Learning Device Plan

Where We Are Headed With Technology at WHS:


Thank you to all those parents who have found a way to provide their child(ren) with a device. We have done our best to make it as easy and affordable as we can. I do know of schools that send their parent community off to purchase compulsory devices with little or no guidance or support.


Our teachers are in a transition stage. As is the norm, on our staff we have a range of experience and expertise with regards to the use of iPads in teaching and learning. 

The past two years have been years of considerable change for staff. We have brought in new systems, new expectations and new standards in the way we teach, assess, appraise, review and plan. Staff have done extremely well to take all of this on board. The majority of our staff did not have a laptop before I started. They have had to learn to use a Mac laptop, an iPad, an Apple TV and so on, in addition to all of the other change.


In 2015 we will consolidate this teachnology (not a spelling mistake - my word for teaching technology tools) with our staff and our students.

The bulk of our Professional Learning Development in the first half of the year will be around the integration and implementation of devices (iPads and Chromebooks) into the teaching and learning programme.


At present there are no specific expectations on teachers because 

  • it is such early days
  • many children are yet to receive theirs
  • teachers have been too overloaded with other new stuff to take specific training on board for iPads
  • a number of other reasons.


Next year we know there will be a reasonable number of children in each class who will be bringing their own devices.

We will also have a number of school-owned devices that children will have access to in each classroom.

These devices can and will serve a number of purposes.


They come with a number of similar reference tools very useful for children -

  • National Geographic Atlas, 
  • Chambers Thesaurus, 
  • WordBook Dictionary, 
  • Wolfram Alpha 


They come with a full suite of productivity tools - 

  • Keynote for presentations
  • Pages for word processing and much more
  • Numbers for Spreadsheets

and many more


They come with a suite of creativity tools -

  • iMovie for movie creation
  • Garageband for music playing and creation
  • PuppetPals for creating plays and dramas
  • Book Creator to make books
  • ComicLife to make comicstrips 

and many more


These apps come with advantages over paper versions 

  • they are always being updated
  • they cost a fraction of the paper version
  • WordBook, for example, plays the word to you so when you are searching for the spelling or meaning of a word, you can hear it being said so you know if you have found the right word or not.


Children will be able to use their devices for all these purposes, and many more. 


There are teaching games and apps such as 

  • Math Bingo 
  • Gross Science
  • Art apps
  • Digital books
  • Writing and speaking prompts
  • Even a prompter to use instead of cue cards for speeches (which I use).


  • There is immediate access through a high speed internet connection to the wide world 
  • via google apps for education
  • google docs 
  • the internet 
  • Skype.


As with any tool or technology item. They can be misused

You will find when children first get them, many will go somewhat over the top downloading all manner of games and time-wasters.

It’s a bit like getting a new car and putting all sorts of extras on it. After a while though, the novelty wears off, and in most cases, children go back to using it for creative and learning purposes.


As parents, there are a number of things to keep an eye on. 

  • Is your child balancing fun games with learning apps? Are they balancing outside, active, time with screen time?
  • Do you have unrestricted internet access at home or have you turned on filtering to keep children safe?
  • Are devices used in the family room, with everyone around, or shut away in a bedroom?
  • Have you logged in to your own iTunes account and turned on the Find My iPhone app, so if the device goes missing you can GPS track it, get it to play a sound to help track it down, send a remote message to it or remotely wipe all information on it?
  • Have you put a passcode on your device?
  • Have you talked to your child about being a responsible digital citizen - thinking before you post, share, download etc? (This is something we definitely do discuss with our children at school also.)


Over time we will be adding more and more information and support material to this area of our web site. 

You can see all the apps that we have made available, and how we have organised and grouped them into folders.


Final Housekeeping Points:

Most of you by now realise we have had to close off parent and student access to our appswhs@gmail school iTunes account for safety and security reasons. I am happy to do updates for you. One way round this is to turn on auto updates, the other is to buy/download the school apps with your iTunes account and delete our versions.


Remember: 

You can email me at macash@mac.com or text me on 021779009 if you have a problem or concern that needs addressing. I will always get back to you as soon as I am able - unfortunately not necessarily immediately though.

School phone 836 1213    -    Principal’s mobile 021 779 009    -    Absences mobile 021 040 2125