Allowing students to connect at a local, national & global level

Hybrid Learning at Ellesmere College

Through the use of hybrid learning, Ellesmere College students will have increased opportunities to learn and achieve more through individualised, student-centred and authentic learning opportunities.


The use of digital devices in class (BYOD – Bring Your Own Device) will enable students to develop their digital competencies and help them develop the skills needed to be lifelong learners.

Digital Device Requirements

From 2020, all Ellesmere College students are expected to bring a 1:1 computing device to school.

The method of content delivery will be a hybrid-approach using online and traditional teaching tools.

Each student will have their own unique Google Account, giving them access to our learning management system Its Learning, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Sites and a whole host of other digital platforms.

The students will utilize their devices in a myriad of different ways across learning areas and the potential of devices to open up new and exciting learning opportunities is inspiring.

To accommodate the wide variety of demands, needs and uses across our learning areas the devices will need to be suitable for typing and editing documents, manipulating photos, collaborating online and using internet resources and tools.

What are the recommended device requirements?

One of the many realities realities of information technology use in a school environment is that students require a highly portable device with a very long battery life.

Students carry their device from class to class every hour and will not be able to rely on having an opportunity or place to recharge their battery during the day.

In addition to this, student devices should also be wireless and internet capable, have a good warranty and be robust which often means the build quality of the device should be high.

The device we are highly recommending for our Year 7-11 students is a:


However, as learning in the senior school becomes increasingly more specialized, Senior students should consider bringing a laptop to school, particularly if they need to utilize specific software outside of school hours, e.g. students taking DVC, Technology or Art are advised to use a laptop which is Windows based and can run Adobe-based programmes.

Why do we recommend Chromebooks?

Ellesmere College is a Google Apps for Education school which means that we have access to a wide range of productivity applications: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive,  Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, Google Classroom and Google Sites.

As a school we get to take advantage of the enormous computing power and cloud storage that Google has to offer whilst having control of services uniquely geared towards education.

Teachers and students create, collaborate and store their work in the cloud and are not limited by the platform they use and they are not dependent on expensive applications just to get things done.

Chromebooks integrate perfectly with our Google Apps for Education because they are built to be light on resources, connected instantly and linked seamlessly with our Google Accounts.


See the table below for a quick rundown of the advantages and strengths of Chromebooks in Education

Advantages of Chromebook

  • Learning is not app-driven
  • Decreased Costs (due to no extraneous software costs)
  • Consistency of User Experience
  • USB Ports
  • Keyboard
  • Ergonomic
  • Hybrid Storage – Cloud/Offline
  • Easy to replace/repair
  • Fast startup, long battery-life

Strengths of Chromebook

  • 6-8 hour battery life
  • Fast startup
  • Cheaper than a laptop
  • Comes with 100GB free cloud storage
  • Fully integrated with Google Apps
  • Easy to use
  • Virus-resistant
  • Automatic updates
  • Large screen
  • Built-in keyboard
  • External ports e.g. USB, HDMI

Frequently Asked Questions

Chromebooks and other suitable devices (laptops, Android and Windows Tablets) can be purchased from a number of local retailers.

For example; PB Technologies, JB HiFi, Heathcote Appliances, Harvey Norman, Warehouse Stationery and Noel Leeming.

Devices can also be purchased online through OfficeMax.

Chromebooks are our recommended device for parents to purchase. However, if your son/daughter has a laptop which meets the device specifications this could be brought to school as an alternative.

After exhaustive testing we have found that iPads are not conducive to the high level of productivity needed at high school level.

Chromebooks and laptops are more robust than tablets and students using tablets this year have found it difficult to complete work, particularly when documents need to be edited or long reports need to be typed.

Chromebooks and laptops are more ergonomically suitable for use for long periods of time and have a USB-port which allows a mouse or external hard drive to be connected.

A Chromebook or a laptop are the only devices suitable for use by students from 2020 onwards.

Students have the option of leaving their device with a Dean, Kaitiaki or front office should they wish to do so.

Currently all students have access to the school Wifi and there have been no issues with this. There is an extremely strong firewall/filter which is constantly updated to ensure the safety of all students.

If parents/caregivers need to pay for a Chromebook over a period of time we recommend that you investigate normal retail channels such as Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman. We are also happy to provide supporting documentation/letters for WINZ applications in relation to digital devices.

There is an expectation that stationery costs will be reduced. However, students will still need to come to school with paper, pens, etc, as it is blended e-learning i.e. a mix of traditional and e-learning pedagogy occurring in class.

This depends on the subject, teacher, lesson, etc. Students will need to have exercise books, pens, etc, along with their device as it is blended learning, i.e. a mix of traditional and digital pedagogy occurring in class.

It depends. Chromebooks are connected using the student’s unique Ellesmere College Google Account. Students will be accessing and storing documents using Google Drive which stores and saves documents automatically online, however, work can be saved offline on their device as necessary.

Not necessarily, although it would be extremely beneficial. The Chromebook does have enough memory capacity for documents to be downloaded and worked on offline. Students could download the documents they need for homework while at school, work on them without being connected to the internet and then they will be automatically uploaded online when they log onto the school wifi the next day.

Part of being a positive digital citizen is ensuring that a device has a full battery when students arrive to school. Fully-charged, a Chromebook’s battery will last for 6-9 hours, depending on usage.

By turning down the screen intensity you can reduce the amount of energy that your device uses during the day. It is the responsibility of students and parents to ensure that devices are fully charged before a student arrives at school.

This being said, if a student has exercised all of their responsibilities, is demonstrating the behaviours and attitudes of a positive digital citizen and they still need to charge their device – as long as it is reasonable and can be accommodated then charging in class is permitted on a case by case basis.

As there is an expectation that there will in a reduction in the use of workbooks, the answer to this question is no. Chromebooks are lighter than most workbooks so we hope that your son/daughter’s school bag will in fact be lighter!

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority are working towards having all NCEA external exams (equivalent to the old School Certificate exams) online in the near future.

All students will need to have high levels of traditional and digital literacy skills in order to be able to access these exams and achieve to their full potential.