Educational Technology and Student Learning “BYOD” at Collingwood

Technology Vision Statement

Technology in school is not about the hardware and accessing the internet. It is developing digital literacies, and leveraging tools and resources to enable learning. At Collingwood, our computers are tools that connect us to the world, enable research, and help develop critical thinking skills that will help our students succeed in a global marketplace.

What is BYOD?

“BYOD” or “bring your own device” requires students to bring a device of their choice to be used in support of their learning at school.

Why BYOD at Collingwood School: Preparing Students to Thrive in Meaningful Lives

Student centered learning is the cornerstone of Collingwood’s academic programme. In any learning environment, be it a workplace or a school, students need to develop skills for effective communications, collaboration, and creation. While the technology does not drive the learning or replace face-to-face interactions, it supports our vision for transforming teaching and learning.

This handbook is intended to assist students and parents in knowing and understanding how BYOD is integrated into the program and addressing practical considerations. The handbook is available for all users on the Collingwood website.

BYOD for all Students in Grades 8-12

Students are expected to bring their devices to school every day, and use technology resources extensively. Students will be responsible for managing their own device (charging, virus and other updates, etc.). If students are unable to bring their laptop, they may use their Go Card to sign a device out from the library on a short term basis.

Although students will learn in a technology rich environment, there are many opportunities where learning can be more effective without integrating technology. Teachers provide guidance during their classes and students make choices to determine the need and appropriateness in using the tools. Students will not only learn technology skills, but will develop the self-regulation tools required to be successful.

Selecting and Purchasing Devices

1. What devices does Collingwood School recommend?

While Collingwood School does not recommend specific devices or brands, we offer these guidelines to help determine the appropriate tool for effective student use in daily school life. Based on student and teacher feedback over the last two years, we have found that a laptop device is most suitable to meet the diverse needs of the students at all grade levels.

Tablet devices, such as an iPad, support many of the academic requirements and complement the use of a laptop, but at this point, they do not yet have the full spectrum of features that enable them to be the single device of choice for BYOD. This may vary depending on the course of study Senior School students have selected and the extent of use for Middle School access. We continue to research the use of tablet devices as the single tool of choice and will provide updates, as appropriate.

2. Platform

Collingwood School supports both Mac and PC platforms. We are running a full Google Apps for Education deployment which is cloud based and works on either a Mac or PC.
Please note these potential limitations:
While some software supports both platforms, some applications are platform specific e.g. GarageBand and iMovie are Mac specific.

For all Mac users, it is important to have two browsers installed on the device. Safari does not always work well with some web based applications (ex: university applications, Noodle Tools, etc.).
A Google Chromebook is sufficient for Grade 8/9 students; however, students in Senior Science courses will need a laptop that will run MS Office as they will use excel extensively (available on Mac and PC).
Not all tablets work efficiently with Google Apps for Education and some tablets do not work well with Flash file access. This may have an impact for research needs and expectations or there may be an effective work-around. Please be sure to have considered these issues prior to selecting a device.

Many students typically use more than one device to serve their needs at school; most students use a smartphone for personal organization and a laptop for academic work.
No matter the device, all laptops - Mac or PC - that connect to Collingwood’s network are required to have anti-virus software installed.

3. User Needs

Selection of devices needs to take into account the academic needs of the user, the level of technology literacy and comfort of the user.
All Students must:
● ensure they have the appropriate device and software for their courses
● be able to access their school Google Apps for education account
● have anti-virus software installed
● have a charging device
● have their own adaptor/dongle for presenting, if this is a requirement of their course

Note: It is crucial that all software used on school property and/or connected to the school network is legally purchased and not acquired through an illegal download.

4. Course Specific Technology Requirements

Senior Math and Science Students

All grade 10-12 Science students will need to have MS Excel loaded on their machine. Students in Senior Science (Grades 10 - 12) courses cannot use an iPad or Chromebook as their primary device. They will need to have MS Excel installed on their device.
Students in Data Science 12 can have a laptop of their choice, PC, Mac or Linux. They must have the ability to install and run a variety of programs, as directed by their teacher.
Students in Robotics may wish to install Robot C on their device; this is only compatible with a PC. The school does provide laptops for robotics software.
Senior Math students will need to have the ability to load their own software on the device (ex. Geometer’s sketchpad).

English, Languages, Social Sciences and Arts

Students need to have word processing capabilities, access to web based research tools and their Google Apps for Education account.
Students enrolled in Languages will use the Language Labs extensively.

Digital Photography, Graphic Design and Multimedia Courses 9-12

Students will use school owned devices and software for these courses. All coursework will be completed during class time. Those students wishing to install their own version of the software should see the teacher directly.

KEY Students

Students enrolled in the KEY program in grades 8 through 10 are in a 1-1 iPad program and are required to purchase their iPad and keyboard prior to the start of the school year as well as load a $30 iTunes gift card to their account. Additional apps may be required as the school year progresses. As they progress into the Senior classes, students may need to supplement their iPad with an additional device in order to adhere to the requirements of the Senior Courses they are taking (see above).

5. Purchasing Devices - Guidelines and Advice

When speaking with vendors, identify the features below as essential elements in determining which device to purchase. Getting past the ‘cool’ and glitz factors to real functionality is important.

Battery Life

Ideally, a minimum of 5 hours is needed for full school-day operation.
Collingwood will provide charging capability in classrooms and open student spaces; however, students must bring their own charging device or they may want to consider purchasing an extra battery.

Weight and Portability

Each child is responsible for his/her laptop. Please consider the weight and portability when selecting a device. It needs to be appropriate for the age and stage of the user as students carry the device(s) in their backpack as well as other resources. Please remember extra batteries may increase the weight of the device.

Storage and Memory Capacity

This depends on the courses the student is taking and the types of files they keep over the year; however, students have ample storage in their Google Apps for Education account. We encourage students to use the cloud for their academic work as this enables them to work from any device.

Screen Size

It is essential to consider the impact of eye fatigue and strain if using small-screen devices for extended periods. A minimum of 7 inches; 10 -15 inches is preferred; 17 inches may be too big and heavy for mobility and can greatly reduce the battery runtime of the unit.

Availability of External Devices

Support for USB devices can be useful for file management and connecting other devices (ex - data collection tools).

Device Life Span and Replacement

A well cared for device should last for at least three years.

Extra Costs May Include

● licenses for basic productivity software e.g. MS Office Suite
● anti-virus software (required)
● fees for system set-up, activation and software installation
● licenses for special software e.g. Dragon or Kurzweil
● extended warranty
● home insurance
● accessories and peripherals e.g. remote mouse, stylus, keyboard, headphones, VGA adapter
● charging devices, carrying case or sleeve, USB key or external hard drive
● extra battery

6. Labelling and Caring for the Device

It is recommended that all students label devices and power cords with first and last name and/or personalize devices in ways that are appropriate for school use. This includes screensavers, backgrounds, skins, etc. Protect devices by using storage cases, backpacks or sleeves.
Each student is responsible for their own device so they should ensure it is with them or locked in their locker at all times. They should be taken home each day to ensure charging and safety.
Troubleshooting, maintenance and repairs of personal devices are the student’s responsibility; each student needs to ensure that their devices are in working order to allow them to complete school work as required. Students are responsible for saving files and backing up, especially if they choose not to complete their work in their Google Account.

Acceptable Use Policy

All students must adhere to the AUP as part of their enrolment at Collingwood School. To review this policy, please see the August Mail Out, the website or PCR.

7. Frequently Asked Questions


Check that the device is properly charged and turned on. If it is a software issue, ask a friend for help or go to the “help” feature of the website. If it is a hardware issue, find a computer help-desk service off campus or consult your warranty. Collingwood School’s IT staff cannot repair personal devices as this voids the warranty.
If a device is temporarily not functioning, students may use their GO Card to sign out an loaner laptop for a day or portion of a day while the device is being repaired


Students can print at the student print centers using their GO Card. Collingwood is working to reduce the need for and quantity of hard copies of documents; please submit electronically where possible.


Generally students may submit assignments to their teachers in electronic format. Teachers will inform students specifically if a printed copy is required.


Any teacher who teaches any student is able to reset a password. Students should see a course teacher or the mentor directly.


Each student is personally responsible for all of his/her devices – label them for easy identification. While Collingwood is not responsible for personal devices, the school will post notices on a student’s behalf, as appropriate, to assist in relocating missing devices. The mentor teacher should be contacted to report a loss and have it posted on the TVs and announcements.

If a student finds a “stray” device left somewhere, it should be handed it in to reception immediately.


Students are expected to have devices already charged upon arrival for the school day.
If students need to charge devices during the day, they will have access to outlets in classrooms or other workspaces, but must have their own charger(s) and power cords.

Students using Mac devices will need an Apple VGA adapter.


Collingwood School has the right to withdraw or limit BYOD privileges if the terms of the AUP have been violated.
Collingwood can monitor personal devices connected to the network and will take disciplinary action if there is reason to believe that a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred. If there is a serious infraction, Collingwood may have access to personal device(s) for investigation purposes. This access will be authorized by the parent or guardian, as appropriate.