Technology Plan Overview
At Seymour College, we are committed to preparing our students for participation and leadership in an increasingly complex digital world and, as part of that, supporting the development of their skills of digital citizenship.
There is no doubt that 21st century learning is increasingly complex, global and networked, and our challenge as educators is to prepare students, using innovative solutions that provide personalised learning, wherever possible. With this in mind, the educational one-to-one initiative at Seymour College is designed to enable students to thrive in an information-rich world and, importantly, is focused on improving students' ability to think critically.
The digital world Seymour girls enter when they leave the College is a multi-faceted one. As such, our College network reflects this, in its ability to support students using a range of devices.
iPads for Years 4 and 5
Since 2012, we have used the iPad for these year levels and recognise the education benefits the iPad provides. Students and teachers at these year levels will use an iPad for anywhere, anytime access, to support personalised learning, foster learning autonomy, assist research and organisation, and enhance online collaboration and home-to-school connectedness.
The iPad has the capacity to converge technologies to achieve a variety of services such as text books and printed materials, note-taking, word processing, calculator, voice recording, and a camera. Further, the 'App Store' provides students and teachers literally hundreds of thousands of Apps that facilitate teaching and learning.
Compact in size and lightweight, the iPad is highly portable and has a battery life of 10 hours to ensure a full school day of learning.
Laptops for Years 6 - 12
Year 6 – 12 students and teachers will use a personal laptop to access the College’s online learning tools. Access to internet, intranet/portal, software and hardware is required by all. These students, working at a more independent level than the younger students, will have individual anywhere, any-time access to their own personal device.
Through our one-to-one laptop program, students are given the benefit of College-provided software, including the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative Suite, email and multimedia tools.
Students and parents are asked to make their selection of a device from the College device purchase portal, where full details of the range from which students can choose are listed. The devices on this list have been approved by the College as preferred student devices and using a device on this list enables ICT Services to give students and their families the best support possible.
Please don't hesitate to contact the College should you have any queries about our Technology Plan. For further enquiries, please contact Dale Flemming, ICT Services Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org
The following Frequently Asked Questions may assist you in understanding our technology focus:
What are the benefits of a wireless one-to-one program?
Research shows that students who have their own electronic devices engage more deeply in their learning, become more active creators in the learning process, take greater pride and ownership over the knowledge they subsequently create, and are able to participate in more flexible forms of schooling.
Seymour's one-to-one program is supported by our campus-wide wireless network. Through wireless connectivity, students and teachers can use the network wherever and whenever required - in a classroom, around the campus, in a student common room or the Boarding House.
On campus, one-to-one users have seamless access to the Internet and other network software. Wireless connectivity lets our students work collaboratively and share information quickly and easily between one another, their teachers and those beyond Seymour.
Teaching and Learning
How often will the iPad be used during school time and for what will it be used?
The iPads are intended for use at school on a daily basis, although it will not replace the use of all the tools we currently use in class, such as all books, pen and paper. While the iPad will be able to handle most of a student’s digital needs, it is not intended to replace a computer. The College is, therefore, retaining some computer laboratories.
The iPad is a companion device: the advantage of the iPad is its mobility and ease of use, so it is the perfect tool to take to class. When students require specialist computing software, the computer labs will continue to be used.
Which Apps will be used and how will they add to the curriculum?
A list of Apps will be sent to families prior to the beginning of the academic year, and families will be asked to purchase these from the iTunes store and load them on to the iPad.
These Apps have been recommended by teachers and curriculum experts for their use in and out of the classroom. There will be an ongoing process for teachers to make occasional, additional recommendations for Apps purchases that align to their specific content areas. All purchasing and downloading of Apps will be managed at home.
In addition to the list of Apps we require on all iPads, we will issue a guide on how to use iTunes to load the Apps.
Will iPads replace face-to-face teaching and reduce contact time between teachers and students?
No. All students will have the same number of classes and the same class sizes as before. The iPad will enhance personal contact and communication between teachers and students, not reduce personal contact.
Where do I purchase the iPad?
Due to the strong demand and popularity of the Apple iPad, competitive pricing can be found at a large number of retail stores and online.
Due to the dynamic pricing and range of purchasing options, Seymour College will not be providing an option to purchase this package directly.
Does the College receive any commission from the suppliers?
No, the College receives no commission on the devices.
Do I need to take out my own insurance?
Yes. Please speak to your insurance company about this.
Will the iPad be under warranty?
Yes, a new iPad has a 1 year hardware warranty (3 month telephone support), which is increased to 2 years for both hardware and telephone support when you purchase the recommended AppleCare Protection Plan.
How often will I have to buy a new iPad?
We consider the iPad to be a two-year (minimum) device. However, with a parent-purchased model comes some flexibility for parents who wish to get more time out of their daughter's iPad.
We already have an iPad. Can that be used instead of purchasing a new one?
If you already have an iPad, your daughter can use it as her one-to-one device at school, although it will require the latest iOS to be installed.
My daughter has another tablet device, can she use this?
No. For a variety of reasons, the College’s authorised model is the iPad.
What level of ICT support will Seymour provide?
Our Helpdesk personnel will be available to support iPad users. We will provide assistance with technical issues, such as ensuring that your daughter's iPad connects to the Seymour College wireless network and all available services such as email, file access and printing.
Maintenance and Care
What if my daughter's iPad breaks and has to be repaired?
The ICT Support Desk should also be the first point of call for any issues relating to connection to the Seymour College network and all available services such as email, file access and printing.
Where will the iPad be stored during the school day and after school?
When the device is not in use, students will keep their iPads securely locked in their lockers or classroom, while at school. Students should keep their iPads in a safe and secure place, as determined by their parents, while at home.
What if my daughter leaves her iPad at home?
As with any tool or textbook, if students leave their iPad at home they are responsible for getting the work completed as if they had their iPad present.
What if the iPad runs out of battery charge?
iPads must be brought to school each day, fully charged. Students will therefore need to charge their iPads each evening. We recommend that your daughter take responsibility for charging her iPad overnight. Our experience is that an iPad will easily last a full day if fully charged the night before. Note that the external keyboard/folio also requires charging (around once per week).
Does the iPad have a USB port? Can it save, manage or share files?
While the iPad does not have an accessible internal folder structure nor support for USB devices, your daughter can still easily manage and transfer files. Seymour College has implemented a range of network file access, storage, backup and printing solutions.
Will students need iTunes accounts to use with iPads?
Yes, however the minimum age for an iTunes account is 13. Students that are 13 or older but under the age of 18, should review the Apple iTunes Agreement with their parent or guardian to make sure that both the student and the parent or guardian understand it.
Students must have access to an iTunes account to add or sync Apps. Each student may use her current account, if she has one.
Does an iTunes account require a credit card for purchases? How will I keep my daughter from charging iTunes purchases without my permission?
An iTunes account can be created without a credit card. iTunes gift cards can be used as a debit card to credit the account so that purchases can be made to buy Apps. Once the value of the gift card has been exhausted, no further purchases can be made until another gift card amount is credited to the account.
Parents do have the ability to control the installation of Apps and can set up an iPad to require a password to make any changes to the configuration of the iPad, including Apps or music purchases.
I have a PC at home, not a Mac. Will the iPad work with my PC?
iPad will sync, backup and talk to either PC or Mac desktops or laptops. Access to the student's network folders and files are accessible from any device, anywhere, at any time. This makes it very easy to transfer and work on files, projects and assignments across a range of devices if required.
Training and Development
Will students receive support in setting up their iPad and using it for educational purposes?
Yes, there will be introductory and ongoing sessions for all students.
Does an iPad get viruses? How secure is it? Will my daughter have access to inappropriate content?
While using the College network, all online content will be filtered to prevent students accessing inappropriate content. Provision of internet security and appropriate use at home will continue to be the responsibility of families. The College encourages parents to discuss expectations with their child regarding appropriate use of the device.
Many parents (and the College's Boarding House) already require girls to ‘surrender’ their mobile phones during homework and at bedtime, and a similar approach with the iPad is recommended.
Further, the College will advise parents of Apps that assist with the monitoring and filtering of content.
Regarding viruses, the iPad is a very secure device for downloading apps and researching online. All Apps and updates are installed via iTunes and the Apps Store, which ensures all applications are screened and checked by Apple as safe before being deployed.
All files stored on the Seymour College network are automatically scanned for viruses when files are accessed.
Are parents able to control the use of the iPad at home, including which apps are installed?
Yes. It is important that students use these devices responsibly, and we will be working with families to ensure this is the case. Parents can set various controls.
Will potential issues regarding cyber-relationships be addressed?
Yes, this is an ongoing responsibility for schools and families. All students and parents will be asked to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement. The College’s personal development programs will continue to focus on the appropriate use of technology, supporting our students in the development of their digital citizenship skills.
Will extended use of the iPad be harmful to the eyes?
As with all technical devices with backlit screens, it is important to manage and monitor daily 'screen time' and find a balance that works for each student. The iPad can be adjusted for brightness to suit personal preferences. Not all school related work will be completed on the iPad so there will always be a balance during the school day.
Do I have to backup the iPad?
Yes. Documents and apps on the iPad are not part of the college's backup systems and families should understand how to backup their daughter's device and perform this regularly. In addition, each student will also have access to Seymour College's Microsoft Office 365 service which includes a file synchronisation service called OneDrive. Files saved to OneDrive can be treated as a backup and accessed from any computer using the student's network account.
What if my question is not answered here?
Please ask. We understand that there may be some concerns and questions not included in this FAQ. We welcome input from parents and will add parents' questions to this document. If you have any further questions or concerns about the program please contact email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for parents of Years 6 - 12 students
Teaching and Learning
How often will the laptop be used during school time and what will it be used for?
The laptops are intended for use at school on a daily basis, although it will not replace the use of all the tools we currently use in class, such as all books, pen and paper.
Why has the College chosen a laptop for Years 6-12 students?
Each Year 6 - 12 student and teacher will have a personal laptop with which to access the College’s online learning tools. Access to internet, intranet/portal, software and hardware is required by all. These students, working at a more independent level, will have individual anywhere, any-time access to their own personal device, with software such as the Microsoft Office suite, email, multimedia tools and so on provided by the College.
What if I don’t want to buy a new laptop for my daughter, but instead supply her with one I have at home?
Provided the device is the same make and model that is available through the school's purchase portal. The College's ICT Services is limited in how many laptop makes and models it can support. By supporting a small number of popular styles and brands we are able to provide experienced and responsive service to students and families.
Will laptops replace face-to-face teaching and reduce contact time between teachers and students?
No. All students will have the same number of classes and the same class sizes as before. The laptop will enhance personal contact and communication between teachers and students, not reduce personal contact.
Purchasing the laptop
What am I required to buy and how much does participation in the laptop scheme cost?
Current students in Years 6 - 12 will make a selection of device from the Seymour College device Purchase Portal, where the range of devices can be seen.
The Purchase Portal can be reached here.
The choice of devices may change from year to year and purchases need only be made if your current school device is out of warranty. The College considers the working life of a student device to be approximately 3 years but parents can renew their device at any time.
In addition to the device, we require students to purchase either a laptop bag to protect their laptop if they don’t already have one. These are available through the portal or at many retail stores. A portable USB hard drive is also recommended for use when creating personal backups.
All software required by the College including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and other online services will be provided free of charge by the College under our existing licensing agreements. In most cases, the software is licensed through the student's network account and will cease to function when the student leaves the College.
Do I need to buy from the portal?
Buying through the portal allows for the device to be shipped to the school then configured for the campus network so that it is ready for use upon collection.
If you choose to buy a retail device, just bring the device to the college’s ICT Services department and it will be ready for use on the following day.
Does the College receive any commission from the preferred supplier?
No, the College has negotiated a competitive price for our families but we receive no commission on the devices.
Do I need to take out my own insurance?
Yes, it is recommended that you speak to your insurance company about this. It will be possible to purchase insurance through the computer purchase portal.
What level of ICT support will Seymour provide?
The Helpdesk personnel will be available to support laptop users via the ICT Support Desk, located in Hetzel building. We will provide assistance with technical issues, such as ensuring that the student’s laptop connects to the Seymour College network and all available services such as network, folder and file access, email and printing to College printers. While our ICT Department will not undertake mechanical repairs, any technical faults will be addressed under the device's warranty or insurance product.
Can students install their own software, or will this be restricted/disabled?
Yes, students will be able to install their own software, providing that software has been legally purchased and does not impact any software that has been installed by the College. Any software that facilitates illegal sharing and download of music and videos will not be allowed. If there are any problems with the operation of the computer as a result of software that has been personally installed, the computer will be returned to its original state and any student installed software will be lost (but could be reinstalled).
Where will the laptop be stored during the school day and after school?
When the device is not in use, it is the students’ responsibility to keep their laptops securely locked in their lockers, while at school.
What if my daughter leaves her laptop at home?
As with any tool or textbook, if students leave their laptop at home they are responsible for getting the work completed as if they had their laptop present. The College does not lend laptops to students for this purpose.
What if the laptop runs out of battery charge?
Laptops must be brought to school each day, fully charged. (Students will not be permitted to bring electrical cords to class.) Students therefore need to charge their laptops each evening, and we ask that your daughter take responsibility for placing her laptop (along with her mobile phone) on charge overnight.
To cover unforeseen circumstances (such as forgetting to charge or high workload during the day), the College can loan chargers out to students at lunch time. These are available on request from the Taylor Resource Centre.
Can other members of the family use the laptop?
We advise against any other members of your family using your daughter’s laptop. We believe that ownership of the device is an important aspect of any one-to-one program. As part of her growing responsibility as a ‘digital citizen’, it is important that each student is aware of the fact that she is responsible for the device and for the contents of that device.
Will all textbooks and novels be available electronically next year?
Our ultimate goal is that the laptop will replace the need for students to carry textbooks. However, with textbook publishers still working hard to catch up with technology, some textbooks will be available on the laptop while others will still be in the traditional textbook form.
Will the laptop come with a mouse?
No, the laptop will be equipped with a 'touch pad' which should be sufficient. If your daughter prefers to use a mouse, you will need to purchase one for her use.
Does my daughter have to have a laptop?
Yes, all students in Years 6 to 12 are required to have a selected laptop.
Will my daughter be advantaged or disadvantaged if she buys a Windows device instead of an Apple device, or vice versa?
No. The College’s network is accessible to and supports both platforms, and there is no advantage to using either platform.
Training and Development
Will students receive support in setting up their laptop and using it for educational purposes?
Students will be given some introductory lessons on how to use the laptop at the start of the year. Students will then be shown how to use subject-specific programs and skills within their various subject areas.
How secure is it? Will my daughter have access to inappropriate content?
While using the College wireless network, online content will be filtered to prevent students accessing inappropriate content. The College encourages parents to discuss expectations with their child regarding appropriate use of the device.
Many parents (and our Boarding House) already require girls to ‘surrender’ their mobile phones during homework and at bedtime, and a similar approach with the laptop is recommended at bedtime.
Further, the College will advise parents of software that can assist with the monitoring and filtering of content.
Will potential issues regarding cyber-relationships be addressed?
Yes, this is an ongoing responsibility for schools and families. All students and parents will be asked to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement, and students will have an information session prior to taking ownership of the laptop. The College’s personal development programs will continue to focus on the appropriate use of technology, supporting our students in the development of their digital citizenship skills.
Will extended use of the laptop be harmful to the eyes?
Your child will not be using the laptop in every class so there will be ample downtime in which your child’s eyes will be able to rest. In order to avoid eye strain, the College will include instruction in proper use of the laptop including the proper distance to best view the screen and the setting up of the proper screen resolution and viewing angle.
What if my question isn't answered here?
Please ask. We understand that there may be some concerns and questions not included in this FAQ. We welcome input from parents and will add parent's questions to this document. If you have any further questions or concerns about the program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.