Chromebooks at SIS

December 2015 Update 
A few pupils have been using their own Chromebooks in class this term. We have a school supply to help out those who do not purchase a Chromebook.  The advantages of children owning  their own Chromebook include:
 - No queuing for a turn
- Being able to use it at home
- Greater expertise developed through more frequent use
- Reduced waiting time for all pupils
Our latest deal from Noel Leemings is $547 including gst.  
  • Acer C730 Quad Core Chromebook
  • Intel Celeron 294OU Quad Core Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Protective Case
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Device management& Configuration
  • 3 Years Accidental Damage insurance
Devices will ordered by the closing date of 3 January will be configured and available late January. 

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Adapted from September 2015 Newsletter

Chromebooks Launched at SIS
Last evening parents were introduced to the Chromebook and the package deal which is available for our families (and next year’s enrolments) from Noel Leeming. 

Why Chromebooks?
  • Internet access without device glitches – Chromebook is a “browser”; It allows the user to “browse” and use the internet and applications, saving documents in “the cloud” in your own (school) storage area. 
  • Multiple Connectedness – To the internet; to other children in class; to the teacher; to parents/caregivers; to anyone that the user “shares” with.  “Work” can be accessed from any internet connection.  Parents and teachers can see what the child has shared at any time.  
  • Supervised Firewall in place.School has ability to check history. 
  • Proven performance – well proven and a preferred model for many schools
  • Best current model– Acer C730 Quad Core. 
  • Durability – spill-proof keyboard, strong but light construction, carry bag (waterproof zip!)
  • Protection for buyer – 3 year warranty; 3 year Device management and configuration insurance;
  • Cash or  time payment options - $525 cash for the bundle or $6.48 per week over 24 mths (4.99% int)
  • Simple order system Go to Noel Leeming and tell them you’re wanting to purchase a Chromebook in the Shirley Intermediate School package.
  • Internet connection option - A “T-stick” can be used to provide limited (but generally sufficient) internet access at home if you currently have no internet connection. 
Timeline: If you order by Friday at Noel Leemings your child’s Chromebook (bagged, accessorised, and configured with child’s name and login ready to go) will be delivered to their class on the first Monday of next term.

We will have two more order deadlines during term 4. The Chromebooks will be delivered one week after each deadline.

Justin, Bharat or Marcus at Noel Leeming will be able to take give further information and take orders.  You can see some Chromebook information here.

Chromebooks and current Year Eight pupils
  • Mairehau use Chromebooks.
  • SBHS and AGHS use a Microsoft device, but have “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) for years 9 & 10.  With only ten weeks of this term left you might wish to ask Noel Leeming about the SBHS or AGHS arrangement – their “package” is being announced in the next week.

Chromebooks and current Year Six pupils

You will get full use out of your device for two years, and it will still be useful for one or two years at secondary school. SIS is a BYOD environment.  Chromebook is our chosen device – our buying package was negotiated for an association of thirty one Christchurch schools.  Other browsers and computers will work well in our system, but our recommended device – for the many reasons mentioned above - is the Chromebook.    A note on smartphones: These are not ideal for most classroom usage.  While they can access information, they are not practical for writing or collaboration.

Adapted from newsletter 19 November 2014.

Te Tihi o Te Matauranga (TTOM)

A Christchurch school initiative to provide affordable internet access devices for every pupil across local school networks.   

For those of you who – like me –were raised in the pre-internet age, the notion of a digital classroom might seem a little mysterious. Perhaps it’s just a fad or gimmicky.  The digital world is – however – here to stay and the benefits in school have been well proven.

The SIS Board of Trustees is currently working on plans - with thirty other Christchurch schools - to enable all or most children at SIS to own their own digital device to use at school and home. The Chromebook (a laptop-size browser) is the device we have identified as the preferred option for our school.  Chromebooks are browsers; they do not download. Thus children can access the internet but - as they cannot download - they are not susceptible to viruses. No viruses. Chromebooks are durable and lightweight - essential qualities for much-used devices. Chromebooks are reasonably priced, and our cluster of schools has buying power as we will be purchasing thousands.

There are considerable proven learning benefits to be gained from children having guided access to a digital device for learning. Understandably there will be a lot of questions :
Why are we doing this? Will it help learning? How can it be achieved?Who will own the devices? How can it be affordable? What is the hire scheme?

We will be providing answers to these questions over the next year or so.  For starters, consider this: Year 9 reading level test results at Tamaki College in 2014 showed that all Year 9 pupils who came from primary schools which used digital devices as their main learning tool achieved higher results than all  Year 9 pupils who came from schools with lower degrees of digital interaction.  It should be emphasised that having digital devices is not as important as how they are used to challenge thinking and create learning.   

We will be progressively introducing Chromebooks into Rooms One and Eleven next year, and throughout the rest of the school at a measured pace over the next one or two years. In this way we will be able to address teething problems and provide support as we go.   Using digital devices in class will be new for many children, teachers and parents.  We will be working to address issues and concerns which arise along the way.   

We had a TTOM  information session on Thursday 27 november in the SIS library.  Carol Moffatt from the Greater Christchurch Schools Network (GCSN) made presentation to show the types of things that can happen when pupils each have a digital device.  Our TToM Model is following the path of the Manaia Kalani cluster of schools in the Tamaki district in Auckland.  You can view clips about the Manaia Kalani experience here and here.