Support and FAQ


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Can I change my password from home?

Yes. Students can change their own password here. You must know your school username and current password to use this service.

Before you buy a new laptop for school - things to consider

Warranty and Accidental Damage Protection (ADP)
It's important when comparing offers from different suppliers to make sure you're getting a good deal. Apart from being satisfied that the price is right for the device you are purchasing, there are several additional and very important aspects of any new technology purchase. They are:

  • Warranty - number of years and what is covered under warranty,
  • Accidental damage policy (APD),
  • The repair process you have to follow to obtain warranty or ADP service. Ask where you have to take/send the device for repair?

Like any new item, things sometimes go wrong with laptops and you want to be sure that it will be back up and running in the shortest possible time and, preferably, at little or no cost to you.

Protective carry case
It is also highly recommended that a padded or reinforced carry case be purchased to protect your investment. Laptops carried in school bags without any other form of protection are at risk of being easily damaged.

Cheapest is not always best
It may seem to be a somewhat jaded piece of advice, however, with laptops this advice often rings true. The cheapest offer will no doubt get you a laptop, but you could end up with an inferior quality device that will not stand up to the rigours of school life and regular use in and out of the classroom. The common differences between the cheapest device and devices being offered by major suppliers are:

  • ruggedness and the ability of the device to withstand daily handling and movement between home and school
  • battery life
  • warranty length, terms and conditions
  • the availability of accidental damage protection (insurance)
  • the convenience of on-site warranty repair versus having to pack and send the device to another city/state with the inherent delays involved.
What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. It's an ownership model where students use their own digital device to access online learning resources. For most students this device will be a laptop. I can be Windows or Mac, so long as it meets the minimum recommended specifications.

Students will have access to a large collection of learning materials both in and out of the classroom. BYOD helps transform learning into a more student-centred approach with a wider choice of learning materials and styles.

What are the advantages of my child having their own device?

The federally-funded laptops for students program has been discontinued. Parents are invited to provide their child with access to a device that can be used in the classroom, around the school grounds and at home. This will ensure that your child can connect to digitial learning resources wherever and whenever they are required.

Gympie High is migrating learning content online and this means that students will have online access to this content at any time both at school and at home.

Computer labs are still in use and classes are scheduled into these labs from time to time to assist with completing a variety of school work. Students with their own laptop will be able to maximise the use of their time while at school by not having to wait until their class is next in a computer lab.

We're negotiating with major suppliers to undertake warranty repairs at the school, meaning that if you purchase a device from a participating supplier, not only will you be getting their best price, your child will be able to return the device to the school IT support team for warranty service. If you also purchase accidental damage protection, repairs under this agreement may also be included in the at-school service arrangement. Check supplier portals for more details and confirm this arrangement with the supplier prior to placing your order.

How will my child be using the device in the classroom?Laptops will be used by students to access online learning resources, create content, conduct research, take notes, communicate with their teachers and peers.

Traditional means of learning and studying will also be used where this is identified as being most effective.

Teachers in different classes and subjects will use technology as it best fits the curriculum and available resources. Technology will be used to support effective teaching and learning.

Students will not be learning in a paperless environment or wholly online. There are going to be times when pen and paper is the most effective method for learning.
How will my child keep their device safe?

Parents are strongly encouraged to purchase a protective padded case or sleeve. These can be purchased online or from a local retailer. It's not mandatory to purchase the case from the same company that supplied the laptop, however some suppliers may offer deals that include these items.

Students are advised to use the case at all times while transporting the device - between classes and to/from school.

What steps should I follow to get a device for my child?

Check out this list of recommended steps to acquire a device. You can purchase any device so long as it meets the minimum specifications.

What steps does my child follow to get their device connected?
  • Students should read the BYOD handbook then sign the agreement on the last page, along with parents/caregivers.
  • Pay the BYOD access fee (currently $20 per annum) at the finance window.
  • Take the signed BYOD agreement and payment receipt to the IT Service Centre in the Cybrary.
  • They will be given a step-by-step guide to connect the device and given assistance. There are different steps depending on the operating system and the IT support staff will determine this when your child brings their device to the IT Service Centre.
What is 5GHz WiFi and why does it matter?

Around the middle of 2020 our school will have its WiFi network upgraded and we'll lose access to the 2.4GHz frequency band. This means that if your student's BYO laptop doesn't have 5GHz capability, it will no longer connect.

If you're buying a laptop, look for the "802.11" WiFi type from the table below that has a "Y" in the 5GHz column. Basically, avoid buying one with 802.11b or 802.11g. They won't connect after the upgrade in 2020 as they are 2.4GHz only.

WiFi type

















If you already have a laptop with 2.4GHz only WiFi, you can purchase a 5GHz USB adaptor for $30-$40. These can be bought online from UMart, MSY and other suppliers.

Why does the school still use physical textbooks?

BYOD is being progressively rolled out to all year levels. While there are students who don't yet have a device, the school will continue to provide physical textbooks for a range of subjects and year levels.

Some textbook sets have been purchased recently and are still current. When these textbooks are no longer relevant or servicable the school will identify the best replacement option, which may be an online version of the textbook.

For many subjects, the online textbooks are available but not necessarily in a convenient or cost-effective manner. As online materials are made available in a manner that best suits the needs of teaching and learning, the school will continue its transistion away from physical textbooks.

Can the school recommend what to buy?

No, but if you visit the supplier online portals, you'll get an idea of the makes and models that are suitabl. You can purchase directly from these suppliers.

What does it cost to participate in the BYOD program at school?

There is an annual fee payable per student (currently $20). This fee covers the cost to the school to provide the hardware and software licencing to manage the BYOD environment.

Who does what regarding technical support arrangements?

The following lists provide a brief summary of who is responsible for the different aspects of owning and operating a BYOD laptop/device.

Students and parents:
  • Remain responsible for security, care and maintenance of the laptop/device at all times and locations.
  • Will take action to have faulty devices repaired as soon as possible to minimise disruption to learning. Check the documentation that came with your device for details.
  • Come to school each day with a fully charged battery.
The school:
  • Will provide limited technical support such as: assistance with connection to the network, internet and printing services.
  • Assist with logging warranty and/or accidental damage claims where an agreement exists between the supplier and the school and the device was purchased with the appropriate level of support.
  • Is unable to provide any other technical advice or support.
  • At the discretion of the principal, may provide a loan laptop to students whose device is covered by on-site warranty and/or accidental damage policy where the repair is taking longer than usual.
  • Will repair (warranty and/or accidental damage) subject to the level of cover included in the purchase price.
  • If an agreement is in place, will repair the device on the school premises within a reasonable period of time after the fault/incident is logged.
My child is insisting I get a device with a "Graphics Card". Is this necessary?

For everyday school work - no. An integrated graphics card will be sufficient. The exception being if your child has selected a senior Graphics, Film & TV or Programming subject. In this case we recommend getting a laptop with a discrete graphics card. That being said, the ultimate choice is up to you. Discrete graphics cards are usually required to improve game play experience with games that involve high intensity graphics. 

Will students be able to borrow laptops from the school?

Generally no. However, if a student owns a laptop covered by an on-site warranty, and brings it to the IT Service Centre (Resource Centre) to have it repaired by the visiting technicians, and spare laptops are available, the school may be able to provide a loan laptop to that student while the faulty device is being repaired.

What if I cannot afford to buy a laptop?

Several suppliers offer payment plans and/or finance options. Discuss payment options at the point of sale.

If I cannot currently afford to buy a laptop will my child be disadvantaged?

No. Other tools such as pens, exercise books and textbooks will still have a place in the classroom. However, it is strongly recommended that a laptop is purchased as soon as possible to maximise the opportunity for your child to participate in the expanding use of technology in teaching and learning.

Are there different devices for different year levels?

No. The specifications are applicable to all year levels.

Why do students still need traditional stationery to use in class?

Having a device to use in class does not make Gympie High a paperless school. Also, we value the fine motor skill development that comes from students using traditional writing techniques. Many aspects of learning are best supported through kinaesthetic actions and traditional methods. When technology represents the best way to engage learners, then teachers will be making the best use of devices.

What is the likely cost of a new device?

The cost varies between suppliers. Check the BYOD specification sheet to be sure you're getting a device that is suitable for school. Devices that are advertised at low prices may not fully meet all the specifications or only have minimal warranty coverage. Purchasing a laptop is a multi-year commitment, be sure to satisfy yourself that you're getting the appropriate warranty and accidental damage cover.

What are the minimum BYOD specifications?

Laptops should meet or exceed the minimum specifications listed in our current BYOD specification sheet. Print this and take it with you if you go shopping at a local computer outlet. Show it to the salesperson and make sure each item is ticked off for any device you're considering. It is vitally important that you are satisfied that the warranty and accidental damage coverage are satisfactory.

Can my child charge their device at school?

There are limited opportunities to do this. There will be some charging stations in the Resource Centre however these should not be relied upon for regular charging. Students should develop a habit of charging their device each night at home to ensure uninterrupted access during the school day.

Can my child use their laptop during breaks?

While we value and encourage the use of technology for educational purposes, anecdotal evidence suggests that some students tend to play video games during the breaks. This can quickly drain the battery such that the laptop is unusable during later lessons.

Also, using laptops outside during the busy break times increases the chance of accidental damage and lost property. We therefore encourage students to make use of the Resource Centre for this.

The device was lost or damaged at school. Who pays for this?

The owner of the device is responsible for looking after the device. The school will assist in applying school-based policies and rules where students are identified as having intentionally damaged other students property, however all repair and replacement costs are the responsibility of the device owner. We strongly suggest investing in accidental damage protection insurance. Ask the supplier what they offer at the time of purchase.

What about Anti-virus software?

The cheapest option is to use Windows Defender. It comes free with Windows 10.

Where can I get the free Microsoft Office software?

To download the latest Microsoft Office software, visit, login using your school email address and password, then click on "Install Office". After downloading and installing Office, run Word (or any of the Microsoft office apps). You should get a pop-up a message about the product not yet being activated. If not, open the File menu, then select Account and there should be a link or button to activate the package. You will be required to enter student email/username and password to complete activation. You only need to activate one application and the rest will pick it the same licence.

Is there any other software my child will need?

Other software may be required, depending on subject choices.

Autodesk software will be useful for students enrolled in ITD/Graphics subjects. Note that you must have a Windows based laptop OS for these free software packages to work.

Download link

​​Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing. Audacity is available for Windows® and Mac® operating systems.​ This software can be useful for students preparing multimodal and media presentations.

Download link.
Last reviewed 15 January 2021
Last updated 15 January 2021