Laptops in the Upper School (the organic way... 1 to 1)
This year, we are revisiting the discussion of become a 1 to 1 laptop upper school. Laptop computers are becoming more practical for Head-Royce students with the improvement of wireless networking, extended battery life, and lower overall costs. The big questions have to do with uniformity, equality, and costs. One of the most talked about models in schools around the world is BYOD, Bring Your Own Device. As our discussions progress, we hope to be updating this page.
Prior thoughts left on this page from last year:
Today 99% of the campus has wireless access. The battery life of our laptop carts range from 5-10 hours. This is plenty of battery life for the average school day. While some students use laptops for taking notes in class, most student usage tends to be organizational/communication and doing homework/research during breaks. Classroom use of laptops is growing as teachers are utilizing the four carts of laptops, one for each floor. Usage includes Catlab/Biology, Sketchpad/Geometry, Word/English/History, WWW/History/English, Powerpoint/History/Biology, Chime/Chemistry, and Excel/Science/Statistics.
Are we going to become a laptop school? A qualified "yes" is the best answer that we can give today. We have no immediate plans to require our students to purchase a specific laptop. And although the majority of the students own laptops, they do not need to bring them to school on a daily basis. With five laptop carts, a dozen netbooks in the library for student checkout, three full computer labs, and several mini labs, classes have immediate access to 200 computers. For now, Head-Royce is a school that offers students and classes full access to computers and other technologies without being a 1 to 1 laptop school.
Head-Royce supports Apple (OSX+), Microsoft (XP, Vista+, 7), Linux operating systems, Chrome, and IOS. The basic requirements for all laptops is the ability run Microsoft Office or Open Office (free) and a web browser. The laptop must have wireless, be lightweight and have a good battery (4 plus hours). The following are a few recommendations based on our tech staff's successful experience with these units:
1. Apple Macbook Air 11" - $999
2. Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad X120-220 - $400-900
3. Apple iPad - $500
4. Acer Chromebook $350
5. Acer Netbook $280
Please note that Windows laptops must have a current antivirus application installed. These are usually available at no fee from your internet service provider (ie ATT, Comcast...).