Category: Case Study
Porirua College is a co-ed state school in Wellington, New Zealand.
John Topp, Deputy Principal at Porirua College explained the issues that needed to be resolved prior to rolling out BYOD, “With our existing system we could not see what students were doing, we couldn’t easily monitor traffic on the network and we had instances of students using staff log ins on their own devices and we needed to put a stop to that.”
In addition, Porirua College felt that it had a responsibility to the community to ensure that students were using the Internet safely on campus and at home. John explains, “Our parents’ biggest concern about the proposed Chromebook roll out was that they would not know what their children were doing on the Internet at home.”
“Our IT Support provider explained that Linewize would give us complete transparency and visibility, and that it was simple to use,” recalls John. “Within days he had demonstrated the product and we agreed to a one-month right to return. Linewize just worked so we were really keen to go to the next step and we rolled it out at the start of the academic year.”
Linewize enabled the College to monitor Internet usage, identify any inappropriate Internet behaviour and it resolved their user authentication issues.
Although initially motivated largely by concerns for student’s safety, there was an unexpected bonus. The ‘Classwize’ feature enables individual teachers to seamlessly see what every student in the class is doing on the Internet, and manage the websites that they can access. This immediately had a positive impact on teaching and learning.
John teaches Physics and comments, “It is so easy to direct students to where they need to go online and mitigates any distractions.” A fellow Maths teacher adds, “It has made my classes so much more manageable. Students are on-task, focused and engaged in learning as opposed to being distracted by other things on the Internet.”
Classwize is now being cascaded down through each department. John says that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, “Staff welcome the peace of mind that it offers and they don’t see it as extra work because it is so simple to use.”
The College will also be integrating Linewize into the students’ digital citizenship programme to raise student awareness of what is and is not appropriate behaviour on the Internet. John adds, “We will also explore what the detailed reports on individual student usage could add to student self-management of learning.”
Finally, the College is looking forward to alleviating the concerns that the community had previously expressed about how they could keep their children safe when on the Internet at home. “Going forward we will be trialling the use of Linewize to filter student’s Internet usage at home and collating parental feedback on how successfully it alleviates their concerns,” celebrates John. “We can now confidently progress the BYOD programme.”
For a web management tool that has had such powerful outcomes for the College, the roll out was surprisingly straightforward. John rates both their IT support provider and Linewize highly, “Our IT support provider knew what we needed and found Linewize for us. Linewize have complete understanding of the education sector and worked to resolve the odd log in issue without it impacting on the school in any way.”
Linewize has ticked many boxes on the College’s strategy for ICT use. The College is keeping students safe, better managing web-based learning and offering transparency to students, staff and parents. As John succinctly puts it, “The decision to use Linewize was a no brainer.”
Porirua College is part of the Te Mana O Kupe Trust. This Trust supports the low decile schools in the area to offer Chromebooks configured to school systems, fully insured and ready to go on a lease-to-own basis. The Chromebooks can be used at school and for home learning. The College is part of a Victoria University Research Project looking into the educational impact of the scheme.