Te whakaurunga |Enrolment

Blended Learning & BYOD

Since 2014, all students at Darfield High School have been able to bring computing devices to use with their learning if they choose. For the last four years, we have been trialing classes where all students in the class have a laptop or tablet-type computer. Currently, almost all Year 7 and Year 8 Homeroom classes have 1:1 digital devices. Through this time, we have developed a better understanding of the benefits and challenges of all students having a computer for their learning. We believe that there is a positive impact on learning where all students have a device and teachers have the skills to effectively integrate these tools as part of the teaching programme.

From 2017, all students in Year 7, Year 8, and Year 9 will be asked to bring a digital device to school for their learning. ​ The expectation is that, where possible, students would have a device as part of the ‘usual’ equipment they bring to school. Teachers will use a blended learning​ approach in the use of these devices.

For some senior courses, teachers may also request that students bring a device. This will be notified in the course outlines which are given out at the start of the year.

What does the device need to have?

  • Wireless capability
  • Battery life of at least four hours
  • Headphone jack
  • Internet Browser (Chrome preferred)


  • USB slot (to enable printing on school printers)
  • 10″­–14″ screen (larger screen easier for viewing but not too big for student desk and bag)
  • Keyboard (more efficient interface for interacting with device)
  • Protective case (eg neoprene sleeve)


BYOD is where students bring their own digital device to use for their learning.

Blended learning is using digital learning approaches within the classroom in combination with traditional teaching strategies. Blended learning is about using the right tool for the job. Where digital tools are able to improve learning, then they may be used. Having a personal digital device means that students are better able to use the device when and where it is needed. Students will not be using a device for all of their learning. Where appropriate, they will be using paper and pen, working in groups, and using other equipment, text books or paper resources.

Publishing work (eg word processing, presentations), spreadsheets, surveys, moviemaking, searching for information, accessing external expertise, teachers sharing lesson resources, links and activities (with students and parents), and online applications.

A limited number of devices will be available (for use at school only) for families who are unable to provide a device.

For Years 7­–10 students we recommend ‘Chromebook’ type devices.

The school network has had significant and ongoing development. Further developments will be supported as required.

Devices will need to be insured by the owner. Students will need to be proactive about looking after their devices; however, lockers will be available. Using applications, such as ‘find my device’, makes it easier to locate missing devices.

  • We will work with the student to determine when they last saw the device and help them look.
  • We will talk to other students who may be able to help and follow any reasonable lines of enquiry. The school is obliged to follow the Ministry of Education guidelines regarding search and retention of student property.
  • We will let parents know what has happened and what we have done.
  • If there is a belief that a device has been stolen, we encourage parents to contact the police.

Security of Digital Devices at School

We have several hundred digital devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, at school every day. Only occasionally does one of these devices go missing and even more rarely do they not turn up again.

Regardless of this, it is important for us to take steps to protect our devices. Here are some recommendations for improving the physical security of your digital device at school:

Label your device in case it is lost

Consider putting a recognisable sticker or another type of label with your name or contact information on your device so anyone who finds it can return it. A label allows someone to find out who owns the device, even if the battery dies.

Password­ protect your devices 

While it sounds obvious, if anyone steals your device they will have to defeat your password to get at your data. Although it is not impossible to defeat password protection on a digital device, it adds a useful layer of protection, buying you time to locate and recover the device.

Use tracking software to help get your stolen device back

Getting your device back is not impossible, particularly if the device itself can tell you where it is and you can communicate with it using a sort of “remote control” via SMS or other methods. You may even be able to communicate with the person who has it.

Always backup your files 

Even if you can’t recover a stolen device, that does not mean you have to lose all your information and software. There are plenty of options for backup these days, including online backup.

Store your device in secure a place where possible

Put your device away out of sight when not in use. There may be an arrangement for your device to be kept in a locked classroom, cupboard, or drawer. Lockers are also available for student use (see Ms. Hill in the office). The school will begin installing laptop storage and charging lockers across the school next year.