Bring Your Own Device Information


Napier Girls’ High School is now in an excellent position to make teaching and learning more interesting and relevant to every student.  Our strategic goal to equip every girl with the skills essential to thrive now and in the future, will be boosted by the introduction of students bringing their own devices to school.

I have talked extensively with students’ trialling this initiative and they agree we need to do this.

The Board of Trustees (with support from the Ministry of Education) has invested big money into upgrading the school’s technology and providing computer suites and mobile trolleys.  It is now timely to transform from this to students bringing their own devices to school.

We have trialled this extensively in the past two years while staff have undertaken professional training to ensure many benefits.  These include students having access to learning outside of class, increased access to the research, class and peer collaboration, better organisation and time management and a myriad of other advantages.

Of course there will be issues to face.  We don’t want money, or not knowing which device to get, or anything else to be barriers.  Every student will have a device when she needs to use one for learning or assessment and you will help us achieve this.

The time is right for purchasing devices at a reasonable cost.  Payment options over two years can be arranged and the school will assist every senior student to have their own device.

Students will not be disadvantaged through financial circumstance.  Neither should students rush to purchase their own device.  This should be planned and be appropriate to her needs. This is an exciting time as we further develop our electronic environment.


  • Computers are now an essential tool in the workplace and in the tertiary environment. Our goal is that every student leaves school well equipped for now and her future.
  • Computers are being required more for learning and assessment at school. Many subjects now do require some NCEA assessments to be done using computers and more are going this way.
  • Computers help people to do more things more effectively and efficiently including organisation, management, planning, research, sharing, and communication. This saves time and means you can work smarter not harder.
  • There are many smart apps available and more available every week eg, you can translate Shakespeare into English you can understand. You can get tutorials on everything and games that are fun and even a bit helpful.
  • Even though some of this is distracting it is really helpful to incorporate computers and other technology into learning. Students who are using this kind of technology are often performing better, enjoying their learning more and not working harder to achieve this.

Cost and Affordability

I know this is another cost so I want to give you plenty of notice so you can get the right device for your daughter at a reasonable cost.  If you really cannot afford it we will help you get one.  Parents need to put that in writing and send it to Mr van Florenstein or my secretary Mrs Hewitt.

What Device do I get?

If you do a specialist subject that needs special features such as Art, Graphics, ICT or Technology you need to talk to your teacher and Mr van Florenstein will have a separate list of specs for your device.

If you are doing other subjects we have a list of the specs you need to have so you can purchase what you think is best for you.   You can purchase your device wherever you want as long as it has the right specs.

We are setting up a link with Cyclone Computers who know about student devices.  They can advise and offer deals and finance packages to make this affordable.

Any other Questions and Concerns

If you have any other questions or concerns can you let Mr van Florenstein know.  We want to deal with as much as possible as soon as possible so we are ready for next year.

A General Guideline on Suitable Portable Devices

A Tablet PC (Smart PC), Laptop or Netbook will provide students with a comprehensive learning tool, and will be ideal as an information & content creation device. A tablet will provide students with a limited learning tool and can be used as an information consumption device (reading).

The Microsoft programmes and Google Drive Apps for education have limited functionality on a Tablet touch screen device like an iPad and Android tablet. If an iPad is purchased, extra expenditure on apps is required to enable the necessary subject software to run. Please refer to recommended specifications.

The Ministry of Education and BYOD


There may be several reasons why you would want to explore a BYOD initiative in your school. An over-arching purpose, however, will be the way in which increased access to a personal device can enable inclusive and more personalised learning pathways through the curriculum. Your vision for your students and their graduate profile, which is grounded in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, will be the driving rationale.

BYOD can enable a connected approach to learning, placing control and agency over learning in the hands of learners so that access to the curriculum is ubiquitous and no longer constrained by the time and place.

A connected approach to BYOD will involve engagement with the wider community and whānau as part of a learning-focused vision and strategic direction. The infrastructure will need to support demand from increased numbers of devices and technical support is likely to need to be flexible and adaptive. It will also impact on professional learning and teaching. Staff and students may be working together to integrate technologies appropriately so there is choice, collaboration, and opportunities to connect in ways that support learning outcomes.

What are the advantages of BYOD

The trial we have conducted with student owned portable devices have indicated the following advantages:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to class resources, support and extension activities through the student google drive, sites and blendspace
  • The ability to develop ‘digital’ folders and exercise books for their classes (they can’t be lost, and never need replacing) through google drive
  • Google drive and sites can be used to develop folders for learning
  • Our new library system ‘Oliver’ can be accessed anytime and anyplace for e-books, e-resources and databases
  • An enhanced capability for a two way communication between teachers, parents and peers through the student email system (gmail and gmail plus)
  • Ability to draft and redraft and publish work at the click of a button
  • It allows students to become active partners in their learning
  • Many contributing schools have BYOD or digital classes

What does the research say?

Noeline Wright’s (University of Waikato) literature review looking at ‘e-Learning and implications for New Zealand school’s’ highlights the following benefits of e-learning afforded by access to internet capable devices:

  • Improved motivation and engagement
  • Greater independence and personalised learning
  • Improved critical thinking and development of multiliteracies
  • Greater access to information, resources and experts
  • Greater opportunities for collaboration in wide contexts, including international ones

What do our students say?

“With my own laptop I no longer have to waste half of the lesson logging on to a school computer and everything I can access at school, I can now access at home which is extremely useful for research internals.”

“It has been great getting a real feel for what it will be like at University next year. If I am out of the classroom for sporting or other commitments, all the notes and exercises are accessible online so catching up becomes far less of a hassle for both teachers and students.”

“All digitally stored documents are at my fingertips when required and there are endless opportunities to study with helpful ‘apps’ that cater for most subjects; from Shakespeare translations to maths tutorials. Personal devices are a huge step forward in improving the way we learn which is most appropriate for the future.”

‘’For art subjects, having my own device is invaluable. I do not need to wait to use the work room computers and I can take my projects home with me to complete’’

What on-line services are we already providing at NGHS?


This is where students can create, share and store all information in the cloud. It can also be used to communicate with their teachers and peers through the easy to access email service.

Google Platform

Google Drive is an online office suite that includes a word processor (Google Docs), spreadsheet program (Sheets), and presentation tool (Slides). Google Drive also includes storage space. Google Drive is free to use.

Google Drive has:

  • Collaboration features that let users work on the same document in real time.
  • The ability to review the historyof a specific document, and revert to an earlier version.
  • Simple Web formsand online surveys which can be produced without programming skills or website hosting arrangements.
  • Offline file storagethat can be synced to multiple computers.


NGHS has just recently changed over to Oliver. This will allow students to access on-line catalogues and databases of resources we have in our school Library. The link for this will be accessible through the school website.


In 2014, students will have access to eTV. eTV provides online, anytime access to TV recordings of selected programmes from over 30 domestic and international television channels. It also gives students access to a library of educational media resources, live international TV channels and the ability to create their own personalised media library.


Through EPIC, schools and students can access databases containing thousands of international and New Zealand magazines, newspapers, biographies, substantial reference works, and images. EPIC lets you access up-to-date full text articles covering a huge range of subjects. The link to this will be available on the school website.

We are currently exploring ways to provide students (through Oliver) access to e-books. We are also looking to provide students with e-textbooks for 2014 (where possible).

Staff Professional Development

In recognition of the fact that to improve student learning through the use of portable technologies, we as a school have invested considerable time and resources into exploring the educational benefits of e-learning. In preparation of students bringing their own portable device to school all staff have undergone continuous training focusing on e-learning and teaching.. Staff will be expected to continue their involvement in professional development with a focus on teaching and learning using information technologies.

Digital Citizenship and On-line Safety

All Year 9 students are required to take part in Digital Technologies. In this course, ‘Digital Citizenship and on-line safety’ is the main focus. The School’s ICT and portable device agreements make it very clear what the expectations are regarding the use of bringing and using a portable device at school. The school will endeavour to provide guidance or updates on this issue as required.  All students will be expected to sign both agreements on an annual basis. A number of school assemblies will be devoted to cyber safety and to keep yourself safe in the cyber world.

Guideline to Buying a Personal Device

Due to individual needs, we are unable to recommend specific makes and models. However, the portable device will require the features listed below.  You might wish to take the list below into the store and ask the sales person if the device you are considering meets these expectations.

INFORMATION RE BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE (Year 9 and 10 Students except 10R)

Please note that if your daughter is thinking of taking DVC (Graphics), Design, Photography, ICT (Digital Technologies) in the Senior School extra features will required (please see below).

Standard Laptop

Windows specification

  • Operating system – Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 based laptop
  • Processor – Minimum Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 recommended
  • Main Memory/RAM – 4 GB minimum
  • Hard Drive/HDD – 512 GB minimum Hard Drive/HDD or SSD – 256 GB minimum (SSD)
  • Wireless adapter – WiFi compatible, 802. 11a/b/g/n
  • Security – Up to date Anti-Virus software – Required

Standard MAC book

OS Specification

  • Operating system – OS X Snow Leopard or greater, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
  • Processor – Intel Processor, as standard in current models
  • Main Memory/RAM – 4 GB minimum
  • Hard Drive/HDD – 512 GB minimum Hard Drive/HDD or
  • Hard Drive/ SSD – 256 GB minimum (SSD)
  • Wireless adapter – WiFi compatible, 802. 11a/b/g/n
  • Security – Up to date Anti-Virus software – Required

Model required for DVC (Graphics), Design, Photography, ICT (Digital Technologies)

Windows specification

  • Operating system – Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 based laptop (Laptop – 64 bit OS installed)
  • Processor – Minimum Intel Core i5
  • Main Memory/RAM – 8 GB minimum
  • Hard Drive/HDD – 512 GB minimum Hard Drive/HDD or SSD – 256 GB minimum (SSD)
  • Wireless adapter – WiFi compatible, 802. 11a/b/g/n
  • Graphics/Video – OpenGL 2.0 compatible graphics card – >256MB, 1280 x 1024 or higher is recommended
  • Security – Anti-Virus and anti-spyware/malware software with on-going update subscription – Required

Mac Specification – Macbook Pro recommended – 15” screen.

  • Operating system – OS X Snow Leopard or greater, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
  • Processor – Intel Processor, as standard in current models
  • Main Memory/RAM – 8 GB minimum
  • Hard Drive/HDD – 512 GB minimum Hard Drive/HDD or
  • Hard Drive/ SSD – 256 GB minimum (SSD)
  • Wireless adapter – WiFi compatible, 802. 11a/b/g/n
  • Security – Up to date Anti-Virus software – Required

Below are the various options available to you for 2016:

  1. You wait until your daughter requires a portable in the Senior School (Year 11, 12 and 13)
  2. You purchase a personal device for your daughter independently
  3. You buy a personal device through ‘Cyclone’ computers who have agreed to support the school by offering the school the following service: byod-student-owned-devices-through-cyclone-new
  • Three discounted models to choose from
  • The opportunity to buy the device outright or through a pay to own scheme

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for the Care and Security of Personal Devices?

It is the responsibility of the student to take care of their own equipment, naming their device, handling it carefully and storing it securely when not in use while at school.

What do you recommend regarding the Care and Security of Personal Devices?

Mishandling portable devices is the largest cause of problems. Most devices will come with care guidelines which we advise users to read. The following are conditions that we recommend:

–       Portable devices should be protected by a username and password. Under no circumstances must this be disclosed to other students.

–       Always store the Portable Computers in the protective bag

–       Avoid storing it at the bottom of your school bag – pressure from books can damage the screen and hinges

–       Do not store anything additional to the Portable Computers within the Portable Computer’s sleeve (e.g. cords, papers or disks), as this may damage the screen

–       Carry your Portable Computer within its protective cover inside your normal school bag. Do not overfill your school bag. (Pressure on the Portable Computer can cause permanent damage to the screen and other components)

–       Never lift the Portable Computer by the screen. This will stress the hinge mechanism, which also carries the power supply to the screen.

–       Never leave your Portable Computer in a car or in an exposed area where it can be stolen

–       Never leave your Portable Computer in unsupervised areas during the school day.


Service and Support

The school is unable to provide any formal ICT support. However, Tech Angels (student experts) will in some instances be able to assist with technical and software issues.


Warranty and Insurance

Most machines come with a one year warranty, although sometimes there are options to include a 3 year warranty. Warranties usually cover the laptop hardware for the period of the warranty but only one year on the power adapter and battery. Damage to devices are not covered under warranty. All insurance (theft and damage) should be covered by the owner of the device. Owners should check with their insurance company as to the cover that they have under existing policies – there are variations between companies.


Virus protection

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the computer has anti-virus and anti-spyware/malware software with on-going update subscription


Saving and Backup

Students are responsible for their own backup of critical data at all times. This may be through a USB, SD card, external drive, or ‘cloud’-based backup to regularly backup important work. We provide 25GB of storage through our Office365 SkydrivePro accounts. Students may wish to set up alternative cloud storage accounts. Many may already have this available. Hotmail uses skydrive and gmail uses GoogleDrive. Dropbox is also popular.


Printing from Personal Devices

Students will be able to print either directly from their portable device using their account.


Will I have to pay a fee to hook onto the NGHS wifi?

There will be no annual fee


Will I need to sign a portable device agreement?

Every student will have to sign a portable device agreement on an annual basis.


Will I have to sign an ICT agreement?

Every student and their parents will have to sign an ICT agreement on an annual basis.


How often will my daughter use a portable device?

Some subjects and/or topics within subjects lend themselves to using a computer more naturally than others. Our expectation is that platforms like the google drive and blendspace will contain notes/resources and be updated regularly for students.


Will there be monitoring of internet usage?

Yes, this will happen at random and will be reported to the Senior Management Team.