Frequently Asked Questions

 


Should I get a Mac or PC laptop for my daughter?

Our most common question. In short, there is no right or wrong choice - any PC or Mac laptop is suitable as long as it meets the minimum requirements.

Apple Macintosh is extremely popular with teenage girls, both because it is easy to use and is considered very cool and trendy, and as such the majority of students at Roseville College have Apple Macintosh laptops. There is also significant peer pressure to conform and have the same laptop as everyone else, so many students and parents who are undecided often elect to follow the trend and purchase an Apple Macintosh laptop.

Windows PC laptops, whilst not as popular, are no less suitable and are just as easy to use and as capable as the Apple devices. Windows laptops are generally a bit cheaper (as Apple markets themselves as a "premium" device), so Windows laptops are a very good choice for those who want greatest "bang-for-your buck". Some Windows laptops also support touch screens or have integrated tablets that undock from the keyboard, and so provide great options for those wanting touch capabilities (i.e. digital art).

Where undecided, it suggested that parents reflect upon what type of devices are used at home and what type of computer(s) your daughter has used in the past. If your daughter has predominantly used a PC and there are primarily PCs at home, then there is probably an advantage to your daughter to have a PC at school. Conversely, if your home has predominantly Apple devices and your daughter is more comfortable using an Apple Mac, then that is the better choice.

It is also recommended that parents, especially those with daughters in Years 7 and 8, reflect upon their knowledge and comfort levels in supporting their daughters using either a PC or Macintosh.

Ultimately, parents and students are strongly encouraged to consider all of the factors above when choosing whether to purchase a PC or Mac and to make an informed decision to choose the best laptop to support learning, and not just get a laptop solely on the basis of it being trendy or peer pressure.

Regardless of what laptop is purchased, students are expected to have a strong working knowledge of the laptop before the start of school. Students will be assessed in the first week of term on basic laptop knowledge and will be required to attend either before or after school catch up sessions where their knowledge of how to use their laptop is deemed to have the potential to impact their learning. The following resources contain tutorials on expected knowledge.

Both Apple Macintosh and Windows (PC) laptops are available from our preferred Reseller(s). Please visit the Preferred Resellers section for more information.

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What services can my daughter access at school from her personal device(s)?

Once connected to the wireless networks, students will be able to access all Roseville College online resources as if they were at home. These include the College Portal, Connect (the school’s eLearning portal), the Internet, school based files and printers. They will also be able to access their school email (provided by Gmail), Google online applications, Office 365 and storage.

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How does my daughter backup her data on her laptop?

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that their school work, indeed any important material, on their laptop is backed up. The College backs up all data stored by students in MediaVault and MyFiles, but does not and cannot backup data on student BYOT laptops.

All students are strongly encouraged to backup to a dedicated online backup system. Google Backup and Sync is one such service. Google Backup and Sync is free for up to 15TB of storage if you are using your own Google account, or up to approximately $125.00 per year for 1TB of storage.

Whilst you can setup Google Backup and Sync to use an existing personal Google Account, all Roseville students are provided with a Google Account which they can use with Google Backup and Sync, with unlimited storage for free.

Another available backup solution is Carbonite, which provides similar functionality to the previously recommended but now discontinued CrashPlan. Carbonite costs $59.99 per year for backup of one computer, with alternative bundle pricing available for families.

This provides unlimited backup storage, ensures a backup of every file version, and alerts students if there are issues with backup. Other online backup systems such as BackBlaze are also fine should you not wish to use Carbonite.

Backup to a portable hard drive using Time Machine or Windows backup is not as highly recommended as Carbonite or Google Backup and Sync as portable hard drives can get damaged or lost, and students often forget to connect it for backup and so the backup is out of date. However, it is better than nothing.

In the event that a student loses data due to the data being accidentally deleted or the laptop "dying", whilst it is sometimes possible to retrieve the lost data, there are also many circumstances where this isn't possible. Students losing all of their data due to failure to backup correctly is a very difficult experience, so please encourage them to have a proper working backup.

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Will my daughter's Internet usage be monitored at school?

Students Internet access is logged and monitored whilst they are using the Roseville College wireless network. Some Internet sites such as malicious, phishing, spyware and social media sites are also filtered. Please refer to the Senior School Student AUP for further details.

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Is it required that my daughter uses the Roseville College wireless? Can she use her own 3G or 4G service?

It is absolutely required that your daughter use the Roseville College wireless network only as stated in the Roseville College Student BYOT Acceptable Use Policy as well as in the Student Acceptable Use Policy. Using your own wireless provider at school is a breach of both agreements can result in the suspension of any or all technology use and connectivity privileges.

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Has Roseville College negotiated special pricing with preferred resellers?

To assist parents in selecting a suitable laptop and to also ensure best value for money, Roseville College has negotiated special pricing with some educational providers. Please see the Preferred Resellers section for more information.

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I am able to purchase a laptop cheaper at certain retail outlets than via a preferred reseller. Should I purchase my daughter's laptop from there instead?

It is important to ensure that you are comparing machines with similar specifications and support. Retail outlets often sell both low grade and high grade consumer laptops, and the low grade laptops are cheaper as they generally are made from cheaper materials and components and have basic 1 year support options which are not suitable for educational use.

All laptops sold via Roseville College's preferred resellers are made of good quality materials and components that will withstand day to day travel and use in the classroom, come with full 3 year support and onsite warranty, and also include accidental damage protection in case the laptop is dropped, water or coffee is split over it, etc.

We recognise that our Preferred Resellers only sell a small range of laptops, and our BYOT program recognises and values the important of choice. If you purchase your laptop from a retail outlet, ensure that it is a good quality laptop that meets the minimum requirements and has good support options. If you can find a better deal, go with it!

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Can I lease or hire a laptop for my daughter instead of purchasing one outright?

Yes. Some Preferred Resellers offer leasing options via Flexirent. Please see the Preferred Resellers section for more information.

Alternatively, parents can hire a laptop from the school for $125.00 (inc GST) per term. Please see the Hiring a Laptop section for more information.

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Can my daughter bring an iPad instead of a laptop?

There are many devices that students can use; however, we have chosen to have the girls use laptops, as these devices are excellent receptacles of information and they also allow students to produce work with ease. We recognise that iPads also have great educational benefits, particularly as they allow access to some outstanding educational programs (apps); however, they do not have the capacity to allow the girls to do everything we need them to do in our educational setting, hence our decision for each girl to have a laptop. Nevertheless, we will be purchasing some class sets of iPads for the girls to use at school to enhance our BYOT program, and this will give our girls ‘the best of both worlds’.

Ultimately, our we believe that students should use the device with which they are most comfortable and with which learning will be most effective, and if you or your daughter believe that the best device for her learning is an iPad then the school respects that decision. However, please be aware that the College will not have spare laptops available should your daughter find that her iPad is not suitable for certain classwork or assignments.

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Can my daughter bring a smartphone or tablet (iPad) in addition to her laptop?

Yes. These devices can be used in the classroom at the discretion of the teacher and as long as they are used for learning activities. There is no requirement however to bring anything in addition to the laptop.

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Is the BYOT program compatible with the latest operating systems

Yes. The BYOT program is compatible with the latest version all major operating systems (Windows 8 onwards, Mac OSX 10.9 onwards, Linux, iOS 4.3 onwards, Android 4.0 onwards, Windows Phone 7 onwards).

Older versions of Windows (Windows 7 and earlier), older version of Mac OS (OS 10.7 and earlier) are not supported, and browsers older than three years are not supported.

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Does the College expect students to purchase specialised applications for different subjects?

No. Any software required for use by students is made available via MacApps or PCApps software distribution system (detailed  information can be  found under the Digital Passport  section of Connect.)

The College has also negotiated special pricing for common software packages such as Microsoft Office (Office 365) and Adobe Creative Cloud. Please see the Software Deals section for more information.

There are some common software requirements (including anti-virus) which are listed under the Requirements section.

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What technical support services are offered by Roseville College ICT Department?

The ICT Department will assist students to connect to the College wireless system, should they experience difficulty. In the event that there is a software or hardware fault that impacts upon a student's ability to connect to our system and use her personal laptop in class, the ICT Department will have available a limited number of school laptops that can be loaned for up to three weeks. This service is designed to give parents sufficient time to organise the repair of their daughter’s personal laptop.

Where a laptop has been purchased via one of the College's preferred resellers, once the repair has been organised with the reseller, the laptop can be left at the College ICT Department with the appropriate paperwork and the laptop will be either repaired onsite at the College by the reseller or manufacturer, or couriered to and from the reseller or manufacturer for repair, at no charge.

As the IT department is not a maintenance department, it will not be able to maintain or repair personally owned devices or assist where a hardware or software fault exists that prevents the laptop from working or connecting to the school’s student wireless system. However, the department will certainly assist in the ways outlined above.

Please refer to the Support section for further information.

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My daughter's laptop keeps running out of battery during the day? Where can she recharge her laptop?

Students should ensure that their laptop is fully charged before bringing it to school to ensure that is available for any class, and laptops brought to school by students should have a genuine 5+ hour battery life (see Requirements section).

The College has some charging stations available in the Library and ICT Foyer where students can top up the charge of their laptop during recess and lunch. The College does not have suitable access to power points in many classrooms, and there are no power points in student lockers either for charging laptops.

In the event that a laptop does not have sufficient battery life for class, the ICT Department will have available a limited number of laptops that can be loaned for the rest of the day, on a first come, first served basis.

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How should the laptop be transported to school and around the College?

Student's laptops should always be contained in a suitable protective sleeve or cover and located in their school bag when traveling to and from school. Around the College, we also recommend that student's keep their laptops in their protective covers when not using them in class - this includes when moving between class and to and from locker areas.

We strongly recommend the Higher Ground Flak Jacket which can be purchased at any good computer store, or from our recommended resellers.

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Has the College considered the extra weight of bringing a personal laptop to school?

Yes. From 2013, an increasing number of the textbooks for your daughter will be delivered electronically via Roseville College Portal. These textbooks will either be fully interactive online, or in either pdf or epub format that can be downloaded to your daughter's laptop and other electronic devices such as an iPad or eReader. It is expected that the weight of the laptop if kept under the recommended weight of 2.0 kg will be significantly less than the weight of current textbooks. Please see the section on digital textbooks for more information.

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What if my daughter’s personal device is stolen or damaged? What recourse can I take?

Students bring electronic communication devices to school at their own risk, just like any other personal item. Roseville College will not be held responsible if an electronic device or other item is lost, stolen, or damaged, including those that have been damaged by the negligent acts of other students.

Parents are strongly advised to organise appropriate insurance cover on devices brought to School. Check with your insurer that coverage extends to computers outside the home or during travel you use Home and Contents insurance. Make a note of the laptop’s model number, serial number and sales receipt should you ever need to make a claim. All laptops purchased via a Preferred Reseller include coverage for accidental damage, and some resellers offer insurance options as well.

The College provides each student with a lockable locker which should be used for storing personal devices that are not in use or kept on their person. Laptops should be carried to and from school out of sight in a school bag, and it is strongly recommended that the laptop is at a minimum contained in a neoprene sleeve to protect it from damage.

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Why BYOT? Why doesn't the College provide computers for the students?

Please read the section on BYOT and the research articles for why the College chose BYOT over a traditional 1:1 program.

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The BYOT program is only for Years 7-12. What about Years K-6?

Roseville College is committed to ensuring that all students at the school have suitable access to technology in the classroom to engage them in independent and flexible learning opportunities in an “anywhere, anytime” digital learning environment.

The BYOT program is only for Years 7-12 because many students in Years 6 and below are still learning what ICT device they are most comfortable with and that that makes their learning most effective. For Years 4-6, the College provides a dedicated laptop for each student for use in class, and access to all digital resources and work done in class is available online via a home computer.

In Years K-3, each student is provided with an iPad. The iPad has been chosen as the most appropriate ICT tool for Infants due to its touch screen and simplicity; however, it is expected that students will still use a PC in order to be competent across platforms.

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When and how will my daughter's laptop be used in class?

Your daughter's laptop will be used in class where the teacher deems that its use will enhance the learning process and allow students to demonstrate and publish evidence of their learning. It is not expected that it will be used for every lesson.

Use of the personal technology in the classroom is at the discretion of the teacher, and students are expected to comply with their teacher's direction in appropriate use of technology within the classroom.

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How will the College handle the potential distractions that having technology in the classroom brings?

The reality is that ICT does provide the potential for multiple distractions, both at school and at home. All of us face the challenge of developing self-control in avoiding these distractions, indeed it is a vital skill that for the 21st century workplace. As part of our Digital Citizenship course, pastoral care tutors will work with students in understanding and demonstrating appropriate use of technology at home and at school, and teachers are also being supported in integrating ICT in lessons in a manner than minimises the chance for student distraction. School and home both have a role to play in helping young people to self-regulate in these areas.

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My child struggles with organisation as it is; how will they manage electronic files and documents as well?

The College has a Digital Citizenship curriculum that assists students to use ICT effectively for their learning. This program involve resources and lessons that equip students with a recommended set of practices for the storage and management of technology based learning, including basics such as managing files and backing up work. Students are assisted to implement these recommended practices through formal lessons and informal support.

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Will my daughter's handwriting be affected by the use of laptops in the classroom, and will this impact her HSC?

At Roseville College we are committed to maintaining and enhancing the excellent teaching and learning that is a feature of the College. As such, laptops will be used in a pedagogically appropriate manner designed to enhance learning. They will not be the only educational tool used in our classrooms and girls will be expected to continue to write, using pen and paper when this is appropriate. We certainly recognise that the external examinations which the girls face in the Senior School still require this skill, and we are committed to giving the girls practice to prepare them for examinations.

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