Frequently asked questions

Q. Is BYOD worth the cost?

A. The purchase of a device is a major decision and a significant expense. A good quality device may last from Year 7 to Year 12 and viewed over six years the expense is considerably less. Karabar High School has taken strides to integrate device use into many aspects of teaching and learning. Your investment allows the school to maximise the learning outcomes for all students.

We are committed to our obligations as a public education institution to deliver the same learning outcomes to all our students no matter their families' financial means.

We have developed an Equity Policy to operate alongside our BYOD Policy. The Equity Policy outlines a number of strategies the school may take in consultation with you, to augment access to information and communication technologies.

Q. Why is KHS doing this, it does not seem necessary?

A. Going BYOD is optional for NSW schools, however, we are really putting students behind if we do not maintain the momentum created by DER. University and TAFE learning is now so reliant on digital learning. Private schools have been using laptops 7-12 for a while, and we are not prepared to disadvantage our students in the learning market place by not moving forward with BYOD.

Q. What software will I have to buy?

A. DEC is investing a huge amount of money and energy to develop systems so that students can access free software - Microsoft tools, Google apps and Adobe CS6 - through each individual portal, saving millions of dollars for parents on this software.

All DEC students with a login will be able to access a Microsoft office package through the Department of Education portal. This will also have One Note. We have been told this will come on line early in 2014. Adobe CS6 will also be available to students through the DEC portal.

Q. What happens if my child's device is lost, stolen or damaged?

A. Any damage or loss to a device that a student brings to school will be the student's responsibility. The school will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage. The school does not own the device, support the device or warranty the device. Experience from the previous Commonwealth-funded Digital Education Revolution scheme indicates that students who took good care of their device and considered themselves the device's owner rarely had device security issues. 

If you are concerned the device is going to be broken, lost or stolen, you may wish to consider specific accidental loss and breakage insurance for the device.

You may also consider using a device locator service. These services include the "Find my iPad" service built in to Apple iOS devices, "Prey" for Windows or "LoJack for Laptops".

Q. How the device will be used at school.

A. Teachers/schools across our system under the DER roll-out invested a lot of time and money on professional learning, and the incorporation of online systems, to support learning for Years 9-12, as all students had laptops for learning provided through Federal funding. Now that the DER program has been concluded, our school does not want to lose the valuable engagement of students by using technology as a classroom tool. This is a global trend.

 KHS  has established a learning environment that is supported Learning Management Systems in the form of Moodle. In all the faculties, an LMS is used by teachers in various ways as a place to store for resources for students to access, for students to submit work, and as a means of differentiating the curriculum. As well there is increasing online apps which students need to access, such as Maths Online.

If you were to visit any classroom any day for Years 10-12 you would find students using their DER laptop for notes, using One note, for research, to use Language or Maths online programs or to follow instructions from an LMS.

With the new ACARA curriculum the need to use of digital devices has been expanded to Stage 4, and increasingly primary school students are coming into Year 7 with devices ready to learn, and feel left out if not included.

While not every teacher at KHS  uses ICT every lesson, it is an essential part of every course and is reported on through student assessment. As well the wireless network in schools means students in every classroom of the school can be on a device simultaneously. No school has enough computer labs to achieve what is required in this area.

Q. Can the device be charged at school?

A. Most learning spaces do not have the capacity to charge devices. Students should make sure their devices are fully charged every day. It is recommended that devices should last 5 hours without being charged.

Q. Will there be a place at school for devices to be stored when they are not being used?

A. When students are not in class their devices should be stored in their bags in a safe place. They should not leave their bags unattended at any time. They should also not leave their bags in places where the device can be easily damaged.

Q. Will there be an internet filter applied when the device is used at school?

A. While at school, students will be restricted by the NSW Department of Education filtered internet service. All social media sites and inappropriate sites are blocked while students are at school.

Q. Will I be able to put on my own apps or programs onto my device, other than the ones the school has asked for?

A. Yes. Parents and students are allowed to install their own apps and programs on their devices. These are at the discretion of parents and students.

Q. I have an old laptop, is it suitable for BYOD?

A. We recommended laptops of a certain age on the specifications sheet to ensure they can connect to a wireless network.

Q. How can my child print from their device at school?

Printing directly from a device will not be possible. There are, however, 2 ways a student can do this:

1.      Email the work to themselves or save their work in the cloud (in 2014). Go to the library and using the desktop machines, log on to the portal. Print work to the printer in the library that is already used by students.

2.      Save their work onto a USB and take to the library and print from the USB

Q. Do students still have to bring exercise books to school?

A. Yes. A device is another tool for learning just like all other equipment. Students will still be required to bring exercise books and writing materials in addition to their device.

Q. Do students have to bring their devices every day to school?

A. Yes. The device is part of a student's equipment set for learning. Students will be expected to bring their device fully charged to school every day.

Q. Do Apple products connect to the DEC wireless network?

A. Yes, as long as the student has a DEC username and password and the laptop has wireless capability of 5GHz 802.11n

Q. I bought an Android tablet at Aldi, will this do?

A. This type of tablet doesnot meet the specifications to be able to access the DEC wireless system; therefore your student could not use the internet at school on the device.

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Donald Road Queanbeyan
NSW 2620
F: 02 6299 3035