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Educational Technology & BYOD

Ed Tech2

SHC integrates educational technology into our mission by empowering faculty, staff, and especially students with the knowledge and digital resources to create and collaborate in the modern world. Our IT staff supports effective use of technology while our professional learning supplements our teaching in all disciplines. SHC teachers utilize digital resources to build our students' literacy, critical thinking, communication capacity, programming and design skills, and digital citizenship.

We rely on a robust, campus-wide wireless infrastructure. Our learning management system, Schoology; digital student information system, PowerSchool; Google Workspaces, and a wide array of discipline-specific apps allow students, teachers, counselors, club moderators, coaches, and parents to learn together, exchange information in real time, and communicate in a wide range of digital media.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

SHC’s BYOD program supports the digital skills and self-navigation required by our students' rapidly-changing, complex, global future. SHC's curriculum and infrastructure ask our students to employ a range of technologies to create, evaluate and share information both effectively and ethically.

Minimum System Specifications

Minimum system specifications for our BYOD program are driven by curricular objectives from across the disciplines. SHC students acquire the skills necessary to select and manage digital tools that will empower them in all phases of the learning process, including research, problem solving, content creation, communication and collaboration. Students and families may already have a device that meets these requirements, may upgrade a current device to meet these requirements, or may purchase a new device to meet these requirements. Students are expected to bring their device to school each day.

Minimum Specifications

Note: Chromebooks, iPads, Smartphones and e-readers do not meet minimum specifications (e.g., Kindle, Kindle Fire, Nook, etc.). Recommended and Sufficient designations are the consensus results from student and faculty user surveys. Updated May 2024


Devices that meet the minimum specifications in the table above will function with SHC’s essential educational and communication software systems. Your device needs to be able to connect to our email system: Gmail, Google drive, calendar, etc. It also needs to work with Schoology (including online testing), our Learning Management System. In some cases students will need to spend a small amount of money on software


We strongly recommend that students purchase an extended warranty for their device at the time of purchase. Students can bring their device to the SHC Tech Department for initial diagnosis in the event of malfunction. When appropriate, students will be provided with a loaner device while the family arranges for the repair or replacement of the device. Just like textbooks, notebooks and other tools for learning, the student owns and is ultimately responsible for the upkeep and usefulness of the device.


1. Why “Bring Your Own Device” versus requiring every student to have the same digital device?

Because we integrate wide-ranging platforms including Schoology, PowerSchool, Gmail, and Google Drive, learning at SHC does not rely on a single product. Our students and faculty members utilize many different types of computer tools, and routinely discover new and useful apps and sites. We know that technology evolves and changes at a rapid pace. Locking into a single model has the potential to lock the community into obsolescence.

2. Are students required to bring in a personally owned device, or is this optional?

Students are required to bring in a personally owned device each day in the same way that they are required to bring other learning support materials like textbooks, pencils, notebooks, etc.

3. If a student already owns a device, do they need a new one?

No, as long as the device is functioning properly and is able to meet the minimum hardware requirements, a student may use a device that he/she already owns.

4. Who pays for the devices?

The devices will be purchased and owned by families, just as most textbooks are.

5. What are the minimum hardware system specifications for student devices?

Please see the SHC Minimum Specifications above for more information.

6. Are students expected to use the devices at both school and home?

Yes. One of the goals of BYOD is ubiquitous and continuous access as a way to build information and digital literacy. This means access to the learning tools on a device at home and school. Just as in classes, some homework assignments will require students to use a digital device, while other homework assignments will not.

7. What about students who are unable to afford digital devices?

We will use the same procedures that we have in place to support students who are unable to afford textbooks and other essential school supplies.

8. Are there any recommended and required accessories?

  • An extended warranty is strongly recommended.

  • We recommend theft and hazard insurance (Warranties do not cover abuse, theft, or accidental damage).

  • An external hard drive or access to a cloud storage service like Google Drive, DropBox, etc. for backing up files is recommended (Learning to perform regular backups and how to restore from a backup are important skills in education.)

  • A protective case/sleeve is required. It is also a good idea to use a backpack that has an internal, padded sleeve for protecting the device.

  • A headset or earbuds (for private listening) are required.

9. May students install software on their devices?

Yes. If students have administrative rights to their devices they may install their own applications, provided that such applications do not violate the school’s acceptable use policy. We always recommend running software downloads and updates at home as a way to prevent network congestion and slowdowns.

10. Do students have access to power outlets throughout the day?

Yes! The library has over 70 outlets for students to utilize when working in that space, and SHC will provide two secure charging stations for students on campus. You must bring your device’s power adapter if you would like to make use of the secure charging stations. One secure charging station will be in the library and one will be in the De Paul Campus attendance office. These charging locations will operate in a similar manner to coat check systems.

11. What if a student’s device battery is out of power?

Students are expected to come to school each day with their devices fully charged. If there is a need to connect a device to a charger during class, most classrooms are equipped with power strips for students to use if their battery is running low. Students are expected to use their devices in a way that conserves power so that they are available for use during classes. Students should be sure to charge devices at regular intervals at home as needed.

12. What software do students need on their devices?

  • Many of the tasks that students will perform on a regular basis may be completed with Schoology and the Google suite of tools.

  • A web browser such as Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari is required. Best practices suggest having access to two or more browsers on a digital device.

13. What types of security do you run on SHC’s network?

While we won’t divulge the full extent of our security efforts, we adhere to industry-standard network security practices and protocols, and keep up-to-date on new developments and security threats.

14. What happens if a digital device is lost or stolen?

Theft of devices is a legitimate concern. They are small, expensive, and easy to resell. We suggest that each family check to see if their homeowners or renters insurance will cover the theft of a digital device. It is also a good idea to investigate special insurance from a company such as Safeware or Student Insurance Partners. Some devices, such as the iPad, even have location-finding applications available for free.

If a digital device is stolen, report it to the school immediately and file a report with your local law enforcement agency.

Software is available to help law enforcement officials track the whereabouts of a digital device when it connects to the Internet. You are free to install such software at your own expense.

15. What should students do with digital devices when not in use?

Digital devices should be stored in a locked locker or in one of our designated charging station areas on campus when not being used. (Digital devices may only be stored in the charging stations during school hours but may not be left overnight.) Students should never leave digital devices unattended in open view while on campus. A student may have a friend monitor a digital device while he/she steps away to use the restroom, but he/she should be sure to return immediately.

All digital devices and accessories, including charging cables, need to be clearly labeled with a student’s first name, last name and year of graduation. This will make it easier for devices to be returned if lost. We encourage the use of stickers as a way to visually customize digital devices.

Field sports coaches will share and use best practices for securing student devices and belongings while participating in practices and games.

16. What happens if a digital device breaks?

We recommend that students purchase an extended warranty for their device at the time of purchase. Broken digital devices should be brought to the Tech Department, where an initial diagnosis will be performed. When necessary, students may borrow a device from the library, and it is up to the student to have their device repaired as soon as possible. Students will need to return loaners within two weeks.

17. Are students required to back up their devices?

Students need to have a backup of computer data. For this reason, the Tech Department recommends that students purchase an external hard drive at the same time the device is acquired or use one of the cloud-based applications like Google Drive, Office365 or DropBox as a way to back up data.

Backing up files daily is ideal, but weekly is acceptable. Beyond that, you run the risk of significant data loss.

18. Student backpacks are already too heavy! Adding a device will only make a bad situation worse!

Correct! Most student backpacks are too heavy. But adding a device can actually help alleviate that problem. More and more textbooks are becoming available in electronic form. Depending on the course, students may choose to have a print copy of the textbook at home while bringing the e-copy of the textbook to school each day on a device. Moreover, taking notes on a device can eliminate the need for heavy paper notebooks.

19. Where may students use devices when not in class?

Devices may be used anywhere on campus except the Cathedral, during assemblies or prayer services, and whenever a teacher or staff person instructs them not to use the device. Use of devices at any point during the school day is subject to our Student Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Please reference the SHC Student Handbook for AUP details.

20. Will devices be used in every class?

Whether or not a laptop device is used in class on any given day depends entirely upon your teacher’s judgment about the best tools to use for instruction. Sometimes teachers lecture, while at other times they engage you in discussions, panels, or simulations, ask you to read silently or aloud, work in groups, or go on field trips. A digital device is a very powerful tool for engaging in scholarly work, but it is not the only tool that teachers use to deliver high-quality learning experiences here at SHC.

21. How will students be kept from engaging in inappropriate use of digital devices?
We have high expectations for honorable behavior within our community. Our teachers are among the most engaging and gifted professional educators in the field. The workload for students is significant. Off-task behavior of any kind is often self-correcting. The teacher can also, of course, tell students at any time to “close your device” to be sure that potential distraction is not available.

22. What if students forget their device and need it for class?

Students may borrow devices from the library for short periods of time. IDs will be required.

23. What about printing?

Students may not print from their personally owned devices, but they may print from the library desktop computers according to library policies.

24. Which is better? Mac or PC?

We do not advocate one operating system over another. All have their relative strengths and weaknesses. We would like to emphasize the importance of quality hardware, especially the wireless components in each device selected.

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