E-learning has gained prominence in recent years, as the popularity of laptops, tablets and smartphones heralds a new era of how the educational environment operates.
Parents and students are now expecting more from their schools than ever before, and nowhere is this truer than at The Scots College in Sydney.
Located in Bellevue Hill, this day and boarding school for boys from Kindergarten age to Year 12 prides itself on offering an engaging and personalised learning experience.
Paul Lister, director of ICT at The Scots College, says the students’ parents expect the most for their investment in Scots, “And when they’re paying for it, and they’re not getting it, things need to be addressed and changed”.
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Despite trying to provide a premium IT service for the students, when the school introduced a 1:1 laptop program ten years ago, it didn’t take long for problems to arise with the original provider.
Under the program, the school supplies students and staff with a laptop that can be used in the classroom and from home.
Scots College began providing six varieties of Windows laptop across three manufacturers – Toshiba, Lenovo and Dell.
“The bottom line is that we had a previous service provider that we purchased the laptops through and they did not live up to expectations, ” Paul Lister says.
“The service turnaround wasn’t good. The capacity of that organisation to service the parts was not good, and they had a communication problem”
After giving them three chances to improve their services, the college and the provider parted ways.
Following six fruitless months with another provider, Paul Lister made the call to CompNow two years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
Paul has been with The Scots College for three and a half years, and one of the largest changes to the laptop program during his tenure has been scrapping the six different devices setup and replacing everything with Apple MacBook Pros.
It was a big move, but a good one, he says, and jokes that there would be a rebellion if the college were to announce a move back to Windows.
“The students are more engaged. The software and tools on the Mac are much better and integrated into the hardware, so we’ve seen a lot more engagement,” Paul adds.
“It’s working really well, especially in years 5 and 6, as well years 7, 8 and 9.”
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“The MacBooks have made a big difference,” Paul Lister adds. “The student benefits are that they are plugged into learning 24/7, onsite and offsite, and the MacBooks are excellent devices.”
Paul says the service CompNow provides as a supplier is central to the success of the program, with the school now buying the majority of its IT hardware from the company.
CompNow offers a dedicated on-site maintenance engineer who services the laptops, as well as a proactive account management team.
“The account manager, John Ng, is the best account manager I’ve ever dealt with. He’s a big reason why we do a lot of business with CompNow.”
According to Paul, CompNow is the school’s leading IT partner and he looks forward to working with them on upcoming changes, including a possible implementation of a BYOD policy.
“My favourite aspect is that they do what they say – and more. I don’t have to worry, I don’t have to look elsewhere – I’m totally confident in them.”