Preparing Boys for Life.

BYOD Program

Welcome to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) web page. This page offers information about our BYOD program, including FAQs, student policies, and other helpful resources. If you have further questions about our BYOD program, please contact the Upper School Office.


BYOD stands for "bring your own device." The Haverford Upper School's Student Device program requires that every student bring to school each day a portable digital computer for use as an organizational tool, a research portal, and a collaboration platform under the direction of a teacher or administrator.

Already ubiquitous in the social lives of our students, technology is becoming an increasingly essential component of their professional (i.e. school) lives as well. Your son uses technology as an in-school work management tool and as a means of communicating and collaborating, unimpeded by the confines of time and space, with classmates, teachers, and experts in the field.

As we move away from hard copy textbooks and toward a blended model of e-books, open-source resources, and teacher-generated content, easy and quick access to a computing device will only become more important. And ultimately, emerging technologies may also offer teachers new opportunities to provide timelier feedback to each boy, collect data about his learning experience, and use what he or she has learned from it to tailor curricula to individual needs. We are excited to capitalize on these and other opportunities on behalf of your son.

Access to personalized devices will provide the capability and resources that will enable students to exercise the 5 C's of 21st Century Learning:

Curate, Collaborate, Contemplate, Create and Champion

Among the many benefits, we believe that the BYOD program:

  • Makes possible a 21st Century classroom
  • Fosters student ownership of their own learning
  • Allows real-time access to a greater amount of information
  • Creates a smooth transition between home and school
  • Provides easier student access to online instructional materials
  • Supplements school resources and equipment
  • Facilitates communication and collaboration

Device Requirements

Recommended Hardware Specifications

Note: A device purchased in the last two years will most likely satisfy the following hardware requirements.

Most of The Haverford School’s software is web-based and will run on nearly all types of hardware. However, for best results, we recommend the following:

Laptop - PC or Mac

  • CPU - Dual/Multi-Core Processor, 2GHz or higher
  • Memory - 4 GB or more
  • Hard Drive - 250 GB or more
  • USB - multiple USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports
  • Video - Video Card with 128 MB or more
  • Wireless - minimum 802.11n/ac
  • Operating System - Windows 10 or Mac OS X
  • Keyboard – Full-size keyboard
  • Battery - Recommend extended battery or backup battery if possible

Other acceptable devices

  • Chromebook - Chromebooks are laptop computers made by many vendors (including Samsung, Acer, HP) that meet all of the school's requirements for a student device, and cost approximately $200-$400.
  • Tablet (Android, iPad, Windows) - Today's tablet computers sport touchscreens ranging in size from 7-13" that allow input via a stylus or your finger. We recommend 13-15” screen, with 11” as minimum. NOTE: The use of an external keyboard is required should you opt to use a tablet device.
Network Access Requirements

Devices MUST have the following versions of operating systems in order to connect to The Haverford School wireless network (WPA2 802.11):

  • Windows 10 or higher
  • Mac OS X
  • iPad iOS 10.0 or later
  • Chromebook OS 57.0 or later
Recommended Antivirus Software

Access to the School’s network requires the installation of antivirus software. A list of free antivirus programs can be found in the Software & Codecs section below.

BYOD Policies

Loaner Policies

If a student inadvertently leaves his computer at home or his computer is being serviced, he can check out a short-term loaner at the front desk of Severinghaus Library. Families for whom purchasing a computer is a financial hardship may contact the Upper School office at 484-417-2750; the School has a limited supply of long-term loaners that it can lend to students.

Software & Codecs

Recommended Software & Codecs

Downloading and installing the following software and codecs as applicable to your device is strongly recommended
Adobe Flash Player Download >
Many web sites use the Flash codec to process Flash media/video content.

Adobe Shockwave Player Download >
Shockwave is a codec used on many interactive sites, including educational game sites.

Java Runtime Download >
Java offers many features, including secure computing, online gaming, communication, and more.

Microsoft Silverlight Download >
Silverlight is a powerful development tool for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web and mobile applications.

Adobe Air Download >

Java offers many features, including secure computing, online gaming, communication, and more.

Additionally, MS Office and Logger Pro are recommended for select science courses.

Antivirus software
Access to the School’s network requires the installation of antivirus software. Below are several free options; students also are welcome to purchase their own preferred antivirus software.

Avast! Antivirus Download >
Avast! Home is a free antivirus program that will protect against viruses and spyware (for Windows, Mac, and Android Mobile).

AVG Antivirus Download >
AVG is a popular free antivirus program that will protect against viruses and spyware (for Windows and Android Mobile).

Malware Bytes Download >
Malware Bytes is a popular anti-spyware program that helps protect your device from malicious software and web sites (for Windows and Windows Mobile).

Internet browsers

Chrome Download >
We strongly recommend the use of the Chrome browser, especially when using Google Apps.

Firefox Download >
Firefox is a popular, alternative browser that supports extensions and add-ons.

Safari Download >
Safari is native to the Mac OS.

Suggested tools

Google Apps
Students should know, and be prepared to use, their Haverford School Google Mail and Drive accounts. New students attending orientation will receive their account information at that time; students not attending orientation will receive their account information during the first week of school.

Some version of an Office Suite
  • Microsoft Office - Microsoft Office 365 is available for PC and Mac to all Upper School students. Login here with Haverford network credentials.
  • Pages, Numbers and Keynote - (Mac only)
  • LibreOffice is an open-source alternative
  • Evernote - Can be downloaded and installed by student
  • OneNote - Part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite
File Management


Why "BYOD" versus requiring every student to have the same digital device?

The Haverford School's BYOD is in keeping with the best interest of our students and aims to enrich our academic curriculum. It reflects a perspective about students as independent learners who use their own tools in their own way.

Under our close supervision, the devices will be used to access information, and to communicate, create and publish well-crafted products, to collaborate unconfined by the limits of time and space. Students will develop an individual competency with their hardware and software and is so doing, emerge as the third, most essential component of working with technologies...the "humanware."

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 specifications listed above, a student may use a device that he already owns. More than half of our students already bring personal computing devices to school on a daily basis.

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. It is not optional.

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 literacy. This means access to the learning tools on a device at home and school. Some homework assignments will require students to use a digital device, while others will not.

Will devices be used in every class?

Your son will most likely use his device as a work management tool (tracking assignments, word processing, web research, calendaring, etc.) on a daily basis. However, whether or not a personal computing device is used in class on any given day depends entirely upon your teacher's judgment about the best tools to use for instruction. At various times, your son’s teachers lecture, engage in discussions, panels, or simulations, ask him to read silently or aloud, work in groups, go on field trips, or engage in technology-enhanced lessons. 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 at Haverford.

Is there a plan to teach students what is and isn't appropriate to do in school?

All students will be required to complete an online course in digital citizenship. In addition, it is important for all staff (and parents) to teach students how to be a good digital citizen when using devices. You can learn more about acceptable use in the BYOD Policy, above.

Will students receive any special workshops or orientation on how to use their computers?

One of the advantages of a BYOD program is that students are already familiar with their own machines. However, each Form III student will be required to come to Haverford before school begins on Tuesday, September 2 for a variety of orientation activities. Information and instruction on how his device interfaces with his life at school will be integrated into the orientation sessions.

Will teachers be responsible for troubleshooting and fixing students’ devices?

Teachers are not responsible for getting student devices up and running. Students are to be the experts of their own devices, or they can help one another.

Will students be able to print from their own devices?

Yes. Haverford provides options for student printing and instructions will be provided to students. This said, we expect there to be less need for printing as more assignments are handed in electronically.

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

What happens if student forgets a textbook? Or an assignment that is due that day? This is a problem that will be handled according to each teacher's policy. You should not rely on being able to use a Tech Department loaner computer, as students who need a loaner while their own computer is being fixed take top priority, and often there are not enough laptops left for students who forgot their computers elsewhere.

What happens if my son’s device is lost, stolen, or broken?

Haverford has never had a laptop stolen out of a school-provided secured student locker. It is up to the student to decide when to secure their device in his locker, and students who carelessly leave their devices out may return to find those devices missing. We believe strongly in the Haverford compass which includes honesty and respect (for one’s self and for others) but also includes responsibility.

Haverford will not warranty or repair any student-owned device. Repair, replacement, or substitution is the responsibility of the student and his or her family. The school will, for a limited time only, provide a student with a loaner device to make repairs or procure a replacement device, but extended loans will not be permitted.

For student devices in harsh environments (backpacks, buses, etc.) we strongly recommend families investigate warranty and replacement programs. Most vendors offer warranties on new devices, but families should be careful to select a warranty that covers accidental damage rather than simply mechanical failure due to defect. Comprehensive warranties that include accidental damage (cracked screens, spilled liquids, shattered cases, missing keys) cost more, but enable the device to be replaced or repaired quickly, often without additional cost.

Students who are financially responsible for their own device will take more care to protect it from harm or damage. That said, accidents can happen to even the most responsible device owner.

I don't have a laptop computer. How do I get one and how much will it cost?

Computers can be purchased at any big box electronics store or online. Models that meet our minimum capacity requirements can run from as little as $200 to as much as $1,200.

Who is paying for the devices?

The devices will be purchased and owned by families.

I can't afford a (another) computer! Whom should I contact?

Families that cannot afford a computer should contact the Upper School Office.

I have another son attending Haverford. Can they share a computer?

No. Just as you are expected to provide your own textbooks, pencils, or calculator, each student is expected to have his own computer.

Will I need to have wireless internet access at home?

No, you don't need wireless Internet access at home, but you should have some type of Internet access.

What about the students who do not have internet at home?

Students who do not have internet access at home should contact the Upper School Office.

What about software that's licensed by Haverford? Can you install it on my computer?

Most software licenses only permit installation of software on computers owned by the school. This is why we recommend the use of free, open source software. In the event that a particular program is a required, your classroom teacher will provide you with instructions.

What if my computer battery is out of power?

We anticipate that not every class will use an electronic device in a lesson every day. Considering today's electronic device battery technology, the device's battery charge should be sufficient for lessons requiring use of the device throughout the day.

You are expected to come to school each day with your laptop computer fully charged. If you need to connect your laptop to a charger during class, most classrooms are equipped with power strips for students to use if their battery is running low, but a few classrooms and spaces on campus do not have plentiful outlets and power strips for charging.

You are expected to use your computer in a way that conserves power so that it is available for use during your classes. If you are using your computer, especially for energy intensive tasks like streaming video, during free periods, you run the risk of depleting the batteries and not having enough power for class. Make sure to charge your laptop at regular intervals as needed.

Where can I use my computer when I am not in class?

Laptop computers can be used anywhere on campus except the Dining Hall during lunches. All computer use—in and out the the classroom—is subject to our BYOD policy and our school Honor Code.

Can I listen to music on my computer?

Yes, but not during class unless you are asked to do so by your teacher. Earbuds or headsets should always be used whenever listening to computer audio, unless you are directed to do otherwise by your teacher. You should take care to keep volume at a moderate level to not only protect your own hearing but to also be sure the sound is not distracting to others. You can learn more about acceptable use in the BYOD Policy.

Are there any recommended accessories?

1. An extended warranty (costs to repair a laptop computer can be high)

2. Theft and hazard insurance (warranties do not cover abuse, theft, or accidental damage)

3. External hard drive for backing up files (learning to perform regular back-ups and how to restore from a backup are very important skills)

4. Additional AC power adapter (in case you want to have one at school and one at home) and high capacity battery if available

5. Headset or earbuds (for private listening)

6. Protective laptop computer sleeve or backpack with a computer compartment (to better protect the device)

7. Microfiber cleaning cloth to remove fingerprints from the screen