Technology is a blessing, particularly when it comes to education. It is now accepted that technology is a part of the education process.
Typical classrooms from primary to high school feature computer-linked screens, touchscreen learning and tablet/notebook/desktop stations in each classroom, as well as modern computer rooms.
If your child's primary school hasn't requested you purchase an individual device by Year 6 you can count on the fact that their high school will. As they progress through their high school years, they'll need more technology, better technology and the latest apps and software designed to help them maximise their learning.
We've put together a basic guide on what you can expect your child to need when it comes to high school. Each high school has different requirements, so contact your child's school to find out exactly what they will need.
Starting High School: A phone
Children who are preparing for high school are already starting to push for a bit of individual freedom. They may want to walk to the local shops on their own, be dropped at the movies or even walk to and from school. They certainly don't want you waving to them as the school bus pulls away.
That's why it's a perfect time to purchase your child's first phone, ensuring they can remain in contact at all times.
Good advice for parents is to provide their child with a phone similar to their own, and put them on a plan which means they can't ever say they ran out of credit.
Junior Years: Tablet
Even if your child's primary school doesn't use tablets they still need to know how to use them because they certainly will, at the very least, require one for high school. The school will make recommendations for parents informing them of the exact requirements and specifications needed for their device. Then there are multiple file apps such as iCloud* and Dropbox* which means your child's entire high school educational experience can remain portable and protected.
It certainly removes the excuse that children have forgotten work at school or home because by setting up a Cloud system they can log in and complete and download work at any time.
Some high schools require a laptop from Year Seven but others require only a tablet until the senior years, when parents will be expected to upgrade to a laptop. Once you find out if you will need to purchase a tablet for your child for high school, you may consider accessories that make schoolwork and homework easier, such as a wireless mouse and a portable keyboard.
As Required: Apps
There are some great apps that link your child's devices to your own as well as to each other. Life360 is a good app you can use to communicate with all members of your family, and includes flexible location sharing, check-ins and group chats.
If your child struggles with any of their subjects, you can access apps that will help them learn through online tutoring.
It is a brand-new world when it comes to education, thanks to technology. Just make sure your child is proficient at using apps before high school begins so they can stay on top of their school work. Finding apps that can help them at any stage of their education will help keep them on track and organised.
Year 10 and Beyond: A Laptop with lots of performance
Some high schools go one step further by asking all students to purchase their own laptops for Year 7, depending on what school your child attends. Depending on what school your child attends you will normally be given options when it comes to purchasing a PC, which means you can keep your children on the same operating system as the rest of the family. By Year 10 your child will need their own laptop.
To help ensure your child’s laptop lasts the distance make sure you purchase a good-quality laptop case, plenty of processing power and teach them how to use it well so they don't ever suffer from viruses and crashes.
Normally students face restrictions on what they can search for online at school. By linking their laptop to a home computer you will ensure they can access any online research they need to complete their school work. Again, it’s important to check the school requirements for device sharing, even those with BYOD policies.
Senior Years: Advanced Software
On top of online tutoring and apps, there are so many amazing software choices for children designed to help their learning during high school years. When purchasing your child's laptop, consider what software is necessary including basic programs they will need such as iWork* or Office*. Your safest option is to check with their school on their necessary software.
If your child shows a particular interest in any topic area you can also subscribe to software like iMovie* or the PC equivalent, or subject-specific software such as Algebra.
Equipping your children with the exact technology, devices, apps and software they need will allow you to help them achieve their best during their schooling years.
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