Personal Devices

Personal devices are important learning tools. Research shows that there are many benefits to your child having a personal device. A sense of ownership creates a greater connection to using the device for learning, and students can learn anywhere and at any time in a way that suits their needs.
The discerning use of digital technologies in the classroom can maximise learning opportunities.   Students learn how to engage with the world around them, connect, collaborate, access information and acquire digital skills to participate in life and work.

Personal devices also enable schools, students and families to link the formal learning of a classroom with informal learning at home and outside of school. 

For more information about how digital technologies enhance learning, see: Benefits

1-to-1 learning programs

Your child may already be using a personal device at school, or your school may be proposing a 1-to-1 learning program.  

Schools will have different models for providing this program. For example:
  • School-purchased personal devices – owned or leased by the school and provided to students at no cost to families.
  • Co-contribution -– parents partner with the school to contribute to the purchase or lease of a device.
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – students bring in their own device either purchases or leased directly by families. This may include:
    • any device
    • any device with set features, e.g. software or applications, as defined by the school
    • a specified device as defined by the school. (Schools may elect to negotiate with suppliers to provide parents with a better/more flexible financial deal based on group purchasing and suggest this suppler as part of their preferred model.) 

You may have questions about why your school is implementing a preferred modelYour school council must approve any parent payments related to the purchaseof digital devices and ensure that programs provide equitable access for all students.

Schools must also consult with their community before a model for the use and ownership of personal device is adopted As part of this process your school will make available The consultation process must:
  • advise parent of the proposed costs of the program
  • provide the rationale and guidelines for the school's preferred devices/s, based on learning benefits
  • provide details of proposed maintenance and insurance agreements
  • provide opportunity for parents to express their viewpoints
  • seek out and consider the viewpoints of a diverse range of parents, e.g. parents of children with special needs, or parents who  may have difficulty paying for devices
  • adress any concerns before a final decision is made
  • be documented
If you are being asked to purchase or lease a device and your school has already completed its consultation process, your school must still provide you with all relevant information in relation to its adopted model.
For further information on parent payments, including the purchase of 1-to-1 devices, see: Parent Payments in Victorian Government Schools
For more information about how schools implement 1-to-1 learning programs, see: School Policy and Advisory Guide – Personal Devices – Payment and Access
If you have any questions about personal devices for your child or the model adopted by your school, contact your school principal or school council

Ensuring access

Schools must work with parents to decide the best way to provide devices where a 1-to-1 learning program is being implemented. 

You may be asked by a school to provide, co-contribute or lease a device and will have the opportunity to consider whether you and your child are able to participate in the preferred model.

If you do not to participate in the school’s preferred model for purchasing or leasing a device, your school must make sure your child is not treated differently or denied access to standard learning programs.  Your school must provide access to a school-owned device during school hours, if they are essential to the learning program and other students are using their own devices.

Safe and responsible use

When your child uses a personal device they are also developing important digital skills about how to use technology and information and how to behave responsibly and safely in the online world.  Families and the wider community are important partners in this learning.

As part of a 1-to-1 learning program, your school must outline expectations regarding your child’s use of a personal device.  They must develop acceptable use policies or guidelines that both your child and you need to understand and agree to, to ensure safe, responsible and discerning use of digital technologies.

For more information about how schools will work with you, see: Parents and Cybersafety

Bully Stoppers supports students, parents, teachers and principals in working together to make sure schools are safe and supportive places, where everyone is empowered to help reduce the incidence of bullying in all Victorian schools

For more information, see: Bully Stoppers