Parents and staff explain how Bay of Islands College introduced Chromebooks and the benefits they have for connecting home and school. “They do a really good programme where they interact with you and issue the Chromebook to the parent and the child.”
John Paitai: How do we prepare our tamariki to be successful in a world dominated by all of this digital media? I believe it begins with teaching our students to be digitally literate so that they can develop the skills that they need to live and thrive in the 21st century.
Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon: My youngest daughter attends Bay College and they tell me that there’s these Chromebook things that are hooked to a cloud and I just thought, “Oh man, gone are the days of doing stuff in a book”.
Kelly Stratford: So when the Chromebooks were first coming into year 9 we all got to go to public meetings. I went to about three, my husband went to a couple as well which is really handy because he’s not that computer savvy but he knows how to work the device himself now.
Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon: The school are just very good at keeping us informed about what’s happening each step of the way with Chromebooks.
Kerry Boyde-Preece: At the moment not all of our families have got internet and so we’re sending out emails with newsletter and information about what’s happening and also hardcopy letters as well to support at this stage.
Kelly Stratford: Layering of communication out there for the school’s really good.
Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon: The school are very good at allowing us to have the teacher’s email addresses. I’m a very busy person so email’s just the easiest thing for me.
Kelly Stratford: The school communicated with us all the time, letting us know when they’d arrive and even though the kids didn’t have their own device yet, they were still using them in classes and then the uptake was, you know quite high. Almost 100% of the class have a device to use and there’s no one sitting there with nothing. It’s because of the Kaikohekohe trust that it is working, the payments are so cheap per week that it is within, you know, most household’s budget to have these devices.
Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon: You couldn’t just receive your Chromebook here at Bay College. They do a really good programme where they interact with you and issue the Chromebook to the parent and the child. And both have to be present, and both have to sign an agreement, and so I was fully aware. For example, the IT teacher said for Inverness just to ensure that she kept all work for school on the Chromebook and anything for her Facebook or her other social activities either on her phone or her iPad. But they’re very good at telling you how the product was going to benefit your child’s learning and how it can support us and support your child. The benefits of the Chromebook that I feel are that it’s real time learning and it’s really putting our children in a space where they can engage on that level. I guess that that’s a main thing and that it’s in a cloud so she can access it anywhere in the world.
Kelly Stratford: I can be involved with Melissa’s learning by her being able to share her work with me. She comes from a school that has previously been doing Chromebook learning and so the benefit is that continuity of learning for her. She’s already familiar with how to use a device. Although she probably feels she doesn’t need my help, I can just say, “Oh what are you doing in this class, do you want to show me?” They’re learning independently at this age so they don’t want Mum over their shoulder but they like the feedback and it’s talking to them in a way that they like talking as well, sending them messages. So the school keeps us informed on my child’s learning with the KAMAR portal. I’ve got a login to that for each of my children and it’s where I can see how many credits my older child has got.
Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon: There’s awesome programmes in the unit that Inverness is in, they have this computer app that the kids can go on and it’s like a progress bar and it tells them where they’re at and what they need to do to achieve the next level and it’s sort of like playing a game so it’s very, very, very user friendly. So I see a way forward from year 9 and learning all the way from that year all the way to the end and still being able to access all her Chrome docs and information that may be useful. She is I feel a lot more connected into her learning herself. Because they have real time teachers as well that they can jump on and have a look at if I can’t do this sum how do I do it? And it will break it down and rewind. You can’t rewind a physical teacher. I just think it’s the way of the future.