The purpose for using technology in schools is to enhance or faciliate the delivery of learning to students and to improve how teachers manage planning, communication and lesson delivery. HVS is always updating it’s technology and thinking about how it is used to enhance the learning for the students. Developing technology-literate students is a focus of the NZ curriculum, and ensuring students are safe and sensible ‘digital citizens’ is a guiding principle at HVS. All students and staff sign a ‘Cybersafety Use Agreement’ to draw attention to their responsibilities.
In 2014 the school upgraded its internal network infrastructure and then joined the Network for Learning (N4L) – a Ministry of Education initiative which controls access and filtering, via the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network. This has allowed significantly faster access, increased traffic and reliability.
The school was an early adopter of Google Apps for Education (GAFE), and all senior students (Years 4, 5, 6) have their own Gmail and Google account. This allows teachers and students to keep in contact, work collaboratively on documents, and access their work out of school hours. They can also share their work with family and friends. In order to monitor the safe use of this technology, teachers have full access to all student documents and emails via the Hapara Teacher Dashboard. When students accept their Google accounts, they acknowledge that teachers have this access.
Technology is always evolving quickly, and the staff and Board of Trustees are currently exploring the introduction of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which would allow students to bring a range of devices to school to enhance their access to e-learning.