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Introduction

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)


Preamble


Acquiring the abilities and skills in the use of IT in learning and in daily life in the fast approaching era of the ‘internet of things’ is a major goal for all nations. The Hong Kong Government is establishing an IT Bureau. The Hong Kong Education Bureau has just launched its Fourth Strategy on Information Technology in Education, ITE4.  The aim of ITE4 is to strengthen student’s self-directed learning, their creativity, collaboration, problem solving and computational thinking skills, as well as ethical use of IT, in an enhanced IT environment. 

The 21st century is the beginning of a new era where there is an unprecedented growth of information and communication technology. Hence, information literacy is being recognized as a ‘new economy’ of sorts (O’Sullivan 2002) and lifelong learning skills are essential.
 
The HKDSE requires teachers and students to be connected to each other and to content—which is now beyond the textbook. The HKDSE also requires the articulation of thoughts and ideas through creative processes such as co-construction and re-construction of texts. This applies to some subjects more than others but regardless, the skills are necessary for everyone to learn.

Aims and Objectives


The aims and objectives of using devices in the teaching and learning process via BYOD are:
a) To allow connectivity among teachers and students, and teachers and students with up-to-date learning tools and resources, instantaneously and simultaneously.
b) To allow access and sharing of texts for construction, deconstruction, and co construction, and for class wide sharing both in class via the screen and the data projector, and outside class via ‘groups’
c) To accommodate different learning styles.
d) To provide collaborative learning experiences  (a common workplace expectation today)
e) To develop students’ ability for pattern recognition and to organize complex information.
f) To develop students’ ability to draw inferences and to help each other do so.
g) To provide a means to communicate text easily and efficiently.
h) To develop students’ reasoning, resilience, and responsibility for one’s conduct (digital citizenship).
i) To enable mobility and borderless classrooms - anytime and anywhere.
j) To enhance students’ motivation and engagement in the curriculum.
k) To provide tools to reinforce teaching and learning concepts.
l) To access resources that offer visual and audio interactivity (not available in print).
m)    To develop students’ ICT skills for the workplace and life.

Readiness


Realizing that IT could not be kept out of education and learning for much longer as it was already in schools overseas and in the International School’s in Hong Kong, and because it occupied such a significant place in our daily lives, La Salle College began laying the groundwork toward BYOD with its eLearning and Mobile Devices Symposium in 2011/12.  
  • The college has started BYOD programme in 2015/16.

  • In 2014/15 every teacher was provided with a laptop to facilitate the use of IT in class because without a device in hand it is impossible to engage and integrate useful resources in the teaching and learning process.

  • The whole school campus now has access to Wi-Fi.  

  • Staff have undergone professional development since 2011/12 slowly gaining knowledge about new strategies and resources that may be useful for lifting achievement in the attainment of 21st century learning skills assessed in the HKDSE. 

  • Teachers are identified in each subject Panel to serve as IT Coordinators who work with Panel Heads to facilitate the use of IT in teaching. As a result, more and more teachers are using IT in the delivery of lessons. 


Why Laptops?


Laptops are more powerful because they have a more powerful Central Processing Unit (CPU), Hard disk (HDD) and Random Access Memory (RAM). Also, they have a multi-functional keyboard, enabling students to work on projects, word and mathematical files easily. It also makes group sharing much easier. In terms of classroom management, it is easier for teachers as they can ask students to close their laptops resulting in easier monitoring.

How It Happens


To suit the different needs of individual subjects, the introduction of BYOD is to provide an extra tool for teachers and students to use in teaching and learning. There will be no prescription of usage in everyday lessons. Some subjects will use the laptop very little and for administrative and organization purposes only, while other subjects will use the tools of ready connectivity to the web and to each other much more frequently. Common tools that will be used are Gmail, Google Drive, Google Classroom, YouTube, eClass, and other ready and up- to-date resources on the Internet and Hong Kong based EdCity. BYOD helps the construction of knowledge among students and enables instant sharing of ideas, e.g. survey, pre-tests, flipping, etc. Students can adapt to learning at their own pace and the diversity in class can be catered for more effectively. 

In many instances parents may see no change and limited use of the laptop but when teachers and students have the device and are able to use them and see that a particular activity can be very helpful, use will develop over time. Without them, learning will be limited in many aspects possibly affecting academic results. 

The College will not prescribe to teachers what or how to use laptops in classrooms as they know best how to integrate their use without sacrificing standards or following fads or gimmicks.

BYOD Timeline


The College has been working with the PTA in negotiating with vendors to provide a reasonable priced and versatile laptop, together with an accident protection package for parents. 
  • Early July - Place Order
  • Mid-August - Distribution of Laptops to New Comers
  • Early September  - Collection of laptops for remaining classes

Financial Assistance


The School has also noted that some families may require financial support for a device or internet access. Such families are invited to write or discuss with the Principal their needs and the school will assist and/or seek the appropriate agency for assistance as the government has provision for such cases.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Will typing instead of writing hinder my child when they sit for examinations?

    This is a valid concern and the school is aware of this issue. The use of IT in education does not preclude writing the examination papers. Regular writing in class will still be expected as teachers will advise boys to take out their laptops only when that resource is needed in the lesson. Internal examinations will still follow the format of public examinations.

  2. Will using an IT device affect my child’s health, e.g.eyesight?

    The school is well aware of this issue. IT devices are tools to enhance the process of teaching and learning. It is not necessarily used every minute or every lesson of every day therefore will not affect eyesight.

  3. Will the use of IT affect the interaction between teachers and students?

    On the contrary, the use of IT is to enhance interaction between teachers and students inside and outside of the classroom.