Bring Your Own Device – FAQ

Information for Prospective and Current Students

Northern College requires all full time students to have and use their own laptop computer. Course materials are posted online and many courses use online tests, or require students to submit their assignments online through the College’s Learning Management System. The College’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program is mandatory for all first and second year students. BYOD is about flexible learning in the classroom that provides access to the tools and resources previously unavailable to all students. Whether engaging in virtual e-classroom sessions, or doing on-the-fly research in a lecture, BYOD changes the way you can learn.

Bring Your Own Device Policy (PDF, 57.5 KB)

Why is Northern pursuing a BYOD initiative?
Education all over is changing to meet technology advances. By setting up an environment where learners can have access to the tools and resources that technology can bring to the classroom, we are changing the way you can learn and interact with your classmates and professors.

Connect to the College Network
Access applications from without having to purchase or install* everything on your own computer. Enjoy cost-savings and flexibility by purchasing e-texts** that go with you on your laptop to the classroom. Enhanced college-wide wireless access. Access Blackboard Learn, the college learning management system to connect to the information and materials posted by professors from your laptop.

What will happen if I don’t have a laptop on the first day of classes?
We understand that some students may not arrive with a laptop for a variety of reasons. Just as with book purchases and other required equipment, faculty are always mindful of potential delays for the first few weeks of classes and will adjust course delivery accordingly when possible.

What if I can’t afford to buy a laptop?
If you are an OSAP student, you are assessed a $500 technology hardware allotment. If you are a sponsored student, you will need to provide the cost of a laptop to your sponsor so that it may be considered as part of your overall assessment and funding. Consider the cost of a laptop as you would the need for textbooks. Students may also be eligible for several different bursaries at Northern.

Will all my classes use a computer as part of instruction?
The use of a laptop in the classroom will be at the discretion of the professor teaching the course as well the nature of the course. For example, it may not be conducive for students in a shop environment to use a laptop for courses that have significant hands-on requirements, but the same student may find him or herself using their laptop significantly more in a Communications course, for example.

What kind of technical support will Northern provide?
Northern College Information Technology Services (ITS) will provide limited technical support for personal devices. This support will be limited to assisting with accessing network resources through Citrix, and any required software installations.

Do I have to pay for software license and installations?
No. All software you will require for your program will be provided. With some exceptions, all software titles will be available on the college network and will not need to be locally installed**. **Local program installs required for: Civil Engineering Technology; Construction Engineering Technician-Building Management; Building Inspection Technician; Mechanical Engineering Technician; Mining Engineering Technician

What happens if my computer is unavailable or out for repairs?
It is your responsibility to make sure your computer is in good working order and available for use during classes. We do, however, understand that unforeseen circumstances arise that may put your computer out of operation for a day or so. Short-term laptop loans are available through the Library Resource Centres. You will be required to present your valid student ID card in order to check out a loaner laptop. Unreturned and/or damaged loaner laptops will be charged to student accounts which much be reconciled before transcripts and diplomas are issued.

How do I keep my laptop secure while on campus?
It is recommended that you purchase insurance for your laptop during the school year. This insurance should cover theft, accidental damage (drops), fire and water damage. You may be able to purchase additional coverage at the time of purchase from the vendor or may go through a personal insurance broker. On-campus students have the option of renting a locker for personal belongings while on campus. Please be advised, that Northern is not responsible for any lost or stolen items or damage that occurs to personal property kept in lockers. It is recommended that students keep their devices with them at all times while on campus.

Can I bring a tablet or smartphone instead of a laptop?
No. All programs have laptops listed as the minimum hardware requirement. You are however, welcome to bring other devices to campus providing you also have a laptop that meets your program’s hardware standards.

Do I need any other accessories for my laptop?
You should have access to earphones so that you may use your device without disturbing others. If you are participating in a course that is hosted online through Blackboard Collaborate or Contact North’s Saba Centra software, you will also need a headset/mic combination. You can even use the earbuds with in-line microphones that come with many popular smartphones.

Will I be able to print from my device at the college?
Yes. You will be able to connect to a print utility that will allow you to print wirelessly to select campus printers.

What else should I know about BYOD at Northern?
You should read and become familiar with the Northern College BYOD policy. When you connect to the network, you will be required to accept the terms and conditions outlined in the policy before gaining access. By signing onto the network, you are agreeing to abide by college policies including the BYOD, Network Security, and Acceptable Use policies. If you are found in breach of these and other college policies, your network access will be terminated.

Device Requirements (BYOD)