Upper School BYOD Program
We believe that technology helps foster higher level thinking skills while supporting different learning styles, creativity, and collaborative learning. We understand that boys need to know why something is important and what significance it has for them. Boys are motivated by the belief that their efforts will produce a positive, tangible outcome, and it is this intrinsic motivation that makes the difference. Classroom technology experiences by nature are tangible, creative and collaborative. Our mission is to foster our boys’ highest possible academic achievement and intellectual development. With this in mind, we announce our upper school laptop program which will equip students with personal technology devices and help them build a firm and thorough understanding of information technology tools and resources so vital to their success as 21st-century thinkers, learners and professionals. Additionally, it is important that students be able to move seamlessly between school and home, using a device that they know and for which they are responsible. This practice will further their learning both in and out of the classroom and well beyond their years at Boys’ Latin.
Boys' Latin strongly recommends devices which meet the following specifications:
Operating systems - Windows 7 or Windows 8 or OS X
Processor - Intel i3 or higher
RAM - 4 GB or greater
Hard drive - 128 GB or greater*
Wireless network card - 802.11 ac**
4-cell lithium ion battery
3-year minimum warranty AND accidental damage coverage
*Solid state hard drive recommended for graphics and computation heavy users
** Intel wireless network card AC 7260 802.11ac/a/b/g/n 2x2 recommended for graphics and computation heavy users
Laptop Tech Stores
For the convenience of our students and parents, we have established two different online "tech stores" through which you can purchase laptops which meet our compatible machine standards noted above. Dell, Lenovo and Mac brand laptops are available through these tech stores. We highly recommend purchasing laptops through these tech stores since they come with extended service agreements which include parts and labor as well as repair pick-up and return service (to/from the Boys' Latin campus). Additionally, these machines have accidental damage coverage. Please note we have added a ChromeBook option to the available models. Please bear in mind that ChromeBooks rely on an internet connection for full functionality (applications, printing, etc.) and have very limited functionality without an internet connection.
Please note that these models may be more expensive than other laptop options out on the market. These models are all excellent machines AND have the extended service agreements and pick-up and return service from BL included in the price. To be clear, we are NOT mandating any student purchase a computer through these online Tech Stores - it is simply our best recommendation based on our knowledge of student laptops and the potential damage that may occur given daily usage by students. If you are not interested in purchasing a computer through these tech stores, that is entirely your choice. Please feel free to shop around and contact our Technology Department if you have any questions.
To secure laptops both electronically and physically, it is strongly recommended that students:
♦ Comply with our Technology Department's Captive Portal SafeConnect policies and regulations. This will be required beginning with the 2015-16 school year to gain access to the network. This allows the school to secure the Boys' Latin network by ensuring each laptop's operating systems and virus protection are compatible and updated as well as to determine the laptop's physical location on campus if the device is reported missing.
♦ Transport and store devices in protective (waterproof if possible) carrying cases. Do not leave devices in unlocked, unsupervised spaces on campus. Do not leave laptops unprotected out of doors.
♦ Attach clear identification tags to your devices.
♦ Maintain up to date operating systems and anti-virus software and implement routine hard drive scans.
♦ Purchase and install an anti-theft tracking app, such as Prey, so that you can locate your laptop, lock the screen and wipe the data if the laptop becomes missing.
The Boys' Latin Technology Department will assist all students with registering their computer with the school's network and connecting to school printers. The Technology Department will set up times at the beginning of the school year specifically for helping students with their laptop registration.
One concern that teachers and parents alike share is centered around the potentially distracting nature of computers in class. Will my son be on the internet when he is supposed to be taking notes? Our answer to this issue is multi-faceted.
First, each teacher will have the authority to dictate when computers will be allowed for use in class (students with approved computer accommodations through our ESS department excepted). For example, in an English class, a teacher may ask students to take out their computers to look up other poems from the author they are studying, but then when it comes time for a class discussion on the meaning of those poems, the teacher may ask all students to close their computers.
Second, students will be made aware that non-academic use of their computer during class is against school policy and will be treated as a disciplinary offense. This has been a clearly stated expectation in our Technology Acceptable Use Policy for many years.
Finally, there is the reality that all students may not use their device for academic purposes every second of every class throughout the year. We do employ web filtering software to block Facebook and other gaming and inappropriate websites, but there is of course the possibility students can access non-academic websites with their device. While this is unfortunate, it is important to keep in mind the only way to prevent this is to not have computers in the classroom at all. Denying all students and teachers access to the power of computers to enhance the learning experience because some students may struggle with their decision making on occasion is not the way of the future. We will educate students on the importance of using these devices for their academic benefit, but in the end it will be a learning process for each young man to figure out how best to utilize his computer throughout the school day.
Q: What computer/device should he bring?
A: In the "Compatible Device" section above, it lists specifications for devices that will work with our laptop program. Generally speaking, laptops will work but most tablets will not, so an Ipad would not be a compatible device with our laptop program. Please contact us if you have any questions about this before making a purchase.
Q: If I have a question about any of this, who should I contact?
A: Please contact Charles Franklin, Upper School Co-Head and Director of Academics at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 410-377-5192 x1184 who will either answer your question or direct you to the appropriate person in our technology department.