Thank you for making the positive choice to send your student to Waitakere College.
Waitakere College is a BYOD school, which means that all students at the college from years 9 to 13 are required to bring an appropriate computing device of their own to school on which to do their work.
We understand that the start of the school year brings many expenses. However, it is an important part of your student’s journey through the school to ensure they are able to participate equally in the teaching and learning in their class. For this reason we remind families that all students will need to bring their device to school every day in 2022.
If you are eligible for assistance from WINZ, we recommend you take them this info sheet along with confirmation of your child’s enrolment at Waitakere College if you wish to apply for assistance.
If you have any issues accessing assistance, which you believe you are eligible for, please contact the school for further support in dealing with this. You are welcome to call the school from your meeting if needing support on 09 836 7890.
Waitakere College recommends a Google Chromebook as a suitable device for years 9 to 11. We have worked with Cyclone computers to provide a package that we recommend due to the superior Accidental Damage Cover. This allows the customer to make up to 3 claims over 3 years without any excess payable as opposed to most other suppliers who only cover for 12 months, allow only one claim and require an excess payment. Cyclone computers sell through an online store only and you will need to login with the following details: https://byod.cyclone.co.nz/waitakerecollege Login: waitakerecollege Password: wcbyod
Noel Leeming Lincoln Rd and PB Tech Railside Ave also offer good deals for our families. Whilst we think these suppliers offer good value for money, if you can find a better deal with another retailer, please feel free to go with them.
We strongly recommend that you take the following into account when selecting a device:
● Does it have accidental damage cover? This really is essential in case something breaks - eg the screen. How long is the cover for? (recommend 3 years) How many claims can be made? What is the excess? What is the cost of the cover?
● How current is the model of Chromebook or Laptop?
● Does it have a 3-year warranty? (However, cover is also provided under the Consumer Guarantees Act, that a device must be durable)
● Some providers offer a loan device if you need to claim under warranty or insurance which can be helpful
● It is essential that all devices are kept within a protective case (even if they will be transported to and from school in a school bag).
● Students are now able to use a wide range of digital tools for reading, writing, designing, working with spreadsheets, doing Maths, answering questions, creating and researching on a daily basis
● Ownership of a personal device by students has been shown to increase motivation and engagement
● BYOD supports greater independence and improved critical thinking, and provides new opportunities for collaboration, sharing, engaging with communities and creativity
● Teachers share assignments directly with students who submit work and receive teacher feedback online. This work can also be shared with friends and whanau around the world!
● The full integration of digital learning tools into our curriculum is essential to ensure our students are responsible, safe and skilled users of digital technology in the online world they are already part of.
Chromebooks or laptops are suitable for this type of learning.
Some specialist subjects use specific software like Photoshop, Garageband, Sony Vegas, Sketchup etc. These are paid applications that can be purchased and installed on a laptop but will not work on a Chromebook. However, in these areas, desktop computers with the software are available for students to use so a Chromebook will still be useful for completing homework on Google docs etc.
Smartphones are not adequate for this type of learning
iPads and tablets are also less useful than a device with a keyboard such as a Chromebook or a laptop.
Devices will need to be equipped for typing and editing documents, collaborating online and using internet resources and tools.
Key requirements: the device must be:
● Light and portable
● Have a minimum screen size of 11.6”
● Have a keyboard
● Have a battery that will last at least eight hours
* Please note that some Laptops and notebooks fall well short of this.
* It is not always possible for the school to provide charging facilities at school so devices must be brought to school after being fully charged at home each night
● Able to connect to the school's wireless network
● Robust and sturdy enough for school use
● Under warranty - to ensure that any failure of the hardware or components can be quickly remedied
● Have a protective case
● Insured against loss or damage (including Accidental Damage Cover – 3 years, multiple claims recommended)
Please note that the school will guide students in keeping devices safe at school, but will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage.
Our experience has shown that an up to date chromebook is a good choice for Years 9 to 11, meeting all the specifications above. A chromebook may still be suitable for Years 12 to 13 if students are taking subjects which do not require specialist software or higher specifications. When buying a Chromebook, we recommend you get one with at least 4GB RAM. A Chromebook with 8GB will run faster and handle more complex operations.
When making the choice of device for Years 12-13, students and parents should consult the subject teachers of their chosen subjects and ask for advice. For some specialist subjects, a laptop with higher specifications would be an advantage, but is not an absolute requirement. Do pay attention to the amount of RAM the laptop has - the more RAM, the more capable the laptop is of completing complex operations - for example music, video, photo editing software generally require at least 8GB RAM.
Families should also consider whether students will be studying at tertiary level in the future. A laptop may be more appropriate for tertiary study. However, some students report that the extra weight of a laptop can make it harder to carry around all day.
Students will be able to achieve much of what they need to, using online tools which are often free.
Teachers can advise students of specialist software useful for particular subjects.
It is important that the device have an up-to-date operating system, and the Google Chrome browser, which can be installed on any operating system free of charge.
For specialist subjects where specific software like Photoshop, Garageband, Sony Vegas, Sketchup etc.is used, desktop computers with the software are available for students to use during class time.
We will provide help to connect to the school network. If there is something that is not working with your device, it is best to bring it to school in the first instance and ask a teacher for help. However, beyond that students will need to take responsibility for their own devices for problem solving or troubleshooting.
If necessary you will need to refer to a technician or to the supplier where you bought the device.
We make lockers available and offer an engraving service at the start of the year for a reasonable cost so that students can keep their devices secure.
If you have any other questions please email our Deputy Principal in charge of BYOD