Abingdon School operates a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment where we expect all students in Year 3 and above to bring a laptop into school, connect it to our WiFi network and use it to further their studies both in and out of lessons. Please note that first and second year students do NOT need to bring a laptop into school. Through allowing students to have access to the internet in lessons, we aim to support their learning by:
- Allowing access to more sources of information, promoting independence in their learning and enabling access to effective, personalised courses on Firefly.
- Increasing opportunities for collaboration and group work outside of the classroom and school.
- Supporting a safe and effective approach to living in a connected environment.
In order to successfully embed technology into the way we teach, we need BYOD devices to meet a minimum specification, namely:
- Be able to access the internet and run a modern browser which can access the Google Suite of apps and Firefly.
- Have at least a 10.1” screen, camera, keyboard and battery that will ideally last 8 hours.
- Be accompanied by a durable set of ear/head phones.
- Be able to boot up in 60 seconds.
- Be sufficiently rugged or protected to survive the day-to-day life of an Abingdon student.
We do not recommend any particular device or model but if your son doesn’t already have a device and you are looking to buy one, then chromebooks seem to fit the bill very well.
Chromebooks are cost-effective laptop-style devices that run Google’s cloud based operating system Chrome. Students can install software on a chromebook, but they mainly use the Google Apps suite and other online apps that run through a browser.
Work and files are saved in the cloud and can be recovered if the chromebook breaks or if it is lost or stolen. A good chromebook will cost around £350. Examples are the Asus C213 and Lenovo 300e chromebooks which have a touch & flip screen, 4GB of RAM and robust casing.
PC and Mac Laptops
We are very aware of how much devices like Macbooks cost and we would caution bringing such valuable items into school, however Macbooks and PC laptops may be a better BYOD device for some A Level students studying Art, DT, Music or Computer Science where specialist software isn't available or doesn't run fully on chromebooks. If you require further advice in this area, please contact the Director of eLearning (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Head of Department.
Storage & Charging
As with any valuable item brought into school, a boy should take all necessary steps to keep it safe. We would recommend that you cover the device with an appropriate level of insurance, although you may find that your home insurance already covers this.
When not in use, the device should be locked in a boy's locker in his House room or other secure area provided by the School. The School cannot take any responsibility for damage, loss or theft, and the device won’t be covered by the School’s insurance.
Charging facilities are available in the Cafe, Yang Science Centre, House rooms and Westridge Room, subject to availability. Some teachers may allow students to charge their devices during lessons, and many classrooms are equipped to support charging. However, students should ensure that their device is fully charged when arriving at school each day. We are not able to provide cables or chargers.
Abingdon School have a very robust internet filtering system that prevents access to inappropriate sites while connected to the school WiFi network. We cannot, however, filter internet access if boys connect their laptops to their phone via a 'Personal Hotspot', neither can we filter internet access at home or on other public WiFi networks. Our policy is to educate our boys in the safe and appropriate use of technology and the internet rather than take a heavy-handed 'try to ban and block everything' approach.
Abingdon School’s IT department will help boys in getting their laptops connected to school WiFi so that they can access Firefly and Google Drive. Further instructions and guides will then be made available on Firefly. The IT department may be able to diagnose and fix basic problems on student laptops but will not be able to resolve every issue. Software problems, purchases and updates, mechanical failure, damage, warranty claims, etc. will remain the responsibility of the boy and his parents.