At Mountain Creek State High School, our students are engaging with 21st century learning practices and our teachers are operating confidently and effectively within current pedagogical processes. It is our vision to ensure our students have the skills to be lifelong learners.
Information and communication technology infrastructure
We have a fleet of about 2,000 devices that we manage, with the majority of these being student’s laptops issued as part of the 1:1 program.
The fleet is managed by 2 full-time technicians, with one dedicated to the 1:1 program. In addition, we employ three trainees completing a Certificate II or III, each working 10.5 hours a week over three shifts.
All students from Years 9 to 12 are required to have access to a computer during school hours. We have a take-home program and an at-school program.
The take-home program offers students a laptop for school and home use. Students receive a new device at the beginning of Year 9, which they can purchase at the end of the program. The take-home program has a cost attached to cover an excess on claims for damage, as well as the other costs involved in running and supporting the program. Under the National Secondary School Computer Fund (NSSCF) program, students were charged a lesser fee to be part of the take-home program. When the NSSCF funding ended, we increased the fee to cover the cost of the device and the associated support expenses.
The at-school program offers a device that remains at school at all times. The student picks up the device in the morning and drops it off in the afternoon. There is no cost for the student to participate in this program. An agreement must be signed before commencing this program.
There are currently around 80% of parents opting for the take-home program.
To BYOx or not to BYOx?
When the NSSCF funding ended, we considered whether the BYOx program was at a stage in development that we wanted to run with. After initial investigation of the many factors involved, we chose not to go with BYOx at that time; instead we purchased machines and opted to continue a program similar to NSSCF and a different funding model. This program has rolled out for our Year 9 and 10 students, with the cost of the device and support costs being passed on to the parents. The Year 11 and 12 students are using their NSSCF-funded laptops.
The following were some of the reasons we chose to wait:
- We have conducted extensive training to support teachers in classrooms with the existing platform.
- Changing to a BYOx environment would require a lot of changes to how technology is used in classes and the turnaround time was too short of a period to properly manage the change.
- The school would not be in a position to financially support students that are unable to provide a device by purchasing a device for them. Our school did not want to risk the inequity that may occur.
Where will we go in the future?
We would like to go with both a BYOx program and school-supported program. Before progressing with BYOx, we would first need to know the platform addresses the issues we have identified. The information gained through monitoring and evaluating what is happening in the BYOx world will continue to inform decisions for our 21st century learning journey.