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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Students are 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 allows 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 / Google Sites
  9. Ability to print to home and school printers
  10. For Windows and Apple laptops minimum operating system (OS)
    1. Windows XP SP3 minimum for Windows laptop computers
    2. OS X 10.6 minimum for Apple laptop computers
    3. iOS 7 minimum for iPad/iPad Mini
  11. For any Windows, Mac, or Android based device: verified auto-updating Anti-Virus, such as Avast Anti-Virus (free)

* If necessary, additional changeable batteries are acceptable for laptops to meet the 6 hour minimum

Optional Considerations

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

Samples of Acceptable Portable Devices (click here)

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


Q: What is a BYOD program?

A: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) refers to students bringing their own portable device to school for use in class and with classroom curriculum. The BYOD model is used by the majority of colleges and allows Serra families/students a device which best meets their individual personal and financial needs.

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

A: Teachers use a combination of tools in the classroom to achieve learning objectives. Conventional classroom tools (i.e. paper, pencils and print books) are still used in addition to eTextbooks, conducting research online, creating online projects and presentations, and collaborating with students and teachers online.

Q: What is Google Apps for Education?

A: Google Apps for Education is a suite of web-based educational collaboration tools used by by Serra and the majority of colleges throughout the United States. Google Apps includes: Google Mail, Google Drive, Google Sites, Google Classroom, etc. Each Serra student is provided and expected to use a school Google Apps for Education account. Google Apps for Education is Serra’s primary platform for teaching and communication.

Q: Can we use our existing laptop/device, or do we need to purchase one?

A: Any portable device that meets the minimum portable device requirements as defined on the Serra website is acceptable.

Q: Are some devices better than others for classroom use?

A: Through experience we have found that some devices more effectively support eTextbooks and the Google Apps for Education Suite.

  • Chromebooks - very lightweight, fast startup, extended battery life, easy wireless connectivity, seamless with Google Apps for Education, low cost

  • Android Tablets -  very lightweight, fast startup, extended battery life, easy wireless connectivity, seamless with Google Apps for Education, low cost

Q: What about iPads?

A: Although iPads meet our minimum portable device requirements we have found them to have some issues with activities/applications teachers commonly use in the classroom. Students have experienced difficulty creating new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Google Apps, print formatting when using Google Cloud Print, and correctly displaying text layout and videos in eTextbooks.

Q: What if the battery runs out during school?

A: Student devices must meet the established minimum battery life requirements. Students are expected to have their device fully charged at the start of each school day. A student who comes to school with a dead battery or without their device is just as unprepared as a student who forgets his book or pencil.

Note: Some laptop computers may require an additional charged, changeable, battery to meet the minimum battery life requirement to last through the school day.

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. The IT Department is available in the Tech Center to provide portable device technical advice.

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

A: Yes. Temporary loaner devices may be issued at Serra’s Tech Center. The loaner device 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. It is recommended that students regularly back up their work.  (Please note:  Parents are responsible for any damage or loss of a loaner 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, collaboration and projects.

Q: Will Serra provide Internet filtering?

A: When students connect to the internet at school, inappropriate content is filtered. Parents are responsible for monitoring their son’s internet use at home.

Q: Who should I contact if I have technical questions about portable devices or device recommendations at Serra?

A: We have a knowledgeable, well-staffed Technology Department at Serra. The Tech Center is available to students 7:30am-3:30pm daily. Specific questions regarding student portable devices may be directed to: BYOD@serrahs.com

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