The Education Department of WA has highlighted a number of key competencies that all students need in the use of technology in their educational and social lives.
These competencies are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they require to continue learning effectively in our society, which is becoming more reliant on digital technology, as well as preparing them for making a constructive contribution to our digital society.
This program seeks to address this aspect of your child’s education in a planned and responsible manner, whilst seeking to incorporate the benefits to literacy and numeracy learning that have been evident in similar programs.
As Christian educators, we have a strong desire to grow our students into the kind of people who can impact their community in a positive way. We see this as a great way of preparing our students to not only become skilled in the actual use of technology, but to become leaders in how to use technology in an ethical and balanced manner.
Our program seeks to introduce students to the tools that are offered to them through technology at age appropriate stages, training them to be skillful users of those tools to express their own creativity and ideas, but also teaching them how to be ethical and responsible in how they use those tools.
This includes maintaining a healthy work/life balance in the use of technology, responsible use of social media and digital communications, and exploring the impact technology is having on society to make informed, conscious decisions about whether that is the direction we really want society to be going.
We spent a considerable amount of time examining and testing various options as well as visiting other colleges to see what is being done elsewhere. We also considered the goals of the program and what role the chosen device would play in that process.
The program we are rolling out is about much more than just any one device. It is aimed at shaping our students’ attitudes towards technology and proficiency in using technology in all its forms.
The iPad gives us the best balance of cost effectiveness, capability, student safety through monitoring and management and flexibility in terms of software compatibility. Its portability and multimedia functionality also make it flexible to a range of educational settings and age groups.
While we certainly understand the implications on parents who have already invested in technological devices for their child/children, from an administrative and logistical viewpoint this is an option we are unable to offer.
The reasons for this decision are as follows;
• The program ensures that a student will always have a device (except for repeated abuse of the program).
• Providing a personal device removes the administrative responsibility from the College and forces the parent to ensure their child always has a functioning device.
• Personal devices will not be covered by the College’s insurance program.
• As the device always remains the property of the College, throughout the lifetime of the program, we are able to ensure that students adhere to the College’s usage policies. We are not able to monitor and control personal devices in the same way.
This depends on which Year group your child attends. Some Year groups will be utilising the technology more extensively than others and this is reflected in the individual levy charged. The levies charged may increase/decrease on an annual basis as improvements, and reliance, on technology changes.
The levy that parents pay will be used to fund the ongoing costs of supplying, maintaining and upgrading the resources for this program. The actual infrastructure needed to make effective use of the devices is included in this expenditure, as are the ongoing expenses of purchasing and upgrading appropriate software as needed. The cost of the actual devices used is only a small component of the overall program expenditure.
The iPad is provided to you by the college. The college, in turn, is paying to lease the device through a finance company. At the end of the two year lease period the device (along with any peripheral items – i.e. keyboard cover, charging device etc.) is to be returned to the finance company.
The college will, at that time, supply you with a replacement device, having examined the available technology on the market to ensure that our program continues to provide our students with the best available resources for achieving the aims of our program.
Damage to College-Owned Tablets :
Due to the mobility of these devices, and the extended personal use of them, there is an expectation that student’s will treat the PDD Tablets with the same level of care afforded to an item they personally own. Therefore, in the event of the iPad damaged the following charges will apply.
High School Students Years 7-9
Students in Primary School who fail to treat devices with due care may incur the charges listed below:
The college has conducted extensive research into what technology is available to help us both monitor and restrict the online activity available to our students. We will maintain the internet filtering management that we have had in place in previous years, resulting in the filtering of adult content and blocking of access to blacklisted sites through our Internet connection. This applies to all devices, whether part of the college’s wired network or connected to our wireless network (this is also why we have chosen to supply wireless-connection-only devices to students).
Additionally, we will be employing monitoring/management software packages that allow us to disable apps that are not required for college work whilst devices are connected to our wireless network. We are also able to push out new apps to devices as they are required, as well as monitor the devices that are connected, locate them on the college grounds and monitor a live feed of what is on each device’s screen, if needed.
As part of our goal of growing our students into responsible digital citizens, we will be continuing to educate students in age appropriate ways on the appropriate use of devices, maintaining personal digital security, protocols and boundaries in online interaction and assertive intervention when others are making poor choices.
There are many ways we will be seeking to encourage and empower you to protect your child in the home from the dangers of unprotected online activity. It is possible to put restrictions in place on the actual device that shape the access your child has to different types of media.
The college will purchase and push out any apps that are required for your child’s education. These will be covered by the ICT program levy.
As has happened in the past, any student caught with inappropriate content on their device, whether having been loaded outside college grounds or via the college network, will be dealt with under the college’s discipline policy. Students will be made aware of the expectations and standards required for participation in this program prior to receiving their device, and will be expected to adhere to these.
Likewise, students found to be making inappropriate use of their device in their communications (bullying, profanity, etc) will be subject to the discipline policy in the same way as in the past.