Bring Your Own Device Program

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St Patrick’s Marist College is a school that runs a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Students in Grades 7 to 12, will be able to bring only Apple or Windows laptops or tablets to use for educational purposes. Having ongoing access to technological tools will enable your child to build the necessary digital literacy skills required in our ever-changing landscape.


A wealth of studies identify the positive benefits of infusing technology into the classroom, coupled with the successful practice witnessed over the past 5 years here at the College. The introduction of the BYOD program at the College is a deep commitment to building digital capacity and responsible digital citizenship as an integral part of learning here at Dundas. Digital skills unpin and support the development of entrepreneurial skills, specifically:

  • critical thinking
  • student-centred learning practice
  • working collaboratively
  • learning to share in ethical ways
  • shared knowledge construction
  • problem solving

Student devices will be used to access our Google suite including Goggle Classroom. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a powerful tool for learning and at St Patrick’s Marist College we focus on using ICT tools embedded in best practice of teaching and learning to meet present and future learning needs for all students. We utilise technology in an innovative and creative manner so that the learning outcomes for students are presented with depth and quality. We use a combination of digital and traditional mediums of communication balancing both typing and handwriting activities, and integrating many internet services into the daily student experience./p>

A focus of this initiative is digital citizenship, which is the responsible use of technology. Your child will learn digital skills, ethics, etiquette, and online safety. These are important aspects of participating in today’s world. To maintain a safe and secure learning environment, a filtered Internet connection is provided for students.

We look forward to the educational opportunities that BYOD will bring. Participation in this initiative is compulsory. Your child will not be left out if they do not have a device. St Patrick’s Marist College will continue to provide support to families who are unable to access a personal device for their child due to financial reasons. Please contact the College to discuss this matter further.

The information below provides parents and students with all the information required to take part in our BYOD program. You can download a copy of this information to refer to at your convenience by pressing the 'PDF' button above. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact St Patrick's Marist College Dundas by email or phone 02 8841 7900 weekdays between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.

About Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a technological trend in education and in the corporate world.

BYOD recognises that technology and choices about technology are very much personal. BYOD acknowledges technology in education means more than meeting specific curriculum requirements.

BYOD is designed to give you, as students and families, freedom to make technology choices that suit you and all your circumstances. All students are expected to bring their own computing device to school every day.

Technology has a significant role to play in our students’ lives. Increased access to technology not only allows for the benefits afforded to traditional education subjects, but also allows for increased education of appropriate digital citizenship. Our aim is to normalise the ICT integration into teaching, learning and life in an appropriate way.

BYOD opens the doors to creative aspects of teaching and learning only possible through digital means. Personal ownership brings many advantages, and reduces the cost as duplication (a device for home and another for school) is avoided. The BYOD device remains the property of the student/ parent, with insurance also remaining a responsibility for the parent.

The school makes recommendations as to the model of device students may choose to bring. Or you can bring something of your own choosing that meets our Device Specification. There is also some software that is required on the device. In most cases there are free options for software.

Students are required to sign a User Policy that sets out how the device can be used at school outlined in their College Diary.

A member of the school staff, the BYOD ICT Support team, are available to answer questions and to give assistance to students.

However, the school does not manage, support, own or warranty the device - it's your device.

A range of devices in a range of price categories meet the Device Specification.

The Device Specification includes Windows and Apple devices. Devices can range from 10” to 13.3” in a laptop or tablet- convertible format.

The school recognises that all students should have equal access to learning opportunities. There also may be occasions where devices are not available to bring to school. The school provides devices for borrowing on the rare occasion when a student is not able to bring in their own device. Temporary (one day) loans are available through the Library. Families in exceptional circumstances should contact the Administration Office to discuss solutions.

A number of factors come into selecting a device. The Device Specification (below) sets out the minimum of what is required, but you are provided considerable leeway in device characteristics.

When selecting a device, you should give consideration, first and foremost, to the Device Specification. However, there are other factors to consider.

It is the intention of this program that the school will work with the Mac or Windows device the parents choose to provide their students with. However, we recognise that parents will appreciate some guidance, and with that in mind, please consider the following:

  • Phones are not suitable learning devices. Amongst other factors, the school believes screen size needs to be of a minimum size to allow efficient learning activities, and allow adequate teacher supervision in the classroom. In addition, parents should consider that 3G/4G enabled devices can bypass the school’s network filtering, and this is not the school’s desired option.

  • Weight - For students carrying tablets or laptops between classes, and to and from school, the weight of the device is an important consideration.

  • Physical Keyboard - Students will find that a physical keyboard is much easier to use than virtual keyboards hence the device will require an integrated physical keyboard or a case that has keyboard.

The school is committed to providing a system that works for everyone. What works in your home, should work at school. The school has a preferred platform of Windows or Macs only. NO Android devices will be supported.

Windows and Mac devices are supported for the school’s Bring Your Own Device program. An iPad with a separate keyboard is also supported.

The Device can range from 9.7” (iPad) up to 13.3”. A device larger than 13.3” is simply too large to put in a school bag each day and is too big to sit on a school desk with other equipment. You may decide on seeing a 11” device that it is simply too small, or you may decide it’s perfect.

Devices can be in laptop form or tablet convertible form. They may or may not have touch-screens. A laptop is good for doing written work seated at a desk or even on the ground. A tablet is a little bit more versatile in where it can be used, but note two typical drawbacks: the quality of the keyboard is likely to be lower and if the convertible tablet’s does not have a rigid hinge, then it may be difficult to use to type with when not at a normal desk.

Devices in the St Patrick’s Marist College BYOD program are used for a lot of content creation. This means actually producing work, rather than just consuming reference material like textbooks or teaching videos. A Windows device or a MacBook will have a distinct advantage over an iPad in these scenarios.

Once students move into Year 9 they start to have some input into their choice of subject. If you’re taking or intending to take Film-Making or Information and Software Technology, for example, maybe you will see benefit from a more powerful device or one with a better quality screen. Or, maybe you see a benefit in being able to take mathematics notes on screen with a digital pen and want a device with a digitiser.

This is not to suggest a smaller/slower/cheaper device will inherently put you at an academic disadvantage. Rather it is to make the point that the choice of device is personal and should be used to further your learning.

Varying devices have varying build quality. This is mostly based on price. A device with cheap, flimsy hinges and plastic exterior componentry will not last as long as a better built device. A good quality device, well looked-after could easily last four years and more.

Despite this, no device can reasonably be expected to last all six years of a high school career. So it’s important to factor in when you’re likely to want to replace a device when purchasing it. So it is common still for students to have a new device in Year 9 with the intention of keeping it all through school.

Alternatively, maybe a quality device bought in Year 7 could last until Year 10, with a new device intended for Years 11-12 and beyond.

Beware there’s always the possibility the device won’t make it. All vendors provide optional accidental damage protection insurance to help ensure the device you want to last four years will last four years.

The Requirements Specification says your device should have six hours of battery life. This will see it through the school day.

Chargers present a trip hazard when in use and are something easily lost when not – students should not charge their device at school.

Note also the advertised battery life of a device and its real battery life are often vastly different. Furthermore, batteries degrade. Over time, the amount of runtime you get out of your device will decline. After two years, battery life may be cut by 30-50%. You should plan for this scenario.

If the device has a removable battery, then you can consider purchasing a new battery for it after a couple of years. Otherwise you should consider a device which has ample spare battery life such that a degraded battery still gets you through the school day.

If you travel to school by bus and expect to use your device while travelling, you need to factor this in when considering the necessary battery life of your device.

Warranty and insurance can add a large amount to the cost of a device, but they provide you with peace of mind.

Accidental Damage Protection can be purchased to cover situations where the laptop is dropped or knocked over (or stood on, or crushed). Students at St Patrick’s Marist often travel distances in peak hour. Students also have sport and PDHPE class multiple times per week. All increase the risk of damage.

For insurance against loss or theft, your best course of action is to specifically list the device as a valuable on the home contents insurance. Whether this is needed again depends largely on your commute to school: it is exceedingly rare that a laptop lost or misplaced while at school cannot be found again.

Consider the following:

  • Is the device brought to school your primary device at home too?
  • Do you have access to or mostly use another device at home?
  • Will you use the device for [reasonable amounts of] playing games at home?
  • Do you travel to different parents’ homes?

If the device is being used more because it is also used at nights/weekends plus during the school day, that will increase wear-and-tear and battery utilisation.

The Device Specification only mandates a few technical specifications. Processor speed, screen resolution, storage (disk) size and type are not on the Specification, but that’s not to say they should not form part of your considerations in selecting a device. A higher spec device will most likely last longer. Though beware devices that are too large or weighty.

The BYOD device is supported by the College ICT Team throughout the school day to provide assistance to students. The ICT support team are located in the College Library.

The ICT Support team can provide students with assistance in a multitude of areas, including:

  • Getting a device connected to the school Wi-Fi network.
  • Program administration.
  • Being a first point of call for students and parents with questions about the administration of the program.
  • Installing software, E-books available to students.
  • Diagnosing hardware faults with the device and advising students and families of an appropriate course of action for repairs.
  • Using a device to interact with school- provided services such as internet access, printing, file access and online learning tools.

The ICT Team, however, cannot mediate disputes, fix devices with non-warranty issues or facilitate repairs for devices.

Your Bring Your Own Device Program device must meet all of the following requirements:


Form Factor Laptop, tablet device or convertible device

A tablet device must have a physical keyboard attachment with separate keys for A – Z and 0 – 9 and which physically move when depressed.
Physical Dimensions Minimum Screen Size: 9.7” Maximum Screen Size: 13.3”
Operating Platform
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 10
  • Apple OS X 10.9 or newer
  • Apple iOS 8 or newer
Note: Android devices are intentionally omitted from the Specification.
Wireless Compatibility Device must have 5GHz 802.11n support

This may be advertised as “Dual Band Wireless”, “802.11abgn”, “802.11agn”, “802.11ac” or “Gigabit Wireless”.

Note: Devices marketed as “802.11bgn” probably do not support the required standard.
Battery Life Advertised battery life of at least six hours

Please take special note of the Wireless Compatibility requirements. This is the most difficult requirement to verify yourself for Windows laptops. If you are unsure, consider purchasing a recommended device.

Additional Considerations:
The following are not requirements of the Bring Your Own Device program, but are considerations which you should direct your attention to:


Recommendations Maximum weight: Minimum RAM (laptops)
Disk configuration (laptops):
  • 2kg
  • 4GB
  • Solid State disk (SSD)
Considerations Accidental loss and breakage insurance

The St Patrick's Marist BYOD program has certain software requirements. A device must meet all of the following functional requirements pertaining to software:


Operating System As per the Hardware Specification, above.
Web Browser Any modern web browser.
Windows 7 computers must run Internet Explorer 11 or newer
Word Processor Any word processor.
Microsoft Office Word (Windows/Mac/iOS) is available free to students from the school.
Spreadsheet Package Any spreadsheet tool.
Microsoft Office Excel (Windows/Mac/iOS) is available free to students from the school.
Mathematical Plotting Wolfram Alpha – available free of charge from its website or from the iOS app store
Geogebra – available free of charge from its website, or from the Mac and iOS app stores
Security Software Windows 7 laptops should run: Microsoft Security Essentials
Utility Software Adobe Flash Player – for Windows or Mac Adobe Acrobat Reader – for Windows, Mac or iOS

Please note that this is just a sample, and the School recognises there are many other options (sometimes cheaper), but the following are some of our recommendations.


IPad Air 2 – from $850 (64GB recommended)

STRENGTHS

  • Powerful tablet and lightweight
  • Works perfectly with Google Apps for Education.

WEAKNESSES

  • Works best when connected to the internet
  • Requires Keyboard case.

Chromebook – from $299

STRENGTHS

  • Very affordable and lightweight laptop
  • Works perfectly with Google Apps for Education.

WEAKNESSES

  • Works best when connected to the internet
  • Does not run Windows or iOS apps.

MacBook Air – from $1399

STRENGTHS

  • Powerful laptop that should easily handle any school work
  • Very lightweight
  • Battery life of 9+ hours.

WEAKNESSES

  • Hard drive space is smaller than other laptops, so projects such as video work may need management or an external drive.

Windows Laptop – from $260

STRENGTHS

  • Compatible with most software available
  • Many students will be familiar with Windows operating system.

WEAKNESSES

  • Cheaper models can be very heavy
  • Limited battery life.

MacBook Pro Laptop – from $1999

STRENGTHS

  • Powerful laptop that should easily handle any school work
  • Battery life of 9+ hours.

WEAKNESSES

  • Heavier than a Macbook Air.

Windows Ultrabook – from $1699

STRENGTHS

  • Compatible with most software available
  • Many student’s familiar with Windows Operating System.

WEAKNESSES

  • Hard drive space may be smaller than other laptops, so projects such as video work may need management or an external drive.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – from $1349

STRENGTHS

  • Powerful tablet/laptop that should easily handle any school work
  • Battery life of 9+ hours.

WEAKNESSES

  • Need to purchase Type Cover keyboard to use effectively like a laptop.

*prices as of September 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

All Devices should have:

  • A minimum 8.9 inch screen
  • A minimum 6 hour battery life
  • Wireless capability to connect to the School Wi-Fi network
  • An internet browser (Google Chrome is the school’s preferred browser, but Google Apps do also support Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox)
  • An in-built camera and microphone.

During school times devices may only be used in class and at the discretion of the teacher. The devices are viewed as a learning tool and as such when students are at recess or lunch devices should be securely locked in their lockers.

While there will be some ability for students to charge devices in the classroom, the school is discouraging students from planning to recharge at school. For this reason, battery life is a key consideration in choosing technology. As is stated in the device specifications, devices should have a battery life of at least 6 hours. Students will need to cultivate the habit of charging their device overnight.

The necessity to print should be minimalized due to transfer of work between students and teacher via Google Classroom.

All applications necessary for accessing the internet, word processing and related applications. No other specific software is required.

In the first few weeks there will be extra provision to assist with student passwords and accounts and general troubleshooting from the school ICT staff. Year 7 will set up their devices during their Boot Camp at school. It should be noted that the support will be at specific times (Lunch and Recess), not during class. The device should be viewed as another tool for students to use, if it is not working in a particular class they will need to seek assistance from the School ICT Service Desk at lunchtime.

All students are provided with a locker and required to supply a lock so that the device can be secured during break times when students do not have the device with them. It is strongly encouraged that parents buy protective covers for their child’s device to guard against damage from every day wear and tear.

All student use of the school’s network and internet is filtered and monitored. Their web history is able to be tracked. Parents should be aware that if they provide their child with a 3G/4G connected device the School is unable to filter internet use through these devices.

A fundamental objective of a BYOD program is to help normalise the use of technology and to work with students in teaching good digital citizenship. The school has put in place a number of ongoing initiatives to educate students and parents in being safe and responsible in the use of ICT. All students must sign the School’s Acceptable Use of ICT Agreement at the beginning of the school year. Significant instances of misuse will be dealt with as a behaviour issue in line with the Student Welfare Policy reference to areas of Gross Misconduct. References to what is appropriate and inappropriate are also covered as part of the Acceptable Use of ICT Agreement signed by each student.

Where a student is using the device to access material that would constitute Gross Misconduct the device may be confiscated and handed over to Secondary School Administration. Off task use of the device during a learning task will be managed by the teacher in the first instance and where there is an ongoing issue in this area and a student is not responding to teacher direction, it will then be viewed as an issue of behaviour and dealt with in line with the Student Welfare Policy.

Students will only be using devices in class under teacher direction and instruction. Students will use their devices in a manner that allow teachers to view their screens as the teacher moves around the classroom. Students who make a choice to use their devices inappropriately will be dealt with as a behaviour issue.

It is the school’s view that parents have every right to access and view the material on their child’s device. The school encourages parents to take an active role, and support the School, in the education of the students in regards to avoiding illegal and/or inappropriate materials on their device, as well as appropriate online behaviours in social media.

These guidelines support safe and responsible use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and social media. They are intended to be used as a teaching tool about safe and mature digital citizenship.

You can access this information from the 'Policies' page of our website.

Enterprise Systems - AirWatch Mobile Device Management

Some parents have expressed concern that Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) have requirements that all BYOD devices (should they wish to connect to a CEDP wireless network), are to be enrolled into CEDP’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform - AirWatch.

This concern seems to be associated with fear that CEDP could access all the personal data and track everything someone does etc. if they enrol their BYOD device into AirWatch.

To give some clarity to what AirWatch exactly does on your BYOD device we have provided some FAQ’s and a run down on how AirWatch works.

  • The AirWatch MDM platform can track an enrolled device if 'Location Services' (on that device), are turned on
  • Users can choose to turn location service on or off. The AirWatch MDM platform cannot override the user's choice
  • Enabling location services provides benefits should the device be misplaced or stolen.
  • The AirWatch MDM platform can only provide a list of the apps installed on a device and restrict apps (whilst connected to the CEDP ICT wireless network), from being launched based on the device's App Store age ratings
  • The AirWatch MDM platform cannot view in-app data, app usage details, or delete personal apps.
  • The AirWatch MDM platform can only manage settings; it cannot control the device remotely
  • Management setting are only applied whilst the device is connected to the CEDP ICT wireless network.
  • The AirWatch MDM platform does have the ability to remove from the device CEDP specific data and apps, in the event the device is lost or stolen
  • The AirWatch MDM platform cannot delete personal data nor personal apps.
  • Both the old and new MDM platforms perform relatively the same functions
  • AirWatch however supports a broad range of devices and uses an ‘AirWatch Agent’ app, whilst Casper only supported Apple devices and used profiles.
  • All supported Apple IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices (CEDP-owned or personal e.g. BYOD devices) now require the installation of the 'AirWatch Agent' App in order to connect to the CEDP wireless ICT networks.
  • The 'AirWatch Agent' App is free, and allows your mobile device and the AirWatch MDM platform to integrate closely with the CEDP ICT network, to ensure a safe, online experience (whilst connected to the CEDP ICT wireless network).
  • Any effect on the life of your battery will be negligible. If you are experiencing a noticeable decline in your battery’s performance after the installation of the 'AirWatch Agent' App, please contact your local ICT support personnel so the issue can be addressed.
  • The ‘AirWatch Agent’ App should not interfere with any existing applications on your mobile device, or otherwise adversely affect your devices performance.
  • If your device and/or password are compromised, report it immediately
  • CEDP can use the AirWatch MDM platform to remove any CEDP related data and prevent it from reconnecting to the CEDP ICT wireless network.
  • Absolutely not!
  • The 'AirWatch Agent' App is not spy-ware. It is a tool to help both you and CEDP protect important or confidential data. It does not give CEPD the capability to view in-app data, app usage details, or delete personal apps.
  • Yes
  • An ‘app Store’ account is required for a user to download the ‘AirWatch Agent’ app from the Apple App Store (Apple devices), the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Microsoft Store (Windows devices).
  • CEDP recommends parents create and manage an ‘app Store’ account that can be used on the device to download the free ‘AirWatch Agent’ app.
  • The same account can then be used to download other apps that maybe required supporting student learning.
  • It is recommended that the parent actively manages the use of this account for the ‘app Store’ purchases.