managing student devices, but I don’t really know much about them. Typically these tools allow teachers to create user groups, pre-install and block applications, track assets , manage user access, configure network access and customise user features. Google has developed a web-based management console for Chromebook devices. They have also prepared a guide for schools and teachers to help with planning the deployment of 1:1 devices.
Where can schools get more information about the Management console?
Cyclone Computers has been licensed by Google to distribute the Management Console in New Zealand. A good first step might be to contact them. Meanwhile let’s see if we can find some schools that are already using the Management console.
How do families register for the BYOD programme?
Families must register using our online registration form on our Computers in Home website. We acknowledge that some families might not have internet access in their homes and recommend that schools organise family briefings where they can register using school computers.
How do families select BYOD products?
Families accepted on the programme will receive a letter from the 2020 Trust explaining the scheme and setting out the Terms and Conditions as well as providing a unique family number to use when selecting a BYOD device. Device selection must be made online on the Computers in Homes website. Families must then sign a copy of the agreement and commence automatic payments by lodging an AP authority with their banks (either online or using the paper form sent with the acceptance letter). The device will only e released once the first payment has been received.
Which schools can participate in the Trust’s BYOD Equity pilot?
The pilot programme is restricted to one class group in up to 6 schools participating in a Computers in Home programme (25-30 students). We hope to expand the programme in the future, but this depends on the outcome of the pilot programme and in securing the necessary funding for the scheme. Schools must be BYOD-ready and register their interest on our website.
What is the Warranty and Insurance Cover?
All BYOD devices provided as part of the 2020 Trust’s Equity Pilot are covered with a one year manufacturer warranty and the Dick Smith Accidental Damage, Accidental Loss and Theft Protection Insurance for the duration of the scheme (12 months or 24 months, depending on the payback period). Any claims should be immediately reported to Kristina on 0800272020.
How do I make a claim?
Complete a warranty/insurance claim form and alert the 2020 Trust’s Client Services Coordinator (Kristina) . She will log this with Dick Smith. Dick Smith will provide a Repair Docket and instructions on where to send the device. The Repair Docket must be included with the device when it is returned for repair. CiH Coordinators or the school BYOD champion should take responsibility for this to make sure the device is adequately packaged and the necessary details included. The device will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of the supplier and returned to the school for forwarding to the family. Coordinators should record the date the device is sent for repair and the date it is returned in the master google doc.
Should families stop their APs while devices are being repaired?
No. The repayment terms remain unchanged. We will make every effort to return the device as quickly as possible, but like the repair of other electrical and electronic goods this will take some time. We encourage schools to hold some ‘lone’ devices for students in BYOD classes who are unable to use their own because they have been sent away for repair. It is up to the school whether the student is permitted to take the school-owned devices home.
Where will the devices be delivered to?
All BYOD devices will be couriered to the nominated contact person at the school. The serial numbers of the devices are to be recorded against each participating family and the details provided to the regional CiH coordinator, who in turn will load these details to the BYOD Equity Pilot master database (a Google Doc).
How long does it take?
One of the objectives of the pilot is to develop a streamlined process, but our experience with Dunedin revealed we still have some way to go! There are a number of steps and these all seem to take time, so the earlier schools start on the journey – at least 4 weeks before the devices are actually required is a good guide. The steps are:
1. Get an indication from the school if they are planning to recommend a particular device and the number of students in the class selected and advise us (2020 Trust) – we can then give Dick Smith a heads-up and they will ensure stock is reserved pending receipt of the orders.
2. Families register online and then they receive a letter by physical mail with their family number and a partially-completed AP form. Kristina normally processes new registrations weekly so it could take up to 10 days for families to receive a response. If coordinators provide an alert that families have started to register, we can check daily and this will reduce the time-lapse before families get their acknowledgement letters. A .pdf copy of the letters will be sent to coordinators by email; families are required to return a signed copy (accepting the Terms and Conditions) – we send two copies of the letter and a stamped addressed envelope to make it really easy for families to return a singed copy. It is a good idea for coordinators to take copies of the letters to family meetings in case the posted copies never arrive or have been misplaced.
3. Online orders for devices are processed weekly (although this can be daily if coordinators provide notification) and approved for payment (by 2020 Trust). When Dick Smith receives payment, they ship the product, or if the product is not available it is put on back-order. It can then take another week or two to procure the product and deliver to the school.
We acknowledge that this process is a bit tortuous and are developing a process that combines the first two steps as much as possible. We would like families to be able to register and select a device at the same time. The back-order problem can only be solved with advance notice of the type and volumes of devices likely to be required. So watch this space!
What devices are available in the Trust’s BYOD Equity Scheme?
We have identified a range of devices that are suitable for 1:1 student learning ranging from 7″ tablets to 14″ laptops. These are displayed on our website and will be reviewed from time to time as new models become available. Our objective is to only offer devices that can be paid off in no more than 2 years at no more than $10 per week. We have added three new HP products and one new Samsung product to the range:
HP Pavilion Laptop/Tablet) 11×360 11.6” ($8/week for 24 months)
HP Chromebook 14 14” ($10/week for 18 months)
HP Chromebook 11 11.6” ($9/week for 18 months)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1″ 16GB WiFi ($10/week for 18 months)
The HP Chromebooks are white, but are available in other cool colours (Turquoise and Peach Coral for the 14″ model and Turquoise for the 11.6″ model). However these coloured models must be purchased in quantities of 10. We could do this if a class group agreed to all go with the same colour. The Turquoise (blue) colour would probably be more widely accepted. Peach Coral is really ‘out there’ and is unlikely to have universal appeal – we heard a story about a boys’ school that deliberately bought a Peach Coral class set for students; they liked the functionality of the HP chromebook and believed that the “uncool” colour would deter their students from taking the units off site! The boys would not want to be seen with one!
Now a key objective of our BYOD equity pilot is for students to have personal ownership of their devices and take them home, so it might pay to consult with students before choosing a ‘way-out’ colour. If unsure, our advice is to stick with white or black.
Do parents need to go to training for the BYOD Equity Programme?
Yes. We recommend that parents attend three 2-hour Stepping UP training sessions, one focusing on the device itself (tablet or chromebook), one on internet safety and one about supporting their children’s learning through homework. The 2020 Trust will pay a tutor to run these training sessions as part of our Stepping UP programme. We encourage schools to appoint the teacher with the BYOD class to run these programmes for parents if at all possible. This helps parents connect more directly with their children’s learning using the devices; this is a key outcome for the Computers in Homes programme.
Who is responsible for inviting families to participate?
The school is responsible for identifying a class that is “BYOD-ready”, i.e. it has WiFi connectivity capable of supporting up to 30 simultaneous users, an ultra-fast broadband internet connection (UFB or N4L) and a teacher who understands the pedagogy of learning with 1:1 digital devices. The school must also appoint a BYOD Champion who will be the point of contact with the CiH coordinator. Parklands Schools in Motueka sent a very good invitation letter to families in the class group they identified for the pilot.
Do we (2020) recommend a particular digital device?
No. We have a range of devices available as part of our Equity Scheme. We expect schools to provide advice to parents on devices suitable for particular year groups. Some schools have strong preferences for particular brands and models. It can make things a lot easier for teachers if all students have the same or similar devices. As parents may take up to two years to pay off a device, schools should also take into account any special requirements of schools their children may be attending during the next two years. For example, a secondary school is likely to expect students to have access to a device with a keyboard, whereas a tablet device could be quite suitable for junior students at primary schools. The Ministry of Education has published useful information to help schools and parents make good decisions in choosing and implementing 1:1 learning programmes.
What choices are schools making for the Equity Programme?
The first two schools to join the Trust’s Equity Programme in April 2014 were Brockville and Carisbrook primary schools in Dunedin. The two schools selected year 8 classes to participate, and as these students would be moving on to secondary school during the second year of the equity programme, both schools consulted with local high schools before recommending a device. As a result they chose high-end devices – the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and the iPad Air 9.7 tablets.
Three more schools are gearing up to offer the programme – Tawhero school in Wanganui, Parklands school in Motueka and Levin Intermediate. Tawhero school already uses chromebooks and this was their initial preference. However, after consulting with local secondary schools, they are thinking that a laptop might be more suitable. We will update this post when these schools decide what to recommend to parents.
How much do the devices cost?
Weekly payments vary from $6 to $10. We have selected devices that can be paid off over no more than two years for no more than $10 per week. Payment includes the cost of the device, a cover and insurance. Some devices can be paid off in just 12 months.
How many devices can a family purchase?
We have restricted the number of devices that any family can obtain under our BYOD pilot to just one. This is partly because of limitations with our online ordering portal and partly because we do not want to expose families to large weekly financial commitments. Now we realise there will be exceptions such as two family members in the same BYOD class. If this is the case, we ask that families register under two different people – possibly a grandparent could take responsibility for funding one unit. We will allocate two separate family numbers and require two separate APs to be completed.