Newlands College allows students to bring any wireless capable device into the college and connect to our network. The best option may be to bring in a device that you already own. There are a wide range of devices available and the technology is constantly changing so it can be difficult to know which device to go for. If you are considering buying a device the following considerations are important for the school environment:
- Price - Prices can range from around $300 to $3000. Buying the most expensive device is generally unnecessary. On the other hand, the cheapest device may ending up costing more in the long term as they may not last as long or may not be suitable for learning.
- Write on Screen - Being able to use a stylus to write on a touch screen allows students to easily create diagrams, mathematical equations, handwriting and a range of other uses.
- Size of screen - Unfortunately iPod and smartphone screens are not large enough to be able to work efficiently or effectively on many tasks. A device should have a diagonal screen size of at least 7”.
- Keyboard or tablet? - To be effective for writing tasks, student devices need to have a physical keyboard. This may be a detachable keyboard.
- Battery life - Ideally the battery should last at least 6+ hours to be able to get through a school day without recharging. Battery life will deteriorate over the life of the device. Battery life is usually a key difference between a cheap device and a mid-range device.
- Weight - A device should be light enough to be carried around all day. Anything more than 1.5 kg including the case might be too heavy.
- Wireless - Must be dual band capable, and state that it is 802.11 a/g/n or 802.11 a/b/g/n compliant.
- Robustness - Your device should be strong enough to survive a fall onto a hard surface.
- Operating System - The operating system that currently offers the best learning experience for students is MS Windows 8 or 10. However, Newlands College will support any operating system.
- Software - Most learning activities will be based around free browser based software. The Microsoft Office 365 suite is available for free for students at Newlands College.
- Insurance - While we take care to protect students' property, Newlands College cannot accept responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged devices so make sure it is covered for these possibilities.
- Warranty - Minimum warranty is 1-year, but you may want to consider upgrading this to a 2 or 3 year warranty. Another factor is how long the device will be away should it require repair under warranty, it could be a few days, or as long as a few weeks.
- Student Recommendations - Student surveys reveal that most of our students prefer a chromebook, macbook or a windows tablet/laptop. Devices that don't work well for our students are Android tablets and iPads.