Sunnyvale ISD BYOD Program

BYOD Program FAQ

Why is there a need for every student to have a device?

  • Our goal is not to have students on technology all of the time or even most of the time. We actually encourage our teachers to use a variety of instructional activities including paper and discussion-based activities that require no technology at all.  But we also do not want our students to be limited in the learning opportunities they have access to. Therefore, by each student having a device, they are prepared to take advantage of opportunities to express their learning in various ways including presentations, videos, and writing, as well as utilizing the various district provided digital resources that are designed to support and enhance their learning. 

Why is there a $30 fee?

  • The $30 fee is a rental fee for use of the district device for the 2021-2022 school year.  This fee is a standard fee that is in line with many other 1:1/Bring your own device programs of this nature in other districts. 

What does the $30 rental fee go toward?

  • The $30 fee will go toward the repair and replacement of our district's devices. In the event that your student's device is lost or damaged this $30 rental fee will be credited toward the applicable fees. These fees can be found at https://www.sunnyvaleisd.com/Page/9432

Why do only 6th-12th grade students have to pay the $30 fee?

  • Due to the nature of learning in 6th-12th grades, students will need to take their devices with them to classes and back and forth between home and school. Students in K-5 will receive a district device but theirs will remain in charging carts at the school. 

What is a Chromebook?

  • A Chromebook is a laptop device that runs Chrome OS. Basically what this means is that it only runs the Chrome browser and in order to use the Chromebook you must have a Google account. Fortunately, we are a Google Apps for Education district so each student in Sunnyvale ISD is issued a Google account, even though the email ends in @sunnyvaleisd.net .

    Because Chrome OS is so simple the devices are much more affordable as the hardware requirements are not as high as with a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. This also means they load much faster though as well. 

    Even with this simplistic OS they still do everything a student needs as many programs are web-based now. So students can do everything from access Google Drive and Docs to complete schoolwork all the way to editing videos and photos. 

Are all Chromebooks the same?

  • Chromebooks in each price range are basically the same. However, we have had great experiences with Asus and Lenovo brand Chromebooks.

    As you go up in price range you gain certain features. They are not necessary but may things you want your students to have access to.

    Additional Features(not on all models but generally seen on mid-priced to higher-end models)

    • Touch screen
    • Ability to fold into a tablet
    • More RAM. This is the memory used to run programs. The more RAM the more programs a device can run and the faster it can do it. Since a Chromebook only runs the Chrome browser this is not really necessary.
    • More storage. Your student gets unlimited storage on their school Google account so this is not really a necessary upgrade either. 

I am purchasing a device for my 3rd through 12th grade student. What are some key things I need to look for?

    • Mac/Windows vs. Chromebook
      • If your student just does their coursework, watches videos, and does basic photo and video editing a Chromebook will suffice.
      • If your student is in to video/graphic design, programming, or engineering you may want to consider a Mac or Windows laptop but it is not required.
    • RAM - This is the memory that a computer uses to launch and run programs. The more RAM the more a computer can do at once as well as doing it all smoother and faster
      • Minimum Ram Requirements
        • Chromebook
          • 4GB RAM
        • Windows/Mac
          • 8G of RAM
          • If your student is in to video/graphic design, programming, or engineering you may want to consider a model with 16G of RAM
    • Solid State Drive(SSD) - If you are buying a Windows or Mac Laptop for you student ensure it has an SSD Hard Drive. We'll save you the technical jargon. Just trust us that this will make your experience with the device exponentially better.
    • Storage Requirements
      • Chromebook
        • Typically they come with 32GB Hard drives but this is not that important as your student will store everything in the cloud on Google Drive and they have unlimited storage there.
      • Windows/Mac
        • Mininum of 128GB
        • If your student is in to video/graphic design, programming, or engineering you may want to consider a model with 256GB or even 500GB of storage
    • Battery Life
      • Ideally you want a minimum of 8 hours
      • If you are purchasing a Windows laptop or Chromebook we encourage you to read the reviews about the battery life to ensure the performance matches the specs in the sales listing.