We have got to the point now where every student at Matamata College needs their own laptop.

In every subject students use their laptop for research, writing reports or running educational software. There are constantly new resources becoming available to help students with deeper learning. In addition, NZQA and school assessment activities are moving to digital only submissions. It has got to the point now where schools cannot provide enough computers for students to use.

At Matamata College, we are making a big change. From 2018 we will no longer have computer rooms for classes to do their computer based work in. Students will need to use their laptop in the classroom.

We are using our limited funding on supporting students and parents with using laptops at school. Our wireless is being constantly upgraded and we provide power for students to charge their laptops. There are already a number of lockers that students can hire for the year. We will look at improving additional means for students to be able to secure their laptops.

A laptop is a device with a screen and a keyboard. Phones, iPads and tablets are not capable of doing many of the tasks students need to do.

If your student does not have a laptop we are asking you to buy one for them. Laptops can be purchased from around $300 and they do not need to be gaming machines. The most demanding software most students need to use is Microsoft Word. If you wish to spend more, a Microsoft Surface with a pen that can be used for note taking is far more useful than a heavy laptop with all the features. Windows computers are ideal, MacBooks are fine and if you already have a Chromebook, it can be used.

Most parents will go out and buy a laptop themselves for cash or on interest free credit. For parents who have difficulty getting credit we are looking at a scheme that will allow you to get finance. We also have a limited number of netbooks students can take out from the library and we will be putting a small number of desktop computers into each classroom to help those without a computer or if a laptop is forgotten or faulty.

There is no need to worry if your student is doing a specialist computer subject such as Digital Technologies, Design and Visual Communications, Media Studies, Photography or Music. We will still have both the computers and associated so ware needed for these subjects.

Is there something we have missed? Or if you have any questions please contact our ICT Manager Peter Billingham bl@matcol.nz or Lynette Parish ph@matcol.nz