Compulsory Laptops in 2017
In 2017 the school has made the decision to make it compulsory for all students to bring a laptop to school. We feel this decision is important for a number of reasons, in particular:
- NZQA signalling that NZQA exams will be sat online in the near future.
- Demands of the modern curriculum
- Demands on school ICT labs
- Ensuring students are prepared for tertiary study and future employment
We surveyed the student body at the end of 2015, and found that over 90% of students at each year already had a device they were using for schooling. Here are the results for the current year 12 group who were the original year group who used ipad's in year 9.
With such a high number of devices already in the school, it is clear to us that most of our parents feel a device is needed for schooling. By making a device compulsory, that ensures teachers can set tasks that involve using a computer and know that all students will be able to do that task in class. When a device is not compulsory this often discourages teachers from doing tasks involving a computer because there is always some students in the class who do not have a device. Those students would then have to leave class and go to the library or a computer lab, which is less than ideal.
Why Chromebooks for Juniors
Chromebooks are an education focused deviced designed by Google. They are very popular in schools because of their affordable price, the ease at which school administrators can lock them down, great battery life, and the ease of access to Google's apps. The main criticism students have about Chromebooks is the lack of software (Apps). Late in 2016 most Chromebooks will be getting access to the Google Play store, so will be able to run Android Apps. This will open up a huge variety of educational apps.
Here is a white paper on further reading into why we like Chromebooks in our junior school: Why Chromebooks
Accessible Learning 24/7 Outside of the classroom
As a school we acknowledge the importance of students having access to learning resources outside of the classroom. In 2016 teachers have been focused on moving classroom resources online using Google Classroom, which most courses now use. Google classroom is a simple platform to distribute learning resources, collect class assignments, and in general provides a great platform for classroom use.