Middle School Bring-Your-Own-Device FAQ

The following information will help you understand more about our Middle School Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) program. Please take a few moments to read through each response.

For more general information about TASIS technology use, please visit the Learning Technologies page. Additionally, all students are expected to follow our Technology Responsible Use Policy, which can be found in the Student Handbook

Why is TASIS requiring MS students to bring their own devices?

We believe that learning to use computers and mobile devices effectively can provide students with a greater chance of success in today's technology-rich world. By requiring students to bring their own, we allow them to choose the devices they want to use and learn how to use them for academic and practical purposes.

Which device should students use?

TASIS can best support Apple products.

iPads are highly recommended, as they can be used to accomplish the majority of learning tasks while remaining ultra portable with day-long battery life. Any iPads made within the last 3 years with at least 64GB of storage space are suitable. Some students may wish to also have a keyboard case for typing longer assignments.

Any Mac laptops no older than 5 years with at least 256GB of storage are recommended.

For tablets that run an operating system other than iOS, a screen size (measured diagonally) between 7.9" (about 20 cm) and 15.6" (about 40 cm) is required. The tablet should be no older than 3 years and have at least 64GB of storage space.

For laptops that run an operating system other than macOS, a screen size (measured diagonally) no larger than 15.6" (about 40 cm) is required. The laptop should be no older than 5 years with at least 256GB of storage space.

What if a student prefers to use a tablet but needs access to Adobe Flash content or a full keyboard?

In these cases, TASIS has Chromebooks available throughout the MS campus that students can borrow at any time during the school day. Chromebooks are laptops that run ChromeOS and store most user files in Google Drive. Students can log into any Chromebook on campus with their TASIS email account.

You can learn more about Chromebooks here.

Can students just use a smartphone?

While today's smartphones are indeed powerful computers, we believe smartphone screens are not big enough to be used as a main computing device for school purposes.

TASIS teachers have varying opinions on the use of mobile phones in their classes. We ask that students respect each teacher's rules regarding mobile phone use.

Can my student opt out of the BYOD program?

TASIS believes the ability to use technology effectively is part of the modern student’s education, and all MS students are expected to bring a device to school. If you have any concerns about your child’s participation in this program, we urge you to speak with the MS Academic Dean.

Will students be using computers every day, all day long? Don’t they need a break from technology?

While we believe that computers play an essential role in the modern learning experience, we do not see them as the only tools for learning. We want our teachers and students to find the most effective ways to use them, but we are not mandating that computers be used for every task. Paper, pencils, face-to-face conversations, and many other non-technological methods of learning and teaching are valuable, and we encourage everyone to take a balanced approach to get the most out of their education.

How can we purchase a new computer?

If you already own a computer that meets the criteria listed in the answer to the question “Which device should students use,” you do not need to purchase a new computer.

If you do not own a computer or your current computer does not meet the requirements in the section noted above, you can purchase one online at apple.com or visit an Apple retail store or other retailers like Manor or MediaMarkt. You may be able to find discounts at non-Apple retailers, especially on non-current models.

What accessories should we bring?

The only accessory we strongly recommend for a tablet is a case that covers the front and back of the tablet for protective purposes. We have noticed that some students benefit from typing on a physical keyboard, so we recommend determining if this is a good option.

Students should also have an inexpensive pair of headphones or earbuds to use during the school day.

Please note: students should not be using headphones or earbuds at school unless for academic purposes.

Should students have their own Apple IDs?

For students using Apple computers, they should have an Apple ID to download apps and to use iCloud features like Find My, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup. For students under 13 who do not already have an Apple ID, families can use Family Sharing to create a personal Apple ID for the student.

TASIS does not provide Apple IDs to students.

Do students have to pay for required apps?

Students using an iPad do not have to pay for required apps. TASIS uses a mobile device management (MDM) system called Jamf Pro and Apple's Volume Purchasing Program (VPP), which allow us to buy apps in bulk and distribute them to devices enrolled in Jamf Pro.

Information on how to enroll in Jamf Pro is provided at the start of the school year via TASIS email. Students who choose not to enroll in Jamf Pro will have to pay for required apps.

Besides several website subscriptions, TASIS does not provide software for students using laptops or non-Apple tablets.

Can students have non-academic apps on their computers?

Yes. However, they will need to make sure there is enough storage space available to install required academic apps and to store their schoolwork. Students are still expected to adhere to the School’s Technology Responsible Use Policy, found in the MS Student Handbook. In particular, playing video games during the school day—even during breaks—is not permitted.

How should students manage storage space for personal and school use?

TASIS will do its best to limit the number of required apps in order to leave as much space free as possible for content creation and personal use. However, students can do several things to keep space available on their computers:

  • Students can delete apps and games not being used.
  • All students have access to unlimited storage space in Google Drive through their TASIS email account. Any completed work (e.g. essays, videos, presentations) can be uploaded to Google Drive and then deleted from the computer.
  • Photos and videos can take up a lot of space and often aren’t needed on the device after they are used. Students can use online services like Google Drive, Google Photos, or Flickr (website, app) to automatically upload photos and videos and then delete them from the computer*.

*For iOS devices, remember to also delete all photos and videos in the "Recently Deleted" album when freeing up space.

Who will back up the student computers?

Students will be responsible for backing up their computers and should do so each week.

For iPads, students can create backups with iTunes (Mac or Windows) or iCloud.

For all other devices, an external hard drive or online backup service will be required.

What happens if a computer is stolen or damaged?

The first step is prevention. Students are responsible for keeping track of their personal belongings and should avoid leaving valuables unattended in public spaces. Lockers are available to safely store personal items when not in use. TASIS will not be held responsible in the event that any personal items are lost, stolen, or damaged.

In order to identify a lost or stolen computer, it is important that you document the device’s serial number. For Apple computers, iOS and MacOS have a built-in location tracking features called Find My. Windows devices can use Find My Device. Android devices can use Android Device Manager. We strongly suggest all students enable the device locator service on their devices before they are lost or stolen.

We recommend that families purchasing new devices also purchase extended warranty services like AppleCare+, which reduce the repair fee for accidental damage.

What if students forget their computers at home or if the computer is out being repaired?

Similar to other materials like folders and assignments that are left at home, students will be responsible for making sure they bring their computers to school every day. Missed assignments or class work due to a forgotten computer will be handled in the same manner as forgotten paper-based work.

In the case of a computer out for repair or forgotten at home, students can talk to Ms. Bloodworth about checking out a Chromebook for the day.

How should students manage charging their computers?

Typically for modern computers, a full charge is more than enough to get through an entire day of use, so students should fully charge their computers every night to be ready for the next day.

As power outlets are limited and we would like to avoid tripping hazards due to charging cables, please ensure your child brings a fully charged computer to school each day.

Will students be able to print?

One of the opportunities a 1:1 computing program gives us is the ability to use less paper and share work in a digital format. In the case that printed work is needed, students can print at home or email files to themselves to print on a TASIS computer.

I have more questions. Who can I contact to get them answered?

Feel free to contact our MS Academic Dean, Timothy Fitzgerald, with any questions you may have. He can be reached by email at timothy.fitzgerald@tasis.ch or in person during the school day.

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