A traditional school with a contemporary heart

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in 2024 will apply to students in Year 11, 12 and 13. All students will require their own device in class.

Ours is a blended e-learning approach. We use a blend of traditional approaches to teaching and learning, as well as using ICT to support and facilitate learning. Pen and paper are still used part of the time in BYOD classes.

All students will be required to sign the User Agreement before their device can be used at school. This agreement will be provided to each student electronically, via SchoolBridge, at the beginning of Term 1.

ICT Student Use Agreement

Parents and students may have many questions about the BYOD programme and how it is being implemented at Southland Boys’ High School. The following questions and answers might be helpful in clearing up some of your queries:

Why implement a BYOD programme?

BYOD, where the device is owned by the student and goes home with them every day, allows for anywhere, anytime learning. We are using Office 365 which allows students to save their work to the Cloud so it cannot be lost and can be accessed from home or any other computer with Internet access. Students may collaborate, and teachers can provide feedback to students. As many of our students already use digital devices outside of school to communicate and learn, we see the benefits of integrating these devices with our school resources.

How do I choose an appropriate device?

There are many appropriate devices available, and the school is not prescribing a particular device. However, we do have minimum specifications. If your current device already meets our minimum specifications, your son may use it as their BYOD device.

Why can’t my son use a smartphone as a device?

While smartphones are wonderful for communicating and many short internet searches, the size of the screen makes it unsuitable as a serious tool for learning, and the ability to complete lengthy documents is very limited.


  • Windows or Mac OS
  • Screen size of 11.6 inches or more
  • Battery life: 8-14 hours
  • Keyboard
  • 5GHz Wireless capability - 802.11ac or 802.11ax standard
  • USB Ports
  • Built in camera and sound recording
  • RAM – Minimum of 8GB (16GB is recommended for Digital Technologies and Adobe Suite)
  • Hard Drive - at least 256GB Solid State drive. Please note: Where possible purchasing devices with SSD drives is advantageous as these prove to be more reliable long term and provide faster performance
  • Light enough to be carried around during the day
  • Output capability - ports that are compatible with HDMI Adapter/Mini Display Port Adapter

Along with these we strongly recommend:

  • Preferable Operating System for Windows – Windows 10 or 11
  • Virus protection – e.g. Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender
  • Microsoft Office license – provided free by Southland Boys’ High School while at school
  • Insurance. Southland Boys’ High School is not responsible for damage or loss of the device.

Examples of suggested devices:

The following are examples of devices we suggest:

  • HP 240 G10 N100
  • Lenovo 13w Yoga G2 13.3" Ryzen5
  • HP ProBook 440 G10 i5-1335U 14.0 16GB 256GB
  • Lenovo ThinkPad L14 Gen 3 14" FHD Touch Ryzen7
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 14" FHD i7 16GB
  • Apple Macbook Pro/Air

We do not recommend iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone), Android or Chromebooks. These devices do not have a suitable operating system.

If you are wanting to use your device for senior subjects such as Art, DVC, DT, Media Studies and Music; a device with higher specifications may be required.

Where to purchase a device from:

There are several suppliers you may consider when purchasing a device. Some examples are:

  • Cyclone Computers BYOD directly from their website www.cyclone.co.nz/byod. You can purchase devices that are specifically chosen to meet or exceed the minimum specifications and are listed with an educational discount.
  • The Harvey Norman website http://www.harveynorman.co.nz/computers/laptops/ offers a wide range of laptops and tablets like the HP Stream and Microsoft Surface
  • Apple (NZ) http://www.apple.com/nz/mac/ offers education pricing to university students, parents buying for university students, teachers, lecturers and staff
  • Noel Leeming also offers a wide range of laptops and tablets.

Please note: Cyclone Computers is a NZ owned company. The website features devices that meet the school recommended specifications. This is designed to simplify the purchasing process. SBHS does not profit from any purchases made.

What about software and apps?

The school is using Office 365 as part of our school package. All students will be able to download and install Microsoft Office 365 on up to five supported devices free of charge while they are students at Southland Boys’ High School.

What about the security of the device at school?

Students are responsible for the safety of their devices.

What about families who can’t afford to purchase a device?

Loan devices, HP Lenovos, are available for day-long loan from the Library. Students can pick these up before school between 8.15am and 8.40am and return them at the end of the school day.

How will misuse be handled?

We have a well-developed Pastoral Care system. Device use (cell phone or laptop) in the classroom is always at the discretion of the teacher. Instances of serious misuse of devices, such as accessing inappropriate websites or cyber bullying, will be taken very seriously and dealt with accordingly. While much of cyber bullying occurs out of school time, it should still be brought to our attention at any time as we will certainly do whatever we can to support the victim.

What is my son responsible for at school?

Using all ICT according to our responsible user agreement: (View ICT Student User Agreement)

  • Displaying digital citizenship.
  • Following the teachers’ instructions around the use of devices.
  • Charging the device at home.
  • Saving work and backing up to the Cloud.
  • Safe keeping of the device when not in use.
  • Carrying the device in his/her school bag from class to class.
  • Ensuring that the device is divided into “school space” and “personal space”.

What about cyber safety?

Our ICT Student User Agreement sets the expectations for students and parents. Every student is required to:

  • be a confident and capable user of information and communication technology (ICT)
  • be responsible whenever and wherever they use technology and support others by thinking carefully about the information they see online, and always using ICT to communicate with others in positive, meaningful ways
  • report to an adult if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable online or see a friend being unsafe or being made to feel uncomfortable by others and help others become better digital citizens

We will spend time discussing Cybersafety and Digital Citizenship as part of our teaching programme, but it is important that parents take an active part in the discussions about Cybersafety and ethical use of digital technologies with young people. Students need to tell a teacher/dean and/or parent/caregiver when they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened online. If parents have any concerns about internet safety contact the Dean or visit http://www.netsafe.org.nz.

Filtering Software:

We have an N4L Firewall in place at Southland Boys’ High School. N4L is a government owned company which helps schools create a safer online environment for staff and students by providing a layer of defense between students and internet-based threats. Schools remain in control of what happens on the internet by tailoring their web filtering setup to meet their own specific needs. This protection means we can allow new applications onto our network, but automatically block any malicious content or behaviour. We also will have the capability to generate reports on student use and access of the internet.

Sites for student use at school will be facilitated through the school’s intranet. Other sites that fall under the category of ‘mature and explicit content’, are blocked. It must be noted however that students who use their own data on devices such as smart phones still have full access to the internet. While we have a comprehensive filtering system, we are aware that there is a multitude of software available that can allow students to bypass this, so we see the accessing of inappropriate material as a student decision, and we hope that parents take an educational approach to this.


Please consider warranty and insurance options carefully. The excess can often vary between providers and should be an important consideration. Cyclone offer an insurance without excess, which is much better than most standard house and content insurances. Provident Material Damage Insurance sold by Cyclone is effective from the purchase date of your device, and will expire in accordance to your specific insurance terms and conditions.

Cyclone’s policy covers accidental damage, some theft, burglary, fire and loss for up to 3 years. New Zealand cover only and must be purchased with the device.

Full policy wording is found here: https://www.cyclone.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Cyclone-Provident-Material-Damage-Policy-Aug-19.pdf


If you have any BYOD queries, please contact our Deputy Principal, Julia Shannon: [email protected].