Devices for eLearning - BYOD
The use of Microsoft Teams for Education in the European Schools, the advent of online classes, and the recent introduction of GeoGebra have by now made it necessary to equip pupils with laptops or tablets. EEBI is currently in the pilot phases of its ‘bring-your-own-device’ or BYOD programme with the aim to foster students' digital skills and competencies. In 2021-2022 the school requires all S5 and S6 students to bring devices to school for use in maths and physics classes. Importantly, mobile phones do not meet the requirements for this project.
Note: Teachers may ask S1-S4 students to use devices in class for particular tasks, but there is currently no fixed requirement for S1-S4 students to bring devices to school.
Any specification of laptop will support GeoGebra and the basic functions of Office 365 so there is no need to run out and purchase a new device if you already have one. Our advice if/when you do decide to purchase a new laptop or tablet is to buy one with Windows 10 or 11, as Chromebook, Linux and Android do not support the school’s Office 365 suite well. MacOS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer is also suitable.
As a rule, the more you pay, the faster and the better equipped the product will be, and we recommend:
- 4 GB RAM for laptops and convertibles (at least 2 GB for tablets)
- 128 GB SSD, at minimum available memory of 32 GB
- both WiFi and Bluetooth (at least 3.0) connectivity
- minimum one USB-A port, or integrated USB-C port with adaptor for USB-C to USB-A
- a minimum 11” and maximum 13.5” screen for portability (though as small as 9” may be used)
- a resolution of no less than 1080p for laptops (720p is possible but may hinder work)
- at least one camera
- touchscreen (ideally with stylus pen for a tablet or convertible device)
- a weight that does not exceed 1.2 kg
- a battery life that covers the school day, normally 4 or 6 cells, 50 Wh (30 Wh is enough for smaller devices)
- consider a convertible tablet/laptop for increased portability
Note: these are not hard and fast requirements, but simply APEEE recommendations when purchasing a new device to ensure maximise usability while also maintaining portability. For students with an intensive support agreement in place, the relevant special arrangements should also be applied.
Additional information on the European School and EEBI policies and minimum requirements for BYOD and GeoGebra can be found in:
- Guidelines for the pedagogical use of mobile devices in the European Schools (2020-01-D-14, v.2; April 2020) - EN / FR / DE (see in particular Annex 4)
- A digital tool for teaching learning and assessment in mathematics and sciences (2020-01-D-76, v.2; February 2020) - EN / FR / DE (see in particular Annex 1)
- EEBI Communication of 8-9 December 2020 - EN / FR
The school provides Office 365 including Microsoft Teams for free. GeoGebra is also available for free to be downloaded as a client on the device. In addition, there are several free anti-virus programmes which have a good reputation, for example AVAST; Norton is not recommended as it affects battery life.
Suppliers of Devices
The Rent Company
EEBI works with the supplier the Rent Company to provide a package for students and families. The Rent Company is currently offering three “student-proof” models from Dell:
- Dell Latitude 3120 2-in-1, 11.6” touchscreen convertible
- Dell Latitude 3310, 13” touchscreen laptop
- Dell Latitude 3520, 15” non-touch laptop
All models are available for purchase or rent (with a choice of three different monthly payment schemes, depending on the duration of the contract) through the Rent Company's Easy4U subscription and security package. Under Easy4U, the company works with the school administration to ensure that if there is a problem, a replacement device is immediately available while the device is sent to the Rent Company for repair; once repairs are complete, the student is notified and can pick up the device at school. To take advantage of the Easy4U package, students must be in Belgium during the duration of the coverage. If students leave Belgium, the deposit is lost.
In the first phase, only AZERTY and QWERTY keyboard configurations are offered to make possible timely delivery (though more configurations are planned for later phases). Read more to find out details about the current models and delivery options:
The Rent Company EEBI Brochure (EN) | The Rent Company EEBI Brochure (FR)
Or proceed straight to the:
The Rent Company EEBI Web Shop
The APEEE worked with Inforgix for its earlier Laptops-for-eLearning project, but currently we do not recommend that families purchase new devices from this supplier due to their extended delivery delays and inadequate communication and follow-through with families. We nevertheless continue to provide their contact details for those who have already purchased devices from them: byod-school.eu
It is not obligatory to purchase or rent from the Rent Company; neither the school nor the APEEE have fixed obligations with the company nor do we receive any particular benefit. It is simply an option suggested to parents and students. A student may choose to use a current family device or may purchase a device with an AZERTY keyboard from various local retailers such as Coolblue.be, Fnac, MediaMarkt and Vanden Borre. Devices with QWERTY keyboard can be purchased at Coolblue.nl or amazon.co.uk. Devices with other language keyboards can generally be purchased only in the specific country/ies.
As of the school year 2021-2022, GeoGebra replaces the scientific calculator for S5 and S6 students. Thus, a device to run GeoGebra is required in the classroom. The device must be provided by the students/parents, who are also responsible for downloading and installing the required version of GeoGebra and checking that it works on the device. More about the decision to use GeoGebra can be found in A digital tool for teaching, learning and assessment in Mathematics and Sciences (2020-01-D-76, v.2) (PDF version above). Note: specific rules for the use of devices with GeoGebra in exam conditions are still awaited.
Students/parents are likewise fully responsible for the care of device itself, in other words for its functioning (full battery, etc.), safety and security. Each student should arrive to school with a charged battery that is sufficient to last through the school day. Neither the school nor the APEEE provide IT support, nor can they be held liable for any losses or accidents related to students' devices. Special service and security deals may be available from suppliers.
The school is responsible for the maintenance of the WiFi network allowing students to carry out classroom work, studying and communication and collaboration online across the school campus. A WiFi access code is given to each student for this purpose. The school also provides students with credentials for Office 365 and parents with credentials for the School Management System (SMS); it offers IT support for these accounts. Finally, the school supplies replacement devices and facilitates repair for students subscribed in the Rent Company's Easy4U package (see above).
Note: All use of devices/peripherals on campus as well as any use of the internal network or Internet in the school fall under the school's ICT Charter. We encourage all families to familiarise themselves with the Charter and to ensure that students are informed about the General Rules of Good Behaviour listed therein. As a rule, students are required to keep devices silent during lessons. When devices are explicitly required for classroom activities, they should be used offline unless specified by the teacher for that particular task.