Whānau & Family Information

Nau mai, haere mai -

Welcome families and whānau of Toki Pounamu school students. Information on this page will give you more detail about the Toki Pounamu Programme running in schools, and access to resources that will support you to help your child with their Chromebook and their learning. Toki Pounamu schools are in partnership with the Manaiakalani Outreach - Connected Communities Programme.

Digital Immersion

'Digital immersion' is how a teacher and students first year in a classroom with Chromebooks for learning is described.

The focus is on quickly learning to use the Chromebook and other digital tools effectively, and learning through the 'Learn Create Share' approach.

Cybersmart lessons happen weekly.

View this slideshow for a summary of how this approach to learning works:

What is Digital Immersion?

What is Cybersmart?

Our schools are keen to ensure students are confident digital citizens and have the opportunity to learn to make great choices and apply positive strategies online. There are seven Cybersmart categories schools will cover, from a basic level with younger children through to advanced teaching at an older level. Building positive digital footprints and relationships with others online, and understanding how digital media works, are prioritised. Explore content from the Cybersmart Curriculum here.

Tips for managing the Internet at home:

Have a discussion with your child/children - let them know that internet access at home is a privilege to be earned and maintained through them demonstrating good choices, and respecting and following your guidance.

When your child first gets their Chromebook, it will usually stay at school for term one, so that your child has time to learn how to use it effectively, handle it safely, and demonstrate that they can follow all aspects of the 'Kawa of Care'. They will be able to take their Chromebook home when you are ready. It can always stay at school until you are ready to have it at home.

Here are some guidelines that may be useful:

  • Have children work on their Chromebooks in an area of the house where you most frequently spend time, and have your child sit so that the screen is easily visible to you when you walk past. Avoid having Chromebooks or other digital devices in bedrooms for as long as you can manage.
  • Take an interest in what they are doing online - this gives you an opportunity to connect with your child's online life, and lets them know you are available for support.
  • Don't have devices charging overnight in your child's bedroom. Establish a place for charging in a living area in your home.
  • Establish times when you child can use their Chromebook - if they don't want to cooperate, let them know that their Chromebook goes back to school and stays there until they have had time to show that they are prepared to follow your guidelines. Your school is very happy to support you with this, just ask.
  • Keep your wifi password secret. Type it into your child's device when it suits you for them to be online. Your school can show you how to do this.

Your child will test boundaries online in the same way that they test boundaries in the real world as they grow, and the way that they use the internet will change over time. Keep guiding and supporting them, and keep your boundaries firm around online access being a privilege to be earned at home. Your school is there to help, and is happy to arrange sessions where parents can get together to share ideas on managing online activity at home.

Parent Modules

Module 1: Kawa of Care and the Digital Immersion Learning Environment

This is an introductory course split into two parts. Part One covers all the physical features of the Chromebook. It also covers important aspects of the Kawa of Care and ways to practically apply the values of this agreement in the home. Part Two is an introduction to accessing children’s work from relevant sites. In this session, parents will be shown a classroom website, a classroom blog, and then a child's individual blog. From here parents will be shown the difference between all three, how each website and/or blog may be relevant for different times and how to effectively use them as a means to engage with children’s learning, to stay informed. These sessions may be run together.

Please Note: Most Toki Pounamu schools will require you to attend at least one session before the Chromebook can go home with students.

Module 2: The Parent Portal and Cybersmart Values

Module 2 training is for confident users of Chromebooks, split into two parts. In Part One, parents will be taught the use of The Parent Portal, and how to use the portal in conjunction with the school site and child's personal blog. In Part Two, parents will learn practical Cybersmart values to apply in the home. Parents will also learn specific skills e.g screenshots, safe browsing, checking history of devices and other helpful skills for the home. Parents also have the opportunity to learn more about Google products such as docs and gmail (Optional). Offline Apps will also be covered, to show parents how to operate Chromebooks for learning if there is no access to wireless. These sessions may be run together.

Specialised Training Sessions

Specialised training sessions are available for groups of parents who would like to learn more about specific topics e.g Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat. If you find areas of interest in relation to you as a parent or to your children, you are welcome to discuss with your school the possibility of running a session around your specialised topic of choice. Often, if you have an interest in a certain area there will be other parents who may be just as curious and interested.

Resources for Parents:

  • Articles of interest to parents, on NetSafe New Zealand's website, which provides cybersafety and security advice to New Zealanders.

  • A fantastic site for resources, videos and advice that are easy to understand and can help you as a parent when it comes to your children and their Cybersafety.

  • Once you become comfortable in using Google Apps for Education, check out some of these Safety Tips recommended by Google.

  • A range of information suited to young and older teens, and their parents.

Contact Information: