At Moreton Bay College we are very excited about the opportunities for learning and teaching that our notebook program has brought to our students. 2014 will see the culmination of our 1-to-1 rollout where all girls in Years 4 to 12 are provided with a notebook for use at home and school. We believe that today’s learning is not just something that happens in ‘school hours’ but it should be seen as a continuous process that expands beyond the school into every facet of the students’ lives.
MBC is committed to enabling each student to reach her full academic potential, considering her individual needs and abilities. To this end the College aims to underpin all learning at the College with key learning principles, supported by state-of-the-art digital technology in a digital school environment. The provision of a student notebook program certainly advances this aim as a very powerful digital tool is placed in our students’ hands.
Why implement a student notebook program?
Our students belong to ‘Generation Y’, and have grown up in a technologically rich world. Their use of technology is often seamless and transparent and they thrive in the ‘connectiveness’ of this digital environment. Having access to a digital device 24/7, in all classes and at home should enhance their connection to digital resources and tools only available at present at school if their class is booked into a computer laboratory.
Education at present is focussing on 21st Century Learning and a key sector involves digital skills and cyberliteracy. The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, issued after the MCEETYA (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs) meeting in December 2008 sets the direction for Australian schooling for the next 10 years. It makes explicit reference to young people needing to be highly skilled in the use of ICT and creative and productive users of technology. This is seen as a foundation for success in all learning areas. The declaration also points out the need for students to be able to plan activities independently, collaborate, work in teams and communicate ideas.
The Labor Digital Education Revolution provided extra impetus for a notebook program by providing some funding for a 1:1 student/computer ratio in years 9 to 12 to be achieved by the end of 2011. A final imperative was feedback from our community. The MBC Technology Survey was conducted towards the end of 2007 and received 520 responses from parents, students and staff. A number of key ICT development issues were highlighted, including; “MBC implementing a student notebook scheme where each student has their own notebook”.
What exactly is provided?
We had a number of design considerations when we went out to tender for our student notebook model. Firstly, the machine needed to be relatively small and light to allow easy carrying between classes and between home and school. We also wanted a powerful notebook as opposed to a low powered netbook so that the notebook could be used for producing media-rich content as opposed to only being good for accessing it. Another important consideration was long battery life so that the notebook could last a full school day without re-charging. We also needed a notebook model that was tough and durable with seamless connectivity to our wireless network. We have chosen the ACER Travelmate 12” models as these satisfy all our requirements. The software that is provided on the notebook covers all of the tools students need to use in their studies. Significantly the software includes the Microsoft Office suite, the Adobe CS5 Web and Design suites and the organisational software Inspiration. Students can install additional software should the need arise, so long as it is deemed appropriate for educational use by the College.
The notebook comes with a Targus TANC (Targus Armoured Notebook Case) case and an extended three year Accidental Damage warranty. They are also covered by a three year battery warranty as protection against the normal battery deterioration that always occurs over time.
What if there is a problem with the laptop?
The College provides onsite servicing to ensure students are not without a notebook under normal circumstances. All general servicing and support is provided without additional charges to students/families. We will also provide an ‘accidental damage’ warranty over the three years. For the Purple B113 laptops the first accidental damage claim will attract no excess and subsequent claims will have an excess of $150 that needs to be covered by the family of the student concerned. For our Green B113, B115 and R7 laptops, the excess for each accidental damage claim is $50. Under normal circumstances we hope to be able to provide your daughter with a loan notebook if her notebook needs to be sent off-campus for repair.
What about safety?
The safety of students is paramount to the College and includes physical and cybersafety issues. With the formation of the Moreton Bay College Digital Citizenship Committee in 2009, the College has been looking at addressing these concerns for a number of years. Cybersafety and Digital Citizenship are now topics that are covered within the school’s PDP program from Years 1 – 10. We are also using featured cybersafety speakers to talk to our students and teachers on a regular basis and providing the same opportunities for parents. The College has also implemented the LanSchool classroom management software that allows teachers to be able to see any student’s notebook screen on their own notebook during a class.
How much exactly?
A Technology Levy of $125 per term ($500 per year) is required from families in order for
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