Personal Owned Devices


Guide for Implementing POD
Laptop Standards
1:1 Research

Getting Started

The cost of purchasing and maintaining a laptop is a factor for many families, setting realistic standards is a must. For high school the machine needs to be a laptop and not a tablet. Alberta education online testing requires a laptop with special free software that locks down the machine during a test. An adequate laptop starts at about $350 and tablets $500.  Even at this price a laptop may a barrier for some families.  All schools should have a number of laptops for signout by students.

A limited number of Google Chromebooks are available for sign out in all of our high schools.  Chromebooks are webbrowser only laptops.  They are limited to web applications such as google apps.  At $300.00 they are an easy to maintain/deploy and use.

Elementary school parents may want to purchase a tablet computer for their child to use.  If this is done it should be done so in consultation with the school.  All computers/tablets need to be cared for if they are to last.  Sending a machine back and forth to school should be done in partnership with parents, students, teachers and school admin.  If expectations are set and reinforced equipment can last for many years.

Wireless infrastructure must be in place.  All schools have Aruba wireless however not all classrooms have the wireless access to enable 40 students at a time to get great internet bandwidth.  If your school is moving to one to one contact the Director of Technology to help determine what infrastructure you need.

Some students do not have high speed internet at home. This is a barrier to learning if teachers required students to access the internet to do homework.  Teachers need to be aware of who in their class does not have high speed at home and plan accordingly.

Important points to consider before adding a laptop to the school supply list.

  1. Involve the parent community, your parent counsel can be your best advocate.
  2. Ask the students how they would learn differently if they had a laptop anytime they needed.
  3. Involve teachers in the decision to move to 1:1 in your school.  Many teachers will feel uncomfortable with this move unless they have adequate support and professional learning.


Getting students to bring laptops is much easier than these issues:

  • Ensuring most classrooms are laptop friendly is critical.  There are times that computers are not needed for learning however when parents send a computer with their child they will expect that it is used appropriately.
  • Processes and procedure are in place to ensure theft and breakage is minimal.
  • Processes and procedures are in place to ensure kids are focused on learning and learning does not suffer by too much multitasking.
  • Charging area is set up and secure for kids to charge a laptop during the day.
  • A+ computer repair program in place in school so that students can help students with computer support and repair.  ie.  over lunch kids are available to help solve computer issues somewhere in the school and they are earning CTS credits for doing so. Only in rare cases with this be a school techs job to touch a student machine.
  • Digital citizenship is an ongoing and sustained activity from year to year.  issues such as pornography, bullying, gambling, copyright laws, plagiarism and personal safety need to be addressed and positively modelled. Passport to the Internet resources


If you have further questions or would like to discuss making plans to move forward to one to one personally owned devices do not hesitate to meet with me.

Director of Technology for Learning

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