Dear Parents and Caregivers,

 

Digitally Enhanced Learning for 2017

 

Mount Hutt College is pleased to continue the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme so that all students bring their own computer to school. The BYOD programme will allow each student to have access to their own computer to complete work both during lessons and at home.

 

Our experience with our current BYOD programmes over the years and extensive research show:

 

·         That we need to prepare our students for future tertiary study and the work environment.

·         There are increased opportunities for collaborative learning.

·         It increases access to a huge range of electronic resources, which help enhance learning.

·         Engagement and motivation of students is increased.

·         There are several pedagogical benefits: (a) the NZ Curriculum specifically references the value of eLearning and (b) international research shows the benefits of eLearning for students.

·         It is important to attract quality teachers who want to teach in a ‘digital classroom’.

·         When they leave school, students will be living and working in a largely ‘digital world’. Regardless of the direction students take, being a confident digital learner will be an advantage.

Our school infrastructure includes a specialist, reliable BYOD wireless network that is accessible through-out the school (upgraded in late 2016).

 

Recommended devices

The choice of the device will largely be up to families although there are minimum specifications that all devices must have:

 

·         Screen size – at least 11.6”

·         Wireless capable

·         Battery that can last at least 3-4 hours

·         Headphone jack and USB ports

·         Microsoft Office 365 is supplied by MHC

·         Windows 10 is an advantage, as Windows has been easier to use in the classroom.

·         Ability to run Flash player is an advantage

·         A keyboard

·         A well-padded case.

 

Considerations:

·         Touch screen

·         Larger screen size in senior school

·         Lower weight

·         Hard drive capacity

·         Arts students (Yr10-13) will require the ability to run apps such as Adobe Creative Suite.

 

Students may already have a device that will be suitable. We have set up a partnership with a Christchurch based company, Cyclone. They provide information and purchasing options for recommended devices as well as providing additional software, warranty and accidental damage insurance. There are payment options through Cyclone that will enable weekly payments on purchases. As it is important for all students to have access to a suitable device, our school has a small number of loan devices if required.   You are under no obligation to purchase from Cyclone.

 

ELearning in the classroom

The amount that students will use their devices will differ from class to class and teacher to teacher. Some subjects lend themselves to using a computer more naturally than others. All teachers have been provided considerable professional development and implementation time to allow them to feel confident in teaching a class where students have a computer each. Our expectation is that the students will frequently use their computers in a variety of ways.

 

In class, students learn about digital citizenship and how to keep them themselves safe online.

 

Points to note

Insurance and warranties for the computers will be the responsibility of families. We will provide access to lockable lockers so that computers will be safe onsite. Locks can be rented through the office at minimal charge.

 

Students will be responsible for bringing their computers to school every day, fully charged. They will also need to be committed to learning how to use their computer in their own time, so that they are ready to use it as a tool for learning when in lessons.

 

Internet filtering will be provided through the Ministry of Education’s N4L (Network for Learning) platform and through our own Linewize.

 

IT help will be provided both at school and through Cyclone if required.

 

Year 7 Specific information

The plan is to have all Year 7 students with their own computers and online by the beginning of Term 2, 2017. If your child already has a suitable device ready to bring to school then they may do so before the end of Term 1 so that we can get them ready, but please note that teachers will not be using them in class until Term 2. Students need to ensure that they have a lock (purchased from the school office) on their locker before bringing their computer to school. It is always difficult to make decisions about what computer to buy. A rough guide is provided above and a price range between $400 - $1000. IPads are not recommended as they are limited in their functionality. There are loan computers available in cases of genuine hardship. Please email your Dean.

 

More information is available through the school office if required

Yours sincerely,

John Schreurs

Principal

Mount Hutt College