Te whakaurunga |Enrolment

ICT and BYOD at Darfield High School

Darfield High School (along with most of the primary schools in the Malvern cluster) partners with Cyclone Computers as our ICT provider. 


This is a significant investment aiming to support learning and teaching as well as ICT resilience. We will have an ICT technician based at DHS supporting all of the schools in this cluster. Cyclone is a Christchurch-based leading ICT company with national coverage which specialises in education. 


Every student owning a suitable device for school is a real help for learning. A Chromebook/laptop is the modern equivalent of pen and paper and textbooks, but does much more, and when learning from home is needed having a suitable laptop is essential. Smartphones are not suitable.

To make it easier for parents and more efficient for our teachers, we’ve partnered with Cyclone for BYOD – this means an online sales portal linked to us, giving you a small range of suitable devices to choose from. You don’t have to use Cyclone but there are advantages:

  • We’ve checked the specs and reputation for the devices we’ve listed
  • For Chromebooks, they will arrive already set up specifically for DHS
  • All Cyclone-sold devices have 3 year warranties to minimise disruption to learning if something goes wrong and, if it does, your child can have it checked by our Cyclone technician onsite
  • No need to go to the city – everything can be done through school
  • Competitive prices using an education discount where possible. Note, cheaper prices on similar devices can always be found when retailers have specials on – it is okay to bring these devices but they won’t have the advantages above

In years 7-10 we strongly prefer Chromebooks only:

  • A consistent interface means efficient teacher support
  • Fewer moving parts means less to go wrong, more robust and longer battery life
  • Less competition between students about devices
  • The few things Chromebooks can’t do aren’t needed.

Year 10 is a transition year

Chromebooks, Windows laptops, or Apple laptops can be used.

This allows parents flexibility about when to change their child’s device and supports students to get ready for senior school. 

In years 11 - 13

We prefer students to have Windows laptops unless a student is doing visual arts, music, DVC, or a subject where an Apple laptop has specific advantages


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 recommend a protective case.

  • 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.
Collaborative work, learning at home, digital exams

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. It is more common for devices to get broken through accidental damage, usually from being placed in an inappropriate place such as the floor, having a water bottle leak in a bag, or other rough play.

It is important for us to take steps to protect our devices.  Ensure your device is kept in a protective case that is preferably water-resistant and has a hard shell. 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.