All posts by Mark Chang

MHJC and TikTok

As schools go into a well-deserved term break, parents will probably be wondering what to do with their children. A lot of us will not be able to travel overseas, given the warnings from PM Arden regarding COVID quarantine measures. We are expecting many of our students to stay at home and keep themselves occupied.

Social media in particular is popular amongst our students during the holidays. One of them in particular is Tik Tok. In this blog, we explain how Tik Tok works and the dangers that entails from using it.

Tik Tok is a free social media platform for creating and watching short videos and sharing them with friends and strangers. Users can embed music and filters, special effects and animation. Most of the videos have to deal with talent, short comedy skits and challenges but there have been some videos of a questionable nature uploaded.

Some concerns have already been raised over the use of Tik Tok over this by schools. One concern is privacy. While Tik Tok’s terms of use state the minimum age to join as 13, Tok Tok has been fined US$5.7m in 2019 over the harvesting of private information from such users.

Added to this issue of privacy is the well documented issue of online predators targeting young children. In a report by the BBC, many sexually explicit comments were found on videos posted by children. Tik Tok has not been responsive enough in removing these comments from the relevant videos and this is deeply concerning.

We have noticed also in MHJC that there is a growing tendency by students to use social media such as Tik Tok to post degrading and offensive content. Event if they are not the people posting, they can view such content posted by other people. I had several cases of challenge fads where students are encouraged to do dangerous tasks, to name an example.

In MHJC, we ensure our students are well educated about the dangers of social media. The MHJC ePassport is a series of activities designed to help students use the Internet safely and competently. Above all, students have to show evidence and their competency in developing robust and positive relationships online, whether it be on social media such as Tik Tok or other websites.

We empower our teachers through tools such as Classwize in keeping the class focused on the task at hand. Teachers can actively monitor their students’ internet usage in class and focus on encouraging good internet citizenship as well as correcting bad behaviour in class.

Our teachers also engage with parents on a regular basis reinforcing responsible use of devices and internet use at home. We recognise the importance of our parents and the role you play in your child’s cybersafety and the school will continue to support the tripartite relationship of school – parent – child in growing greatness in our MHJC graduates.

Devices in MHJC

The school had seen a spate of incidents where there was damage, either intentional or unintentional, to students’ devices by other students.

Students are expected to look after their own property, as well as that of others. This is in line with our vision of “growing greatness through innovative evolving personalised learning”. One of our values, Awhinatanga, relates to how students are to be kind and compassionate to one another. We hope to be able to enrich the students through our efforts in promoting Awhinatanga.

Having said that, we encourage parents not to buy the most expensive laptops for their children to bring to school. Our Year 7 and 8 students can start off with Chromebooks, and indeed, this has been expounded on during the meeting with MHP parents last year during the Year 6 BYOD meeting. Year 9 and 10 students can use Windows or Mac laptops congruent to their needs in their various option subject areas. These are spelt out clearly under our BYOD policy.

 

Our Application Process

Apply

Download and complete the application form. Send us your scanned completed form to international@mhjc.school.nz.
Your application is reviewed and you or your agent will be notified when a decision is made.
Sometimes we may require additional information.

Payment and Visa

An invoice will be issued along with a Conditional Offer Of Place (COP), which you can use to begin your visa application process.
Once payment is received by us, we will issue a receipt and an Offer Of Place (OOP). 

These, along with an assurance that accommodation has been arranged, will be required by you to obtain a Student Visa from the New Zealand Immigration Service

Accommodation and Flights

Once payment is received we will work to find accommodation to meet your needs if that is required.

Arrival

You will need to have Travel and Medical Insurance before you arrive. 
If you’re staying in accommodation arranged by the school, we may arrange to collect you at the airport to bring you home if required.
Your host family will help you get to school for the first day.
We have an orientation program that will teach you everything you need to know about the school and how to maximise your time here.

How to improve your home wifi

(Reproduced from Google’s blog. I thought the points made in this blog post by Sanjay Noronha are sound and worth repeating to our community.)

These days, access to a reliable Wi-Fi signal can feel as crucial as having basic electricity or plumbing. In fact, a recent study conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by Google found that 28 percent of people don’t think they could last a single day without Wi-Fi. But in that same study, a whopping 81 percent of people said they have experienced issues with their Wi-Fi at home. So why is something so essential considered such a hassle?

Luckily, there are some simple strategies to maximize your home Wi-Fi network to avoid slow loading times or grumbling when you’re trying to get online. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Wi-Fi.

Place your router as centrally as possible. 

Wi-Fi signals get weaker the farther away you go from your router, so if you keep your router by the front door, your videos might load more slowly if you’re trying to watch them by the back door. So if you can, place your router as centrally as possible within your home, though this may not always be possible depending on where your internet provider brings in the connection. And if you don’t mind your router sitting on the counter top, keep it out in the open. If you can avoid hiding it by a bookcase or filing cabinet, you can really help boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Consider a mesh network. 

A mesh network is a group of routers that wirelessly communicate with each other to create a single, connected Wi-Fi network over a large area. It allows you to have multiple sources of powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, not just one from the main router. Having a mesh network solves the problem of having the router just relegated to a corner in the house. We created Google Wifi as a mesh system because having multiple points work together to create a seamless single network provides consistently strong coverage for all connected devices in every room of the house. 

Make sure your router is up to date. 

If your existing router is more than three or four years old, check to make sure it supports 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. Some older routers only support 2.4GHz signals, which can make your devices much slower. Think of it as having a car that isn’t fast enough to drive on the freeway. Upgrade your router to at least an 802.11ac system so you can also use 5GHz frequencies, which are like the autobahn of Wi-Fi. (There are more lanes, and higher speed limits.) 

Always, always make your network password-protected. 

Having an “open network” without a password might seem convenient, since there’s no need to remember a complicated password. But if you do that, anyone even driving by your home could join your Wi-Fi network and compromise your network, devices and data by accessing your drives or slowing down your network. Choose a strong password that’s tough for anyone to guess, but easy for you to remember. 

Create a separate Wi-Fi network for guests. 

If you have kids at home, or just get a lot of guests, chances are you’ve handed out your Wi-Fi password a lot. Setting up a guest network creates a second Wi-Fi network in your home so your guests can have a great experience while your own devices stay secure and private. 

How to restrict your child’s screen time

With the holidays coming up, the media is chock-full of advice on how you can restrict the screen time of your children. With all 3 major OS manufacturers touting methods on their operating systems (Microsoft -> Microsoft accounts, Google -> Digital Wellbeing and Apple -> Screentime), there is no shortage of avenues that the parent can take. This post isn’t about them.

There are some other methods in which parents can help ensure that their children are getting the benefits of technology. Here are a few that you could try during the holidays :-

  • Establish consistent “media free” times, particularly at meal times. (That means no hand-held games for older kids, or cell phones or iPads for grown-ups).
  • Make your own media. Give your child a low-cost digital camera and teach her how to plug it into your TV. This is a great way to review memorable events and can be a rich language experience for very young children, as they name family members from their last birthday party, for example.
  • Provide exciting non-tech options in your child’s life. Instead of trying to remove current media from your child’s life, continue to enrich her playtime with new, concrete, interesting alternatives, so your child will want to turn off the TV.

Having said that, media consumption on computers doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing approach. Computers and television can play a key role in helping children wind down and relax. For example, a half-hour session of Thomas the Tank Engine after dinner can help your 5 year old make the transition from dinner to bed time and this will be more beneficial than 3 hours of it on Saturday afternoons.

Apply to Study

Applications for 2020 are welcome.
We are no longer accepting applications for 2019. 

Immunisation

Due to the current incidence of measles in New Zealand, all applicants are required to provide evidence of measles immunisation before their enrollment can be confirmed.

To complete the process, you will need to attach the following documents with your enrolment application.
  • Completed enrolment form
  • A scanned copy of your passport (and visa if you have one)
  • A photo
  • Your last school report, translated into English
  • Insurance certificate and policy details, translated into English (if you are booking your own)

Click here to see a description of our enrolment process.

Become a Host Family

Have you ever considered hosting an international student from Europe, the Americas, Russia or Asia? We are looking for families to become homestay providers to our international students. We need families for one term, two terms, and full-year periods. Families are reimbursed $280 per week.

What kind of families are we looking for?

We welcome applications from anyone in the Flat Bush area who speaks English in the home, has a clean, tidy home and a spare furnished bedroom, and has a desire to share their culture with an international student. Families need to be available and most of all, warm and welcoming.

Why host an international student?

Learning about a new culture through hosting an international student can be a very enriching experience, helping to enable people to understand other languages, food and customs.

If you are interested, we will endeavour to provide all the information you require. The application pack below contains information pertaining to expectations and guidelines which we hope will allow you to make that decision.

Accomodation

Students may live with one of the following :-

  • Their mother or father, who may apply for a Guardian visa to accompany them to New Zealand.
  • In a school approved homestay
  • With a family member or close family friend known to the student’s parents. This person is known as the Designated Caregiver (DCG) 

Parent

Some parents accompany their children to New Zealand. If students are living with a parent, the parent has full responsibility for the pastoral care of the student outside school hours.

Homestay

Many International Students choose to live in an accredited homestay arranged by the school. All our host families have been carefully selected by a highly trained and experienced team. We understand the importance of a relationship between the student and the host family and as such we aim to match students with a suitably compatible host family. Student needs and requests are always considered when making placements and this ensures that they are placed in an environment that works best for them.

Our host families are wonderful and will give students the chance to experience the Kiwi way of life, as part of a caring family, and help them to develop their English language skills.

All homestay caregivers are police vetted in accordance with The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Designated Caregiver

Students can live with a Designated Caregiver (DCG) who is a person or family that the student’s parents have chosen to take care of their child while they are in New Zealand. The parents take full responsibility and accept the decisions made by their DCG regarding the day-to-day requirements of their child. Even though the parents have chosen the DCG, the school has a responsibility to check that the home is suitable for the student and if the caregiver will be verified as a DCG. All family members in the household over 18 years of age will be police vetted.

The DCG will need to sign the Designated Caregiver Agreement to acknowledge their understanding of the agreement and responsibility involved.

Do you wish to be a host family? Apply here!

Our Team

We have an International Student Team dedicated to the care and support of every international student, who chooses to make their home with us.

Management 
Senior LeaderInternational Student Coordinator
Raeesa DadaJoan Clansey
Raeesa is responsible for managing the Global Connection portfolio.Joan is responsible for overseeing the International team. She approves applications and is the primary contact for parents, caregivers and agents.

Contact us at international@mhjc.school.nz . Our administration hours are Monday to Friday, 8 am – 3:30 pm (New Zealand Standard Time). We will endeavour to respond on the next working day should your enquiry be outside of these hours.

Monkey App

It has come to our attention that some students may be accessing and using a social networking application called “Monkey app”.

We strongly advise you to read the following review from a web site which investigates the safety of this and other apps so that you can be well informed about this and other possible on-line dangers to our students. 

These types of instant messaging applications are automatically blocked on the school’s network however we advise parents to monitor their children’s phones to see if they have downloaded it. We restrict the use of mobile phones at school and only allow their use to support learning e.g. recording a speech or Science experiment but these apps may be used after hours hence our communication on the matter.

 https://protectyoungeyes.com/content/monkey-parental-controls-app-review/