Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives enable Stella Girls to become highly competent, independent and responsible users of technology. The needs of our twenty-first century learners are diverse and complex. Students learn in different ways and are accustomed to knowledge being instantly accessible. Anywhere, anytime learning is the norm as is incidental and accidental learning, and the role of the teacher is transforming; therefore, our girls and our teachers need to be adaptable and open to learning opportunities using the ever-changing tools available to them.
ICT provides students with access to the breadth of information, learning tools and information management resources required for a modern education. Research and study, participation, innovation, interaction and collaboration can all be enhanced in a digital learning environment.
The highly skilled IT Team, including a Student Helpdesk, is there to ensure the smooth running of the entire system and to implement best practice IT solutions for education. They also support students having IT issues.
Click here for more information on ICT integration/e-Learning at the College.
Click here for the parent purchase portal.
In the Classroom
Technology is fully integrated into the curriculum at Stella Maris College. Each Learning space is equipped with modern technology to assist learning, including:
- Mounted HD projector in every classroom
- Mounted amplified speakers in every classroom
- Apple TV in every classroom, allowing the teachers and students to wirelessly connect to the projector and providing flexible teaching and learning options
- High speed wireless network
- High speed filtered internet
- A learning management system that covers every key learning area (Moodle)
- Interactive whiteboard system
- Office 365 that facilitates collaborative learning
- A number of subjects opting to use interactive digital textbooks
- Specialist technologies in Mathematics, Design and Technology, Music and VET courses like Ebeams, Adobe Creative Suite, 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters
- Full technical support from a highly qualified and committed College Information Technology Department
Students commencing at Stella are required to have a Macbook laptop, it can be either an Air or a Pro. Whilst we encourage students to purchase a new Macbook so that it provides the best performance during their time at the College, we will provide support for Macbooks up to 4 years old.
Students are expected to come to school each day with a fully charged Macbook so that it can be used in any period throughout the day.
You are welcome to purchase a Macbook from any retailer. We have partnered with Computers Now as our preferred Macbook supplier. We recommend the purchase of the Apple Care Plus warranty when purchasing your Macbook. Computers Now also sell accessories like the plastic hard shell cover, which is highly recommended as it helps to prevent expensive screen breakages. Insurance is also available and highly recommended via Computers Now to cover against breakages, or you may wish to include the device in your existing home and contents insurance which will cover the device against theft.
The College assumes no responsibility for storing student information, therefore, it is important that an effective data backup strategy is implemented. The College uses Office365 which also provides free cloud storage for student files. Computers Now also offer USB hard drives that are suitable for all Macbook models that can be used with Macbook backup software (TimeMachine).
Macbooks will be sent via Australia Post to your house. You will be required to contact Computers Now regarding delivery dates. Supplies are often tight just before Christmas so if you are planning on providing the Macbook as a Christmas present with the 3-year Apple warranty, consider ordering the Macbook in November.
Parents receive an email package during December with the student’s school account details and instructions on preparing their device for network access and software installations, made up of the Microsoft Office suite (including OneDrive), antivirus software and other apps necessary for their classes in the coming years. There is no need to purchase any software.
If you would like to discuss the laptop policy in more detail, please contact Mr Matt Edmonds on (02) 9976 1860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important information regarding Apple’s latest release of MacBooks
Apple recently released their new MacBook devices that comes with M1 processor. Unfortunately, as of now, many applications are not yet supported on these processors.
Our advice is NOT to purchase any of the new MacBook Air M1 or MacBook Pro M1 models
Stella Maris College has invested significant time and money into building a robust technology infrastructure that is both effective and efficient in supporting learning at the College. For technically minded people, here is a snapshot of the engine that powers technology at Stella:
- Multi-site virtualised server and storage infrastructure that is renewed continuously
- High speed wireless network that covers all areas of the College – both campuses
- High speed fibre optic internet connection that is filtered to keep your daughter safe and on-track with her learning goals
- Simple, secure, yet effective system to allow the girls to on-board their devices to our network
- Self-service software deployment system that allows the girls to easily install the software they require to empower their own learning
- Office 365 platform integrated to the College server to facilitate both cloud storage and collaborative learning
- Digital content server (ClickView) that gives your daughter access to countless hours of content from documentaries, television and movies that complement learning outcomes
- Parent and Student portal that provides you with important information about your daughter including her academic progress, absences, events, excursions and much more
- Cashless card system that is used on the printing network, Uniform Shop and the Canteen.
- Various classroom technologies (see In the Classroom for more details)
My Daughter is coming to Stella. Am I required to provide her with a laptop of her own?
Yes, laptops are used throughout the College as integral tools of learning.
What type of laptop does my daughter need?
We strongly recommend Macbooks due to their suitability for education. They are robust, have long battery life and are very quick to boot. They are very reliable and easy for the girls to manage. We also have specialist systems to fully support these devices.
Does the College support iPads?
We do not specifically support iPads at this stage. Girls are welcome to use an iPad at school as a secondary device, however they are required to have a proper laptop as our current curriculum relies on the use of applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and other pieces of software that run on OSX. It is our experience that iPads do not provide sufficient functionality to be used in all classroom scenarios.
Will the College support Macbooks purchased from other Apple stores?
Yes, full software support is given to all Macbooks running OSX 10.11 or later.
What will the laptops be used for?
Laptops give learning global reach and facilitate styles of learning that were not possible before technology became an integral part of the education scene. Students need their device to complete tasks, e.g. gather information, access online textbooks and audio-visual material, access the College learning management system, share their learning and complete writing, presentation or design tasks.
Do the girls use electronic textbooks?
Yes, many departments use interactive ebooks. We provide support and assistance with downloading and configuring these ebooks.
How does the College manage Internet security and acceptable use?
Students accessing the College network with their device have secure and filtered wireless access to the Internet. Students are required to follow the College Internet Acceptable Use Policy and adhere to other relevant College policies. A range of sanctions are in place for students who choose not to meet College expectations with regard to internet use, including social media.
Do we need insurance?
Families are strongly encouraged to check the cover for the device on their existing policies or to take out insurance. For a number of years the College has used iBroker. Their details can be accessed on the Computers Now portal.
Security of devices
Girls must have an appropriate laptop bag or cover to protect their devices. Hard shell covers are available from Computers Now. These covers have been found to significantly reduce screen breakages.
When not in use, all devices should be locked in your daughter’s locker.
What happens if there is a fault in the device?
The student or parent will need to arrange their own repair on the device. The College cannot take responsibility for the service and/or repair to the device but may be able to offer a loan device which may be used during the repair period, although numbers are limited. A device with a current warranty is strongly encouraged.
What do I need to consider if we opt for a device we already own?
- Does it meet the minimum operating requirements? Go to the BYOD section for more details.
- Will the battery hold sufficient charge to operate all day?
- Is the computer used by more than one person and could this compromise the educational use of the computer?
What sort of Internet Plan do I need at home?
Students are sometimes required to undertake tasks that can draw quite heavily on your home download allowance. It is very important to check what type of Internet plan you are on. Some plans charge you if you go over your monthly download allowance, others give unlimited downloads and slow your connection down if you go over your monthly limit. The unlimited plans are by far the safest and the best value. To ensure you don’t get a shock when the monthly bill arrives if you have exceeded your download limit, we strongly advise checking the details of your plan with your Internet service provider.