Donvale Christian College

Experiencing the modern management difference at Donvale Christian College

Donvale shares its experiences as one of the country’s foundation Microsoft Surface Lighthouse Schools and its game changing, three-way problem solving with Microsoft’s and CompNow’s subject matter experts.

Victoria’s Donvale Christian College is proudly immersed in technology, where its 1,550 Prep to Year 12 students are equipped to learn for a lifetime and its 230 teachers are empowered to prepare their students for a future beyond school.

The Challenge

Knowledgeable, reliable & rapid response to support Donvale’s Microsoft Surface Pro fleet.

The Solution

Customised procurement, insurance and servicing package that optimises Donvale’s leadership position as a Microsoft Surface Lighthouse School.

The Benefits
  • Microsoft suite use at forefront of technology in education best practice
  • Modern management practices for rapid response services
  • CompNow custom insurance covers all contingencies at competitive rate
  • Microsoft cloud synching for swap and go, minimal downtime repairs

We’ve taken our tender back to the market to objectively validate our decisions: that Surface Pros and Compnow are the best options for us and our students. Without question, they both come out on top every time.

Josh Lyon Head of Business Systems & ICT
Donvale Christian College

The Challenge

25 years ago, the College was one of the first schools to introduce a 1:1 device policy and is proud of being at the forefront of technology adoption.

When Josh Lyon, Head of Business Systems and ICT, joined Donvale in 2014 there was “a conscious shift away from 1:1 with keyboards, to pen and touch. Evidence supports that student processing and retaining of information is vastly improved when they use digital inking and touch screen note taking, rather than typing.”

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 devices had been ordered “and in the classroom their success was realised across the curriculum. But Microsoft’s standard warranty and support was lagging from the IT side. We had to wait for Microsoft to swap or fix devices – and when classrooms depend on technology, that means unacceptable disruption to students and teachers.

“We went to the market to find someone whose focus was a strong service culture, who could take over our purchasing and deliver the best fixes.”

The Solution

CompNow’s customised procurement and servicing model plays into Donvale’s Lighthouse story.

“CompNow’s relationship with Microsoft is vital. There’s nothing more frustrating than having gaps between your provider and vendor,” Josh says.

“We rely on CompNow for all device purchases – the Surface fleet, plus the iPads and desktops used in the Prep to Year 2 classrooms – to ensure students and staff have access to the latest devices.

“Behind the scenes we have a program built around the CompNow service. It’s an incredibly strong component of our technology leadership. Being able to swap and go is a real game changer. Students bring a broken device to us, we swap it out and they go straight back to the classroom. There’s no time wasting. Then CompNow takes on the fix and makes it so easy.

“Just how far out in front we are with CompNow really hit home for me when I was looking at a chat on the VINE network [Victorian ICT Network for Education professionals]. There was a big discussion about how good it would be to do hot swaps in schools, that it shouldn’t be so hard. And we were already doing it.”

Another advantage of CompNow’s full support service is its bespoke insurance offering. “Microsoft’s Advance Exchange cover is limited to accidental damage – like screen breakages. It doesn’t count loss or water damage. CompNow’s comprehensive cover, at a great price, is a no brainer,” Josh says.


The Benefits

By leveraging the Microsoft platform and CompNow’s professional procurement and support services, Donvale is a leader in modern management of technology in an education setting.

At the end of each of the first five years of the Donvale / CompNow relationship, the College put the full procurement tender back to the market. “We wanted to objectively validate our decisions: were the Microsoft Surface Pros and CompNow’s suite of services still the best options for us and our students. Without question, they both came out on top every single time,” Josh says.

The College relies on its Microsoft & CompNow environment so the evolving links between pedagogy and technology are maintained with each Surface Pro iteration. Donvale continues to grow each student’s confidence in the power of their device. The tablet and touch options, plus the digital pen, make for engaging learning experiences. Each child has the freedom to adapt their Surface Pro and the Microsoft 365 suite to suit their own learning style and applications as they progress through to their Senior years.

Donvale’s Executive Principal, Tim Argall, puts it this way. “As a recognised Microsoft Surface Lighthouse School, Donvale is positioned at the forefront of digital learning. We continue to offer our students a well resourced and active learning environment. Whether at school or at home, effective use of technology means resources are easy to access, and students are active participants who collaborate freely.”

With CompNow an embedded partner at Donvale, Josh says the Business System and ICT team of eight “doesn’t have to worry about devices. We can focus on the next updates like data warehousing and data structures to help our teachers. Plus the bigger picture – technology and learning that has been super charged by education’s responses to Covid.”

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