iAndover Approved Device Options
A personally owned device means a privately owned – school dedicated wireless device that is approved by APS Technology and Digital Learning Department (refer to specification list below).
For middle school students, Chromebooks are the preferred device. Students that have already acquired Windows or MacOS machines are welcome to continue using them. Furthermore, Andover requests that you allow us to enroll your Chromebook in the Google Management Console that will enable us to enhance their daily classroom experience and will facilitate their ability to participate in various on-line testing initiatives.
To ensure that your student has a satisfactory digital experience here are some additional general considerations. They are meant to serve as guidelines not mandates. In general, keep the following in mind:
- If your machine is 3-4 years old or newer it will almost certainly be fine and provide a good experience. Older machines typically have more limited battery life and may not support the most current operating system revisions.
- Since most of the work required will be performed “in the cloud”, most machines are fast enough. Older “netbook” type machines however may prove to be too slow.
- Any machine you purchase will have wireless capability. Your student will have a slightly better experience if the machine is equipped with Wi-Fi 5 or 6 (formerly called 802.11ac or 802.11ax). However, Wi-Fi 4 devices (formerly 802.11n) are fine.
- When selecting a machine, the most important issue is battery life. Make sure it will get them through an entire school day. Then look at screen size and the keyboard to make sure they are comfortable for your student. The details about the processor, memory and so forth are secondary.
- Display size and resolution will matter to your student. An 11” screen with 1366 x 768 resolution would be the minimum. 13-15” screens with 1920 x 1080 provide more real estate. Larger screens may be overkill.
- While cameras are not required most devices come with built-in cameras and these may be helpful in building presentations and in supporting video collaboration. 720p is fine. Higher resolutions are helpful but not necessary. Some devices come with both front and rear facing cameras.
- Similarly, most machines come with a microphone, speakers and an earphone jack. These can also be helpful to improve collaboration. Make sure your student has a pair of inexpensive headphone or earbuds.
- Weight is also a key consideration for students who will be carrying devices from class to class. Anything heavier than 4-5 pounds will be noticeable.
- While not required, all of the new machines we are buying our staff have a built in touch screen and most can be operated in either laptop or tablet mode.
- As you are buying, think about whether this is a “short term” machine or a device you hope will carry your student into college. If the latter, you will find that most colleges will require a Windows or Mac machine rather than a Chromebook. Similarly, if your student wants to do any “desktop” style work, like running Microsoft Office, creating music, photo editing or intense gaming a Chromebook is not the ideal solution
- Make sure you update to a relatively current version of the operating system and install virus protection to make sure your student is safe and secure.
- You are not required to provide any additional software. Your student will be provided with cloud based email, access to Google for Education and Office 365. You are welcome to install any other software that supports your students learning.
- Buy a protective case where possible. Students are tough on their machines and any protection is helpful
For high school students the iAndover supports three types of devices:
- Windows – Any manufacturer running Windows 10 is acceptable.
- MacOS – Any Macbook, Macbook Air or Macbook Pro running the High Sierra or later version of MacOS
- Chromebook – Any manufacturer Chromebook that will be supported by Google for at least the full school year. For a list of Chromebooks and their “end of life” date, check here: https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366?hl=en
If you have questions on the specs, please feel free to contact Paul Puzzaghera, Town/School CIO