Access to Technology for Your Son or Daughter

Access to Technology for Your Son or Daughter - 2016

In recent years, the College has been investigating the concept of all students in years 7 -12 bringing their own computing devices to school.

Experience has shown that students using their own device enjoy significant educational benefits by having immediate access to this technology when and where it is required.

These benefits include:

  • immediate access to information and learning resources on the internet
  • the ability to efficiently communicate with their teachers
  • the ability to receive and submit educational material electronically.

At the same time that these benefits have expanded, the cost of this technology has steadily decreased. As a consequence of these developments, the decision has now been reached that

All students in all Year Levels 7-12 will be required to bring their own personal computing device to school commencing 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of device would be required?
In 2016 Year 7 and 8 students are required to have an iPad (minimum specification iPad 2)

Students in years 9-12 are required to have a computing device which is capable of accessing the Internet (through the College network or otherwise) and has a reasonable sized screen (a phone is not considered suitable).

The actual size and configuration of a student's device in Years 9-12 is a personal choice.

Factors which might be taken into consideration when making this choice include:

  • What computing equipment the student already owns
  • What computing equipment the student has access to at home
  • Battery life (a device should normally be capable of lasting all day on a battery charge)
  • The subjects being studied by the student and the amount of typing required.

Your son or daughter may find it useful to talk to any friends who are already bringing their own devices and staff can also provide advice related to particular subject requirements.

Regardless of device, experience has shown that a strong cover is advisable.

What if I can't afford a device?
Refurbished laptops are available online for approximately $290 and iPad mini's are available online from Apple for approximately $259. As a College we are concerned that no student is disadvantaged. Families with particular financial concerns are strongly encouraged to contact the Business & Operations Manager, Ms. Debbie Clarke, to discuss individual options.

Would a phone be suitable?
Whilst some phones may be suitable for some tasks, there is an obvious limitation with regards to screen size and the ability to type. Experience suggests that a larger device is more appropriate.

Why doesn't the school just continue to provide laptops as previously?
As the need for access to technology has expanded in almost all subjects, the cost of the College providing every student with a device is not sustainable. This is especially so when the cost of providing, maintaining and extending our infrastructure is significant, as is the cost of providing access to the internet is considered (see the next question).

Having student owned devices also allows older students the freedom to choose from a range of devices according to their individual needs.

What about the money the College saves by not having to buy laptops?
The College has dramatically increased its expenditure on technology for students. In line with most educational institutions the College's technology priorities have been

(a) increasing the speed and capacity of internet services and

(b) the expansion of high quality wireless throughout the entire campus.

This now enables large numbers of students to connect and have instant access to up-to-date educational resources.

In addition, the College is in the final stages of the selection process to purchase a new Learning Management System and Student Management System.

What about charging and batteries?
We expect student devices to be able to run all day without recharging. We obviously have some power points available in the College but we would like to avoid the inconvenience to students of having to be concerned with charging and power supplies at school.

What about security?
Locked lockers provide a safe place to store devices. It is timely to remind students not to share lockers, nor disclose lock combination codes.

What if the device is broken?
Responsibility for care of the device rests with the student. Some parents have been able to include the device as part of their Home and Contents insurance. Details should be sought from your insurer. The College insurance does not cover student owned equipment.

What about software?
The College is not able to provide software for installation on student devices. Much software is either free or very low cost.

What about technical assistance?
The College can provide assistance with connecting student devices to the school network but is not able to provide other support.

Will the College still have Computers available for students?
Desktop computers (together with all the necessary software) will continue to be available in the library and in specialist computer labs.

We look forward to working in partnership with you and your son or daughter and welcome any further queries.