Scarborough Public School

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Bring Your Own Device

BYOD at Scarborough Public School

At Scarborough Public School we have developed our own Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trial for students in years 5 and 6. Students in years 5 and 6 are invited to bring a suitable computer to school for learning purposes. After conducting our survey of parents in 2015 it became clear that BYOD was supported within our community for those students who wished to participate. To ensure equity for all students, the school will continue to purchase devices for those who do not participate in this program. Students can join the program at any time, once a device has been purchased. To assist you in this process, we have aligned our BYOD policy to our local high school, Bulli HS so you can be assured that devices used at Scarborough PS will meet the requirements for Year 7.

Please take the time to read our BYOD Policy which has been developed according to NSW Department of Education guidelines. If you would like your child to participate in this trial, please complete the attached BYOD Trial Consent Form and Student Agreement and return to your classroom teacher once your device has been purchased.

If you decide to purchase a new device for next year, please make sure it meets our minimum specifications which are laid out towards the end of this booklet. In some cases, we will accept older devices after consultation with us first to ensure suitability.

Download SPS BYOD Policy (pdf 479 KB)

Why bring your own device?

Devices are already a part of students' lives

For a majority of our students, computers and portable devices such as phones and tablets are already integral to the world in which they live. We need to ensure that these devices are also a tool for learning (not just for play) and that they also make learning an integral part of student's lives. Many schools have banned student devices but instead could benefit from teaching students how to use technology properly and safely. By providing appropriate supervision and support we can help students develop cybersafety awareness and digital citizenship skills. BYOD also "allows students access to the same devices at school and at home, it can extend learning opportunities to times and places outside of the classroom" (Horizon Project, 2013) and "allow students to work with technology with which they are already comfortable and familiar" (Horizon Project, 2013).

21st Century Learning

BYOD recognises that our students are 21st Century learners who need to be equipped with the skills to learn in a world where technology is embedded in everything we see and do. Schools need to support this essential learning by establishing systems that support the development of these skills. BYOD is about the meaningful integration of technology into students' daily lives and developing the critical knowledge to use these tools effectively and appropriately. An environment where all students have access to their own devices opens up new possibilities for collaborative and online learning, carefully structured and supervised by the teacher. Students will be able to use their device as a means to communicate, calculate, photograph, video and edit across a range of different subjects.

Personalised Learning

In an environment where all students have access to collaborative devices, students can take control of their own learning. In this scenario, teacher becomes a manager of learning, providing the support for students to obtain knowledge, rather than the direct source of information. Many studies have shown (and this is evident in our own school) that access to computer devices for learning increases student motivation and engagement.

Using the cloud

The NSW Department of Education has provided access for all students to Google G-Suite (Google Apps), an extensive suite of online software that allows students to collaborate online as well as Microsoft Office 365. These types of web-based software provides new possibilities for our students, including the ability to work together on a single document at the same time. The cloud also has the advantage of being accessible from anywhere with internet. This means that assignments from the classroom can be continued at home seamlessly.


The implementation of a BYOD program can have significant effects on the overall access to devices for all students. We understand that not all parents wish their children to bring a device of their own to school. At Scarborough Public School we have invested substantial funds, thanks to our P&C, in the purchase of many laptops and mobile learning devices for student use. By encouraging students to bring their own device to school, this lessens the competition for school-owned devices and ensures greater access for everyone. Students without their own device will not miss out.