What type of laptop does my child require?

We are not mandating a particular type of laptop it can be either a Windows or Apple machine, but we do recommend one which comes with a keyboard, rather than just a straight tablet.  We are very aware that our Later Years students take a variety of pathways through years 10 – 12 and what one student needs from a machine will be different to another. If a student/family believe that the iPad is still a suitable device for their student, they will be able to take that through with them, however a quality keyboard case will be required.

What advice/options can you give us about a good machine?

Our Technical Support Team, led by ICT Leader Jack Marshall, are very happy to discuss options that best suit individual needs with parents. We are also working with our 10-12 BYOD partner – Learning With Technology – to provide competitive pricing on a number of models of the Microsoft Surface and other laptops. The advantages of this partnership include not only good prices on good machines, but also the ability to package up accessories, insurance and warranty (partly handled through the school).

What about software?

What we have found with the use of technology in Later Years classes is that while some classes need to use very specific, expensive software – the vast majority don’t. So while we are catering for those classes who need specific high end software through the maintenance of our specialised facilities,  for all students we are not mandating any software that needs to be on the machine. We have made extensive use of the Google suite of products  (i.e Docs, Sheets, Slides etc) in the school as learning tools, which are available freely and work across platforms.  This does not mean that families cannot purchase specific software if they wish – we have found that students are able to easily adapt and use a variety of software across their own machines.

What other costs are involved?

The 2017 BYOD support charge for year 10 to 12 students will be $25. This covers the cost connecting the devices to, and maintaining our wireless network. The BYOD support fee will need to be paid before student machines are able to access the network. Apart from the machine and the OD support fee, there are no other additional costs for the Later Years BYOD program.

What about booklists?

The Later Years booklist is a high cost booklist, due to the specialised texts required of VCE subjects. We will be giving families the option of purchasing digital texts where suitable, or purchasing hard copy textbooks. While there may be some stationery items that families can save on, it is not expected that cost savings in this area will be large.

What computer equipment will still be available at the school for my student to use?

We will maintain specialist facilities in areas of the school which require specialised software or highly specified machines (i.e Information Technology, Visual Communication/Arts, Media etc) , and also research facilities in the Library. 

What if I can’t afford to buy a device?

In providing parents/students with full choice of the appropriate device the aim is to support parents making choices that suit their circumstances.  The school will have a number of laptops available where special circumstances exist. These will be in the form of second hand laptops which are at least 3 years old. We will be able to provide them with a replaced battery at a nominal cost – around the $100 mark. They should suffice in the short term, we would expect students to achieve between 12 – 18 months use from them.