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Mater Christi Learning Commons: Learning with Laptops

Resources, research support and skill development


At Mater Christi we have a 1:1 Technology policy and students are encouraged to use and develop their skills in this area.

This page has a collection of expectations when students are using their laptops to ensure that it is a positive environment.

Software List

All Year 9s MacBooks will have the following applications pushed out to them:

  • ActiveInspire
  • MS Office 365 Suite
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote
  • iMovie
  • GarageBand
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java for Macs
  • Perian (ClickView Plug-in)
  • ClickView Player Inspiration
  • Google Chrome Browser
  • VLC Video/Audio Player
  • PaperCut Client
  • S Drive Client
  • Students Bookmarks

The Following Applications will be available for download on Self Service:

  • Comic Life
  • LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Student Edition
  • SPARKvue
  • Mathematica (Once VCAA confirms current year’s version)
  • Adobe CreativeCloud Suite

Making Backups

The easiest way to do backups is to do them at least weekly. Having multiple copies of the same piece of work is one way of creating backups that might save your sanity if something happens to your laptop. The important thing is to make it a habit. 

  • Apple Timemachine:
    If you have an external harddrive at home, using Timemachine at the same time each day is a good way to do regular backups.
  • Cloud Storage on OneDrive:
    As part of your Office365 Subscription, you can access OneDrive. Mater Christi Students have access to upto 20Gb cloud storage.
  • USB Key:
    If you are working on an important piece of work you may wish to send a copy to a USB Key for safe keeping. But don't make this your only backup option. Use it "just in case".

Battery and Power management

Students are asked to charge their laptops at home every night. Make this a part of your pre-bed routine.

No powerpacks will be permitted at school or in classrooms (OHS issue). Students can charge their laptops at the secure charging tower in the Learning Commons.

Students are asked to be mindful of their power usage throughout the day:

  • Close the programs you are not using.
  • Lower the brightness of the screen or the keys when not connected to power.


Trouble Shooting

If your laptop is not cooperating, then your first step should be to document what the problem is. Write it down! What were you doing? What should it have done? And then take a screen shot of what the error message was. Command+Control+3

The more information you can provide ICT Services or your teachers, the easier it will be for them to diagnose and solve your problem. are happy to receive emails with Questions and requests for password resets.

How fast can you type?

One of the advantages of composing work on a laptop is that if you can type as fast as you can think, then you can easily transcribe your thoughts into an electronic environment. Ideally, you would want to do this with minimal error.

There are lots of web sites that can measure your typing speed: Speed Typing Online is just one of them.

If you want to increase your typing speed, then 10 minutes of lessons a day will help you to become proficient in this skill.

  • Record your typing speed.
  • Complete 7 days of lessons.
  • Test your speed again. Did you get faster?

Using Templates

A template is a sample document that has already some details in place.

In the case of school work, your template might have your name already written on it, or the page numbers or perhaps a date. You can make as many template documents as you want, it is quite easy and it will save you from forgetting to put important details into your documents that you sometimes forget.


Create a template with your name and Tutor group that you can use every time a teacher asks you to word process a document.

  1. Open a blank MS Word Document.
  2. View menu> Header and Footer
  3. Use the arrow keys to navigate between the Header and Footer depending on where you want to place your name. 
  4. Click on the purple “Header and Footer” in your toolbar to ensure that you can see all the Header/Footer options (see below).
  5. Type your name in, hit tab. Insert Page # using the toolbar, hit tab Click on Date. You should now have your name, page number and date in the bottom of your word document. You can change the font, colour and style of your header or footer. Normally we try and have this information at either 8pt or 10pt with your normal text being at 12pt.
  6. Now save your document as a template. File> Save As> Format Word Template *.dotx onto your desktop with a name of “Template”.
  7. Right click on your desktop file and click on Stationary Pad as a choice for that file. When you open this file, you should have a new document in front of you. Every time a teacher asks you to start a new word processing file, you can be assured that your details will be already typed in for you.

Are you up for a challenge?

  • Work out how to put Page 1 of 1 at the bottom of your MS Word document so that if you have multiple pages the values change. Example: Page 2 of 5.
  • Work out how to convert the date on your MS Word document from short format 13/2/2021 to long format 13 February 2021

Getting Organised

Your electronic folders should be organised to suit the subjects you are studying.
For Example:

     |__ 09ENGA
  |__ 09MATHC
    |__ 09HUMA
    |__ etc

Ask your subject teacher to show you ideas on how to organise files for specific subjects. Consider organising both your virtual and physical books and files in the same way. For example, you can colour code your electronic folders to match your physical folders.

Communication Expectations

Each piece of work should have the following information:

  • Student Name
  • Student Number
  • Class Code/Subject/Year Level
  • Date (Long format: eg. 2nd February 2021)
  • Page numbers if appropriate


A quick print can be achieved via Followme Printer (Default Double Sided).

A custom print can be achieved by printing to a specific printer (For example: The Learning Commons Printers LC-1, LC-2) and checking all the settings.

Use your student number and pin number to release your job at the printer.

Hold for Authentication

If your laptop isn't printing, look to see if the print job is "Holding for Authentication". This means that you have to re-enter in your student number and password.


A shortcut is a quick way of doing something on a keyboard.

For example:

  • Control+S will save your work quickly.
  • Control_Q will quit out of an application quickly.

What other shortcuts can you use to make your life easier?

Stationary Pad