Gulf Harbour School

IT in Classrooms

Computers and Mobile Devices

At Gulf Harbour School we have always had a strong commitment to digital technology. Right from the beginning we have believed that children need to be prepared for the future and that future would involve increasing levels of digital technology. It's amazing how far technology has come in the few years since the school started! Then, we felt we were on the cutting edge having a few computers in our rooms! We have had lots great digital outcomes over the years and have always pushed to create things such as TV shows, radio stations and of course digital classrooms. Currently we 3 to 5 iMac computers in each room, staff have a lap top and an iPad and all classes have either a large flat screen or a data projector capable of having these devices connected. We also have 40 iPads we share amongst our classrooms building up student confidence and skills.

Bringing Mobile Devices to School for Learning

The development of mobile devices has again changed our way of communicating and our educational landscape as well. Small and powerful devices are now available at much lower costs. It is our intention to encourage these devices in the classroom.

Our school's vision is to pursue authenticity, creativity and excellence in learning. We believe innovation, and the power of the individual are paramount. We see the mobile devices as a potentially versatile tool to empower students in their learning. It is now more effective and powerful for students to own their device. Imagine if every student has at their finger tips writing apps, the ability to search the web, a still camera, a movie camera, movie making software, email, music creation, drawing art, audio recording, note taking and many more all in one device. How much could they achieve? Part of the power is in ownership. The student has the device and knows how to use because they have it all the time. The focus moves off 'Learning to use the device’ to 'How can I use my device for learning?'

We want to integrate devices into everyday use. There are a lot of applications that will help students with particular skills and knowledge. That is, applications that develop specific Maths or Literacy knowledge and skills. But, perhaps the most powerful possibilities however lie in creation. Students can make their own movies, books, music, art and tell their own stories.

Right now there are a number of devices available. We will be promoting Apple products. That is, the iPad, iPad Mini and iPod. We feel that it is important for students and teachers to be using the same system to maximise learning outcomes.

We think Apple devices are reliable, stable, and have access to the most useful educationally focused applications. If you have an Android device your child can bring this, access the school wifi and use it within classrooms. Teachers will however have Apple devices so students will need to be able to use the device more independently.

We are aware that this is a cost and devices are by no means compulsory. We see our school having a number of devices available for students to use, however the benefits of 24/7 access and owning your own device will (we believe) be a real consideration for parents as we move into this next phase of our school direction.

At School

Devices at school will be used to develop and reinforce learning. It is essential that you talk about appropriate use of devices at school. Carefully read through the agreement together. To avoid issues with theft or damage we recommend the following.

  • Purchase a good protective case and have it clearly labelled.
  • Use a labelled snap lock plastic bag to protect device from leaky bottles.
  • Lock the screen with pin number.
  • Use ‘Locate my iPad’ on the device.
  • Have the body of iPad/iPod labelled and consider having it engraved.
  • Please contact your insurance company to check out options.
  • Make sure that the device arrives at school fully charged each day and ready to use.

Read the Letter from the school regarding bringing your iPad to school (pdf).

Read the Mobile Devices - Acceptable Use Agreement (pdf).

School email account

Students will have a school email account. This will allow students the ability to communicate and send files to their teacher. It is allocated and administrated by the school. There will be various controls around access which is managed through filtering and various risk management strategies. See cyber safety policies.

At Home

Set guidelines for device use at home. Like anything it needs to be used thoughtfully and in moderation. How you treat your device at home will have a bearing on how it is perceived at school. If you use the device mostly to entertain, than that will be how it will be perceived at school.

We recommend that you…

  • Set time limits on device use. Remember it is a privilege and don’t be afraid to temporarily remove a device.
  • Keep control of iTunes password. Apps downloading is something to work on together.
  • Sit down together and try some creative activities. Make an iMovie, create some music, write a story or a book together.
  • Send emails to each other. Talk about the appropriate way to communicate.
  • Keep track of email accounts. Let your child know you have their password and can do this.
  • When you create an Apple account you get an email account. Be aware of what accounts are being used. Apps like Facetime and Messenger can be used on an Apple device with an email address.
  • Restrict the area where devices can be used. Use shared spaces and don’t encourage children to go off by themselves.
  • Students will be communicating now and in the future through digital means. Make it clear that everyone has the right to feel safe in any situation. Talk about this and ensure students are aware that any forms of bullying need to be immediately identified and resolved. (See BYOD agreement)


There are many applications available, in fact, thousands! Our focus is on apps that allow students creative opportunity in other words, allow them to make things rather than just do set activities.

Here is a list of recommended free apps. All of which we have used with our school iPads. There are also some paid apps that are powerful. Notability is certainly one we have used very effectively and I would highly recommend. Teachers will have apps that they want to focus on using. In the senior part of the school we are going to be using Google Drive a lot for writing and inquiry this year.

  • Google Drive (Google storage essential for using with school Google account)
  • Google Docs (Word Processing app that works with Hapara)
  • Google Sheets (Spread sheet)
  • Pic Collage (Picture/Poster creation)
  • Edmodo (Class network App)
  • Popplet - Free (basic) (Brain Storming App)
  • Screen Chomp (Screen recording)
  • Blogger (Blogging App)
  • iBooks (For reading Books)

  • Sketches - Free (basic) (Drawing App)
  • Paper 53 (Drawing App)
  • Sketchbook Express (Art)
  • Scratch (simple programming app)

  • Snapseed (Photography App)
  • Repix (Photography App)
  • Photoshop Express (Photography App)

  • Tellagami (Animation App)
  • Dictionary
  • Google Earth (Map)
  • MyScript Calculator (hand writing calulator)
  • Stop Motion Studio (Stop motion app)

  • Mathletics (Maths App)
  • Evernote (Note taking App)
  • Penultimate (Note taking App)
  • Socrative (Quiz)
  • Virtual manipulator (Maths App)
  • Wings (Maths App)
  • i-nigma (QR Code Reader)
  • Quick voice recorder (Recording)


Other Recommended Paid Apps

  • Notability $3.79
  • Puppet Pals - Free but full version recommended at $4.19
  • Book Creator $6.49
  • Explain Everything $4.19

*All Apple apps below are free with new a iPad.
  • Pages $13.99  (Like Word)
  • Keynote $13.99 (Like Power Point)
  • iMovie $6.49 (Movie making)
  • Garage Band $6.49 (Music Creation)


Classroom teachers may also have specific apps they are focusing in class.


Max Brown's iPad Blog

Gulf Harbour School
Gulf Harbour School

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