2021 Device Recommendations

June 29, 2020

St Stephen’s School

St Stephen’s is a Christ-centred, student-focused and community-based School. Founded on a vision to nurture, we aim to inspire learning that transforms lives. We have a reputation for excellence in teaching and a commitment to developing well-rounded people – people of innovation, creativity, integrity and faith.
Our mission to Serve God, Serve One Another is underpinned by five key values – faith, learning, service, care and community. We welcome all who share these values, from all faiths and backgrounds.

At St Stephen’s School we grow people and we see teaching and learning as an opportunity to engage with each other in exciting new learning experiences. Our use of technology is paramount in supporting these engaging learning relationships.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

The “Bring Your Own Devices” Many2One program has been in place for the past several years at St Stephen’s School and runs from Years 5 through to 12. We provide university level wireless infrastructure that caters for 9000+ mobile device connections. For the purposes of BYOD, “Device” means a privately owned wireless and or portable electronic piece of equipment that includes laptops and tablets. Essentially the “D” could be replaced with a “B” for browser as students mainly use devices to access different websites and programs through their browser.

When buying a device for your child please note the following:

  • The Many2One “Bring Your Own Device” program runs from Years 5 to 12. At Year 5 it is a requirement that students provide their own device whilst still having access to primary school owned student shared devices. All Years 5 to 12 students are expected to bring their own mobile device to school from the commencement of the school year.
  • We are a “Bring Your Own Device” School.  By the time students are in Years 7 it is a requirement that students provide a MacBook, Windows flip style notebook or a Windows notebook/tablet hybrid. These decisions are often shaped by the subjects the students are studying and the type of device they might use beyond school.
  • The general life of a device is approximately 3 years before students want to upgrade to a newer model that can handle the increased demands of new features and operating system resource requirements. We would recommend that you purchase your child’s device just before it is needed so it will give you more time before an upgrade is necessary.
  • The class teacher will recommend any applications that need to be purchased specifically. All students are given a Microsoft Office 365 subscription which includes the Office Suite for up to 5 devices (Windows, Mac, iPad), Office online and 1024 GB of cloud storage.
  • The most important accessory you need to buy is a solid protective case and/or bag to ensure your child’s device survives the rigors of the school environment.
  • In order to assist you with purchasing devices, Winthrop Australia have created St Stephen’s School Device Portals where you can order our recommended devices and accessories online.  Please note that we have reviewed all these devices and provide them as a recommendation only. We have based our recommendations on educational suitability, quality, warranty and value for money. All ordering and after sales service is independent of St Stephen’s School.

Device Recommendations

Device Minimum Specifications Years 5 and 6

Apple iPad

Minimum Specifications:

Type: iPad 9.7″ or greater
Model: Wi-Fi
Capacity: 32GB
Case/Protection: Hard Case

Considerations: AppleCare+ (2 years of tech support and accidental damage coverage)

https://sales.winaust.com.au/shop/st-stephens-ipad

Device Minimum Specifications Years 7 to 12

Apple MacBook and Windows Notebook Devices.

Minimum Specifications:

Form Factor: Notebook
Screen Size: 11.6″ to 15.6″
Processor: Intel i5 processor
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Hard Drive: 256 GB solid state hard drive
Battery Life: 6 hours of continuous use
Case/Protection: Hard Case

Considerations: Warranty, cover for accidental loss and damage insurance

https://sales.winaust.com.au/shop/st-stephens-secondary

Network/Infrastructure

Wireless

At St Stephen’s School the wireless infrastructure is regularly tested and upgraded to provide students and staff with a robust, reliable and secure network.

Network Administration

To capitalise the implementation of “BYOD” St Stephen’s has had to address and make several changes along the journey, to the way the network administration had been structured. Ensuring structures were in place to tackle security challenges were essential in ensuring control over mobile access, preventing network vulnerabilities,accessibility, filtering, cloud based storage and our priority of safeguarding our students.

Student Network Accounts

Each student will be provided with their own network account, comprising a username, password, email address and Microsoft Office 365 account

User Agreements

Primary BYOD Device Agreement

At St Stephen’s School, Yr 5 and 6 students have access to their own devices, as well as access to school owned student shared MacBooks and iPads. Technology at our school is used to make learning interesting and accessible.The Primary BYOD Device Agreement supports the expectations of ICT throughout the school and classroom. In collaboration, the students and teachers have identified the following guidelines for the students device use at school. Once the students all have their devices in class, they together with their parents will read through and agree to each of the points listed within the agreement and sign.

ICT Users Agreement

At St Stephen’s School we educate students to be safe, responsible and ethical users of all digital technologies. The School’s computer network and associated resources exist to provide access to curriculum-related applications and information. The student Student ICT User Agreement is an agreement for students from Yr 5-12 that covers use of the use of school networks, wi-fi access, copyright, passwords and Digital Citizenship. Students along with their parents during Term 1 of each year read, sign and agree to comply with the terms of the ICT User Agreement and its expected standards of behaviour, as well as the appropriate consequences, if they do not behave in accordance with this agreement.

 


When Not to Use Technology: 15 Things That Should Stay Simple In Education by Saga Briggs

December 3, 2014

Cited From: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/when-not-to-use-technology-15-things-that-should-stay-simple-in-education/#ixzz3KoO5MrqH

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Most of us know better than to use technology for technology’s sake. The Shiny New Tech Syndrome is taking the world by storm, and with the added pressure of finding new ways to improve educational outcomes, we try our best not to be tempted. But there are some things–certain methods, activities, and tools–we still assume can be enhanced with a little computational flair, when really, if we stopped to question ourselves, we’d find them best delivered the old-fashioned way.

The benefits of integrating technology into learning are extremely well-supported, and range from increased motivation to enhanced cognition. Experts and non-experts alike have seen blended learning enhance students’ communication skillsdigital fluencyengagement, independence, critical thinking, and comprehensionin general. You’ll find extensive scientific support for blended learning with a simple Google search.

One study, conducted at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK, provides an example of this kind of support. Over a two-year period, researchers collected over 300 student opinions on blended learning based on its use in audio lecures, seminars, discussion boards, and wikis. Students found the blended learning approach very flexible and, in many cases, preferable to traditional face-to-face instruction.

They cited flexibility and support, motivation and idea-sharing, interaction and explanation of ideas, communication and teamwork, and project leadership skills as benefits.

In another study, researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder measured the impact of multimedia technology on project-based learning. In completing the projects, which were built around real-world problems, some students used a variety of technological tools, including video cameras, digital editing, and Web authoring tools. Students who used the tools were found to be more collaborative and vocal within their project groups. They also scored higher on communication and audience awareness, presentation and design, and content comprehension. Teachers, meanwhile, found themselves more likely to serve as a facilitator or coach, rather than a lecturer, when their students used the technology.

There are countless studies confirming the educational benefits of technology in learning, and they represent student bodies across the world in a variety of disciplines. But what happens when technology is mis-used in education?

Learning From Computers vs Learning With Technology

If we’re going to integrate technology into education successfully, we need to understand the difference between learning “from computers” and learning “with technology.” When students learn “from computers,” the computers essentially serve as information delivery systems. In this capacity, technology simply presents a student with basic knowledge. Learning “with technology,” by contrast, means using technology as a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process. The point is, educational technology has advanced far beyond what can easily be measured by standardised tests, and if we do not take advantage of this fact, then we are doing our students a disservice.

But there are barriers to adopting this kind of attitude. Typical issues include conservative teaching practices, lack of teacher training, not enough instructional preparation time, and inadequate access to educational software and hardware in general.

A study surveyed 60 Australian teachers and found that, even when teachers had technical skills, they were reluctant to implement technology into their lessons. Teachers were not convinced of the benefits of computers in education, and supported very limited roles of technology in learning.

Much of this appears to lead back to the “learning from” versus “learning with” distinction.

In a survey 2,170 U.S. school teachers, two groups of teachers emerged. The first group believed that computers are “tools that students use in collecting, analysing, and presenting information,” while the second group believed computers are “teaching machines that can be used to present information, give immediate reinforcement, and track student progress.” The beliefs and instructional practices of a further 4,083 middle and high schools teachers were examined, with the finding that teachers who viewed computers as tools rather than teaching machines were more likely to use technology in their lessons.

The sooner we all realise how valuable technology can be as learning tool, the sooner we will see a positive return on our investment.

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“Technology must be used for a practical purpose,” says Ben McNeely, a student at North Carolina State University. “That is, taking the fundamentals and technology learned over a semester and applying it to a final project, where creativity and uniqueness is required and rewarded.”

Using technology for practical purpose, and not for the sake of using technology, must be the clear objective. Mastering the functions of the latest apps and gadgets is not an educational achievement in and of itself. What matters is not how many tools a student knows to operate, but how well she uses them to enhance her understanding of the world.

When Not to Use Technology

1. When it creates harmful shortcuts.

Some math teachers ban calculators, thinking students will use them to solve basic problems they should be able to solve on their own. Some English teachers don’t allow Spell Check. Edtech presents us with a similar challenge: If we give every student an iPad from the age of 5, will they ever learn to use an actual library? Will they develop healthy imaginations? Exercise all five senses on a regular basis? This is something to watch out for.

2. When it undermines deep learning.

Experts have found that educational technology is most powerful when used as a tool for problem solving, conceptual development, and critical thinking. But if integrated inappropriately, it can backfire in a way that undermines all three skills. Be sure you are using technology to enhance the way students think, not just the way they memorise facts.

3. When it undermines basic learning.

Technology may in fact be quite intuitive for today’s younger generations, but it shouldn’t replace the basic skills our society values. Take the calculator example again, for instance. Even in our technologically advanced age, it’s not socially acceptable to have to whip our your iPhone to calculate a time zone difference of, say, five hours. We still need those basic skills.

4. When it decreases interaction.

At its best, technology is an incredible social tool, connecting people around the world. But it can also reduce the chances of interaction and the learning experiences that come with it. When you can look up the right answer on Google, you don’t get to benefit from hearing a friend suggest the wrong answer, or hearing a teacher discuss why it’s the wrong answer. Humans should learn from one another, not just from computers.

5. When it reduces the chance of failure.

This is a big one. Mistakes create learning experiences. Without a struggle, we oftentimes end up with shallow learning and false confidence. Don’t use technology to create perfect students.

6. When the appeal is purely aesthetic.

Don’t fall into the trap of the Shiny New Tech Syndrome. Just remember: If it looks better, it doesn’t necessarily promise more effective learning, and it doesn’t necessarily align with your curriculum goals.

7. When it contributes to information overload.

Part of technology’s educational appeal is that it allows students to learn more, faster. But it’s worth stopping to ask ourselves whether or not this is true. Information overload will always limit learning, no matter how much information we are exposed to and how many tools we have to process it. Do not assume your students will be able to take longer tests just because they are encountering a greater volume of information.

8. When you don’t have the time to integrate it.

If you’re not going to integrate it correctly and fully, don’t integrate it at all. Believe it or not, the way you implement technology into your lessons is just as important as the decision to do so.

9. When it doesn’t support connecting and sharing.

Don’t have your students blog if you’re not going to let them publish what they write. If they can’t share it, it’s not blogging–it’s learning to type.

10. When it doesn’t teach students about technology.

I remember playing Number Munchers in primary school. It was a stimulating relief from worksheet-style multiplication tables, but it didn’t teach me a thing about computers. There’s so much to learn nowadays in the form of coding, design tools, and advanced gamification–why wouldn’t you kill two birds with one stone?

11. When students have already mastered the task.

Multi-modal learning is undoubtedly one of the strongest types of learning, but avoid scenarios in which you’re not adding anything to the experience by incorporating technology. Does your French class really need to be studying the vocab they’ve already learned with virtual flashcards? Sounds like a waste of time to me.

12. When it hampers communication.

Don’t get me wrong–studies have shown that technology seriously enhances communication. Anonymous discussion boards do wonders for shy students. What I’m getting at is the “like” button effect: Are you really using your brain to communicate if you’re just clicking a button?

13. When it limits self-expression.

Sounds impossible considering all the creative possibilities technology affords, right? Well, think again. Some of the world’s best writers, artists, scientists, and thinkers produce their finest work with the simplest tools. Don’t let technological inspiration replace real world inspiration.

14. When it can’t illustrate a concept.

Sometimes it’s just more effective to illustrate a concept using the raw materials around you. Plus, environment is important: students remember where they learned something, which helps them remember the thing itself. A computer screen is not a memorable environment.

15. When technology isn’t relevant.

What! Technology not relevant? How can it be possible? It’s very possible. Don’t make your students present projects using Power Point if they can illustrate their topic more creatively (and accurately) with a mini-field trip on school grounds, or a scientific experiment, or an old-fashioned Sharpie sketch. Let them use whatever method of presentation is most effective, and save the technology lesson for when it counts.

“The fact is that education has already been automated,” says Temple University educator Jordan Shapiro. “Tests, quizzes, textbooks, and Powerpoints are all products of a technological way of knowing the world. They are all ways of objectifying knowledge. My enthusiasm for edtech stems from a hope that it will teach us to handle technological ways of knowing more efficiently and interactively, using gadgets and devices.

However, this is only an advantage if it means that teachers can get back to what they do best: educating instead of disseminating and assessing.”

Image by Maximidia

About 

Saga has taught and tutored writing at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Her educational interests include psychology, creativity, and system reform. She earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Oberlin College and lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.

You can reach her on Google+@sagamilena or saga.briggs @ oc.edu.au.

Cited From: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/when-not-to-use-technology-15-things-that-should-stay-simple-in-education/#ixzz3KoP6ygSD


iPad Cases that Offer a High Level of Protection

May 7, 2014

Many iPad cases on the market now provide a reasonable level of protection while maintaining the  benefits and functionality of the slim design and light weight benefits of a tablet device.

There are also numerous cases that provide little or no protection but look great and only last a month or two.

Within a school environment most student owned iPads will take a battering and occasionally get dropped or have excess pressure applied.

I just wanted to share three reasonably priced brands of iPad cases that perform well within a school environment for children who are likely to experience rough use of their device.

Gumdrop cases, Griffin cases  and  Hardcandy cases.

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The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

April 10, 2014

Related Posts:

  1. Universal Design Learning Explained for Teachers
  2. What is Universal Design for Learning
  3. Learning in the Digital Age: The Reality and the Myth
  4. Prof. Richard E. Mayer – On the role and design of video for learning
  5. Presentation of the Week: Learning How To Learn: Let’s talk about Learning, not technology!
  6. Advice to Young Scientists (TED Talk)

Recommended Student iPad Settings

March 14, 2014

1. General Settings –> Restrictions. In most cases best to Allow All except turn off In-App Purchases.

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2. Set appropriate age ratings.

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3. Setup and enable iCloud. Especially enable Documents and Data and Find my iPad. Probably best to turn photos off unless you are prepared to pay for more iCloud storage.

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4. Ensure iCloud Backup is turned on.

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5. Set a simple 4 digit passcode.

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6. AppStore App. Scroll down to manage a single iTunes Account. Best to only use one account per device. Do not enter credit card details. Redeem iTunes Gift cards or Gift Apps to your children.

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7. Safari App (Internet Browser). Do not turn on Private Browsing.

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8. Leave Date & Time set to Automatic settings.

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Why tablets are a game changer in education

September 3, 2013

Why tablets are a game changer in education

By Liz Logan

 

When kindergartners are starting school already adept with touch screens, you know the world has fundamentally changed. Mobile devices are everywhere:Young people are using the tablets in droves, and more and more schools are rolling out tablet programs every day. But what’s not always made clear is why tablet technology is uniquely suited to education—because of its low costs, a touch-screen interface that’s user-friendly for a wide variety of age groups, and early research that links tablets and apps with improved learning outcomes.

We now know that technology by itself is not a game changer, but that tablets in particular have the potential to open up the world’s rich store of information to willing minds and expert instruction.

“We now know that technology by itself is not a game changer, but that tablets in particular have the potential to open up the world’s rich store of information to willing minds and expert instruction,” says Michael H. Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The Cooney Center is an independent research lab focused on emerging education technologies.

Here’s a look at what some experts and studies have to say about three key differentiating factors of tablets in education.

A touch-screen interface for all ages

The advent of the touch screen has truly been a game changer for education, because it has made technology accessible and developmentally appropriate for younger children who are still developing motor skills. (Even 1-year-olds can use tablets).

“Touch-screen technology has allowed younger kids and earlier learners to interface with computers and digital resources in a way that previous technology was not always practical for,” says Damian Bebell, assistant research professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, who has studied 1-to-1 computing in schools for more than a decade. “A 1-to-1 kindergarten program would have seemed outlandish five years ago, but not now. Tablets are the first time I’ve seen a 1-to-1 program below third or fourth grade.”

For a long time, research on what young children could learn from interactive software was stymied by the simple fact that they couldn’t operate the hardware, says Lisa Guernsey, author of “Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Young Child” and director of the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. “It’s ridiculous when you see videos of little kids trying to use joysticks with TV-based video games,” she says. “Now, it’s much easier for young children to show what they can do and what they know, with a swipe or press of their finger.”

And more and more, research is showing that early learning is vital to students’ future success; if they don’t develop competencies early, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to make up for lost ground later, hitting what experts call “the fourth-grade slump.”

Studies of improved learning

Tablets not only make technology accessible to young children, but also research suggests that tablets and apps can improve learning. Previous studies of 1-to-1 computing programs found that technology brings benefits such as improved test scores and attendance, but these studies usually focused on older students. Last year, Bebell conducted a study of tablets for early literacy with kindergartners in Auburn, Maine. The district randomly assigned half of their kindergarten classes to use tablets as a learning tool for several weeks, while the other half continued learning without the technology. The students who learned with the tablets scored higher on early literacy assessments than the students in the control group, particularly in their ability to recognize sounds and represent sounds as letters.

In a 2010 report from the Cooney Center, researchers gave 90 children, ages 3 to 7, mobile devices loaded with two research-based, educational literacy apps; one was Martha Speaks: Dog Party. Parents completed observation logs for two weeks, and the children took pre- and post-tests to assess their reading skills. After using Martha Speaks, 5- to 7-year-olds’ vocabulary scores for a selection of words included in the app increased more than 20 percent.

“There’s absolutely learning that can happen when an app is designed well,” Guernsey says. Apps are also simple to manage over a fleet of mobile devices, so they give teachers more control.

An affordable technology choice

Last but not least, tablets are far less expensive than many other types of school technology, so schools with limited budgets consider them to be a great option. “Tablets are a much more affordable price point for digital content and access to Web-based materials—and not just in terms of early learners,” Bebell says. And, tablets will likely become more affordable and cost-effective in the future, as more competition enters the market.

Predictions of a tablet-rich future

Levine predicts that tablets will one day become ubiquitous in classrooms from pre-kindergarten through high school because of these three differentiating factors. “This will allow well-trained teachers and motivated students to engage with new technologies that have the potential to help drive much deeper educational experiences,” he says. “In some ways, the new wave of tablet technologies is the modern-day equivalent of the media choices experienced by children of the Sesame Street educational television generation.”

http://www.amplify.com/viewpoints/why-tablets-are-a-game-changer-in-education

 


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