Digital Learning

Howick College is future focused and passionate about digital learning, not only because of the endless online tools and resources that are available to 21st Century learners, but digital devices enable students to be flexible and creative with their own learning in ways that are not possible in traditional settings.

Digital devices allow students to independently explore and collaboratively create with others extending the boundaries of their learning environment beyond the classrooms. Students at Howick College have cleverly utilised their digital devices to work with the local charities, video conference with film directors, publish their writing with people around the world, and conduct authentic scientific research endorsed by major universities.

Digital learning, not only changes the way students and teachers interact, share and work with each other, it enables students to access their work anywhere and anytime, and allows teachers to provide immediate feedback with individualised support for each student.

All students are required to bring a suitable laptop to school. All subjects will require students to use their own computer for part or all of their learning. To participate fully and effectively in digital classes, students will need to have a laptop that meets the minimum requirements set out as follows. Please note, iPads are not suitable devices, and many older and slower laptops handed down by relatives may not be suitable either.

 

Minimum Requirements:

  • Screen: at least 10 inches (25cm) diagonal. (A touch screen is not required).

  • Connectivity: Wireless, through any browser. It is advisable to have a wireless connection at home.

  • Battery: Minimum of 8 hours battery life and that the device be fully charged before school each day.

  • Keyboard: Mechanical keyboard that is either detachable or built-in. Touch-screen or “membrane” keyboards are not suitable because mechanical keyboards are much more effective for touch typing and are more durable. Battery powered keyboards must also last at least 8 hours.

  • Quality: Although there is no minimum price set for a device, our experience indicates that the cheapest machines tend to be less robust and may end up costing more in the long term.

  • Operating System and Software: Microsoft, Apple or Linux operating systems running a web browser such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc., able to operate software the student downloads and is USB capable.

Recommendations:

Howick College works with Harvey Norman to provide a range of commercial, enterprise grade computers that meet all of our requirements and recommendations and they provide back-up and support.  We therefore recommend:

  • That new computers be purchased through Harvey Norman.

  • A  built-in camera

  • Good antivirus software. There are a number of free antivirus programmes such as Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG or Avast AV.

  • A robust protective cover and a school bag able to hold the covered computer and other school equipment.

  • That only the Microsoft Office software provided through school is loaded. That is, we recommend that you do not load or authenticate any Microsoft Office software that may come with the computer. This will reduce the likelihood of initial software conflicts. (The student will receive five free licences for Office 365 once they attend Howick College).

  • That parents recognise that the student’s computer needs will change over the next three years. A student who is happy with their device is more likely to want to use it, look after it and keep the battery charged. A basic computer will be sufficient for school but one with higher specifications may be more suitable if their child is using it for other activities.

  • That reasonable steps be taken to make the child’s online computing safe yet rewarding as possible. The parent must be the only person with administrator rights to the computer and they must adjust the security settings to an appropriate level. There should be restrictions on the times of the day and the length of time that the computer can be used.

It's our future!

Howick College is proud to be one of the leading schools in New Zealand on the front foot to prepare our students for the future and enable them to take ownership of their learning. Digital technology is now an essential skill to thrive in the workforce and in the pursuit for further education. As the potential of technology continues to grow and change the way we live, we endeavour to best prepare our young people as they move forward in their future to face this ever-changing world.

 Inspiring a Community of Passionate Learners       Whakamanawahia Tētehi Hapori O Ngā Ākonga Hihiri