This decision marked the end of public funding of laptop computers and digital infrastructure for Year 9–12 students.
After exploring the various 1:1 models for the provision of laptops, the college developed a set of criteria to put to vendors. They wanted to offer a range of quality brands and price points, promote more student ownership of devices and divest any financial liability for the laptops. The laptops had to be supported by an onsite presence to maximise the time students had access to devices to support their learning. A robust warranty and insurance programme was needed. This complex set of criteria prompted Mount Alvernia to find a company able to meet this demanding set of criteria. After considerable groundwork and negotiations the college chose to work with us because of our expertise in providing education-specific solutions across Australia.
More than 500 parents of Mount Alvernia College students attended an engaging and successful information evening where our team presented the college’s solutions and answered questions. The parents were then provided with a pack that offered a range of quality laptops at varying prices. They purchase these directly from Datacom through an e-commerce portal, saving the school from having to deal with transacting hundreds of orders.
In terms of support, the parents pay for a comprehensive Datacom-managed service, including a full-time technician onsite to assist the college with device repairs and maintenance. A supply of swap-out units ensures each child has a device at all times, reducing time lost in the classroom.
Negotiations began in August 2014. By October, laptop requests were flowing in, with final orders taken for the school year in January 2015.
The collaborative effort has not only resulted in a smooth transition from school-owned to parent-funded laptops, but has saved the college considerable funds and resourcing time and risk. The parents have a clear process, cost-effective funding options, warranties and insurance coverage and full-time technical service and support.
“Despite careful planning, any new venture presents numerous unforeseen challenges. The partnership we have formed with Datacom has made the process of delivery and maintenance of our BYOT program a big success.”
Bill Fisher, Manager of Technology and Data Analysis, Mount Alvernia College