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Apple Announcements and their effects on the BYOD Program on the Winthrop portal: The recommended devices change from time to time to reflect the needs of the cluster schools and the latest releases and prices from Apple.  Winthrop provide the educational price for parents of students joining the BYOD Program.

Which is the better device for learning?

The MacBook Air is the preferred device according to our survey of students, teachers, and technical support staff. This is supported through the evidence we have gained over the years of extensive use of iPads in K-3, MacBooks in 4-6 and a mix of devices in Year 3/4 split classes. This is what we have found:

  • MacBooks are more powerful and versatile and can run fully functioning applications from Apple, Google, or Windows environments, for a wider range of purposes than an iPad.
  • The cost and management of apps is greater on the iPads and the constant updating and extensive use of bandwidth is a consideration. We are improving this through the use of our MDM (Mobile Device Manager), however this is very recent and an added cost per device to the school and/or parent.
  • The iPad is superior when it comes to taking photos and videos of students learning.
  • We have significantly more iPads damaged in a year than MacBooks.
  • MacBooks have better longevity lasting many more years than an iPad.

While these issues are almost resolved in the new iPad Air Pro M1 (with keyboard), the price of that device is very close to a MacBook Air.  Our recommended iPad is the iPad Gen 9, which is a good solution for a personal device with a lighter price tag than the MacBook Air. 

Why have a one-to-one laptop program?

Our BYOD program is designed to advantage our students in an increasingly digital world. The access to devices at point of need helps redefine teaching pedagogy, ensuring teachers implement learning experiences, provide instant feedback, and utilise formative assessments that are targeted to individual student needs. Having their own device assists students with authentic learning challenges that foster curiosity, confidence, innovation, creativity, respect, and cooperation. These attributes are necessary when using and developing solutions to make sense of complex ideas and relationships in all areas of learning. Technologies helps students to be regional and global citizens, capable of actively and ethically communicating and collaborating. The devices support students to be well prepared and aware of how to be safe and ethical online.  Providing the students with such a powerful creative and productive device, to use whenever and wherever they need, increases their learning opportunities, and supports their individual needs.

What classes are covered by the program?

Students from Years Four to Six join our BYOD progam. K-3 classes all have access to iPads within their class. If there is a Year 3/4 class the Year 3 parents have the option to join the program however it is not expected.

Why not use Windows computers?

The Apple MacBook and iPad include simple yet powerful software that is perfectly suited to an educational setting. The software and hardware are produced by the same company, making the devices far simpler to manage technically for staff and students. This means the focus of the teacher and the students is on the learning, not troubleshooting different technologies. The excellent security features for parents on the MacBook and iPad give parents the option of control of their child’s usage. Both devices can utilise software that is run on Windows machines, eg. Office (Work, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google software and applications.  Windows machines won’t run Apple software, this software is the creative suite we use for innovative and engaging learning activities, such as composing their own music on Garageband, making educational movies on iMovie.  The educational advantage of students learning to use a range of productive and creative software is significant.

Do I have to buy a device for my child?

The BYOD iPad/MacBook Program is voluntary; you do not have to join the program.  The school has a limited number of school owned iPads/MacBooks that will be allocated to students without a personal device, so they have the same experience as students with a personal device at school. However, these devices cannot be taken home.

What are the advantages of buying a MacBook?

By parents purchasing a device, the school can focus school funds on the infrastructure to support the high use of technology and have a supply of devices for student use when they don’t have their own device.  This means all students have a device instead of sharing devices.  This has these advantages (among many others) at school:

  • Their work is stored without other students having access to it, so it can’t be changed, deleted or used by another student, accidentally or intentionally. (no personal or allocated device is allowed to be touched by any other student)
  • The devices are monitored through our MDM (mobile device manager) so the individual students are supervised during use to ensure they are on task and ethically using the device. If the device was shared this would be difficult, for instance to determine who used the device at the time of an issue.
  • Every student has access to online resources at the time of need rather than holding up their learning until a shared device becomes available.
  • Students can share documents and activities online through our Google Workspace, on the interactive whiteboard in groups or individually at the same time during a class.
  • Students can undertake lessons at a pace and level according to their individual needs and receive timely feedback and assistance from peers or the teacher as they are working.
  • The devices have tools that can support students with individual learning needs.

What model should I get?

For the MacBook we recommend the 13″ MacBook Air. This is the most affordable MacBook model, and the lightest. For an iPad we recommend iPad 10 with Wi-Fi, which is a very affordable option.  You are welcome to bring a pre-owned device (iPad or MacBook) as long as it can support the latest or near to latest operating system.

How do I order?

Winthrop Australia is the recommended supplier of MacBooks and iPads for the school. You can place your order using their Online Portal. It usually takes 10 – 14 days to be delivered to the school. If your order falls due to be delivered in the holidays it will be delivered to your address.

Do I have to purchase from Winthrop Australia?

You can purchase your Device from any supplier you wish. However, Winthrop Australia is supplying the machines with an educational discount. While other suppliers may appear cheaper, it is important that you consider whether the offer is the same model and specifications. Winthrop provides onsite technical services for you at the school.  If your device needs repair you can let our technicians know and they will arrange for an Apple technician from Winthrop to come out to the school and repair it free of charge if under warranty or provide a quote for repair if not.
This year Winthrop are partnering with Edstart to offer a 36month payment plan for the device you choose, which you may like to consider.
If you are sourcing a pre-owned device, please ensure it can be upgraded to the latest or close to the latest operating system.

What is AppleCare and do I need it?

The devices are covered under Australian Consumer Law and Apple Limited Warranty. You may choose to purchase AppleCare+, a description of what it includes is on the Winthrop Portal. A comparison of cover is also on the Apple Legal site:

Do I need insurance?

We strongly recommend insuring your device to cover accidental damage or theft of laptops. Education Department policy is that no personal items of staff or students are covered under the department insurance.  If a device belonging to a staff member or student is damaged at school under any circumstances, it is not covered, unless you have insured the device.  While AppleCare extended warranty or Australian warranty laws will cover any faults with the machine, it does not cover theft or accidental damage. Winthrop offer an insurance option for your device 4 days after you place your order, however this is optional, your own preferred insurance company or home insurance is a good option.

Do I need any accessories?

For the MacBook, we recommend that you purchase an external hard drive (to use time machine) or a thumbdrive (if only backing up user data), to back up your child’s work and personal data such as photos. While machines can be replaced and repaired, the data on them often cannot. Other accessories, such as cases, and bags are widely available for both MacBook and iPad and we do recommend a cover and case for protection of the device. For the iPad you may choose to purchase an Apple Pencil and keyboard.

Who makes decisions about the Landsdale BYOD program?

All decisions regarding the BYOD program are made by the school with consultation and feedback from staff, students, parents, the Cluster Principals and the decisions are ratified by the School Board. 

Will the students use the computer all day long?

No. Our teachers use a wide range of instructional strategies, many that do not involve technology at all, some that combine technology with other hands on/face to face strategies and some that teach specific uses of technology.  It depends on the purpose of the learning task and whether technology will enhance the students’ educational experience of that task.  The devices will not replace face to face teaching, written tasks, student discussion and interactions or any traditional or high impact learning strategies. 

What about cybersafety?

All students will undertake ongoing and targeted learning experiences to provide a comprehensive knowledge of how to stay safe online and be a good digital citizen. The iPad and MacBook also include useful software that enables parents to enforce time limits, set bedtimes and monitor their child’s Internet use. It is important that you as parents/carers know where to go to find out how to help your child stay safe, make good decisions and deal with inappropriate behaviour from other online users. Our Digital Citizenship page will assist you in this.

I have more queries!

If you have any other questions about the BYOD program, please contact Leanne White, Deputy Principal, on 94083850 or by email