What is BYOD?
Learning in a digital age is no longer restricted by time, place, space, or pace. As technology becomes ubiquitous, everywhere, all the time, and integral to life and learning, schools need to adapt to empower students. To develop 21st century learners, pedagogy must shift to student-centred learning. The role of students becomes one of taking responsibility for their learning and the role of the teacher switches to the activator, who utilises self-paced and customisable learning experiences that occur both in and out of the classroom.
A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program facilitates these new pedagogies for 21st Century learning. It is a term used to describe a digital device ownership model where students can use their personally-owned devices to access Department of Education Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Network.
This means that students will own, control, and have personal responsibility for the computer that they use at school and at home. To provide the best access to available resources, and to harness the greatest potential for learning, Pine Rivers SHS requires devices brought to school for our BYOD program to meet a minimum set of specifications. Pine Rivers SHS will provide necessary school-owned curriculum resources, printing, and filtered Internet access for use on-campus.
2020 marks the fifth year of BYOD at Pine Rivers SHS. All students are expected to have a Windows or Apple Mac device that meets the minimum specifications listed below.
What device do students need?
Student subject choices and interests should be considered when deciding what laptop (or any upgraded hardware components) to buy. Some subject-specific software may require upgraded specifications or a particular operating system.
If your student wishes to run software such as
Adobe Creative Cloud or
Autodesk Inventor on their laptop, consider upgrading the Storage (256GB) & Memory (8GB). Increasing the specifications of the laptop will provide better performance over a longer period of time, depending on individual usage.
Further information about subject-specific software and recommended hardware upgrades can be obtained by contacting the Pine Rivers State High School Information Services department by emailing
|Device Type (OS)||Windows 8 or 10 or macOS 10.12 or newer|
|Screen Size||10" or larger|
|Memory (RAM)||4GB (8GB Recommended)|
|Storage ||128GB (SSD Recommended)|
|Networking (Wi-Fi)||Dual-band Wireless (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz AC)|
|Battery ||All day battery life (6 hours minimum)|
We do not allow Chromebooks or iOS or Android devices|
Where can I find a device?
Pine Rivers SHS has negotiated with several vendors to develop a range of devices and purchasing options for parents. Devices offered on these portals meet the school's minimum specifications. Extended 3 year warranty and on-site repairs are packaged with some of the offered devices on the portals. The school does not endorse or recommend any particular brand of device and parents are free to purchase from any vendor of their choice.
How can students protect their device?
Students are responsible for the security, integrity, insurance, and maintenance of their personal devices and their private network accounts. This includes taking care of and securing the device and accessories in accordance with school policy and guidelines. Responsibility for loss or damage of a device at home, in transit, or at school belongs to the student. Advice should be sought from insurance providers in relation to private device inclusion in home and contents insurance policy.
Cases and insurance
Laptops are expensive technical devices, and they do break down, and can be damaged, especially in the hands of teenagers.
It is recommended that all BYO devices have some form of protective casing. This will minimise the likelihood of damage as students travel to and from school.
Heavily padded or semi-rigid pouches and bags capable of withstanding impact are most effective.
It is strongly advised that accidental damage and warranty policies are discussed at the point of purchase to minimise financial impact and disruption to learning should a device become inoperable. Advice should be sought regarding inclusion in home and contents insurance or other accidental damage protection policies.
Due to the configuration of some network resources within Department of Education's ICT Network, most modern antivirus software packages can interfere or disrupt access to required learning resources.
As our network is heavily monitored and protected by a dedicated team of network engineers at a state level, we recommend not paying for antivirus software, but using the standard Windows Defender antivirus software, as this has proven to allow enough flexibility to support the Department of Education network, while also providing sufficient protection from malware and other threats.
If you feel the need to further protect your student's devices whilst off-site, we have also identified the following antivirus software as viable for use inside the network:
- Malwarebytes ('freemium' - basic protection is free, but some added features are paid)
- Norton Antivirus (Paid, student discount pricing available
The Department of Education and Pine Rivers State High School have negotiated volume licensing arrangements and/or discount programs available for a variety of software programs and applications required over the course of their high school learning.
Any other software installations (not listed below) are the sole responsibility of the student or parent. Valid licenses are required for any software or media present on your device. Pine Rivers State High School takes no responsibility for any penalty or legal action resulting from copyright infringement action due to unlicensed software or media present on student-owned devices.
Microsoft Office 365 (free for students)
All state-school students from Prep to Year 12 can download the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus suite using their Department of Education email address. This is available for home PCs and MacOS devices, and to BYOD laptops. The Microsoft Office suite as provided by the Department of Education is mandatory to use and download due to the use of shared features which are restricted to only be opened by student accounts. You are
not required to purchase your own copy of Microsoft Office.
Autodesk for Education is available for free from
Autodesk's Education Portal. Students can create an account with their Department of Education username, and obtain a 3-year license. If a student requires longer than three years (i.e. Junior students), this license can be renewed.
- Inventor Pro
- And others.
Microsoft Windows 10
If your student is running a Linux distribution or macOS and requires access to Windows-specific programs for their classes, students have access to a single-use free license to Microsoft Windows 10 Education. For more information, see IT in the Pine Rivers State High School Library during break times or
Microsoft Visual Studio: Community Edition
Visual Studio Community Edition is a free version of the application which students can use for learning and assessment purposes. The software is available for Windows and macOS and can be downloaded from the Visual Studio Website. Students can see the IT Techs if they would like assistance with the process.