2017-2018 will be Rock Canyon’s third year transitioning to a 1:1 BYOD school environment. All students grades 9-11 are expected to bring a personally owned device for them to access throughout the school day. Read below to find out more information about this program, or access additional information and resources using the Support links provided.
BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device,” allows us to shift to a 1:1 student-to-device environment in every classroom. Equitable access allows teachers opportunities to create activities leveraging the power of Internet tools and resources to differentiate instruction and personalize learning for every student. Students develop information literacy skills and positive work habits when working with technology, such as managing distractions, practicing responsible online communication, and demonstrating digital citizenship and cybersafety, building on the skills acquired through the 1:1 program they began at Rocky Heights Middle School.
We envision each student having a Google Chromebook as his or her primary computing device for use throughout the school day and throughout his or her high school career. Chromebooks are light weight, cost effective devices available from a variety of manufacturers at different price points. They are at low risk for viruses, have an operating system that automatically updates, and are easily configured to access our school network. With their 6-8 hour battery life and 10-second startup time, teachers are able to design blended learning activities with transitions that seamlessly move between different styles of learning throughout the school day. Having a common platform also increases teacher efficiency in the classroom by streamlining troubleshooting and content integration.
For these reasons, we highly recommend Chromebooks for student use, but other personally owned devices are also acceptable. For information on other devices, review our Minimum Requirements. Please note that other devices may have issues connecting to the district network.
When every student has a device, it changes the way teachers and students think about digital resources. Chromebooks integrate seamlessly with Google Apps for Education, one of our primary platforms for communication and collaboration at RCHS. Many of our teachers use Schoology, an integrated online learning management system to facilitate communications and provide an organized online environment for students to access resources, participate in online discussions, submit assignments, and take tests. Students work individually and collaboratively on interactive projects using Internet websites, databases, and online tools for inquiry, simulations, fact-gathering, and media production. Students also access a variety of other content-specific online resources, including MathXL, Reading Plus, and Turnitin.com to submit documents for teachers to review and grade. Chromebooks provide students access to these tools in and out of the classroom throughout the day.
Teachers have adapted their practices to take advantage of these resources, reporting that students are more engaged and classroom practices more effective. Students agree that having dedicated access to a computer has helped them be more successful. Individual devices greatly improve a teacher’s ability to address each student’s individual needs and better personalize student learning. However, technology will never replace the true relationship and connection that occurs between teacher and student, and students use the devices only when appropriate to do so. Students do not spend an entire day in front of a screen.
Students are responsible for bringing their fully charged device to school with them each day. Chromebooks should be able to go the entire day on a single full charge, but students should still carry charging blocks and cords should additional charging be necessary. Please note that many classrooms are not equipped with multiple outlets for in-class charging, so it is important that devices be charged at home.
At school, students are expected to use their devices in accordance with all school and district policies. For more information, please review the Student Code of Conduct policies regarding technology use and personal devices (pages 28-30).
Students and their parents are primarily responsible for maintenance and upkeep of devices, another reason why Chromebooks are recommended, as the software updates automatically and they are at a low risk for viruses. Devices purchased through the GovConnection DCSD Parent Purchase Program come with three years of extended Accidental Damage Protection. The school is not responsible for any maintenance, loss or damage of devices.
Teachers are offered many professional development opportunities to grow new ideas for blended learning and implementing best practices when utilizing devices in the classroom. Teachers also have a number of one-on-one and on-demand instructional and technical support options available to them within the building. In addition, the district technology team has increased the capacity of the wireless network and Internet access to support the additional devices that will be brought in as the next group of freshman join our learning community.
Students can receive support for their personally owned devices in the Learning Commons with assistance from Learning Commons staff, as well as student volunteers and interns. These student “Tech Geniuses” have expressed their desire to learn real-life skills such as customer service, computer repair, and experience in training others to gain skills that make them valuable in the workplace.
If a student does not have a device when required for class, he or she may request a Chromebook from the Learning Commons for that particular period. Students must provide their picture IDs to borrow Learning Commons Chromebooks and must return them at the end of that class period.