Preparing for a digital world


At Pakuranga College, we are aware that students increasingly live in a digital world. We believe that alongside the traditional competencies and knowledge that students must learn, we must prepare students for effective digital participation in the world. Within their classes, students increasingly use computers and other digital devices for a range of learning activities such as:

  • doing research on the internet
  • filming videos
  • taking notes
  • working collaboratively online
  • reading online (ebooks, e-textbooks)
  • downloading worksheets/ workbooks
  • interviewing people outside the classroom via Skype


To prepare students and teachers for this, the College has developed an ‘elearning strategy’. One essential component of this have been the digital classes that first started in 2010. The programme has become very popular and very successful and in 2014 all Year 9 students were asked to bring their own digital device for learning to school with them every day.


More information about our BYOD programme for 2016 can be found in the BYOD section below on this page.



We expect all Year 9 students enrolling at Pakuranga College in 2016 to bring their own learning device to school every day. The information below is to help families work out what that will mean.

All Year 9 students in 2016 will have access to our ultrafast broadband and a robust, monitored and secure Wi-Fi network to support and enhance their learning.


Pakuranga College makes use of a number of eLearning tools, each student has their own school Gmail account, access to course material and resources through PakNet, our Learning Management System using Moodle. Students also have free and unlimited access to “video on-demand” services through etv.org.nz. Students are able to access their timetable, results and other details through our student portal. They are also able to print from their devices through our new online print service. Students use cloud storage within the Google Apps environment as well as Dropbox and OneDrive to store their documents.


PakNet also provides parents with a “Parent Portal” that allows parents to become more involved with their child’s progress at school. By going online, parents are able to view student timetables, up to date attendance data, course details and student results.


Useful resources for parents can be downloaded below and further information can also be found on the digital guidelines section of our website.

We believe that is important for students to understand the following:

  • The difference between using a device for social and educational purposes
  • The importance of file management and self management of personal device
  • Creating a responsible digital footprint, and understanding how to be safe online
  • How to seek support when using devices, and learning to trouble shoot issues faced within the classroom context.
  • Year 9 Digital Competencies Course.
  • Year 10 Digital Competencies Course.

Education must move with the times. BYOD has transformed the classroom by creating new opportunities for learning. Studies find that Generation Y is highly reliant on wireless devices and phones; and rather than fight it, we can use this to our educational advantage.


Since many students already own a digital device by the time they reach secondary school, it’s a resource that should be used in the classroom. Much like calculators and ball point pens, it has taken a while for schools to accept the BYOD trend, but it is becoming commonly accepted all over the world.


We have no intention of becoming a “paperless” school!

We still believe that it is important for students to use pen and paper and also for students to interact face-to-face without technology. This move is necessary if we want to provide the best possible education with the best possible tools! We want to use the most effective technology available for learning. We believe most schools are moving in this direction and within a few years we will certainly be in the minority if we don’t.


The Education Review Office in their recent visit to Pakuranga College described us as a forward-thinking, future focused and innovative school – we need to continue to push the boundaries and remain a leading school in this area.

1. Embracing these tools makes education more interactive

Technology can make learning more fun and engaging! Teachers and students might create podcasts, use a software polling tool, or design a digital scavenger hunt. The interactive nature of BYOD hones in on student learning. Digital books often include free supplemental resources, such as study guides, chapter outlines, and interactive tests that monitor progress and provide immediate feedback. These are relatively new, however, we will continue to explore these to help supplement subject areas.

2. BYOD makes differentiated instruction easier

Teachers can use media to meet different learning needs. BYOD allows students to be in control of their learning. Many tech tools can help students with learning disabilities or even translate words for ESOL students. Gifted students can research more advanced applications and students who need practice can do so individually.

3. Portable devices make learning a part of students’ lives

BYOD bridges the gap between in school and at home learning. Learning becomes easier to achieve, as it is more collaborative. Students can integrate the device into their daily lives.

4. BYOD saves learning time

BYOD makes collaboration easier. Research can also be done faster. More diverse sources can be used to support learning. The alternative seems archaic: Go back to microfilms? Teachers can educate students about how to evaluate and find the best resources in a particular field.

5. Engaged learners are better learners

BYOD puts students in a position of power over their learning. Many educational researchers argue that giving students the authority over their own learning is best: the teacher becomes a manager of learning, rather than a direct source of information.

6. BYOD can be used to engage experts from outside the classroom

Students can use communication features to engage in projects that require contacting the community or local leaders. In fact, Generation Y are more likely than any other generation to contact leaders and engage in community service projects. Students can apply learning to real scenarios.

7. BYOD is becoming the norm in the workplace

Teachers have the responsibility to prepare the millennia generation to enter the workforce. Teaching students to use digital devices is necessary as technology is blurring the line between work and pleasure.

Many new employees choose a combination of working at home, or using after work hours to answer emails or attend to lower priority tasks related to their work day. Practice with BYOD in school will better prepare students to have a healthy work and life balance.

8. Some technology experts are predicting the death of the personal computer

The further proliferation of portable devices – tablets, phones, laptops, readers, and other portable devices (perhaps more powerful laptops and new types of “cloud” devices) will further influence how schools view BYOD policies. New cloud technologies will change education. The cloud will revolutionise education in ways never thought possible, such as through easy to access cloud libraries and cloud computer labs.

For BYOD Internet browsing/wireless networking we have a number of things in place:


  • Student-owned devices only connect to the Internet via our wireless network.
  • Connection to the Internet is via Aruba wireless. The system allows us to monitor who is connected at what time, and whereabouts in the school they are connecting from.
  • Each browser session is monitored and the history of the browsing is saved centrally away from the device. System administrators can access this at anytime.
  • When an Internet browser is opened on the student device the browser asks for the user logon and password. This ensures each browser session is coded to an individual student. It is essential that user passwords are kept safe.
  • We use Fortigate Network Security and Internet filtering. This is set to filter out the ‘dark side’ of the Internet. The approach, for us, is to teach students to use the Internet in a safe environment; we want to nurture solid and respectable digital citizens. All Internet browsing, on school machines, records the browsing history of the logged on user.


For Parents

Netsafe.org.nz and Digi-Parenting are great resources full of information, links and conversations from New Zealand schools. Bookmark them!  They may help you to continue to learn about the digital world that is growing around us and help you to be able to walk alongside your children as they grow and learn to become digital citizens.

These guidelines are to provide staff, students and students’ caregivers with guidelines around how to manage students’ use of digital devices (computers, smartphones, iPods, etc) at school. They are to support the college’s elearning goal of allowing “students to choose how they access their learning – digitally or non-digitally”.

Student Devices:

These guidelines cover all student-owned digital devices including:

  • computers (laptops, netbooks)
  • tablets (e.g. iPad’s)
  • mobile phones – especially smartphones
  • iPods and other playing devices


NOTE: These guidelines do not cover digital devices that are exclusively for playing games. Unless a teacher has arranged specifically for students to bring these to school for a specific learning task, gaming devices should not be brought to school.


Student Guidelines:

  • Students may not charge digital devices at school.
  • Digital devices must be used for learning purposes.
  • All use of digital devices is covered by the ‘Acceptable Use Form’, which all students agree to when they enrol at Pakuranga College.
  • Students may not use digital devices at interval, lunchtime or between classes … unless they are using them for school work in the library or other areas supervised by staff.
  • Students are fully responsible for the operation and safe-keeping of their devices, and for the back-up of their work.


School Guidelines:

  • The school will allow students to use their digital devices as part of their learning where reasonable and appropriate
  • The college will not provide storage or charging facilities for students
  • The college takes no responsibility for the operation or safe-keeping of students’ devices
  • The college will provide students who have a digital device with wireless access to the internet (including Moodle), printing and a Gmail account. They will not have storage on the network.
  • The college may accept student work submitted as a PDF for internal assessments; or in other digital formats. Students should check with their teacher first before submitting work digitally.

Student FAQ’s:


When Can I Use My Device?

  • You may use your device in class for learning as long as it is appropriate, or has not been specifically banned during a period by the teacher (e.g. during a test or science experiment).
  • You may not use your device during interval, lunchtime or between classes, unless you are in the library (or other supervised areas) doing school work.
  • You may not use your device during class for non-learning activities such as playing games, checking your email, surfing the web on unrelated matters.


What Happens if I Misuse my Device?

  • The teacher will give you a warning. If you continue to misuse your device the teacher may insist that you turn the machine off for the rest of the period, or for a longer period if necessary.
  • Continued or significant misuse may result in you being banned from bringing your device to school, or more serious consequences as part of the general school rules.


When Am I Responsible For?

  • You are responsible for ensuring that your device …

… is fully charged before you bring it to school
… has software that works properly
… is regularly backed up
… does not have inappropriate stickers or desktops on it

  • When using your device, you must ensure that …

… you do not break copyright laws
… do not access or store inappropriate files on your device


Can I submit my assessment digitally?

  • Where reasonable and appropriate, you may submit their work digitally. Work submitted digitally must be done as a PDF, unless the teacher specifically states otherwise (e.g. video, power point, image, etc). You should always check with your teacher that you may submit your work digitally.
  • You must ensure that your file can be opened by staff, and that the formatting will not change when the teacher opens it. Any problems resulting from teachers being unable to open files or changes to formatting are your responsibility.
  • You must also ensure that any files you submit are virus-free.
If you can't find what you are looking for on this website, or if you want to contact us directly for a specific reason, please feel free to use this 'Parent Help Desk' form to contact us. The appropriate person will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.
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