Device Requirements

We expect all students to bring their own device (BYOD) to support their learning.

Botany Downs Secondary College expects all students to bring their own device (BYOD) to support their learning. Students can access the internet using the wireless network on campus, and access learning materials provided by the College. This includes access to Office 365 and Monitor Web Printing (to print to school printers). Learning is enhanced when a student has his/her own device, one that can be used anywhere. Having your own device means the student can use the device that he or she prefers and increases the amount of time a device is accessible for learning, both at College and at home.

The most suitable device for learning is a laptop or similar with a keyboard, and reasonable screen size.

You may wish to consider a device that allows a stylus or pen to be used, as this enables a blend of typing, writing and drawing. A smartphone is not suitable. More information about specifications is below..

Information Communication Technology (ICT) is used to promote an active and interactive learning environment, allowing students to further develop their 21st century competencies of digital literacy, communication and working collaboratively to problem-solve and think creatively. It is important that our students develop their critical thinking skills as well as using technology to complete tasks. The Years 9 to 13 curriculum and learning activities have been adapted so that teachers can rightfully expect students to bring their device every day, just as one would expect stationery or any other materials.

Every student at the College is issued with a unique network username and password(s) which allows him/her to log onto the College’s network when onsite. All students have access to a cloud-based service (Office 365) which gives them a personal College Outlook email account, document storage (OneDrive) and the ability to view, edit and create Microsoft Office documents in the cloud and access learning materials/activities provided in SharePoint or using OneNote Classroom Notebooks. Office 365 is a web-based version of Microsoft Office that allows for creating and opening/editing Word, Excel, Power Point, OneNote documents and integrates with the full Office suite, if available on the device.

Note: The Office 365 Student Advantage Programme allows BDSC students, free of charge, to install the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc.) on up to 15 devices (Windows or Mac versions) – new students will receive information by email about how to install this suite at the beginning of Term 1.

A student’s logon identity is used to track the activity of each student on the BDSC network, keeping a record of his or her internet activity, and his or her use of network printers. Consequently, it is a requirement that a student’s username and password are confidential as per the ICT Cybersafety Agreement signed at enrolment.

Students are encouraged to use their own devices (including phones) as personal organisers, keeping track of homework or assessment requirements, in addition to maintaining a diary.

Parent/Guardian Handbook

In particular, view sections 4. BDSC Website and 6. BYOD, Computer Access and CyberSafety Agreement.

Recommended BYOD Devices

The team at New Era Technology have worked with Botany Downs Secondary College to come up with these recommended devices to enable students to complete all the necessary schoolwork at home and in class.

  • A Laptop (or equivalent hybrid) Chromebook is not suitable;
  • At least 12” (30 cm) screen size;
  • Wireless Connectivity using 802.11n (or higher)
  • 8-10 hour battery life from one charge (minimum)
  • Preferably light and robust
  • A protective carrying case
  • Operating System
    • Most compatible: Windows 10 – this is the system the College network uses
    • Other operating systems that have the appropriate wireless connectivity are supported, e.g. Mac OS v.10.10 or newer, Android, …
  • Must support software requirements below
    • Up-to-date Antivirus Software
    • The ability to install and run the Microsoft Office Suite (free for BDSC students with the Student Advantage). Chromebook is not suitable.
    • Optional: Selected Adobe Software, if appropriate for courses chosen by the student, e.g. Design courses may require Adobe Photoshop
    • Higher specification machines may be required for Year 10 Digital Technology, Year 10 Digital Art, and Level 1-3 Design or Digital Technology classes, so consider the expected lifetime/usefulness of the device.

Care and Maintenance of Device

  • Our on-site technician is able to help students with internal technical issues (i.e. connectivity, printing, etc.) but the security and care of the device is the responsibility of the student and parents/caregivers.
  • We recommend ensuring personal insurance covers loss or damage to a device whilst at College.
  • Devices that are not being used should be kept locked in a student’s locker.
  • If a student’s device is damaged or has technical problems that means it cannot be used at College, then we ask parents to notify the College (by note or email to the whānau tutor / leader) and to make repair a matter of priority, to minimise any loss of learning.
  • Equity: A limited number of equity devices are available for student loan in case of hardship. Please contact your child’s Whānau leader for further information on a Device Loan Agreement.

Cyber Safety

Cyber security is different from cyber safety, which includes the protection against objectionable content online (such as pornography); advice about online bullying; and advice on safe social media habits.

If you wish to learn more about cyber safety, you can visit Netsafe.

Together with Google, Netsafe have also launched the Web Rangers programme, where Kiwi teenagers can learn about online safety, get practical tips and create their own campaigns to spread the word about safer internet use.

Cyber Security

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