Do we (2020) recommend a particular digital device?
No. We have a range of devices available as part of our Equity Scheme. We expect schools to provide advice to parents on devices suitable for particular year groups. Some schools have strong preferences for particular brands and models. It can make things a lot easier for teachers if all students have the same or similar devices. As parents may take up to two years to pay off a device, schools should also take into account any special requirements of schools their children may be attending during the next two years. For example, a secondary school is likely to expect students to have access to a device with a keyboard, whereas a tablet device could be quite suitable for junior students at primary schools. The Ministry of Education has published useful information to help schools and parents make good decisions in choosing and implementing 1:1 learning programmes.
What choices are schools making for the Equity Programme?
The first two schools to join the Trust’s Equity Programme in April 2014 were Brockville and Carisbrook primary schools in Dunedin. The two schools selected year 8 classes to participate, and as these students would be moving on to secondary school during the second year of the equity programme, both schools consulted with local high schools before recommending a device. As a result they chose high-end devices – the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and the iPad Air 9.7 tablets.
Three more schools are gearing up to offer the programme – Tawhero school in Wanganui, Parklands school in Motueka and Levin Intermediate. Tawhero school already uses chromebooks and this was their initial preference. However, after consulting with local secondary schools, they are thinking that a laptop might be more suitable. We will update this post when these schools decide what to recommend to parents.
How much do the devices cost?
Weekly payments vary from $6 to $10. We have selected devices that can be paid off over no more than two years for no more than $10 per week. Payment includes the cost of the device, a cover and insurance. Some devices can be paid off in just 12 months.
How many devices can a family purchase?
We have restricted the number of devices that any family can obtain under our BYOD pilot to just one. This is partly because of limitations with our online ordering portal and partly because we do not want to expose families to large weekly financial commitments. Now we realise there will be exceptions such as two family members in the same BYOD class. If this is the case, we ask that families register under two different people – possibly a grandparent could take responsibility for funding one unit. We will allocate two separate family numbers and require two separate APs to be completed.