Acer Education Project packages strategies, products and skills for BYOD success - Education Matters Magazine
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Acer Education Project packages strategies, products and skills for BYOD success

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The Acer BYOD Education Project is a considerable investment in helping principals transition from the problems that arise when there is little control over what devices are being brought into school IT environments.

Acer Computer Australia has launched its BYOD Education Project that packages guidance for schools and parents on managing the complex Bring Your Own Device issue; a fit-for-purpose product range of devices suitable for the education environment; and the availability of accredited partners to assist institutions with their technology strategies.

With government funding for the Digital Education Revolution ceasing in 2013, schools now encourage students to bring their own devices. The BYOD considerations for schools, universities and TAFEs are significant as the executive, teachers and IT managers attempt to match curriculum outcomes with network requirements and student expectations.

The Acer BYOD Education Project is a considerable investment in helping principals transition from the current problems of ‘Bring Your Own Disaster’ – where there is little control over what devices are being brought into school IT environments – to Bring Your Own Designated Device. BYODD is a structured approach under which schools can set brand, operating system and security specifications.

“Acer’s unique approach to the education sector recognises that schools, universities and TAFEs have very different objectives to businesses and government,” Darren Simmons, Managing Director at Acer Computing Australia, said. “We, and our skilled Authorised Education Partners, understand that technology has to be intelligently implemented to improve the education outcomes of students – that’s the primary goal.”

Parents too are concerned about the cost of providing the best device for their children’s education. The Acer range is affordable, reliable, accessible and powerful.

“We believe the market will give us an A+ for our efforts and achievements,” Simmons said.

What is BYOD?

The term BYOD is an acronym for “Bring Your Own Device”. Quite simply put, this means that a student can bring their own personal or family device (Laptop, Chromebook or Tablet) and connect to their educational institute’s network or internet via Wi-Fi or 3G for the purpose of learning.

The device that a student can bring is subject to the minimum system specifications set by their educational institute, in order to meet the curriculum objectives and technology requirements.

Why BYOD?

With the conclusion of the government-funded Digital Education Revolution (DER) in 2013 and no plans for further funding, educational institutes are looking at ways of continuing with 1-to-1 learning programs.

One of the ways in which education institutes are addressing this challenge is with BYOD programs. Since many households already have devices being used in the home, being able to integrate that technology into the education environment allows better opportunities for a more innovative and effective curriculum.

Benefits of BYOD?

  • Provides students with a personalised learning experience
  • Makes students more engaged and excited to learn
  • Students work together more effectively on class assignments and projects
  • Provides training with software that students will encounter in the workforce
  • Lower cost of course texts

BYOD considerations for your school

What is the curriculum outcome?

  • Year levels, subjects and required software applications
  • General purpose suites, subject specific Apps
  • Classroom management tools

How will you provide Duty of Care?

  • Acceptable usage agreement or pastoral care policies
  • Content filtering and behavioural monitoring
  • Antivirus and malware countermeasures

What are your network requirements?

  • How will you handle the influx of new MAC addresses?
  • Wi-Fi 5Ghz or 2.4Ghz connectivity?
  • Cloud vs local storage and backup consideration

What devices will support the curriculum outcome?

  • Ultrabook, Notebook, Tablet or Chromebook
  • Performance, form factor and battery life
  • Two-year vs three-year device lifecycles

How will it be made affordable and easy?

  • User friendly shopping experience
  • Enterprise vs consumer purchasing experience
  • After hours convenience, home delivery options

How will you protect, maintain and support?

  • School or call centre diagnosis of hardware faults
  • Onsite or mail-in repair options
  • Warranty and accidental damage protection
  • BYOD considerations for parents

Protection and security

While the web can unlock exciting learning opportunities for students, there are some things online that are not safe for the health of your PC like viruses and annoying programs called malware which can slow down your PC or leave it open to cybercrime. Installing strong anti-virus software can put up a shield for your system, lower risk and protect your computer.

Legislative duty of care

Schools have a duty of care towards students when they are at school. This duty is manifested in many ways including:

  • To supervise the students so that they obey the rules
  • To design and implement appropriate rules to ensure the safety of students
  • To ensure that school buildings, its surrounds including equipment and facilities are safe
  • To warn students about dangerous situations or practices including cyberbullying

Acer Education BYOD product offering

With so many computers on offer it can get a little confusing trying to work out which device is which. Acer’s product offering is broken into categories with a brief description of each to help you work out what product is the best fit.

Ultrabooks

Ultrabooks are a category of high-end laptops designed and specified by Intel to have a slim profile, be light to carry, and boast long battery life.

Why an ultrabook?

  • Best combination of mobility and performance
  • Instant resume, less than two seconds from sleep
  • Ultra-thin, less than one inch thick
  • Light weight generally less than 1.5 kilos
  • Long battery life and standby

Notebooks or laptops

Notebooks come in a wide range of sizes and prices depending on the features and performance you need. Some notebooks have added security features and some are built for travel and others are great for everyday mobility.

Why a notebook?

  • Wide range of options to fit any budget
  • Most notebooks have detachable batteries
  • Various screen sizes from 11.6 inches to 15 inches
  • Many have internal optical drives

2 in 1

Acer 2 in 1 devices are a notebook which allows you to detach the screen to use it as a tablet. It is the perfect solution for someone who wants the benefit of having a full keyboard for typing but also want the freedom and mobility that a tablet offers.

Why a 2 in 1?

  • Full qwerty keyboard
  • Power of a notebook, portability of a tablet
  • Detachable screen
  • Active Pen models available

Tablets

Acer tablets are the ultimate in mobility with a wide range of screen sizes and models ranging from everyday use to performance computing. Available in Wondows or Android, a tablet allows better collaboration, sharing and entertainment in one simple device.

Why a tablet?

  • Extreme mobility
  • Models to suit any budget
  • Screen sizes from eight inch to 10 inch
  • Power of a notebook, portability of a tablet

Chromebook

The Acer Chromebook is a mobile device designed for a faster and more secure online experience. It uses web applications and online storage, and does not require traditional installation or anti-virus programs. it boots in a few seconds and offers great battery performance.

Why a Chromebook?

  • Lightweight for ultra-mobility
  • Google services integration
  • Low-cost entry computing
  • Simple web surfing and cloud computing
  • Versatile productivity pool

Why Acer for your BYOD solution?

Acer’s approach to the education market is firstly to recognise that schools, universities and TAFEs have very different objectives to business and government departments. Acer understands that the educational outcome of these organisations is the primary goal and we have built our education program to ensure that Acer and our Acer Authorised Education Partners are able to assist them to meet these goals. We believe that our approach will help them to intelligently implement technology to improve the education outcomes of their students.

We strongly believe that the path to real success in any relationship in based on the understanding and knowledge of the partners involved. This includes schools, universities, TAFEs, students and parents. This knowledge is then used to provide the services necessary to assist our customers to meet their objectives and goals. We call this Our Customer Specific Approach and we believe that this is the reason our customers have made us one of the largest suppliers to the education markets in Australia.