• Year 4: 2018
  • Year 4, 5, 6: 2019

To Parents and Caregivers,

In 2017 we have been trialling the use of Chromebooks in Year 4 - 6 classes, as a tool that engages students and allows them to explore new opportunities in their learning. From 2018, we will be embarking on an exciting development in the way learning can be undertaken in the Year 4 - 6 area of the school. To achieve new and different learning possibilities, we are encouraging students in Year 4 (2018) and Year 4 - 6 (2019) to bring their own chromebook to school (BYOC).

We understand that this is a change to what has occurred previously. It is however, an initiative that we believe captures current and future direction in primary education. This is reflected in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum that will be implemented across all schools from 2018.

Chromebooks are fast, easy to use, relatively cost-effective, safe and secure devices. As they have no moving parts, they are more resilient than laptops. They are becoming increasingly common in primary classrooms.

BYOC is not compulsory and there will still be an existing supply of Chromebooks and laptops for student use in the classroom. We do though encourage parents to consider this as an option for their child, in order to provide them with their own Chromebook, which can be brought to school and taken home each day. If your child has their own Chromebook, it will be used only by them and will be locked away in their classroom when they are not in the room, e.g. lunchtimes, assemblies.

We’d strongly suggest that a 3-year warranty and insurance cover are obtained if you wish your child to have their own Chromebook.

We encourage your questions - please feel free to see either of us.


Andrew Leverton - Principal

Jo Drake - Middle School Team Leader


Recommended Models

The school, with the support of our Home and School group, has purchased a small amount of Chromebooks for Year 4 - 6 classes. These are the Acer C731 and HP 11G5 (4GB). These have worked well for us and as such would be recommended models to look out for when purchasing. The C738T is a touchscreen alternative.

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We recommend the following specifications for a Chromebook:

  • Battery life: should last 5-8 hours to be able to get through the school day without recharging
  • Dual Band Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n (5.0 Ghz) – this allows a more stable connection to our network
  • RAM/Memory: should be 4GB or more, so that programmes can run quickly
  • Screen size: 11.6 inch
  • Insurance: the school cannot be responsible for damage or loss of electronic devices, so please make sure this is covered on your own policy. This can be an add on with any purchase through Cyclone
  • Warranty: having a 3 year warranty is important as students who are using a device will want any faults fixed quickly (comes with Cyclone Chromebooks)
  • A suitable hard carry case for transporting between home and school (comes with Cyclone Chromebooks)

Purchasing / Finance options
The school has worked hard to secure deals on Chromebooks with Cyclone Computing. Cyclone have launched a parent portal for our school:

www.cyclone.co.nz/byod
Login: geraldineprimary
Password: gpbyod

Chromebooks are also able to be purchased through any computer retailer. We would recommend the above models / specifications. There are finance options available through Cyclone for families that may find purchasing a Chromebook outright difficult. Please see Andrew Leverton or Jo Drake. Other retailers may also offer different deals.

Here are a couple of links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVqe8ieqz10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TWztwbOpog


 FAQs

Will my child be required to share his / her Chromebook with other students?

In a word - no. As they are valuable items they will have sole use of them.

Will my child’s Chromebook be covered by the school’s insurance?

No it won’t - this will need to be arranged through your own provider. Chromebooks purchased through Cyclone have insurance as an optional extra, with no excess and a 3-year warranty as part of the purchase price.

Will my child be able to use their Chromebook during break times?

No. They will be locked away at these times and for assemblies etc. We currently have a ‘no unsupervised access’ policy at school and this will continue with the BYOC initiative. We believe that it is important for students to have a break from their in-class learning, socialise with others and be active.

What about the use of pens and exercise books? Will this continue?

We will continue to offer a balanced programme, which includes things like writing. This could be alternated between using the Chromebook and drafting a piece of writing in a book. It is likely that most maths work will be done in an exercise book. By having a Chromebook, children will be able to choose the best ‘tool’ for the job. We will be looking closely at stationery requirements and will endeavour to minimise these for Year 4’s in 2017.

Is it compulsory for my child to have a Chromebook?

No it’s not, but we do recommend and encourage children in the designated years groups to do so, in order to take advantage of this opportunity.

Why is BYOC just for Year 4’s in 2018 and Year 4 - 6’s in from 2019?

This is an appropriate age to be learning and understanding about doing their work safely in an online environment. As BYOC is new to our school, we are offering it to Year 4’s initially to work with a smaller group of students, as opposed to potentially over 150 students straight away.

When is the best time to buy a Chromebook for my child who will be in Year 4 in 2018?

They can be purchased anytime, but next year’s Year 4s can only bring them to school from the start of the 2018 school year. Our IT support provider, Cyclone experience a higher number of orders between November and February and delivery time may lengthen over this period.