Close to 800 students from year 7 to 10 are bringing their own devices to school at Orange High School this year making it the first time the entire junior cohort has taken part in the Bring Your Own Device initiative.
Orange High School e-learning co-ordinator Kahina Kharitos said the school introduced BYOD in 2016 and is part way through a six-year plan to introduce it to all year levels by involving year 7 students each year and having them continue to bring devices in subsequent years.
Ms Kahritos said the devices will be used in all subjects and will accompany, not replace traditional mediums such as handwriting.
To help students prepare and understand the basics, the school has been holding boot camps so school software can be installed on devices and to help students who may know little about technology so they can catch up to peers and not be left behind in class.
One thing they really learn here is how to use that technology for learning rather than for Youtube, social media or gaminge-learning co-ordinator Kahina Kharitos
As well as learning the basics of the computer programs, students also learn about cyber safety and legal issues associated with social media and posting online at the boot camps.
"One thing they really learn here is how to use that technology for learning rather than for Youtube, social media or gaming," Ms Kharitos said.
To encourage this she said students log-on through the Department of Education wifi, which blocks access to inappropriate sites and social media.
She said in another two years students in every grade will bring a laptop style device to school, and although they are not part of the compulsory program senior students can also bring devices if they want to.
"We are looking at ways we can include it for years 11 and 12, we just don't do the intensive boot camps and setting up for them," Ms Kharitos said.
Because students come from a range of financial backgrounds the school has a loan program so no one misses out.
"We definitely ensure that every student has a device they can work with and use in class," Ms Kharitos said.
Principal Chad Bliss said the school is committed to embracing technology as one of many learning tools the school uses.
"We want to be at the forefront of this for the next three to five years," Mr Bliss said.
A Depart of Education spokesman said BYOD is optional for public schools and each school makes its own decision to implement it.
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