Westlake Boys High School

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Digital Learning
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What is Digital Learning?

Our students live in an analogue and digital world and need to continue developing skills of Digital Fluency, Literacy and Citizenship.

Digital Learning opens possibilities for greater levels of personalisation, collaboration and connection to learning beyond the classroom.

Many of our students are already using digital devices outside of school to communicate and learn. We make our school resources available digitally so that their laptop can be used to further enhance learning.O

Our Core Learning Elements

Extending Learning - connecting to learning resources beyond the classroom at any time. Visiting learning material before lessons, real-time sharing, and lesson review.

Collaboration - working, sharing and learning with other individuals and teams within and beyond the classroom.

Self-Regulation and Feedback

  • Organising and planning learning
  • Using learning goals and success criteria
  • Reviewing work based on feedback

Appropriate Learning Devices

Chromebooks and iPads are not recommended as their features are more limited than a laptop with a full operating system. MacBooks have no advantage over a similarly specified PC and you are likely to pay more.

Device configurations change regularly, as do prices and there is a wide range of suitable devices.

See the Which Device? page for our recommendations. 

Will the school be operating a purchasing programme?

Not at this time, but there are good deals at most electronic stores and the school has a purchase portal set up with Cyclone.

You can ask any of the tech stores for a high school spec’d laptop and they can give advice and provide a range of suitable laptops with various warranty, insurance and finance arrangements. Our closest stores are Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman, Wairau Park.

See the Which Device? page for our recommendations.

Our Digital Learning Environment

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is our core suite of applications. Accessible both on the web and as a desktop application. Students can download and install Microsoft Office for free at portal.office.com using their school email address and school password. Versions of Office, Teams and OneNote are available for all platforms.

Microsoft 365 Online applications:

Outlook
Your son's school email application - he will have this school email account while he is at Westlake.

OneDrive
Cloud storage - each student has 1TB (one terabyte) of data in their school OneDrive. It should be used as their main place for storing all their school-related documents.

Word
Online version of Microsoft Word - for all word processing tasks.

Excel
Online version of Microsoft Excel - for using spreadsheets.

PowerPoint
Online version of Microsoft PowerPoint - for creating slideshows.

OneNote
Online version of Microsoft OneNote - for all class digital notebooks for all their class content.

Teams
Online version of Microsoft Teams - this is the main application for all class activity.

Student Device Care and Security

It is important that students take responsibility for their own equipment, naming their device, handling it carefully and storing it securely when not in use.

Care and Security of Personal Devices

Mishandling your laptop is the largest cause of problems. Most devices will come with care guidelines which we advise users to read. The following are conditions that we recommend.

  • Your device should be protected by a username and password. This should not be disclosed to other students.
  • Always store your laptop in the protective bag.
  • Avoid storing it at the bottom of your school bag - pressure from books can damage the screen and hinges.
  • Do not store anything additional to the actual laptop within the laptop’s sleeve (e.g. power cords, books, food), as this may damage the screen.
  • Carry your device within its protective cover inside your normal school bag. Do not overfill your school bag - pressure on the device can cause permanent damage to the screen and other components.
  • Never lift the device by the screen. This will stress the hinge mechanism, which also carries the power supply to the screen.
  • Never leave your device in a car or in an exposed area where it can be stolen.
  • Never leave your device in unsupervised areas during the school day.

Security of devices while at school
The security of a student-owned device is the responsibility of the student. We suggest that, if your class is going to the library, you take your device out of your bag and take it into the library. Where students are in Physical Education, your teacher will provide guidelines for safety of the equipment. If you have a lockable locker, this is the best location for your device while in PE.

Service and Support
We can provide limited support for students. This will be mainly to ensure that they are able to connect to our school network to assist with minor troubleshooting.

Warranty and Insurance
Most devices come with a one-year warranty. A three-year warranty is sometimes available. Insurance should be covered by the owner of the device - some resellers offer special insurance for theft, damage and loss.

Virus Protection
Ensure that the virus protection on portable devices is kept up to date.

Saving and Backup
Students are responsible for their own backup of critical data at all times. This may be through a USB, SD card, external drive, or cloud-based backup to regularly back up important work. We provide 1TB of storage through our Westlake OneDrive accounts. We have seen on many occasions external hard drives and USB drives become corrupt with no data being able to be retrieved. We strongly recommend the use of cloud storage as the primary location of all files as this is backed-up automatically.

Printing from Personal Devices
Students can print from school computers and their own laptops by using web printing from our start menu: https://start.westlake.school.nz.

Keeping safe online
Westlake Boys High School believes open communication between parents, teachers and students is the best way to keep students safe. Students will often share concerns with others online. It is important that they tell a teacher and/or parent/caregiver when they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened online. If you have any concerns about this agreement or internet safety contact the school or visit http://www.netsafe.org.nz.