WHAT TO BUY
DEVICE SPECIFICATIONS TO CONSIDER
In order for devices to be suitable for most student needs, there are some minimum requirements that should be considered for all devices. :
- Wi-Fi capable - Students at the high school have access to many resources available online. Wi-Fi capabilities allow students to connect to these resources from anywhere in the high school.
- 7”+ Screen Size - While there are certainly many things that can be accomplished with a hand-held device, it is difficult to do holistic editing and visual manipulations on something that small. We recommend a screen size found in netbooks, larger tablets, and laptops.
- Large QWERTY Keyboard - In order to allow for adequate keyboarding speed for taking notes or creating documents, nearly full-sized standard keyboards are recommended. Laptops and Chromebooks come equipped with such keyboards. Tablets usually require the purchasing of an accessory keyboard.
- Currently Supported Operating System/Web Browser - Much of what students need to access and use is online, and online resources often use the most current technologies. As a result, students will need access to a fully supported and regularly updated web browser.
- 4+ Hour Battery Life - Technology use will vary for students on any given day. With a 6.5 hour school day, students who rely heavily on their technology should keep this number in mind. For most students, a battery that will provide close to 4 hours of battery life should be sufficient for most of their needs.
- similar in appearance to laptops
- lower prices (many under $200)
- uses Chrome OS created by Google
- Won't run Windows or Mac Software, but have many apps available for little or no cost
- excellent weight and size - perfect for backpacks
- battery life optimal - should easily last for a full school day or more
- This is the best choice for most students due to price, size, and functionality.
- Chromebooks are better than tablets due to keyboard availability and often price.
- Although they are somewhat less functional than laptops, this is the perfect tool to create documents, spreadsheets, and for internet applications.
- great for all applications with the greatest functionality
- provides full sized keyboard
- capable of running commercial applications that may not run on tablets or Chromebooks
- can be bulky and heavy to carry around
- greater cost and size can increase theft risk
- battery life can vary widely, and should be considered
- small and easy to carry
- often provide extended battery life
- often expensive relative to Chromebooks
- require an additional keyboard
- tablet size & screen rotation offers nice format for reading
- may have limited connectivity options (many lack USB or SD ports for removable storage or interfacing with accessories)