ICT @ St Helena SC
Since the inception of the internet and relentless advances in computing power, technology has transformed the way we live in terms of how we consume information, create ideas and memories, and connect with others. Unlike no other time in history has humanity been able to progress in learning and understanding, as it has in recent modern times.
St Helena Secondary College wants to build on this technology platform in order to equip our students as powerful learners, and prepare them for a connected world in the 21st century.
The purpose of this information is to inform parents of the College’s plans to improve computer access in 2012.
Devices: Years 9-12
The National Secondary School Computer Fund (NSSCF) is a key component of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution initiative.The principle objective of the NSSCF is to achieve a take-home computer-to-student ratio of 1:1 for Year 9-12 students for 2012.
Our ability to offer this environment for Years 9-12 is dictated by the amount of funding we are eligible to receive and the type of device we select. We have been informed that the College is eligible for funding that allows for the purchase of 500 machines. It becomes quickly apparent that this allocation together with previous amounts will not be able to deliver a 1:1 take home learning experience for all students in years 9-12. The College is researching scenarios of distributing higher specification devices vs lower specification devices. We are close to finalising our decision on the type of device we will issue to students. The Victorian Department of Early Education and Childhood Development (DEECD) dictates the type of devices that can be purchased under this Federal initiative.
Some elements of the program are still not finalised and the Department are still negotiating which devices will be available. What is certain, is that as 2012 is a transition year, and as a consequence of some anomalies in the funding, Yr 12 are not able to participate in the NSSCF program in 2012.
The College will support Year 12 student access to technology through its distribution and access to laptops on trolleys and our existing computer labs, and we are investigating whether it is viable for Year 12 students to bring their own devices and connect to the internet via our Network. As soon as we have some more concrete information we will communicate directly with Year 12 parents. We are hoping to provide devices for Years 9-11, but we may yet need to consider a transitional arrangement such as that for Year 12, for other students.
ALL Students and families using a device on our Network will be asked to sign an agreement for the appropriate use, NSSCF users will sign an additional agreement related to the care for the machine prior to it being issued and allowed to be taken home.
The school retains ownership of the NSSCF devices until the student completes Year 12. At this time ownership of the device will be determined by the school. As the NSSCF initiative is expected to last for 3 years it is anticipated that machines will be recycled among years 9-12.
i.e Year 12 students hand in their device, they are passed onto yr 9 students.
Although we are only funded for students in Years 9-12, St Helena would like to offer a 1:1 take home personal learning experience with computers for ALL our students in recognition that learning can take place anywhere and anytime. Many students in our neighbouring primary schools have been involved in laptop or netbook leasing arrangements and will enter Year 7 next year well used to the take-home computer experience. It is illogical that students work without a take home device until they join the NCSSF program in Year 9.
Devices: Years 7&8
The NSSCF initiative is NOT applicable for students in Years 7 & 8. To enable Junior School students to have their own take home machine, the College must adopt another strategy.
In 2012 we would like to offer technology to Year 7 students via a Leasing arrangement. To ensure continuity the same device offered for Yrs 9-12 will also be offered for Year 7 students. This WILL involve parental payment of between $300 and $400 per year. Many other schools have adopted this strategy, and we are confident we will be able to offer our parent community viable payment options.
The devices will be fitted with the Department of Education’s Windows 7 Edustar Operating system and associated programs. Machines carry a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty and are eligible for technical support.
Students are eligible to receive the assigned NSSCF funded device once they begin Year 9 OR continue their Year 7 and 8 lease. They may choose to own the leased device after 3 years.
As 2012 is a transition year, Yr 8 are NOT invited to participate in the leasing program as they are eligible for a NSSCF funded device the following year. A leased device for 1 year is not an option.
The College will support Year 8 student access to technology through its distribution and access to laptops on trolleys and our existing computer labs, and we are investigating whether it is viable for Year 8 students to bring their own devices and connect to the internet via our Network. As soon as we have some more concrete information we will communicate directly with Year 8 parents.
What do you need to do? Nothing. This flyer is for your information only and more information will be forthcoming later in the year.
Curriculum and Communication
St Helena Secondary College will use the ULTRANET to deliver curriculum to students and inform parents of progress. Complementary to this tool is another web space called COMPASS. This offers greater student and school information as well as communication and authentication of attendance, events/activities/excursions, online payments, digital photos and semester reports. Families will have access to Compass beginning Term 4, and Ultranet access will be made available throughout Term 4 also. Families will receive instruction letters and/or emails for setting up their Ultranet and Compass access.