Clontarf Aboriginal College

Training smooths speedy adoption of new iPads at Clontarf Aboriginal College

Technology introductions at Clontarf Aboriginal College must be immediately and engagingly acceptable to its cohort of largely disadvantaged students.

CompNow was drawn into Clontarf’s committed executive, teaching and IT team to help solve device needs within the budget parameters of this specific setting.

Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, delivers a range of educational programs and varied learning opportunities to indigenous students from Years 7-12. It is a Curriculum and Reengagement in Education (CARE) school, with the prime purpose of supporting young people at risk, who have significant difficulty accessing mainstream education.

Clontarf is a co-educational school, with day and boarding facilities, for 170 students, who are nurtured by a teaching staff of 70.


The Challenge

The introduction of new devices must avoid any roadblocks to adoption and the procurement package had to fit within Clontarf Aboriginal College’s strict budget.

The Solution

Jamf managed Apple devices, on a 1:4 ratio, for early Years and specialist classrooms, plus IT staff and teacher training to speed confident introduction.

The Benefits
  • CompNow had the answers to every question
  • Training for IT and teaching staff essential to confident adoption
  • Students share devices, but with PIN access to their own space

We didn’t know how to begin – how many iPads, how to go about purchasing them, how to get the most from them. Whatever we asked for, Compnow came up with the answers.

Pam Hodges Business & Finance Manager
Clontarf Aboriginal College

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The Challenge

“If we’re to help improve the education, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of our young indigenous people, we have to work hard and fast,” says Pam Hodges, Business & Finance Manager at Clontarf Aboriginal College.

“Any technology we introduce has to be easy to use and engaging. If it’s too complex to log in or get to their work, if there are any roadblocks, students will turn away. They’ve often come from under resourced schools, where outdated equipment lies unusable in the corner. We have to give them a much better experience.”

Clontarf has a student base of 170, but can have upwards of 300 cycle through a school year – each arriving with vastly differing levels of literacy, including their understanding of technology. This makes device allocation problematic and limits what digital tools can be used in lessons.

The College’s devices are largely Windows laptops, chosen for that environment’s domination in the workplace, as a lead in for students. But most students arrive at secondary school having used Apple devices through their early learning and in community.

Maria Valli, Literacy Coordinator at Clontarf Aboriginal College, says: “I’m passionate about doing whatever we can to engage our students, to smooth the transition from primary to secondary, and into the workforce. Kids come to us having never opened a laptop – so they hit an immediate brickwall. It makes sense for our students to have the iPads they’re familiar with in the early years of high school, and transition to real world workforce laptops as they move into their final years with us.”



The Solution

Determined to get the very best for their students, the Clontarf team called on CompNow to help match the school’s matrix of needs. “We were looking for different ideas about getting tech into our school. Because CompNow was a Catholic Education preferred supplier, we felt confident in getting them in,” Pam says.

“We didn’t know how to begin – how many iPads to start with, how to go about purchasing them and insurance was giving us grief. We needed quotes to cover different scenarios. Whatever we asked for, CompNow came up with the answers.”

A shared iPad solution was recommended by CompNow, in conjunction with Jamf management, Apple School Manager, and Apple Classroom. It negotiated a leasing arrangement for the College and quoted to repair as a managed service.


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The Benefits

The priority for the allocation of the first devices was for Year 7 and 8 students, the literacy centre, and Years 7-10 science classes. The iPads stay at school and are assigned to four students. Each individual has a 4 digit code log in to access their own personalised look and 200GB of cloud storage for their work.

Because Clontarf had limited experience of the Apple environment, CompNow designed and supported a Professional Learning program. Clontarf’s IT Manager undertook an intensive online course on Jamf Apple management and a sharing model. Then followed a full day, customised workshop to train the rest of the staff on the specifics of the school’s environment.

Maria saw that “to make a success of the iPads, we also had to work with teachers, to expose them to what’s possible. They’d never choose to go that way unless they’ve experienced Apples in practice. That’s where training was so vital.”

Teaching staff were taken through custom group sessions to build confidence in using iPads, Apple apps, and the environment’s tools. Then to explore the value of iPads in the classroom.

Typical of the time, Covid interrupted both the face to face training plans and stock supplies. To expedite the shift to online training, CompNow arranged, via Apple, for loan kits to be used during training and for staff to practice at home.

Following the practical, hands on sessions, Maria says, “teachers found the exploration of the functionality and tools eye opening”.

“With the iPads in and doing everything we’d hope, all I have to do is pay a really reasonable monthly fee,” Pam says.


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