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 so that the potential their laptop can be used to further enhance learning.
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 we have BYOD purchasing help set up with Noel Leeming.
Noel Leeming staff are aware of our preferred devices and can give advice and provide a range of suitable laptops with various warranty, insurance and finance arrangements. Our closest store is in Wairau Park.
They have a series of helpful PDFs they may assist you with your decisions:
Our Digital Learning Environment
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.
Office 365 Online applications:
Your son's school email application - he will have this school email account while he is at Westlake.
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 of their school-related documents.
Online version of Microsoft Word - for all word processing tasks.
Online version of Microsoft Excel - for using spreadsheets.
Online version of Microsoft PowerPoint - for creating slideshows.
Online version of Microsoft OneNote - for all class digital notebooks for all their class content.
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 portable devices 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.
- Portable devices should be protected by a username and password. This should not be disclosed to other students.
- Always store the Portable Computers 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 Portable Computers within the Portable Computer’s sleeve (e.g. cords, papers or disks), 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 when going to the library the device is taken 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 are able to 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.
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 are able to 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 each other 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.