Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Introduction

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.

We do recommended you look into your home insurance policy to make sure the laptop is covered while at college. If not, it’s advisable to look into insurance cover, as losing access to college work for a period of time can be very detrimental to final grades. All liability for damage to a BYOD device belong’s to the student and they are responsible for making sure they can access college systems.

Google Chromebook (Recommended)

Google Pixel Chromebook
Google Chromebook

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.

Further Information

Specialist Subjects

UPDATED Mar ’22

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.

Media

Media has deciated high spec computers to assist with student work. 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. Whilst it is recommended that you have your own DSLR camera, you can complete this course using a high specification smartphone and gimbal (such as an iPhone Pro). 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 lhughes@s6c.mlp.college for further advice.

Photography

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), Affinity Photo (additional purchase fee) 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 lhughes@s6c.mlp.college for further advice.

Software Design and Development

Dell XPS Laptop

Students will need a laptop capable of running Linux (Ubuntu) and this should be installed before the start of the course. They will need Visual Studio Code, Node, .Net and Python installed in a Linux environment as the bare minimum in order to complete the Software Design and Development course (this part will be taught on the course). Students will also need to wipe their hard drives at points during the course and install Linux. Therefore it is very important that this laptop is not used for anything else, like storing the family photos, gaming or used by parents for work.

For all laptops it would be beneficial to have a minimum of 128GB SSD, 8GB Ram and at least a core i5 processor (or AMD equivalent). The laptop should be capable of running for six hours on battery, as charging points are sparse in the classrooms.

A light laptop is a bonus as we need students to bring them to every lesson.

If you need further advice please email cchambers@s6c.mlp.college.

Windows Laptops

If you are still unsure what to buy, the best all round device for the course is a Lenovo Thinkpad or a Dell Inspiron or XPS device. A secondhand ThinkPad is ideal for running Linux.

Please note: We do not recommend an Apple device for this course as there is a lot of further setup to do around using the ‘Homebrew’ package manager to setup the required environments which will not be taught on the course. This could lead to a disadvantage as you progress.

Esports

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:

Device Bursary

S6C offers a bursary scheme to assist with the full cost of these devices. Further information can be obtained from admissions@salisbury6c.ac.uk

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.

Student Discount

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.

Further Information

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.