Individual access to technology is not something that should happen in a few rooms around a college. It should be for everyone, everywhere and anytime.
BYOD is not future technology, it’s the present. Our students embrace mobile phones, the Internet and personalised technology. It will be their future working and learning experience.
Students are used to having access to the Internet at all times, in all places, and college should not be the exception. We want our students to have access to the greatest source of information ever assembled and to study in their own innovative and personalised ways.
We need to make full and effective use of technical learning tools and want to make the educational experience for students at S6C as varied, dynamic and stimulating as possible.
Salisbury 6th Form College operates a ‘BYOD’ policy for all students attending the college. All students are expected to have a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ with them at all times during the college day. This should not be a mobile phone (although we actively encourage their use at appropriate times).
We do not specify a particular device to purchase, but it should be light and portable, have a physical keyboard, have good battery life (greater than six hours) and preferably be ‘instant on’ so lessons start on time and teachers don’t have to wait for devices to load. Google Chromebooks are the ideal device for this purpose. Google Chromebooks do not need any additional software such as office or antivirus, as everything they need is built in.
You do not need to purchase Microsoft Office, as students will get access to download this free of charge. The built in antivirus from Microsoft is also suitable protection from viruses (we run the college on it) and you do not need to purchase any additional anti-virus software even if the shops say you should.
Google Chromebook (Recommended)
Google states, “Designed for flexibility and crafted with premium hardware, Chromebooks are made to fit beautifully and seamlessly into your day. They come with virus protection built in and they update automatically so that they always stay first-day fast.
Google Chrome uses a process called ‘sandboxing’, so that every tab that you open is isolated from the important functions of your Chromebook. That means that even if your tab lands on a page that is infected by malware, it can’t attack the rest of the computer.”
Chromebooks are the ideal student laptop as they start instantly and they include everything you need to write college assignments and access our student learning environment (Google Classroom). They start from £150 upwards with all models offering the same functionality, the only difference with higher priced models is the size and quality of the screen and hardware.
UPDATED Jun ’21
Please be aware that some specialist subjects may have different requirements for BYOD devices, such as Software Design and Development, Photography, Esports and Media.
Students should check with their subject teachers if any specialist equipment or software is needed.
We have six high specification Z2 Workstations specially designed for Creative Media. Many students prefer to bring their own laptops so it is recommended that you either have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (additional monthly charge) or the following programs (free) for projects: DaVinci Resolve, Blender and Gimp. These are all free open source creative programs used within the media and film industries. We also have several cameras for students to book out but it is advised that you have your own DSLR camera. Advice on cameras can be given to those who are unsure of what to purchase. Students will also need to purchase their own SD card for recording footage and a USB-C hard drive for storing files (the larger, the better). You would benefit from upgrading your BYOD Chromebook to a more suitable media device, such as a modern laptop running either Linux, Windows 10 or MacOS. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
Six high specification Z2 Workstations are available in the classroom for student use, but students would benefit from having a device capable of running Abode Creative Cloud (additional monthly charge) or the following programs (free) for projects: Darktable (Lightroom replacement) and Gimp (Photoshop replacement). These are free open source creative programs used within the photography industry. This will allow project work to be completed both inside and outside of lesson time.
You would benefit from upgrading your BYOD Chromebook to a more suitable media device, such as a modern laptop running either Linux, Windows 10 or MacOS.
Contact email@example.com for further advice.
Software Design and Development
Summary: If you don’t know what you need, get an Apple device.
You will benefit the most from this course if you are running an Apple Computer, but can use a native Unix based system such as Ubuntu. The Linux terminal is used across the industry and most students will understand Windows already so adding another string to your belt is a great differentiator for later applications to university or work.
If you wish to programme in Apple’s Swift language (which we cover on the course), then you must have an Apple device (native experience) or at the very least access to native linux (no IDE available) and the open source version of Swift.
If you wish to produce applications for iOS or a Mac, YOU MUST have an Apple Device capable of running the latest operating system update.
For all laptops it would be beneficial to have a minimum of 128GB SSD, 8GB Ram and at least an Apple Silicon device or a core i3 processor (or AMD equivalent). We recommend 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM and a Core i7 (or Apple Silicon equivalent) as the best possible option. The laptop should be capable of running for six hours on battery as charging points are sparse in the classrooms.
We teach using Apple devices (M1 Macbook Air’s).
A light laptop is a bonus as we need students to bring them to every lesson.
If you need further advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are still unsure what to buy, the best all round device for the course is an Apple MacBook Air or higher spec device.
Programming can be completed on an iPad Pro with a keyboard (and pen for design) running iOS 15, but a number of programs must also be purchased to enable this including: Apple Playgrounds (free), Textastic (additional cost), Working Copy (additional cost), Pythonista (additional cost) and the Apple Developer app (free). It’s also advisable to have a markdown creator such as IA Writer (additional cost).
Students will need a laptop to complete their work in college. They will also have the opportunity to compete in the UK Esports competitions. The British Esports association provides guidance for the best devices to use:
S6C offers a bursary scheme to assist with the full cost of these devices. Further information can be obtained from email@example.com
My Son / Daughter already has a suitable device
S6C is very happy for students to bring their current device to college as long as it meets the BYOD requirements and you are not obliged to purchase a new device just for college (although you may be told this).
Please remember a college day lasts at least six hours and the device your son/daughter brings in should be capable of lasting this long on a single charge as we don’t have facilities for everybody to plug in devices during lessons.
Most manufacturers will give a student discount when purchasing devices or give away headphones etc. Always ask for a student discount when purchasing any electronic equipment.
Apple retail stores offer deals and trade ins at various times of the year. Further information from their website. Apple also sell refurbished devices at cheaper prices with full warranties as if new. Further details here.
Microsoft offers deals and trade ins (usually mirrored in retail stores) at various times of the year. Further information from their website.
If you require any further information or would like to talk to someone about BYOD, then please feel free to contact the college on 01722 597970.