Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can my child use a MacBook that they already have at home?

Yes - Any MacBook Air or Pro that meets the minimum school requirements can be used.

2. The battery goes flat very quickly on the MacBook, can we purchase a new battery?

Yes - Students can purchase a battery from a wide range of suppliers we recommend

3. Do we need to purchase a new portable Hard drive for backing up?

Optional - We strongly recommend that all students back up their machine/school work. It is the student's responsibility to back up all their school work with either a portable hard drive on online cloud service. All students will be issued with a Google Drive account for online backup of work.

4. Can we purchase a smaller lighter carry case?

Yes - The protecting of the computer is something we all need to be concerned about. The vast majority carry cases are simply not designed for school use. They are designed for adults.

A case which "looks nice" may be attractive to the user but the real reason for purchasing a laptop case should be to protect your investment. Available at Harvey Norman or JB HiFi,

The carry case you choose needs to be able to absorb the shock transmitted to the laptop when it is bumped or dropped. Failure to do this will result in the display being damaged or broken. If this does occur, you are able to have them repaired but it can become expensive. We strongly recommend that a hard-sided, impact-resistant and sturdy carry case is purchased - see information on IT Support above.

5. Are we required to ensure the MacBook through our home and contents insurance?

The School strongly recommends that each family ensures their device against accidental damage, theft and loss. AppleCare+ Protection Plan can be purchased, this will extend the warranty to 3 years for new equipment and provide multiple repairs at reduced cost (like an excess payment for insurance)

It is incumbent upon each family to explore the appropriate type and level of cover for their computer purchase. Not all home and contents policies will provide adequate cover. The best advice available to families will come from their own insurance company.

6. What are the warranty terms for a new Macbook? Can I extend this time frame?

YES - All new Apple devices come with a 12-month manufacturers warranty that protects the purchaser from faults, breakdown and standard repairs. By purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan, you can extend that warranty by a further 24 months taking it to 3 years. Please note that the device warranty is NOT the same as insuring the device against theft, damage and loss.

7. Will my child have access to a spare MacBook if their machine is away being repaired or replaced?

YES - The school will issue students with a loan Notebook while their machine is away (for a maximum of two weeks). This way the student can continue with their learning while the machine is away. It is highly recommended that a full-Time Machine back is completed before the machine is sent away or all work is saved in the Google File stream.

8. Does the work on the MacBook/Notebook need to be backed up?

YES - It is the student's responsibility to backup all their school work. All Notebooks and MacBook Pro's have a built-in back application called "Time Machine". This applications work in conjunction with an external hard drive and once configured will do a full backup of the computer every time the external Hard Drive is connected. It is recommended that this is done every night.

In the event that the students Notebook/MacBook Pro hard drive fails and everything is the lost the IT staff can install a new hard drive into the MacBook Pro and rebuild the computer back to the time the last backup. This process will recover everything on the computer from the time of the last backup.

The IT staff can help setup the time machine backup if students are experiencing problems.

9. Will students receive an extension on assessment work if they loose their BYOD MacBook?

Generally NO - Year 10, 11 and 12 have very specific rules when it comes to the submission of assessment task. Loosing things on a computer is not an acceptable excuse for not submitting formal school assessment. If a task is lost the class teacher, KLA Coordinator or Curriculum Coordinator will ask you to submit a copy from your backup. It is the students responsibility to regularly backup school work.

10. Can students backup work in the cloud?

YES - Every student at Magdalene has a school issued Google account. This account gives each student UNLIMITED online storage space in Google Drive. Once students login to their Google account they can upload single files or entire folders of work and have it stored safely in the cloud where it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

11. Will my son/daughter be signing an acceptable use/agreement of use/care and maintenance agreement?

YES - The BYOD MacBook is a personal device belonging to the student, the school will continue to enforce acceptable standards of conduct for all students at school with regards to responsible digital citizenship and ICT. There will be an appropriate document for parents and students to sign acknowledging their role in upholding the School’s standards at the commencement of the school year.

At that time, the school asks that all parents sit down and discuss the document with their child, so that the expectations, and consequences for failing to meet those expectations, are clear to everyone involved.

12. Whose responsibility is the care and cleaning of the device?

It is the student’s responsibility to look after his or her own device. Students can seek the advice of the IT staff by submitting an online request (see IT Support link above) or visiting the IT office before homeroom, recess or lunch time.

13. Is my child’s Internet access monitored?

While the MacBook is in use on school the school's wifi network all sites are filtered through our proxy filters. The IT staff are not able to monitor or restrict any activity that takes place outside of the school grounds.

14. Do I need internet access at home?

In order for your child to access all the features available on the MacBook and GAFE (Google Applications for Education) to carry out research, an Internet connection of some sort will be needed at home.

This will need to be monitored in order to avoid any unforeseen costs.

15. Can a teacher confiscate the device if my child is using it inappropriately?

Teachers have an important role in ensuring that teaching and learning is a key focus within the classroom. Should student actions contravene this ideal, teachers will address the situation in accordance with the school’s behaviour management plan. Actions could, potentially, result in short-term device confiscation.

16. Can my child personalise the device by adding music, movies or personal pictures?

Your family has purchased the Macbook as a personal device, and we understand and support the idea that our students will want to personalise them. However, there are some considerations we would like families to keep in mind:

- Like the School diary, or any other item belonging to the student, vandalism and graffiti will not be tolerated. Tastefully decorated MacBook covers are acceptable, but scribbling and general graffiti is not.

- Your child needs to be constantly aware of the amount of storage space they have available on the MacBook. Loading the device with photos, music and movies will take up valuable space that is needed for schoolwork. The School requests that families’ support us in limiting the amount of personal data on the device to maximum space for school-based materials.

- Students found interacting with or accessing personal data (games, music, movies or photos) that falls outside the School’s policy on acceptable use or content will face the necessary sanctions.

17. What % of use will the MacBook be in the classroom?

There is no way to quantify this figure, as each day in the classroom is diverse and unique. However, the MacBook Pro is only one of many learning tool for your child, and, as such, it will be accessed often.

Magdalene Catholic High School feels strongly that it is the learning your child engages in that is paramount, and teachers will choose the tool that bests supports that learning. On many occasions, that will be the MacBook, but at other times, it will a book, a globe of the world, pen and paper, and the list goes on.

Our aim as a School is to provide learning experiences that are engaging, innovative and authentic for our students, and we will design programs and choose the learning tools that enable us to make that happen successfully.

Given that the HSC exams still exist, and are likely to for when your child reaches Year 12, we understand the need for activities and assessments that are not completed on the Notebook, and we will always strive to find the right balance between these two realities.

18. Will my child still be required to handwrite?

See Question 17

19. Will homework be required to be completed on the MacBook?

Teachers will use a range of different strategies to enhance student learning whilst at home, some of which may include use of the MacBook.

20. Can we use a different device other than an Apple MacBook?

At this point in time, the school has adopted the Apple MacBook program as its preferred device for student learning. School systems and teaching strategies will be developed around this device making it the best fit for our educational environment. We are not able to cater for other devices at this stage.

21. Will the MacBook be secured between classes and breaks?

Your child will be expected to carry their MacBook with them to all lessons unless they have been given specific instructions from their teacher. During recess, lunch time and when not being used the Macbook must be stored securely in their locker.

22. What is the School’s policy with use of the device during breaks?

The school encourages students to become involved in the many different aspects of school life. The LRC (Learning Resource Centre) provides a space for the safe use of computers during the lunch break. Students are not permitted to use their MacBook in the playground at any time. The MacBook must only be used at school for educational purposes the watching movies or playing games is strictly prohibited.

23. Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Your first of call should be the IT support page - see IT Support Link for more information above or to complete the form or

MCC BYOD Loan From Link

or Please feel free to email your questions to:

Mr Danny Avalos

Learning Technologies Coordinator


Magdalene IT Support