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technology at serra


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, students will be asked to bring a personal technology device (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or tablet) on a daily basis to school.  Commonly called BYOD (bring your own device), the program will allow students and teachers to seamlessly access the technology resources as needed in the curriculum.  The BYOD model holds a particular advantage for Serra students—not only does the program respond to personal preferences of students and their families, it replicates the environment that the students will encounter in their college classrooms.

Minimum Device Requirements

1. 6 hour minimum battery life*
2. 7 inches minimum screen size
3. Headphone jack
4. Microphone (built-in or external)
5. Camera (built-in or external)
6. Ability to access wireless internet on campus
7. Ability to run Google Chrome browser
8. Ability to access Google Mail / Google Drive
9. Ability to print to home and school printers
10. For Windows and Apple laptops minimum operating system (OS)
      a. Windows XP SP3 minimum for Windows laptop computers
      b. OS X 10.5.6 minimum for Apple laptop computers
      c. iOS 7 minimum for iPad/iPad Mini
11. For any Windows, Mac, or Android based device verified auto updating antivirus

*Additional changeable batteries are acceptable to achieve 6 hour minimum battery life

Optional Considerations

1. Protective cover/case
2. External keyboard
3. Additional power adapter (1 for home / 1 for travel)
4. Repair/Replacement/Insurance Policy

Technical questions regarding acceptable portable devices or device specifications should be directed to: byod@serrahs.com.

Samples of Acceptable Portable Devices (click here) 


Q: Why did Serra decide to adopt a BYOD program?

A: Under the skillful direction of our instructors, this technology program will enable students to engage in learning on a deeper level.  The technology program will enable students to collaborate with students and teachers, communicate with the broader society, exercise creativity and deepen their critical thinking skills.  Serra has moved beyond taking their work to computer labs for projects to seamlessly and immediately using technology to engage in core issues of the class.

This program mirrors what our students will encounter in college, where technology assists learning.  That will be our focus at Serra.  We have been training our teachers on Google Apps for Education, the free web-based software used by the majority of top colleges throughout the United States.  In addition, allowing each student to choose his device will meet the financial and personal needs of Serra families.

During the last few years, we have incorporated significant professional development resources to helping our teachers integrate technology into the learning environment.  We moved to the Google platform last year, upgraded our wireless infrastructure over the summer and continued professional development focused on the use of the Google suite and other free software.  These changes have prepared students and faculty members to take advantage of abundant “cloud-based” learning opportunities.  Serra is ready for this next step!

Q: If every student has his own device, does this mean he will no longer use paper, pencils and books?

A: Using technology does not mean that teachers will not use conventional tools such as paper, pencils and print books. Teachers will use a combination of tools in the classroom—whatever format is most appropriate to achieve learning objectives. Students may be creating videos, developing online projects, conducting research and collaborating with students and teachers online.  However, they also will be giving in-class presentations, writing essays and taking notes with pen and paper in class.  Our goal in allowing students to access technology is to increase their 21st century learning skills.

Q: What if the device breaks and needs to be repaired, or becomes inoperable due to software or hardware failure?

A: It is the responsibility of the parent and student to maintain their own device and/or have their own device repaired, if necessary.

Q: Will the school loan students devices to use if theirs are being repaired?

A: Yes. Temporary loaner devices may be issued through Serra’s IT Department.  These devices might not be the same as students’ devices, but they will provide web access so students can retrieve and use online resources and documents.  It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that his academic work is not disrupted during the repair of his device.  We recommend that students regularly back up their work.

* Please note:  Parents are responsible for any damage or loss of a loner device.

Q: Will Serra faculty members teach students how to use, maintain and update their devices?

A: Since students will bring their own personal device, they are expected to be familiar with the operation of that device.  Serra faculty and staff members will assist students and show them how to use web tools required for class activities and projects. 

Q: What if the battery runs out during school?

A: Students are expected to have their device fully charged for the start of each school day. A student who comes to school with a dead battery is just as unprepared as a student who forgets his book or pencil. Some laptop computers may require an additional battery to last throughout the school day.

Q: Will Serra provide Internet filtering?

A: When students connect to the Internet at school, they will be protected from inappropriate content by Serra’s Internet filter. Parents are responsible for monitoring their son’s Internet use at home.

Q: When will the parent information nights be held?

A: In the spring, we will host a series of information nights for parents. Dates will be announced soon in the Serra Spotlight e-newsletter.

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