From experience with our BYOT programme over the last few years, we know that computer technology provides students with real benefits to their learning and we want to expand the current approach, so that every child in a class will have their own computer at school every day. Not only will this support the student's personal learning pathway, it also supports the teacher to plan and present programmes, with the assurance that all the class have the technology necessary to access their learning at any time it's required.

 

In 2016 we introduced Module One classes at Year 7 level and the feedback from students, teachers and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. Students' engagement in their work increased, parents and family also become more engaged in their child's schooling and teachers have greater resources they can call on to support student learning. We also know that our BYOT programme supports similar initiatives in our contributing schools and colleges.

 

Module 1 Classes

Students in a Module 1 class will bring their own device to school each day. This will mean that the device to student ratio will be 1:1. The specific hardware required will either be a laptop or a Chrome Book. Click here for a list of specifications. Students will continue to do some work in books and will be required to purchase a modified stationery list. 

Module 2 Classes

Module 2 classes will operate in a blended technology environment. Students will have access to school equipment and will be able to bring their own device to school to support their learning, if they can. Students will be required to purchase school stationery.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I opt in this year, can I opt out in Year 8 (or vice versa)?

The school is moving towards a one to one device ratio going forward and Module One is the first stage in this progression. Current Module One classes in Year 7 will roll over for Year 8 in 2017.

If I return the Expression of Interest slip at the bottom of the letter as a yes, can I change my mind?

Once a commitment to be part of a module one class has been registered with the school then we need you to hold to your commitment. This enables us to make up classes with confidence about who will be in them.

What device should my child use if they are in a Module One class?

Somerville Intermediate does not require that a specific device be used. However, we do offer some guidelines to assist in selection.

  • Access to the Internet
  • Wi-Fi capability (NO 3G) through SIS network
  • Adobe Flash can be useful to have
  • Minimum of 4-hour battery life
  • Portability
  • Software (see below)
  • Anti-virus protection (Norton, Avast, AVG, etc.)
  • A camera

What other accessories are recommended?

  • External hard drive for backing up files (learning to perform regular back-ups and how to restore from a backup are very important skills)
  • Additional AC power adapter (in case you want to have one at school and one at home)
  • High capacity battery if available
  • Headset or ear buds (for private listening)
  • Protective laptop sleeve or backpack with a computer compartment (to protect it better)

What will the outcomes be?

We do not see either our Module One or Module Two classrooms as meaning that every student will be using ICT technologies for every part of every lesson -or even in every lesson. We see BYOT as empowering students with alternative ways of working that enhance or extend existing classroom technologies and strategies. Module One classes enables teachers to plan lessons knowing that all students will have a computer to use when they need it.

How will access to the internet be controlled?

Student devices will be granted access to the internet via our school wireless network, and this access will be monitored and content filtered with certain restrictions in place. Students will not be granted access to the school's file servers from these devices and they will not be permitted to connect the devices to any school computer. Students are not to use 3G connections at school.

Are the teachers experienced in e-learning or are they just learning as well? Will the best e-learning teachers be moved into that module?

All the teachers that will be teaching module one classes next year will do so because firstly they have expressed a desire to teach in this environment and secondly are confident and able to teach effectively in this environment. Somerville has effectively used a range of e-tools such as the Google Apps Suite and the Hapara dashboard to scaffold and extend student learning for the last 4-5 years.

Will the Module 1 classes be in a separate syndicate or in each syndicate?

The make up of syndicates is very much dependent on how much interest is expressed by our community. To date we have received a very positive response to this initiative. It is feasible that whole syndicates could be entirely Module 1 or a number of classes within the syndicate could operate as Module 1 classrooms. It is dependent on the number of students/families who want to partake in this initiative.

Will Math classes continue to be streamed?

Maths classes will continue to be streamed regardless of a syndicate or classroom being Module One or Module Two. Devices will be used alongside pencil and paper in maths classes to consolidate and extend learning.

Will extension classes be affected by Module classes? 

Extension classes will operate as they do now and students will be encouraged to bring their devices to their lessons.

What security is available for the laptops? During sport, lunchtime etc?

We are currently sourcing security options which will most likely look like a lockable individual draw/locker located inside the classroom. Students will lock their device away when not being used. Classrooms will have procedures in place for looking after devices when they are not in use or students are out of the classroom. Although every effort will be taken to keep devices safe by both the students and the teachers, the overall responsibility lies with the student to follow these procedures to ensure the safety of their device.

Will students be working on Google docs?

We utilise the Google Apps Suite as a platform for student work and this includes Google docs, presentations, as well as an e-portfolio.

How does Google Apps for Education (GAFE) work?

The Google Apps for Education suite offers apps for email, calendar, blogs, documents, presentations and website creation as well as Google Drive, which is a way of organising all of the work done on these apps. The use of these apps are free and can be used in 'the cloud' - a collaborative environment where others can access and work on documents together in real time. GAFE allows students to access their work from school, home, the local library - anywhere with an internet connection.
You can see more FAQ about GAFE here: https://support.google.com/a/answer/139019?hl=en

How is access to potentially harmful material limited at school?

As with all internet use at Somerville Intermediate School, there is a filter that will block visiting sites with a potentially harmful nature. Teacher dashboard also allows teachers to monitor students emails and correspondence in the Google suite so as to limit potential negative behaviour and exposure here. 

What will this mean in terms of screen time for my child?

Though we are integrating the use of ICT into our learning more, this does not mean that your child will be fixed to a screen. Students will still work in small groups with their teacher, work in groups with their peers, use other 'hands on' learning and write in books. Teachers will be alert to the need to ensure that long sustained periods of time in front of a screen do not occur.

How can I ensure my child is safe at home on their device?

All research states that web capable devices that students use should only be used under adult supervision and definitely not out of sight (i.e. in a closed bedroom). Sticking to this rule will alleviate most potential problems. Settings on devices can also be changed to support the safe use of devices.

Can the devices stay at school?

We ask that students charge their devices at home. If a student has a genuine reason to leave their device at school occasionally, they can negotiate this with their teacher who will ensure the device will be secure and charged for the next day.