Many 2 One 2018: Recommended Devices and Purchasing Portals

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

The “Bring your own mobile technologies” Many2One program has been in place for the past six 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.

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

  • The Many2One “Bring your own mobile technologies” program runs from Years 5 to 12. Year 5 is considered a “phasing in” year where a personal mobile device is recommended. The majority of Year 5 students acquire their own device during Semester 1 and it is expected that all students will have their own device by Semester 2. All Years 6 to 12 students are expected to bring their own mobile device to school from the commencement of the year.
  • We are a Bring Your Own Device School. The majority of students in Years 5 to 7 tend to bring a tablet device such as an iPad. By the time students are in Years 8 to 12 and start looking at a replacement, many students transfer to a laptop or notebook device such as a MacBook Air, Windows flip style notebook or a Windows notebook/tablet hybrid. Decisions are often shaped by the subjects they are studying and the type of device they might use beyond school. A suitable, portable device is part of the learning landscape.
  • The 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.
  • In our “Bring your own browser” environment where the majority of applications and software tools are internet based, devices now come equipped with most of required software. 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.
  • It is commonplace that secondary students also carry with them a smartphone that doubles as a tablet device and can be used for educational purposes. The modern smartphone is now so powerful that it is starting to replace tablet devices like the iPad. This is most apparent in Years 10 to 12.
  • 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 Recommendation Years 5 to 7

iPad or iPad Pro. Wi-Fi only model with 32 GB minimum storage.


Device Recommendations Years 8 to 12

Apple MacBook and Windows Notebook Devices. (All min specs of Intel i5 core processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB solid state hdrive)


Software Application Recommendations 2018

There are hundreds of thousands of apps available. Each student will typically require a unique collection of apps that apply to their learning journey. Teachers will recommend applications appropriate to their classroom. The good news is that the vast majority of  educational apps are free or cost very little. Your child will not be asked to purchase expensive software applications.

Important to note that any student using their own desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone does not need to purchase Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel and many other tools) as this will be provided to all our students as part of our Microsoft Office 365 licensing agreement. This applies at school and at home.

YouTube Safety Options for Families by Leah Nieman


The question I get most often when I’m speaking is, “How can I set up my YouTube account for ‘family friendly’ viewing?” YouTube is a great resource. Here are some YouTube safety options you can use for your family. As always, I recommend talking to your kids about what they view online. Open communication is going to be key.

Set up Safety Mode

Think of Safety Mode as Parental Control for YouTube. Opting in to this setting will help screen out objectionable content you might not want your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. Enabling Safety Mode on YouTube automatically enables Google SafeSearch (his is a similar filter for Google Search). Please keep in mind that Safety Mode might not screen out all questionable content. (I give an example in the video below.)

Safety Mode works on your browser. If you use multiple browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE), you’ll need to log in to YouTube and enable Safety Mode for each browser that your family uses. Be sure to log out of your YouTube account after enabling Safety Mode.

Here’s a quick video that will walk you through setting it up in a snap:

Safety Mode is great but, as with any filter, please don’t rely on the filter alone. Instead, be sure that you are talking to your kids about online safety. And remember, they need to be able to come to you if they feel unsafe or have questions.

Create Playlists

Playlists make it easy for you to filter out content that isn’t age appropriate. Remember to begin allowing your kids to have a part in creating their playlists as they get older.

Sara at Happy Brown House has a great video showing how easy it is:

But, what about older kids?

How do you begin guiding kids so you can help them build towards full independence?

1. Watch with your kids. Kids naturally want to share videos they love with their friends and family. Let them know you are interested and invested in their lives.
2. Take the time to watch alone. If you are uncertain about a video or a creator your child has mentioned, take the time to research it. If your concerns are solid, share them with your child.
3. Encourage your child to subscribe or create playlists for their favorite videos and creators. It means they will be notified when new videos are uploaded. And, it means they have to search less to find what they want.
4. Comments, ads, and suggested videos can be clues. Are they helpful, encouraging, and appropriate? If not talk to your child about the fact that they have to constantly weed through them. How does this make them feel? Is this a positive or negative influence in their life?

YouTube can be a great resource for families. We can use it safely. And, in the process, we can guide our kids so they can learn safe guidelines for using YouTube.


iPad Cases that Offer a High Level of Protection

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.



The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

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)

Be Web Smart

Be Web Smart


Be Web Smart offers articles, tips, guidance and reviews for parents who want to keep their families safe and productive online.

Some Popular Posts include

Recommended Student iPad Settings

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


2. Set appropriate age ratings.


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.



4. Ensure iCloud Backup is turned on.


5. Set a simple 4 digit passcode.


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.


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


8. Leave Date & Time set to Automatic settings.



SafeGov Releases Results of Survey on Australian Parents’ Views of Cloud Services and Online Privacy in Schools

Jeff Gouldby Jeff Gould,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 today released the results of a survey conducted by Brunswick Insight in May 2013 on Australian parents’ views of cloud services and online privacy in schools.

One thousand parents of children in Australian primary to high school equivilents were asked a series of questions related to cloud computing use in schools, the use of children’s data for commercial and advertising purposes and options for protecting the privacy of children.

The survey provided the following insights:

  • Parents expect major benefits from cloud services provided to children in schools. Australian parents expect that cloud services provided in school such as email and document collaboration will help their children acquire the skills and problem-solving abilities they will need in the 21st Century economy.
  • Parents don’t want commercial data mining or online advertising in schools.While most parents in Australia are not aware that some cloud providers could “data mine” children’s email and web browsing for ad targeting purposes, they overwhelmingly object to the practice once informed.
  • Parents want schools and government to take action. Parents’ objections to data mining in school are more than theoretical – they want it stopped. They believe schools and government are in the best position to take effective action. Specifically, they expect new regulationsand voluntary opt-out policies.

For full details on the survey results and the high-level findings, please view the report here.