Bring Your Own Device
The integration of digital technology has a transformative effect on learning both in the classroom and outside. As part of the strategic plan, all Gulliver students, grades 5-12, are required to provide their own computer for use at school. Ensuring your son or daughter has an appropriate device is very important and should take into consideration the following factors: battery life, weight, processing speed (processor plus RAM), possible software requirements, and price. In an effort to help guide your decision as to which device is best suited for your child, we have listed our recommendations for appropriate devices.
Laptops and MacBooks are preferred at the Preparatory and Miller Drive campuses as they support all software that may be required at all levels. Some courses may require student computers to have more processing power such as engineering, computer programming, AV/Multimedia, etc. Your child would be best informed on laptop suggestions by the teachers of those programs.
In addition, Chromebooks are an option for Academy and Montgomery Drive students in 5th through *8th grade.
Minimum Recommended Specifications – PC / MacBook
Below is a list of specifications that should be considered when deciding what laptop or MacBook to purchase. You can take these specifications to your local computer store and they’ll be able to guide you.
- Processor: Intel i7 Dual Core or Intel i5
- RAM: Minimum 4GB
- Screen: 11″ or bigger
- Battery: Recommended Minimum of 5 hours
- Antivirus: Recommended
- Operating System: Windows 8.1 or higher / OS X 10.9 (or better)
- Hard Drive: Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended
Minimum Recommended Specifications- Chromebook
Chromebooks work in an app environment (similar to tablets) and software cannot be installed onto them. A Chromebook can be used for most, if not all, tasks in 5th-8th grade. While there are no specific brand recommendations for Chromebooks, battery life, size and weight should be taken into consideration. *If you are purchasing for an 8th grader, you may consider the MacBook or PC option instead since they will be at the Preparatory or Miller Drive campus the following year.
Notes When Buying:
- SSD vs HDD – A SSD (Solid State Drive) is less susceptible to failure due to movement and bumps as they are solid and not mechanical. However, they are more expensive than a traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive).
- Life of Device – Devices and hardware have a limited lifespan. Device lifespans are often affected by the rapidly changing technology environment and the way the user treats their device. A well-built laptop that is treated well may last a student up to 3 years before it begins to have issues with speed, but it may work well for up to 5 years.We recommend that families invest in a hard case that will protect their student’s laptop while it is in their bag if available.
- Software Management – Having a fast computer is good but managing software installed on your device is also important. A computer with a lot of software installed will run more slowly and reduce the battery life. Installing software from unknown or untrusted locations may invite malware and other harm to your computer further causing it to slow it down. Students need to be aware of what they install on their machine and carefully manage their installed software.
Student Device Care and Security
- Portable devices should be protected by a username and password. This should not be disclosed to other students.
- Always store the laptops in a protective case. Do not store anything else inside the laptop case. (Chargers, papers)
- Avoid storing your laptop at the bottom of your school bag – pressure from books can damage the screen and hinges.
- Carry your laptop within its protective case inside your normal school bag. Do not overfill your school bag. (Pressure on the laptop can cause permanent damage to the screen and other components)
- Never lift the laptop by the screen. This will stress the hinge mechanism, which also carries the data and power supply to the screen.
- Never leave your laptop in unsupervised areas during the school day.
The security of a student-owned device is the responsibility of the student. Where possible, laptops should be labeled or personalized with the student’s name.
Warranty – Most machines come with a 1-year warranty and a 3-year optional warranty. The majority of laptop warranties cover hardware problems that were not caused by the owner, such as defective keyboards, monitor problems or other issues with internal components. The laptop warranty generally covers the parts and labor for repairs. A warranty will not cover damage inflicted by the owner or someone else.
Virus and Malware Protection – Ensure that the virus and malware protection on applicable portable devices is kept up to date. Some popular and reliable systems include: Norton, Kapersky, McAfee, and AVG (Ultimate version).Saving and Backup – Students have access to Google Drive via their school account with unlimited storage for the duration of their enrollment at Gulliver. Students are responsible for any data backups not saved to Google Drive.