As students increasingly draw on digital literacy skills and technology to support their learning, so the nature of education changes. At Island School we have implemented a 1-1 laptop scheme.
What Kind of Laptop Does my Child Need?
Island School has decided to not advocate any one particular model of computer and instead to give parents the choice. We have produced a laptop specification guide which is updated regularly to help parents with purchasing decision.
Click here to see page one
Key Factors Affecting Choice of Laptops
There is a balance to strike between the size and weight of the computer. The larger the computer screen is, in some respects the more usable it is. However, your child’s bag is already heavy and it is important that we don’t add unnecessarily to this burden. As such we set a maximum screen size of 13.5 inches.
DVD drives add considerably to the weight of a computer so we recommend that you buy a machine that does NOT include a DVD drive.
Similarly solid state storage saves weight and ads to the performance of the computer. We recommend solid state storage for these reasons.
Low Power Consumption Processors
When purchasing the laptop it is worth asking about lower power consumption chips. These can suffer a little in performance but for the level of application students in the lower years will be doing this shouldn’t be an issue.
Try to get as long a warranty as possible. Three years is desirable as it provides some cover over a reasonable proportion of the computer’s working life. Some retailers will have this as standard, some will have less and will be open to negotiation and some still will probably allow you to pay for an extension.
Listed below are the baseline specifications for machines coming into Island School. Please ensure that any machine that your child brings matches or exceeds this.
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional; 8 or 8.1; Apple OSX 10.8.5 or later
Processor: Minimum i5, Recommended i7
Memory RAM:Minimum 4GB; Recommended 8GB
Graphics Card: 512MB or higher Connectivity: 802.11n
Warranty: Min 3 years parts and labour Windows Emulation Software (Apple only): Parallels Desktop
Microsoft Office – available from school at a discount when the student starts
- Built-in webcam
- MacBook – mini-DisplayPort VGA adaptor for presentations.
- Use a backup program like Windows Backup or Mac OS Time Machine with an external hard drive (External USB 3.0 or Firewire 800 hard drive) to ensure file recovery in the event of a system malfunction.
- Web applications occasionally do not work well with all browsers. Individuals are encouraged to install at least one alternative browser (either Chrome or FireFox) in addition to the default browsers provided with the operating system for those situations.
- Netbooks and tablet computing devices do not have the computing power of a normal notebook, for this reason they are not recommended.
- Consider adding security hardware, such as a security cable.
All users of Island School network and systems are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the latest copy of which can be found here.
Laptop Purchase Programme
Keeping Your Child Safe Online
There are so many excellent resources and lots of good information online that can help parents with all aspects of e-safety and responsible use of technology. Please take time to acquaint yourself with these reccommended web sites.
Prof. Mark Gandolfi’s presentation from the “Growing up online” Parents Information Evening Thursday 20th September 2012 – here
Protecting Children On-line (from the school’s laptop website) – here
Robyn has been a guest speaker to both students and parents over the past 2-3 years. She is a recognized authority on e-safety and digital citizenship. See her recent TEDx talk – here
Presentation notes – here
Presentation outline – here
Robyn’s delicious account (excellent online resources) – here
Common Sense Media
We exist because our nation’s children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development . As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.– here
Connected Culture Parent Tip Sheet – is a very useful resource from Common Sense Media here
Facebook Parent Tip Sheet – here
Disihinibition Online Parent Tip Sheet – here
Social Networking Parent Tip Sheet – here
Self Expression and Identity Parent Tip Sheet – here
Common sense media agreement 6-8 – here
Common sense media agreement K-5 – here
Common sense media agreement (High School) – here
Trend micro – Internet safety at home
i-Keepsafe Resource Library – here
CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Youtube Channel – here
CEOP The Parent and Carer’s Guide to the Internet – video – here