College computers

We provide computers on every campus for you to use. You can use them for anything related to your course, for example, research or writing essays. We ask you not to use college computers for anything that isn’t related to your studies. As we’re sure you can understand, we need to keep college computers free for college work.

To keep use of computers safe and fair, we have a Student Information and Communication Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Please make sure you read this before you use college computers. It sets out rules we ask you to follow and useful guidelines for using college computers.

Don’t lose out – save your work!

It’s your responsibility to make sure your work is saved. We’ve set up a space on the college network for you to save your work. Staff in the libraries can give you details of how to find and use this student workspace.

It’s a good idea to back up important work on your own data storage device or in ‘cloud’ storage. Some students have lost important work in the past because they didn’t do this. If you’re not sure how to save work, your tutor or the library staff will be able to help you.

Save your work ‘in the cloud’

‘Cloud’ storage is now used by many people to save work and important files. If your files are saved ‘in the cloud’, it means they’re in a virtual storage space that you can access from any computer that has internet access and the right programme installed. For example if you have a Dropbox account, you can save your work to Dropbox and access it from any computer which has Dropbox installed.

Pros: There’s less risk of your work being lost

Cons: You may not have access to a machine that has the right ‘cloud’ programme.

Using a USB ‘pen’ drive

Also known as a ‘memory stick’ or ‘key’. USBs are portable storage devices. You can buy them from most stationery and computer supplies shops.

The USB drive fits into a rectangular port on the computer base unit (sometimes on the back of the screen if you’re using a Mac). Most systems allow you to open a window and drag and drop the document to save it to the drive. Before removing the pen drive, make sure that you ‘eject’ it correctly. If you pull out the pen drive without ejecting it, you could lose work.

Pros: You can use the USB with nearly all computers.

Cons: If you lose the USB you’ll lose your work, unless you’ve also saved it elsewhere.

E-safety means using technology freely, but also safely.

If you’re e-safe, you’ll understand how to use technology, such as:

  • the internet
  • your phone
  • social networks
  • TV
  • computer programmes

without making yourself or anyone else vulnerable to situations you can’t control.

Why is e-safety important?

E-safety helps you get the most out of technology while reducing the risks. Everyone needs e-skills in a modern world, 
but without fear of being bullied, or having personal details stolen or misused.

How can I be e-safe at college?

We’ll give you information and advice on how to use technology safely. This will be through tutorial sessions and themed weeks and events like Safer Internet Day.

We’ll give you a copy of our Student Information and Communication Technology Acceptable Use Policy during induction. This document sets out rules we ask you to follow and useful guidelines for using technology safely. We’ll ask you to sign this document to say that you’ve read and understood it and you agree to use technology fairly and safely while you’re at the college.

Stay safe online

Here are some essential tips for staying e-safe when using the internet:

When using social networking sites, remember that other users may be lying about their age, gender or identity. Make sure you know who someone is before you add them as a friend. And remember - if you post any embarrassing pictures, they might just come back to haunt you!

If you use chat rooms:

  • don’t use your real name
  • don’t make up your age
  • don’t agree to meet up with anyone
  • don’t give out your contact details.

It’s best to only use public chat rooms.

Online shopping and banking

If you shop online, check that the website address (URL) starts with ‘https’ before you enter your bank or card details. This means the site has a secure ‘server’ and your details are relatively safe.

No website is ever completely secure – don’t share passwords and try not to shop online using public computers. Make sure you log out of online banking sites before leaving your computer. Check your bank statement regularly for any unusual activity.

Useful websites