Information and Communication Technologies have come to play a vital role in many aspects of our lives, and education is no different. Students are increasingly making use of ICT for word processing, internet research, making digital presentations, watching online videos, and organizing & managing their own studies. In recognition of this reality, we have been looking into various models that would ensure students have adequate access to technology in the classroom. Our findings suggest that a “bring your own device (BYOD)” is the most suitable model for WRCA. As a result, students in grades 8-12 will require a device that meets the following minimum requirements as part of their regular school supplies next year.
- Ability to connect to a wifi network
- Lightweight (less than 5 lbs.)
- Long battery life (4+ hours per charge)
- Full keyboard (either built-in on a laptop or part of a Bluetooth cover for a tablet)
- Readable screen (at least 10” diagonal screen dimension)
Student age should be considered when purchasing a device.
- A child in Grade 8 should have a smaller & cheaper device with as few external accessories as possible (avoid a device that requires an external mouse, a keyboard that cannot be attached to it, or has a unique and expensive charging cable for example).
- A child in Grade 11-12 may want to consider purchasing a device that can continue to be used well into their post-secondary education. A costlier investment for these students could end up saving money in the long term.
While personal preference is also a consideration, it has limitations. For example:
- Do not purchase a $3000 gaming laptop with a 17” screen and a 90-minute battery life. That is not a suitable device for a school environment.
- Do not purchase an iPhone 7s Plus because your child is convinced he or she will be able to use it just as effectively as a laptop. A phone is not an effective computing device for a classroom environment.
Some possible solutions to meet different budgetary requirements include the following:
- 14” Chromebook (note: Microsoft Office cannot be installed on a Chromebook)
- 10” Android tablet with Bluetooth keyboard (note: android tablets require additional tech support to operate properly on the school network. That support is not always available when students need it)
- 10” iPad with Bluetooth keyboard (note: ipads require additional tech support to operate properly on the school network. That support is not always available when students need it)
- 15” Windows 10 laptop (basic model)
- 15” Windows 10 laptop (everything a student would ever need)
- 12” to 15” Windows 10 convertible laptop (screen flips 180o to turn into tablet)
- 13” iPad Pro with Bluetooth Keyboard
- 13” Windows 10 Ultrabook
- 12” MacBook (or MacBook Air or 13” MacBook Pro)
- 12” Surface Pro 4 ($2500)
- 15” MacBook Pro ($3000)
If you have any questions about this, please contact Mr. White firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604 531 9186.