Bring Your Own Device.

Mary C. Wheeler knew that the best schools are works in progress, forward looking, always adapting to meet the changing needs of its students. In that spirit of ambitious, yet measured, evolution, Wheeler is accelerating its integration of educational technology across its grade levels.

In the 2013-2014 school year, Wheeler initiated a BYOD program requiring 9th graders to bring a laptop to school. As of today, all students in 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades are required to bring a laptop to school. The devices allow teachers and students to uniformly access online materials and texts, learn about digital note-taking, and participate in interactive activities during lessons. Students in 6th and 7th grade use school-issued Chromebook computers. In the elementary grades, students use a combination of iPads and Chromebooks, making Wheeler a 1:1 computing school.

FAQs about the BYOD Program

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Why is 1:1 important?

    • Provides flexibility, customization, and personalizatin.
    • Devices can be in the classroom for quick or uplanned access.
    • Supports collaborative learning.
    • Enables students to work when and whereever best meets their needs.
    • Facilitates the use of online textbooks and E-books.
  • Which grade levels will participate in the BYOD program?

    Students currently in grades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are required to bring their own laptop to school for academic work. Students in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 use school-owned Chromebooks and laptops and do not bring their own devices. Students in grades 1, 2, and 3 use school-owned iPads.
  • What is the school doing to improve internet access for students?

    For each of the next several years, increased funds in the school budget will be allocated to broaden the School’s bandwidth and wireless access points, dramatically improving functionality.
     
  • Will students now be online all the time?

    While we do expect that students will be using their laptops and tablet in class, it does not mean that we will be expecting teachers to use student-owned devices all the time.  Students may use laptops and tablets for 5 minutes of a class period, 40 minutes, anywhere in between or not at all depending on the lesson.
  • Will this mean that there will be no more paper textbooks?

    Not yet, but the shift is happening. Several teachers are currently developing their own online texts and resources, and many more are already using digital texts and more teacher-created materials. We expect that students will purchase far fewer paper textbooks in the coming years, although individual classes may never “go digital.”
  • What types of devices should students own?

    Laptop computers or Chromebooks are required and will need to meet certain basic requirements, including internet access. A list of suggested computers at a range of price points is available in the devices section of this site page. 
  • Will support be available to students and will there be technical support?

    There will be some loaner laptops for students to use in an emergency.  Along with our Technology Department, a group of student "technology fellows" will be appointed to assist students in resolving technology issues.
  • What support will the School provide for students receiving financial aid?

    Additional financial aid will be offered to qualified ninth grade students to assist in covering the cost.  Eligible students will be notified by the Admission Office in the coming weeks, or feel free to call the Admission Office directly.
  • What considerations are being made related to appropriate use and device security?

    Digital citizenship standards will be taught in the curriculum.  Students will be encouraged to use locks on lockers.  Several secure charging stations will also be available on campus.
  • What kind of professional development is being offered to faculty?

    As has been our practice for the past couple of years, teachers will continue to attend workshops and seminars on the use of instructional technology, both off site and on our campus.
  • Will technology labs in Upper School and the library still exist?

    Yes. We are not doing away with Technology Labs.  There will be times when teachers want students to be using the same device or specialized digital tools and we need to provide that teaching resource.

Downloads:

  • What are the recommended specifications for a laptop?
    Wheeler’s technology department has put together this overview of the basic requirements needed based on the type of device and operating system you might have.  Check the specs on your device to see if it meets these requirements.  Feel free to email one of members of our technology department if you need assistance.

BYOD Tech Support

Network Connection
Wheeler has upgraded its wireless infrastructure to support the BYOD program and increased use of technology tools throughout the school. Students will login to the Wheeler wifi network to access all of their cloud-based programs and tools.

Charging

Students are expected to keep their computers fully charged for optimal use during the school day.

Printing

Increased use of digital documents by students and teachers and the availability of drop boxes for digitally posting work should decrease the need for printing. That said, printer stations will continue to be available to students in the Upper School Computer Lab and the Prescott Library.

Maintenance

It is strongly recommended that families purchase extended warranties and/or service contracts for devices. Repair and maintenance of devices is the responsibility of the family. However, we recognize that emergencies do occur, hence a limited number of laptops will be avaiable to students as needed. A group of student technology fellows will be appointed to support other students with technical issues.

Browsers

We recommend that students use Google Chrome as their primary internet browser.

About our Team

For device-specific questions, please contact Karie Hayes, Joe Scanlon or Charlene Queen in the Technology Department.