The Essential 2017 BYOD Checklist

Whether your child is in high school or primary school you are sure to come across the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) at some stage.

The idea is that students can bring their own devices to school for learning in the classroom. While it’s exciting for kids – their very own device – it is understandable that for parents, choosing a device can be a little perplexing. After all, it’s a significant investment in something that is crucial for your child’s education.

So, you want to choose wisely.

Navigating the world of terminology and technology can be tricky, so it helps to have a checklist of questions to assist you in choosing just the right device.

Does the school have a preferred device list?
A lot of schools have a specific device they will require your child to have so check with them first.

Does the school have recommended specifications?
This will be a huge factor in exactly what to buy. Do you need a tablet? Something with a pen, or something with a keyboard? Is touch essential? What kind of operating system is needed?

Does your child’s school have a preferred specialist supplier?
Some schools have deals with particular suppliers. This can be a beneficial arrangement which will help you choose the right device and save you cash. Many school programs have the added benefit of on-site service and support, and they can also help with payment plans via their partners.

What is your budget?
This is probably one of the biggest things a parent needs to consider. After all, this type of technology can be a significant investment.

Is the device adaptable?
On an average day this device might be used to type out a creative writing project, take notes in a science class, figure out a maths equation, video an assembly item and chart a science experiment. You need a device with versatility.

What is the device’s performance like?
For tablets, laptops and 2 in 1s, a minimum of 2GB of RAM and an Intel® Atom™ or Intel® Core™ M processor or above will help keep battery life and performance on track.

Does the device have a 10” screen or larger and a touchscreen?
A minimum of a 10” screen is beneficial for larger or creative and technical work. While not a necessity in many schools, a touchscreen is often beneficial for easier browsing and navigating around the device.

Does the device have a keyboard?
A keyboard is necessary for typing assignments.

Does it run both apps and programs?
Your child’s device needs to run apps like Microsoft OneNote* to help keep those class notes in order and cloud services like Microsoft Office 365* so they can work and communicate from anywhere.

Does it have dual band Wi-Fi?
It will need to have 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz to get the fastest access to the school network. Dual band Wi-Fi is recommended, however, don’t forget that not all Wi-Fi is equal in schools. You may wish to discuss this with your child’s school for further clarification.

Your child is going to carry this device back and forth to school each day, as well as to any sports training or extra-curricular activities, so it’s got to be light. You should aim for under 1.6kg.

How long is the battery life?
School days can be anywhere from six to up to eight or nine hours, so you need a device with battery life that will last. Battery life can vary considerably with usage, so aim for higher if you can.

Can it survive the day to day?
These things will take a battering. You need a device that is tough enough to live through the rough and tumble of an active child or teenager. See if you can find one with a protective case and solid state drive (SSD). The tougher the device the longer it will last.

Does it have adequate storage?
The device needs to store lots of video, files, music, apps and programs. Look for a device that offers at least 128GB of storage in laptops and 2 in 1s and at least 32GB of storage in tablets.

Does it offer family safety software?
Online safety is at the forefront of any parents’ mind so check to see whether your device offers family safety software. Remember when your child is not at school there may not be protective measures on the Wi-Fi network. 

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