St John's College

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BYOD

The use of digital tools to support learning and the broader world of work is increasing at an exponential rate, our young men must be prepared for lives and careers that require high levels of digital literacy. St John’s College recognises the importance of engaging and encouraging students to develop digital mastery, becoming connected, confident and creative learners. 

From the start of 2022, all Year 9 students are required to bring a digital device to school - either a chromebook or laptop. The embedding of digital technologies into both teaching and learning will add value to existing classroom practices, creating new learning opportunities and should not be seen as a replacement of conventional teaching. 

Our Vision

  • To embrace e-learning through personalised learning opportunities that are flexible and authentic and meet each student’s aspirations and educational needs
  • To provide increased access to ICT for students, staff and parents for the purpose of improving learning outcomes for the boys
  • To create an environment that enhances and improves student and teacher excellence through integrating new technologies into the wide range of opportunities students are offered to enable them to participate in a global world

What will learning look like for our students?

We are still a traditional school, students will continue to get high quality teaching from passionate teachers but they will also look at how technology can enhance student learning. There will be two types of technology use in our classrooms;

  • Informal - students choose to use technology over traditional pen and paper in their normal class environment
  • Formal - Teachers use technology as part of a planned learning activity

E-learning may:

  • Assist the making of connections by enabling students to enter and explore new learning environments, overcoming barriers of distance and time
  • Facilitate collaboration and shared learning by enabling students to join or create communities of learners that extend well beyond the classroom
  • Assist in the creation of supportive learning environments by offering resources that take account of individual, cultural, or developmental differences
  • Enhance opportunities to learn by offering students virtual experiences and tools that save them

As a device agnostic school, it is important for us to give choice and freedom back to our students over what device they choose to use to meet their learning. Chromebooks and laptops are appropriate learning devices at St John’s College. Nor being prescriptive on what devices students can bring into school does come at a cost and that is that parents are spoilt for choice over the suitable devices that are available - so please read on and watch the video.

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. Students are able to bring in their own technology (chromebook/laptop) from home, connect it to the internet and use it to support learning in school. Already we are seeing students bringing in devices and recognising an increasing number of opportunities as to how these devices can help support their learning, something that we want to foster and encourage. BYOD means there is little transition between accessing learning at home and in school and gives students important 21st century skills (collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking) to access the changing workplace.

In Practice

Students will be using both Google and Microsoft products as part of their learning experience at St John’s College. These are free to all users. All students have a @student.stjohns-hamilton.school.nz email account which will be used to authenticate against these services. Students access their timetable, weekly notes and other details (such as NCEA credits) through our student portal on Kamar, our Student Management System. They can download an app for iOS and Android to give them access to the portal. Parents also have access to the parent portal, giving access to see notices, attendance and assessment data.

We are excited to be developing ITS Learning, our Learning Management System. Over time this will become the gateway for students to access their online learning at the college.

Choosing the Device

At St John's College we believe that students and parents should have the choice of a device rather than the school imposing a device upon the learning community. Students will need a device that is suitable for typing and editing documents and accessing and using internet resources and tools. Please watch the video above that has a lot of information to support parents in making these decisions. Appropriate devices are available from all main resellers: Harvey Norman, Heathcotes, Noel Leeming and PBTech.

Specifications of suitable devices:

  • A windows laptop or chromebook are the preferred devices at the college, do not purchase a table (unless you are looking at a Microsoft Surface)
  • Internet enabled - I.e. they have WiFi!
  • Long battery life, 5hrs+ (ie chromebook, laptop)
  • A screen large enough (11”+)  to work with documents in order to create and edit content
  • Memory (RAM): 2 Gigabyte minimum (4 GB recommended)
  • Productivity Software or Apps: the device must have the ability to install software or apps to use for creating and editing word processed documents, presentations and spreadsheets (Microsoft Office or apps with Microsoft Office compatibility are desirable), and for reading pdf documents
  • Keyboard: onscreen at minimum, external recommended 

Other considerations:

  • Weight – this device will need to be carried around school with school books
  • Robustness – sturdy enough for school use (boys can be quite heavy handed!)
  • Warranty – students using the device regularly will want faults fixed quickly, the school will not provide a technical support service
  • Insurance – make sure you are covered for replacement if lost or stolen.  The school is not liable for any loss or damage of personal property, including mobile devices

How does BYOD work?

When a student brings their own device onto campus they need to ensure that they agree to and abide by our Cybersafety Acceptable Use Agreement as well as our Mobile Device Guidelines. They will connect their device to our managed wifi using their normal network credentials and once authenticated, the device will have full web access. Students will have access to their school Google Account, online files (cloud storage) and email as well as all the other online web2/3 tools that can help shape their learning experience. All internet traffic is filtered to ensure that our community is kept safe and usage is monitored.

For technical problems, students should see our IT Manager Mr Silas Burton. He will assist with school software and connection issues, but will not be able to assist with hardware problems. All other questions relating to the BYOD initiative should be directed to our Deputy Principal, Mr Dominic Tester.