Blended Learning Approach
At Riccarton High School, we firmly believe the best approach is blended learning, where the primary focus is on the learning rather than the tools used to deliver it. Blended learning draws from many teaching styles such as group work, discussion and presentation. Digital tools support this rich learning environment through collaboration, feedback and access to varied media.
BYOD – Bring your own device
All students are expected to bring their own computer device to school, fully charged and ready to use, every day. In all subjects, classes will be conducted using Google Workspace for Education, Google Classroom and other online tools. So, it is essential for your child to have a device suitable for the modern classroom.
If you feel that you would be unable to provide a suitable device for the start of the year please contact the school as early as possible since there are options available.
- Device Recommendations
- Purchasing a BYOD Device
- Considerations when purchasing a Chromebook
We have identified that a Chromebook is a great device for students from Year 9 up to at least Year 11, and for many, it will be the logical choice for the senior years as well.
Chromebooks are available from many different resellers, are at a reasonable cost, have a fast start-up time, all-day battery life, work both offline and online, have consistent performance over the lifetime of the device, and are not susceptible to viruses or malware. They integrate with Google Workspace for Education which is our main learning platform and are also able to use Microsoft 365 cloud applications.
We strongly recommend your child’s Chromebook has a protective case to protect it from accidental damage.
Insurance – Damage to your child’s Chromebook or another device will not be covered by Riccarton High School. A Chromebook is often priced below the cost of your insurance excess, so you should take advantage of some of the extended warranty/insurance offers from our retail partners.
Specifications – Chromebooks come in several different configurations, The specifications that will make your Chromebook a little faster and more usable are RAM (2Gb or 4Gb) Storage (16Gb, 32Gb or more), and processor and speed (opt for intel and 4 rather than 2 cores). Screen sizes and Wi-Fi specs are quite consistent across different models and the better ones will cost a little more.
Refurbished Chromebooks – These are Chromebooks that have been leased to an organisation. That lease has ended and the devices are returned to the supplier where they are wiped, refurbished, tested, and then sold at a much-reduced price, typically under $300 with a 12-month warranty. The device may have some wear marks but should perform the same as a new Chromebook.
Note: If you are buying a used Chromebook, please check the ‘Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date’ for more information as this can have implications for ongoing updates and apps installs.
Conbrio is one organisation that sells refurbished (and new) Chromebooks. See their website for more information https://www.conbriostore.co.nz/ or check out their Chromebook Flyer.
Note: If you already have a Chromebook, please make sure that it has been removed from your previous school ‘Google Management Console’ as we cannot do this for you. You will not be able to use the Chromebook at Riccarton High School until this has been done.
You may prefer or already have an Apple or Windows computer – this is fine, and your child will not be disadvantaged, as long as it has:
- Screen size of at least 10.5”
- A physical keyboard
- Google Chrome browser installed (or Edge Chromium)
- All-day battery life
- Wi-Fi (wireless networking standard WLAN 802.11ac)
Devices that only have WLAN 802.11b/g/n will have limited access to the school wireless network.
An iPad or Android tablet is not considered a suitable device.
Make sure your child’s computer has a protective case to protect it from accidental damage.
Insurance – Damage to your child’s Apple or Windows device will not be covered by Riccarton High School. So, you should take advantage of some of the extended warranty / Insurance offers from our retail partners.
Free Stuff – Microsoft Office 365 is available as a free installation on MAC and Windows computers with your child’s Riccarton High School logon.
Chromebooks and other devices are available to purchase from our retail partners or you may wish to purchase one from any other retail outlet. Our partners offer a variety of payment methods, insurance/extended warranty packages, and Chromebook bundle packs.
Chromebooks can also be financed through WINZ for families on lower incomes. You do not need to be a WINZ client and we understand that no interest is charged. You don’t have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help, you will have to pay the money back.
More information can be found at this location https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/children/school-uniforms-and-stationery.html#null
PBtech is a large retailer of computers and other electronics located on Main South Road near the Sockburn roundabout. They can supply Chromebooks and other devices, accessories, and insurance packages.
Visit their BYOD page at https://www.pbtech.co.nz/education/byod/ and select Riccarton High School
Or view devices especially selected by Riccarton High School at https://www.pbtech.co.nz/education/byod/riccarton-high-school
BYOD Coupon Code for special discounts on selected products = riccarton123
Finance options include Humm, Laybuy, Finance Now, and Q Card.
Cyclone Computers are a specialist supplier of computers and technology to New Zealand schools. They can supply Chromebooks and other devices, accessories, and insurance packages.
Visit their BYOD page at https://byod.cyclone.co.nz/
To make an informed decision about purchasing a Chromebook it is important to have considered all of the following:
It is very important to know how your device is insured while at school, as the excess of insurance policies are usually larger than the price of a Chromebook, which is why the school’s insurance can not cover these devices. Your general home and contents insurance that covers your child’s device while at school may not be adequate, which is why we have got our suppliers to offer an insurance option with their deals.
Android Apps have been adopted by Chromebooks. These Apps have been designed to be used on a phone or tablet with a touch interface. Although a non-touch device will still be more than suitable for accessing the in-class learning tools, there is a definite advantage to considering a touch option. A list of Chromebooks that will support Android Apps can be found here.
Chromebook Processor Speed
Chromebooks come with dual-core and quad-core processors. The quad-core option is faster and comes with Chromebooks priced generally over $400. The dual-core is slower and has a price tag in the $300 to $400 range. Both will work fine at school making this a consideration between budget and speed.
The Google management console allows the school to manage the safety and access of the Chromebook during school hours, restricting it to keep the focus on learning and increasing the protection of students from inappropriate internet material. The Chromebooks can be set up in a similar way by a parent (instructions below), however, the option to select a management license with a bundle will take the effort out of this for parents.
The settings we will look to make are:
- Internet safe search on
- Youtube safe search on
- Guest access disabled
- Incognito mode disabled
- Other settings to allow for smoother integration with the school network.
Internet Safety at RHS:
All students must read and sign our student Internet Use Agreement
Internet use is filtered by Linewize / Family Zone and logs are made of all use
Social media is blocked during class time
The use of VPN and proxy software to bypass filtering will result in automatic removal from the network for 2 minutes
Each student has an individual password for their account, this password should never be shared
Year 9 students will have their devices connected to the school network and configured for school use as part of the orientation programme
Internet Safety at Home:
Netsafe is the best place for information and resources for internet safety at home.
Make the house rule that devices are used in the living space where screens can be seen.
Contact your internet provider to ask about a router with internet filtering.
Manage the control of the Chromebook as the parent. By doing this you can allow access to specific people only.
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