Blackboard (8)

Should I know my child’s passwords?

Yes. It’s important that you have access and control of their iPad and be able to keep up-to-date with what is happening in their subjects by viewing their courses in Blackboard. To get the details of your students username and password please go to Synergetic portal at https://synergetic.brisbane.coc.edu.au.

What is the College’s advice about children overusing technology?

The overuse of technology, whether it be phones, tablets, TV or gaming devices, may lead to a variety of problems such as sleep deprivation and addiction. This is true for children and adults alike. The College advises against students using any form of technology that has a bright screen before going to sleep (see Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime for more details). Some children can also find using particular devices highly addictive. It is important that parents are able to recognise the key signs and put appropriate boundaries in place. Please read the following article for more advice on this matter. Technology Addiction and Young People

How can I access my child’s Blackboard courses?

By entering the following web address in any browser, https://cccb.blackboard.com, you will be presented with the login screen. You will need to enter your child’s school username and password to access their courses. Blackboard also has an app called Blackboard Mobile Learn and is available for iOS and Android.

How do get my student’s login details to access Blackboard?

To get the details of your students username and password please go to Synergetic portal at https://synergetic.brisbane.coc.edu.au.

What information will I find in Blackboard?

Blackboard contains information for each of your child’s subjects such as student overviews, assessment details as well as content including resources, worksheets and other learning activities. See “Using Blackboard” for more details.

What does my child need to use Blackboard for?

Students use Blackboard to access a variety of important information about their subjects including an overview of the course, assessment information as well as resources, worksheets and other learning materials and activities. Blackboard also provides a way for students to communicate with each other and their teachers both in class and outside the classroom. Students can receive important announcements from their teacher through Blackboard and the Calendar feature provides an efficient way for students to stay organised.

What do I do if I can not find the required information on Blackboard?

While every effort is made to ensure Blackboard is kept up to date in every year level or subject area, occasionally there may be instances where by the required information is not available. Reasons for this may range from technical difficulties, to human error.  If this is the case several things can be done. First, please ask your child if they can find it. They should be more familiar with the system and may be able to assist. Failing this, please contact the classroom or subject teacher. This can be done via a note in the diary or via email through Primary@brisbane.coc.edu.au or Secondary@brisbane.coc.edu.au depending on the are of the school your child is enrolled. A further means of assistance is to use the Enquiry Email at the top of this page.

Is using Blackboard different in Primary from Secondary School?

The difference that a student should expect to see upon entering Secondary School is that Secondary is predominantly subject based. Blackboard is reflective of this and its separate courses are developed for each of the distinct subject areas.  In Primary School there is an element of this however an integral part of the Primary Blackboard experience is in the year level organisation that is developed for non subject specific elements such as homework or year level information. This year level organisation exists in Secondary as a place for non subject specific communication, however tasks such as homework and assignments will remain in subject courses only.

iPad (28)

Should I know my child’s passwords?

Yes. It’s important that you have access and control of their iPad and be able to keep up-to-date with what is happening in their subjects by viewing their courses in Blackboard. To get the details of your students username and password please go to Synergetic portal at https://synergetic.brisbane.coc.edu.au.

Will iPads replace textbooks?

In the Secondary school, Heads of Learning Areas for each department will determine whether a particular subject has a suitable digital book. All digital textbooks available for students to use will be placed in that subject’s Blackboard course. Publishers are creating digital material and Citipointe is in the process of reviewing these as they are released to ascertain their suitability for use with iPads. This is an on going process and not all subjects will have a digital textbook in place immediately. In the Primary school, digital textbooks are being investigated along with the development of digital workbooks.

What if our family only has Windows PCs (No Macs)?

iPads run independently of Windows PCs or Macs, but can also sync to either a Windows PC or a Mac easily through iTunes. Office is available for iPads so if your family is only familiar with Windows and Office products then using an iPad will mean that you do not need to change your preference. 

The iPad doesn’t have a keyboard so how will students develop typing skills?

Students are digital natives, many growing up experiencing touch-based technologies first, and keyboard+mice combinations second. The iPad supports a wide range of Bluetooth keyboards, keyboard docks and cases in many forms and students are welcome to use these accessories at the College. The College recognises, however, that in many circumstances students will use a family-owned laptop or desktop when working on homework and assignments at home to complement the iPad. The College will also retain most existing computer labs and laptop trolleys for the foreseeable future so that teachers may elect to use a standard desktop or laptop if they deem appropriate for a particular learning task.

My child tells me they have to complete all of their homework using the Internet on their iPad. Is there a limit to iPad use at home?


As the parent, you have the final say on how your student uses their iPad at home. Teachers will set a variety of learning activities (some of which may involve the iPad). As stated previously, it is assumed that in many circumstances, students will have access to a family laptop or desktop when working on homework and assignments at home. Should you have any concerns, please contact the teacher directly.

Will reading books on my iPad hurt my eyes?


The most recent, peer-reviewed studies suggest that there is little difference in reading on a high- resolution device (e.g. iPad) and a traditional book. Moderation is essential with any persistent focusing. Use the 20/20/20 principle as a way to minimise issues associated with extended screen time. See http://ipadkids.com/your-ipad-and-your-eye-health/ for further details.

How loud should the sound be on the iPad when using headphones?

As a general rule, the volume levels of headphones should be low enough to hear a person speaking at normal levels when standing one metre away. For your peace of mind, the volume for music can be limited on the iPad via Settings > Music > Volume Limit.

What if my child’s iPad is damaged by another student at school?

The College treats each incident on a case-by-case basis. A student who wilfully damages another student’s iPad is liable for the full repair/replacement costs and the situation handled under the College behaviour management policy. If an incident is deemed “accidental damage” once investigated by the College, the case will be looked at from a parent insurance perspective for repair/replacement purposes. The College strongly recommends parents invest in AppleCare+ for this reason which covers up to two incidents of accidental damage. See Insurance, Warranty and Repairs section for further information. 

Is it expensive to charge the iPad every single night?

The average cost of charging an iPad every day of the year is $1.63 per year (approximately 12kWh every year based on Tariff 31). For more detail see http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/09/07/how-much-energy-does-your-iphone-and-other-devices-use-and-what-to-do-about-it/

My child already has a tablet — why do they need an iPad?

It was decided to stipulate just one device for the following reasons: the College can ensure consistent provision of IT support, which is not possible over the numerous devices that the students could bring; the students and teachers have access to a consistent platform of resources and teaching tools, which is not possible over numerous devices; common apps can be installed and used across the one device. We realise that there are many excellent mobile devices currently available to purchase; however, no device ticked as many boxes as the iPad. Please see the links below for more details:

learn.coc.edu.au/technology/ipad/why-pad/ and learn.coc.edu.au/technology/ipad/benefits-ipad/

What if we don’t have Wi-Fi at home?

Assignments and homework can still be completed, but for some tasks, students may need to think ahead of time and plan their schedules depending on the activity. Because a wifi router/modem is relatively inexpensive it would be advisable to set up a wireless network at home to take advantage of the learning benefits that an iPad provides.

Do you expect an increase in Cyber Bullying?


No. The iPads provide the College an extended opportunity to guide your child to become a responsible digital citizen through programs the College will run with students. See  http://learn.coc.edu.au/cyber-safety/cyber-safetyeducation/ for more information.

What technical support is offered at school?

The College IT Helpdesk will be available during morning tea and lunch breaks at CentrePoint to help with student network or iPad configuration issues. Anything related to hardware may be addressed at the Apple Store at Carindale Westfield (http://apple.com/au/carindale/), or via AppleCare (1300 321 456).

What if my child forgets to bring their iPad to school, or the battery runs flat?

It is the student’s responsibility to remember their iPad, and also have it fully charged when they bring it to school.  The iPad battery is designed to provide over 10 hours of continual use (one of the many reasons the iPad was the device chosen). Other schools with similar 1:1 iPad programs have found that this is not a significant problem, however teachers will have an alternate activity available for these students using pen and paper. Students who continually run their iPads flat during the school day or neglect to bring them will be dealt with according to the College’s behaviour management policy.

Will my child use their iPad all the time?

No. iPads are tools for learning that will be used along with all the other tools available at the College and home (e.g. pen, paper, calculators, books, computers etc). 

Do students use their iPads during recess and lunch?

iPads are to be left in a locked classroom in the primary school, the year 7 classrooms use lockers inside their classroom and all other secondary students lock their iPad in their College issued locker. Students may be involved in special, teacher-supervised activities during breaks that require iPads. In this case, the teacher-in-charge will manage the students while they use their iPads.

Will my child still learn how to hand write in school?

Yes. iPads do not replace handwriting in primary school.  In the Middle and Senior Schools, the mode of communication used will depend on the learning activity.

Is Internet access filtered at the College?

Yes. The College uses Smoothwall to filter internet access.  We control internet access by year level and group. All internet access via our network (WiFi and wired) is routed through our filter. It is worth noting that no filter system is perfect given the dynamic nature of the internet. The filtering definitions for our system are updated nightly. The College advises against the 3/4G cellular version of the iPad as this makes content filtering of the device difficult. 

What is the College position with games on the iPad?

Students do not need games and entertainment apps on their iPads for school.  Whether parents allow games and entertainment apps on their child’s iPad is a family decision. We support parent decisions about the setting of boundaries at home as long as school work can be completed.

What if I need to restrict my child’s iPad access as a discipline measure?

Restricting your child’s access to their iPad for the use of games and entertainment apps can be an effective disciplinary measure. However, we would ask that your child’s iPad still be accessible at the College and for school work at home if necessary. 

What is the College’s advice about children overusing technology?

The overuse of technology, whether it be phones, tablets, TV or gaming devices, may lead to a variety of problems such as sleep deprivation and addiction. This is true for children and adults alike. The College advises against students using any form of technology that has a bright screen before going to sleep (see Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime for more details). Some children can also find using particular devices highly addictive. It is important that parents are able to recognise the key signs and put appropriate boundaries in place. Please read the following article for more advice on this matter. Technology Addiction and Young People

How does my child manage data without a USB flash drive?

Cloud computing provides students with a way to save their files (usually automatically) and retrieve them from any internet connected device (e.g. OneDrive and Dropbox). Further advice will be provided to students on how to use the cloud to manage their data.

How do parents see what a student is doing on their iPad?

Parents are able to view what applications are currently open on their child’s iPad by double clicking the home button and cycling through the applications.

Do I need a case?

Yes. Not only will it help protect your child’s iPad, it will help identify it. There are a large number of cases on the market. Students are free to personalise their iPad anyway they wish as long as it is appropriate.

What if the iPad becomes a major distraction at home?

It can be easy for the iPad to become a distraction for students at home with it’s many available apps and games. The College has invested in an Office 365 subscription for each student in the iPad Initiative so in Secondary, students can seamlessly work on their document, spreadsheet or powerpoint created at school using their iPad and then continue on a desktop or laptop computer at home. Additionally, because Blackboard is available through any web browser, most learning activities and homework required to be completed at home may not specifically require their iPad. If you are finding your child is distracted by their iPad then removing it from them periodically will usually not interfere with their school work at home. In Primary, there may be more instances where the teacher has set learning activities or homework that specifically require their iPad but this is not exclusively so. If in doubt, please contact your child’s teacher for clarification.

What if I don’t supply my son/daughter with an iPad?

The iPad will access all the resources, worksheets and materials the teacher has placed in their subject’s Blackboard course and be able to take advantage of the collaboration features that Blackboard contains (such as blogs, wikis, journals and more). Some textbooks will also be available on the iPad as well as the ability to access the Internet for research and information. Students can also take advantage of the organisational benefits that the iPad provides. As the integration of technology throughout the curriculum increases, so will the use of creative workflows and specialised apps increase.

It is essential for these reasons and many more that every student has access to this excellent tool to enhance their learning.

What happens if we are unable to afford to supply our children with an iPad?

It is understandable that the initial cost of the iPad may be a concern for parents. Currently, the College has an arrangement with Apple Australia for parents of students at Citipointe Christian College to purchase iPad at discounted pricing, including accessories, and AppleCare+. Please see learn.coc.edu.au/technology/ipad/purchase/ for further details. In cases of financial hardship, it is the current practice of the College to invite parents to write to the Headmaster or Business Manager explaining their personal situation.

Why are you not providing a system that can support other mobile devices too?

It was decided to stipulate just one device for the following reasons: the College can ensure consistent provision of IT support, which is not possible over the numerous devices that the students could bring; the students and teachers have access to a consistent platform of resources and teaching tools, which is not possible over numerous devices; common apps can be installed and used across the one device. We realise that there are many excellent mobile devices currently available to purchase; however, no device ticked as many boxes as the iPad. Please see the links below for more details:

learn.coc.edu.au/technology/ipad/why-pad/ and learn.coc.edu.au/technology/ipad/benefits-ipad/

There is something wonderful that happens when everyone is on the same platform. The work moves away from supporting the hardware and software to innovating and experimenting. When every student comes to class with the same tools the teacher can be confident that any learning activities that integrate technology will work well. Having all students on the same platform also eliminates the inequalities that are present when some students have access to better technology than others.

Life Balance (2)

What is the College’s advice about children overusing technology (phones, personal technologies, television, gaming devices, etc)?

It has been noted by some sources that overuse of any form of technology may lead to problems such as sleep deprivation and addiction. Each of these issues are significant problems caused by a range of often complex issues. Our advice is:

Regular sleep patterns free from disruption of any kind are important to brain function and mental health.  This is true of children, adolescents and adults.

We advise against children using any form of bright screen technology before going to sleep as it may impact on melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that controls the body clock, allowing us to sleep. It would appear that bright light creates irregular production of melatonin,   changing the body clock and making sleep difficult (refer this article in Scientific American – Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime).

Highly engaging and emotionally rewarding activities release a chemical in the brain called dopamine that positively rewards behaviour. Excessive participation in any highly rewarding activity can create addictive style behaviour according to some researchers.  In all things, therefore, moderation is important.

Should I be concerned about too much screen time?

All things, no matter how good, can be used excessively and this may lead to problems: food (obesity), exercise (exhaustion or injury), reading (eye strain) and technology. In all things, therefore, moderation in use is important and iPads are no different.  We do not require the students to use their iPads all the time; it is important and we encourage that they engage in other activities.

Do you have a question we haven’t covered?