BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy
We require all students to come to school with a functional laptop computer, charged for use during the school day. We are committed to having our students use technology in the classroom to help prepare them for college and the work world.
Our BYOD program respects the diversity of opinion at York. While we don’t require a particular type of hardware or operating system, we do ask that the device run a desktop operating system such as Chrome OS, Windows, OSX, or Linux. The device should also be in the form of a laptop with a keyboard and trackpad.
As always, we stress a balanced approach of technology use for teenagers. These devices provide student access to a seemingly unlimited amount of academic information and creative tools, greatly enhancing the classroom experience. We also recognize the importance of “screen down” time for face-to-face discussion and interaction. At home, we recommend that technology should not interfere with essential sleep. A good strategy is to have devices plugged in outside of the bedroom during sleep time. This allows both the student and device to be well charged for the school day!
York recommends the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 ($329 on Amazon--price subject to change). This computer is our top pick for most York students because of its quality, ease of use, durability, battery life, and price. The touchscreen can be easily converted into tablet mode. The frame is sturdy with quality hardware. There are many other good Chromebooks available as well. We have had very good luck with Acer Chromebooks. Almost all of our loaner Chromebook 11s have lasted over five years of hard use and can be purchased for $200.
Increasingly we have started to discourage parents from purchasing MacOS (Apple) or Windows computers. These computers are expensive to purchase and often expensive to maintain. Because of their high cost, they are also more likely to be stolen or damaged if not protected carefully. In the past, MacOS computers have been very popular, but the technology department at York does not believe they are the best computers for our students. Students may bring MacOS and Windows computers as their BYOD, but the school does not provide repair or maintenance for computers and is not responsible for stolen or damaged laptops. For students who want to use their computers for Adobe Creative Suite or for computer programming, a Windows or MacOS computer may be the right choice.
To facilitate the BYOD process, families may purchase an Acer Chromebook directly from York School at cost ($365 plus shipping and tax).
Windows There are many options on the market for Windows users, but we have found that Windows machines require more maintenance than Chromebooks or Macs, and York is unable to provide tech support for these machines. Windows machines made by Microsoft (such as the Surface) are generally easier to maintain and do not come overloaded with unnecessary 3rd party software. One can easily find an affordable Windows computer, but we advise against it. Chromebooks are the best inexpensive computers for York students.
Tablets - Tablets such as iPads or Android tablets are nice to have as secondary devices, but they are not necessary nor suitable as a student’s primary digital device. We’ve found that mobile operating systems like iOS and Android are great, but do not meet the demands of tasks assigned to our students. The Surface 3 is technically a tablet, but it runs a full version of Windows 10, and for York use, should be purchased with a full keyboard and trackpad.
Smartphones - We love our phones, and students are welcome to bring them to school as long as they don’t distract from our academic program. In fact, with their cameras and microphones, these devices can be used for many academic assignments. That said, they should NOT be a student’s primary digital device. No one should endure writing an entire essay on a smartphone.
Please note that French and Spanish classes require students to interact regularly with an online Flash-based "supersite" - not having Flash on their mobile devices will put students at a distinct disadvantage in these classes.
If you have questions concerning technology, please email Kevin Brookhouser at firstname.lastname@example.org.