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Western Springs College received a full school network upgrade and integration in the high speed Network 4 Learning in late 2015. As a result of this we are able to support a full BYOD learning environment for students at all levels. All students are expected to bring a suitable device to school with them to support their learning.

The use of devices on the Western Springs College network and the use of the school’s ICT resources is covered in the ICT agreement that students sign when they enroll. The device that students will use will be connected to the network by the school’s ICT network management staff. Each senior student may connect one device. The use of devices in any class is at the discretion of the classroom teacher.

Device Specifications

  • At Springs we have no preference for one device over another. The device requirements:Have a quality wifi card, capable of running 802.11 AC standard at 5Ghz
  • Must be able to run the Chrome browser to access Google Apps
  • Have a screen size appropriate for word processing
  • It is advisable to have a keyboard or have the ability to connect one
  • Have a reasonable shock proof case to protect the device
  • Suitable battery capacity to last throughout the day

Device Comparisons

This table simplifies the different types of device, with the pros and cons of each.
In general the table is in increasing cost (from lowest to highest)

Type of Device  Strengths  Weaknesses Interesting
 Tablets Very portable/robust
Excellent battery life
Wide availability of apps
Good camera and microphone
Often only cloud based
Can have reduced screen size
Needs a keyboard for extended word processing
Can restrict software
Excellent for web browsing and communication.
Not ideal for extended word processing
 Chromebooks Very portable
Quick, especially if have Solid State Drive (SSD)
Excellent battery life
Cost effective solution
No CD/DVD player
WiFi connection is required
Can restrict specialist software
Excellent for most tasks at school, but require constant connection to WiFi
 Netbook Full functioning device
Good portability
Good battery life
Cost effective solution
Usually no rear camera
(just a front/web camera)
Can restrict some specialist software
Excellent for all tasks at school. A compromise on a full laptop
 Laptops Full functioning device
Larger screen
Suitable for extended periods of use
High quality laptops are capable of running specialist software – Photoshop etc
Usually heavier and larger.
Lower battery life
Usually no rear camera –
(just a front/web camera)
Wide range of options, compare the specifications carefully.
Students taking specialist subjects (video and picture editing) may require a more capable machine.


There will no requirement for students to have devices capable of running the specialist software used in music, video and picture editing. The school will maintain its specialist computer labs for this use.


Are smart phones an appropriate device?While smart phones can be useful at times, they are quite restricting for many learning activities. Smart phones are difficult when inputting large amounts of typing. Viewing certain web sites on a smart phone can also be troublesome. We would not advise students to use smart phones as their primary device.

How often will my student(s) use their device?

All students will use their device every day in many classes. All written NCEA assessment at Western Springs is currently done on devices. NCEA external assessments (exams) are also moving towards an online platform.

What is the schools responsibility to the student device?

The student is responsible for the maintenance and security of their device. There will be limited access to charging and secure storage for the student devices. We recommend that students, where possible, obtain a locker.

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.

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